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Illumicare
08-16-2010, 10:32 PM
Just a quick questionaire to find out how many of you are currently using LEDs in your systems. Hopefully this will spur on some good discussion about the technology and it's use in outdoor low voltage lighting systems.

David Gretzmier
08-17-2010, 12:01 AM
we are currently testing about 3 dozen mr-16 bulbs from different manufacturors. we probably also have a few thousand LED c-9 bulb in the field from several different year models on Christmas lights. on LED mini-lights, we have a few dozen or so strands out there from the past few years we are testing.

the only LED's on both the Christmas and Landscape light side that still are over 75% lit rate are from the last 18 months.

I also have around 200 LED flashlights from different manu's, a dozen or so modified with different led's from different color temps and bins, from the past 4 years or so.

I also have a dozen LED 120v bulbs at a few cusotmer's houses we are testing.

The Lighting Geek
08-17-2010, 12:36 AM
I am 98% LED, just have not found a bi pin I like. Other than that we have been consistently using LED on every install. I am very happy with Kichler's LED up light and small sconces. I also use MR16 lamps in brass fixtures from Volt or Unique. I really like the 3 watt MR16 I have been using, a little bit softer than a 20w BAB for down lighting.

The outdoor rated LED bi pin I have tried is good but I need more output for taller area lights.

Tim R.
08-17-2010, 09:17 AM
Still waiting a bit. I have tried Kichlers but can't stand the cheesy, cheep fixture housing. DG has some great LED fixtures with replaceable LED's. spec grade fixtures with great light output. Still waiting for a good direct replacement though.

MR16s I have used were too soft and not enough lumen output in the (BAB range)

No FMW equivelant

Havn't found a good bi-pin yet!

Conclusion: Still waiting on the fence for the silver bullet to arrive.

worx
08-17-2010, 09:17 AM
Hey James just a few questions:

At what voltage range do your lamps perform best?

Any handling precautions with LED lamps?

Will they fit most standard landscape fixtures?

Thanks and best of luck!

Illumicare
08-17-2010, 06:51 PM
Sorry guys, there was supposed to be a poll attached to my post at the top of this thread. I cannot seem to add it now. We will get it right next time!

Q: Are you using any type of LED technology in your Low Voltage Outdoor Lighting Systems:

1: Yes, we use LED almost exclusively
2: Yes, we use LED in select applications and systems
3: No, we have not made the switch over to LED yet
4: No, incandescent lamps are the only way to go.

Illumicare
08-17-2010, 06:59 PM
Hi Steve... your answers are below:

Hey James just a few questions:

At what voltage range do your lamps perform best? All of the LED lamps that we sell now and are developing are optimized to operate between 10 and 14 Volts AC or DC

Any handling precautions with LED lamps? LED lamps are pretty tough to hurt. The only handling precaution that I would advise is that they should not get wet or submerged. Installation into fixtures that are open to direct moisture exposure should be avoided. Similarly, if you install in fixtures that leak and hold water there will be issues.

Will they fit most standard landscape fixtures? YES. Our line of MR16 lamps are the same size as standard MR16 lamps. Our current directional G4 BiPin LED lamp fits into a wide variety of flood, mini flood, soft wash, and some path light fixtures. Our new line of omni directional miniature LED lamps will fit into most fixtures that accept SCB, S8 Wedge, T5 Wedge and BiPin lamps. We are just now working on an even smaller omni directional BiPin lamp that will fit into the vast majority of path light fixtures on the market.

Thanks and best of luck!

Have a great day.

James

Mayor_tx
08-17-2010, 07:02 PM
We've been using a lot of MR-16 retro's from Halco. Their 6 watt multi chip have a nice color and put out a nice 35 watt like light.

Illumicare
08-17-2010, 07:16 PM
We've been using a lot of MR-16 retro's from Halco. Their 6 watt multi chip have a nice color and put out a nice 35 watt like light.

Hi Mayor_tx. I just looked at the specifications of the Halco LED MR16, 5Watt, Warm White, 40 Degree lamp and noticed that it only produces 190 Lumens. This is less than a 20W halogen MR16. The shape of their lamps is quite different too, have you had any issues with those lamps fitting into standard fixtures? It also clearly states that the lamps are not to be used in enclosed fixtures. (heat issues)

Our current line of LED MR16 lamps produce 220+ Lumens (20W Halogen equivalent) and are available in 2700K, 3000K and 4000K colour temperatures. Our LED lamps have been designed specifically for use in enclosed fixtures and in the outdoor lighting industry. Their thermal management is without comparison and they are the same size as standard MR16 lamps.

Give them a try and see what you think.

James

David Gretzmier
08-17-2010, 07:54 PM
James, I think the xpg cree is now or soon available in the q5 bin in true warm white, or 3000k, at around 107 lumens per watt, as opposed to the 80 or so of the p4 xre. I have heard from flashlight guys who have used both the xre and the xpg say that the thermal management is also better on the xpg. Is the newer LED on your radar to maybe get more lumens out of the mr-16 format without too much heat, maybe closer to 35 equiv. output?

I also am going to order one each of your LED's soon in honor of your new sponsorship ! wecome aboard !

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
08-17-2010, 08:04 PM
David, we are currently working on a new LED MR16 lamp that we hope will use the XPG chips. The goal of the new lamp is to have a true 35W halogen equivalent. Prototypes are currently in testing phase now and we hope to have this lamp to market in the early fall.

worx
08-17-2010, 08:23 PM
Hey James your omni directional lamps equivalent to G4 or GY6.35?

worx
08-17-2010, 08:40 PM
Sorry James just reread your post. When will your omni directional lamp be available?

extlights
08-18-2010, 10:25 AM
We haven't installed one led fixture. Actually we haven't pushed them or even had any inquiries on them. Maybe in another year or two we'll give them a try depending on how the industry responds.

NightScenes
08-18-2010, 01:27 PM
We've been just about 100% LED for over a year and a half and there is no turning back.

Alan B
08-18-2010, 07:12 PM
I know it will play a large role in the future but am still very cautious. We want to be involved because there is pent up demand, however I feel as a manu, it is still very risky. There things people don't talk much about like:

-Most retro's are made for indoor use. If you put them in a sealed fixture the fixture traps the heat which results in an operating environment quite different from open fixture lab environment in which many of the specs were taken. Also for an LED application the actual environment (snow up north vs Arizona heat vs humid Florida) is likely to make a difference in real world results that a lab won't show.

-A chip has a hard time in an indoor environment, in a computer with a fan cooling it. Strides have been made to make LED run cooler and to seal it (which is what is needed and is the right direction, go James :clapping:). However its still a harsh environment for electronics.

-even in an integrated LED fixture, the fixture may hit 150 degrees or higher in the day time when its not even ON (imagine Arizona sun mid day baking a metal fixture). What happens when that LED when its turned on in a fixture that's already 130 degrees?

-different output from fixtures batch to batch, year to year. Technology and chips change quickly.

-we're losing a lot of business by not being in it, but it could be very costly to bank a reputation and warranty on it. I still am not confident that I could say this is good for the customer. It may sell well, but that's not the same. I think Spring 2011 we'll be ready.

James is doing the right thing, focusing on cooler and potted -- I agree with that direction and hope development continues.

Illumicare
08-18-2010, 09:19 PM
Alan... I have no problem talking about the concerns that some have over the use of LED lamps, in fact I welcome the discourse. I will use some of the elements of your post to try and clarify:

There things people don't talk much about like:

-Most retro's are made for indoor use. If you put them in a sealed fixture the fixture traps the heat which results in an operating environment quite different from open fixture lab environment in which many of the specs were taken. Alan is correct. Many LED lamps have not been designed to operate in enclosed fixtures. Our line of LED lamps have been designed specifically to operate in enclosed fixtures. Through extensive, long term testing, our current line of LED MR16 lamps operate at an incredibly cool 41 to 47 degrees C while enclosed in sealed lighting fixtures.

Also for an LED application the actual environment (snow up north vs Arizona heat vs humid Florida) is likely to make a difference in real world results that a lab won't show. So far we have had no reports of any problems with the lamps operating in hot environments. The lamps have been sold to contractors in Florida, Texas and Arizona. My testing and extensive use of the lamps here in Central Ontario, show no issues at all while operating through some brutally cold and snowy conditions and during weeks of high heat and humidity conditions in the summer.

-A chip has a hard time in an indoor environment, in a computer with a fan cooling it. Strides have been made to make LED run cooler and to seal it (which is what is needed and is the right direction, go James :clapping:). However its still a harsh environment for electronics. We have addressed these issues in the design of the LED driver circuit and the way in which our lamp is assembled. Our driver is a fully integrated circuit design and then is potted in epoxy in the base of the lamp. This aids in cooling the driver circuits, and keeping moisture and condensation from forming on the circuit board. Our heat sink offers much more surface area than comparable cast style heat sinks. Our LED circuit board is bonded to the heat sink with a thermal silicone which helps to transfer the heat from the board to the sink. Finally something new on our latest production run, we are coating the entire exposed LED board with a clear sealant. This will greatly help to reduce any issues with condensation or moisture contact and we will be looking to get the lamps an IP rating in the near future.

-even in an integrated LED fixture, the fixture may hit 150 degrees or higher in the day time when its not even ON (imagine Arizona sun mid day baking a metal fixture). What happens when that LED when its turned on in a fixture that's already 130 degrees? Extended operation of LEDs in temperatures that are higher than the listed operation temperatures will eventually impact the Lumen Maintenance of the chips. However I have always questioned the logic behind this argument... In outdoor lighting applications, the fixture / lamp will not be tuned on until dusk. I have yet to find a climate chart that shows average or mean evening and night time temperatures to be over 100f. Hot arid zones typically cool off quickly and significantly in the evening from their daytime highs. If the ambient temperature is high on a few occasions, but dropping steadily while the LEDs are on, I dont think it will significantly affect the long term performance of the lamp.

-different output from fixtures batch to batch, year to year. The batching and binning of LED chips from the best manufacturers has improved drastically in the past year or so. We have produced several runs of product over the past 18 months and I have not seen any differences in light output between production runs.

Technology and chips change quickly. Yes this is true. LED technology is constantly improving and progressing at this point. However, the old adage does apply: "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" Our current line of LED MR16 lamps (20w Halogen equivalents) work very very well. So there is really no reason to change or alter their components just for the sake of "updating". What the new technology does allow is for us to continue to develop new, brighter and better performing lamps.


-we're losing a lot of business by not being in it, but it could be very costly to bank a reputation and warranty on it. Our line of LED lamps offers a 3 year limited warranty.

James is doing the right thing, focusing on cooler and potted -- I agree with that direction and hope development continues.

Thanks Alan... I hope to get to meet you in person sometime soon.

Regards
James

David Gretzmier
08-19-2010, 06:29 PM
James- good to hear the xpg will be coming to an MR-16 soon. It is my understanding that the lumens per watt on the xpg higher bins is now over 100 even at the warm white color temps.

also - As far as the long term LED retrofit mr-16 and bi-pins, what is being done or can be done to avoid the corrosion I see on bulbs that have been left in fixtures for years? I know I am not the only one who has seen pins from halogen bulbs literally rot off, into and further ruin the socket. I have been removing LED retrofits and greasing the pins and then re-installing the last few years when I do maintenance, but is this one of those differring metal to metal corrosion issue that can't be fixed?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
08-21-2010, 12:10 AM
Hi David. The issue you speak of with corrosion on sockets and lamp pins is something I have not had to deal with much lately. Basicially, if your fixture is allowing moisture into the lamp enclosure / body then you will have issues. Source and use better fixtures. Not many LED lamps will function well when exposed to moisture or condensation. Better quality fixtures, and those with IP ratings work best. If you are selling a 10 to 15 year lamp you should probably be putting it in a fixture that will last just as long if not longer.

David Gretzmier
08-21-2010, 10:59 PM
james- while I would love to blame it on cheap fixtures, moisture and fixtures leaking, the corrosion I am speaking of happens over the long term when dissimilar metals are in contact, and conducting eletricity through those metals seem to accelerate the effect. I have seen it plenty in underwater fixtures that allowed no water penetration inside, but had the 10,000 hour mr-16 bulbs installed. when it came time to finally change the bulb, the pins had rotted into the socket. I seem to see it more in bi-pin g4's and g6's, again, not moisture issues, but usually bulbs that were at lower volts, around 10-10.5, and lasted many years, then after 4-5 years they call me for a bulb change and the socket and pins are corroded and done. I have never seen it on systems I maintain on a yearly basis, but rather lights that are installed and the homeowner chooses to do maintenance themselves.

I know I cannot be the only one that has seen this.

irrig8r
08-22-2010, 01:21 AM
james- while I would love to blame it on cheap fixtures, moisture and fixtures leaking, the corrosion I am speaking of happens over the long term when dissimilar metals are in contact, and conducting eletricity through those metals seem to accelerate the effect. I have seen it plenty in underwater fixtures that allowed no water penetration inside, but had the 10,000 hour mr-16 bulbs installed. when it came time to finally change the bulb, the pins had rotted into the socket. I seem to see it more in bi-pin g4's and g6's, again, not moisture issues, but usually bulbs that were at lower volts, around 10-10.5, and lasted many years, then after 4-5 years they call me for a bulb change and the socket and pins are corroded and done. I have never seen it on systems I maintain on a yearly basis, but rather lights that are installed and the homeowner chooses to do maintenance themselves.

I know I cannot be the only one that has seen this.

David, James and I have discussed this corrosion issue in the past. I jokingly suggested gold-plating the lamp pins, but maybe there is another kind of plating that would help... then the weak link would be the socket. Bill Locklin was experimenting at one time with socket-less connections, but that might negate the value of using retrofit LED's in existing fixtures... or not. Basically, I think sockets need to be rethought or reinvented.

irrig8r
08-22-2010, 11:52 AM
Meanwhile, I've demo'd both the Vista and the Kichler, and ended up installing a handful of the Kichler with the BBR finish... brass body with a "bronze" powder coat.

I have installed LEDs MR-16s into Troy pathlights designed for them (badly designed as far as I can tell) and retrofit into some old Focus fixtures, both at a customer's request, and against my advice. A couple of those lamps from Troy were bad right out of the box... then they provided the customer with an alternative lamp, but it has a rounded base (section above the pins), so didn't fit into a socket with retainer clips...

I would not have specified these, but the customer is an EE, and had his own ideas, and I've worked on his irrigation system for a few years, so I thought maybe I'd learn something while not having to warranty the products.

David Gretzmier
08-22-2010, 03:34 PM
James- If you are interested in doing research on this dissimilar metal corrosion, it is often referred to as galvanic corrosion or galvanic series. the metals are assigned a number on a chart based on the metals ablility to corrode against another in electrical contact.

I used to think that a stainless steel to stainless steel connection would not corrode, as it is used in many pins and sockets, and of course, stainless has a reputation as non corrosive, but there are more than a dozen or so different stainless steels listed in most charts, with their particular glavanic numbers fairly far apart.

It is my understanding that the further numbers are apart on the chart, the greater likelyhood of the galvanic or electrical type corrosion taking place. Beryllium and magnesium are typically a very low number, and I have heard of them being used in sockets, and gold is on the "noble" end, or very high numbers.

using the chart, while gold to gold electrical contact would not corrode, gold to beryllium, would, again, according to the chart, would be very likely to corrode.

BrandonV
08-22-2010, 04:55 PM
James I've got a project coming up to down light out of some large oaks. typically i'd use either a 20 or 35W 60˚ bulb, probably the 20w in this instance. is your 45˚ bulb the one I'd want to go with in these situations? As high as it's going to be the HO would defiantly appreciate the longer life, as would I sense I'd have to change them.

Illumicare
08-22-2010, 10:44 PM
James I've got a project coming up to down light out of some large oaks. typically i'd use either a 20 or 35W 60˚ bulb, probably the 20w in this instance. is your 45˚ bulb the one I'd want to go with in these situations? As high as it's going to be the HO would defiantly appreciate the longer life, as would I sense I'd have to change them.

Hi Brandon. I use the 45 Degree LED MR16 lamp for down-lighting out of trees pretty much exclusively. I usually mount between 26 and 30 feet up and the output is just about perfect in my opinion. If you wanted a broader and softer output then you could put an optical spread lens in front of the lamp.

Remember that we now offer the LED MR16 line in three different Colour Temperatures; 2700K, 3000K and 4000K. The 3000K lamps come in 15 deg, 30 deg and 45 degree optics. The 2700K and 4000K come in 15 deg or 45 deg.

Our website is lagging us a bit but the full product line should be displayed there in the next day or so. In the meantime, if you follow up any order with an email directed to me, and stating what colour and beam spread you would like, I will make sure the right lamps are shipped to you.

Still working on the new, brighter 35W halogen equivalent LED lamps... but we hope to have them available for the fall.

Regards
James