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Let There Be Light
10-09-2010, 11:14 PM
Four- 3 watt MR-16 LEDS from Brilliance LED all with conformal coating. Pretty powerful for a total of 12 watts.

David Gretzmier
10-10-2010, 12:03 AM
that is probably the nicest, warmest LED photo I have seen. very good work.

Let There Be Light
10-10-2010, 12:16 AM
that is probably the nicest, warmest LED photo I have seen. very good work.

Thank you sir.

lazor-cut
10-10-2010, 01:06 AM
Wow!! I've always liked/ wanted some of those LEDs
how much are they usually on a house installed on average?
Posted via Mobile Device

The Lighting Geek
10-10-2010, 10:23 AM
Very nice, Steve!

Let There Be Light
10-10-2010, 10:39 AM
Very nice, Steve!

Thank you Sir.

emby
10-10-2010, 09:51 PM
Hey Steve, I really like the colour temp in that picture. Very nice work to boot.

Ken

elegance_alex
10-11-2010, 11:26 AM
Very lovely!

Prolightscaper
10-11-2010, 08:49 PM
This thread has had 222 views and 7 replies and no one has stated the obvious. This photo has been "sweetened" with photoshop. The color has been changed.
There isn't an MR-16 LED that exists with this color and there isn't an MR-16 halogen either for that matter.

This is not a true representation of what the eye sees while viewing this wall. OP come clean.

Let There Be Light
10-12-2010, 11:25 PM
This thread has had 222 views and 7 replies and no one has stated the obvious. This photo has been "sweetened" with photoshop. The color has been changed.
There isn't an MR-16 LED that exists with this color and there isn't an MR-16 halogen either for that matter.

This is not a true representation of what the eye sees while viewing this wall. OP come clean.

I would kindly suggest sir, that the information you state above is highly inaccurate. I am not here to get into a pissing contest with anyone. Simply sharing a picture of a job. I wouldn't know how to "sweeten" as you put it a photo if my life depended on it. I would suggest sir you get more info on what LEDS can do for you, your business and most importantly your customers rather than speculate and pass judgement on me. Take risk and have faith in God.

elegance_alex
10-13-2010, 09:56 AM
We're having an educational session on LEDs at the AOLP conference in Scottsdale Arizona. PResenters from Vista, Kichler and Philips-Hadco will be speaking in-depth about LED technology, how to use it, where it's going. Hope to see you there!

steveparrott
10-13-2010, 10:06 AM
This thread has had 222 views and 7 replies and no one has stated the obvious. This photo has been "sweetened" with photoshop. The color has been changed.
There isn't an MR-16 LED that exists with this color and there isn't an MR-16 halogen either for that matter.

This is not a true representation of what the eye sees while viewing this wall. OP come clean.

I think it's unfair to criticize the lamp from viewing the color of the image. I believe the photographer when he say's he didn't alter the image.

I believe that prol's comment is a criticism of the color temperature rendition. This is tricky.

A pro photographer sets the color temperature in the camera by shining the light source on a white card then taking a white balance reading (automatic cameras try to do this automatically). This results in white objects appearing white in the final photo. The adjustment that's made is that the camera is setting itself to the color temperature of the light source.

This means that a photo with a light source of 2,700K will look very similar to a light source of 4,000K. There will be, however, slight differences in how some colors appear, but that would be very subtle.

What appears to be going on in the 'Let there be light' photo is that the camera's color temp setting was a little higher than the color temp of the light source. I know, for example that the brilliance LED's have a color temp of about 2,900K. I'd say that the camera's color setting was probably about 3,200K. This resulted in a photo that's trending towards the yellow/red end of the spectrum - that's why the porch light looks overly yellow and the sky look purple instead of blue.

If this image was corrected in PhotoShop to a color temp of 2,900K then the colors would shift towards the blue to correct the colors.

Long-story-short, you can't evaluate a lamps color from a photo.

irrig8r
10-13-2010, 10:50 AM
It's also true that how it looks may depend on your monitor. On my desktop at home it looks warmer than on the netbook I'm looking at right now.

steveparrott
10-13-2010, 11:07 AM
It's also true that how it looks may depend on your monitor. On my desktop at home it looks warmer than on the netbook I'm looking at right now.

Good point - monitors are all over the place in terms of color rendition.

Since I do a lot of print work I've calibrated my monitors to be as accurate as possible. In fact, one monitor is specifically calibrated for our print pieces (especially our catalog) so when someone views them in a typical living room during late afternoon (color temp about 5,000K) the photo colors look natural.

Prolightscaper
10-13-2010, 08:05 PM
The intent to deceive is there and deliberate. The post mentions a brand name and specifically the color of the light. This warm incandescent look is not currently attainable with LED's.

The OP was the designer of the effect right?

So the designer has seen the effect live and this photo is not even close to a true representation of what is there.

Either way it's a poor photo and not a true representation of performance of this LED product.

irrig8r
10-13-2010, 08:44 PM
The intent to deceive is there and deliberate. The post mentions a brand name and specifically the color of the light. This warm incandescent look is not currently attainable with LED's.

The OP was the designer of the effect right?

So the designer has seen the effect live and this photo is not even close to a true representation of what is there.

Either way it's a poor photo and not a true representation of performance of this LED product.

1. Instead of arguing about it, show us your own best LED photos... inquiring eyes want to see.

2. Or are you saying you haven't used LEDs yet, and so don't have anything to show. (I'll admit, I'm not very good with a camera and don't have any photos to show either.)

3. Are you trying to make a point that Steve is attempting to generate Brilliant LED sales by being deceptive about what they can or can't do?

4. Your writing style and edginess remind me of a guy who called himself High Performance something or other.... are you his second coming?

Illumicare
10-13-2010, 09:17 PM
This warm incandescent look is not currently attainable with LED's.

The statement above is simply not accurate.

The fact is that you can obtain very warm white "incandescent look" colour output from LED's. In fact, we could, if we wanted, produce a 2500K LED lamp. The lumen output would be a little lower than most would want but it is totally possible to do.

We have a 2700K LED lamp that matches up very well with most xenon and incandescent lamps in terms of correlated colour temperature.

Chris J
10-13-2010, 10:23 PM
This thread reminds me of the old days, so I thought I would chime in. You guys crack me up, and I'm sorry I haven't been around for a while to keep myself entertained.
But let's also keep in mind that the color of a surface will greatly affect the absorbsion of the light. These stacked stones are of a darker color, so the color or appearance of the reflection will be altered as opposed to being on a lighter, more reflective surface. I will admit that I don't think the representation is entirely accurate, but I'm a lover and not a fighter....LOL! The pic is good, so leave the man alone for goodness sake!
Good to see you Mike! Hahahahahahah Call me sometime!

irrig8r
10-14-2010, 01:19 AM
This thread reminds me of the old days, so I thought I would chime in. You guys crack me up, and I'm sorry I haven't been around for a while to keep myself entertained.
But let's also keep in mind that the color of a surface will greatly affect the absorbsion of the light. These stacked stones are of a darker color, so the color or appearance of the reflection will be altered as opposed to being on a lighter, more reflective surface. I will admit that I don't think the representation is entirely accurate, but I'm a lover and not a fighter....LOL! The pic is good, so leave the man alone for goodness sake!
Good to see you Mike! Hahahahahahah Call me sometime!

I'm sorry if I wrote anything anyone might consider offensive... I'm not a fighter either. Gotta say though, the irrigation forum is generally more fun than this one, because the moderators don't try to squash attempts at humor.

steveparrott
10-14-2010, 09:17 AM
Did a quick color correction (Still looks good - although side-by-side the warmer one looks nicer. If you didn't see them side by side - the color of the bluer one would seem pretty accurate):

Pro-Scapes
10-14-2010, 10:34 AM
Steve your a wizard with photoshop and your camera. I have always found your photos to be quite stunning. The corrected photo is still very nice for an LED and a nice job on the lighting none the less.

Im not sure if the original poster modified his pic to seem warmer intentionally or is just terrible with a camera like I am. Either way I think the cooler color is definatly more accurate to what you would see even with a properly volted halogen lamp.

Prolightscaper
10-14-2010, 08:45 PM
Did a quick color correction (Still looks good - although side-by-side the warmer one looks nicer. If you didn't see them side by side - the color of the bluer one would seem pretty accurate):

Thank you for the validation.

Viewing these photos side by side it is now clear to all that

The screen has been pulled back and the wizard exposed.

irrig8r
10-14-2010, 09:09 PM
I'll give Steve G. the benefit of the doubt, as Billy seems to... also might want to check out this article about new metrics for color output too...

http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/publications/pdfs/ssl/led_watch_9-10.pdf

Prolightscaper
10-14-2010, 09:30 PM
Nothing personal against the guy and there was no mal intent I'm sure it's just disappointing to continuously see this kind of incorrect and slanted view put forth as fact.

Somebody earlier said it was possible to manufacture an LED with this color but the output would not be satisfactory. Herein lies the problem with LED's at this point in time.

I have no dog in the race .

Chris J
10-14-2010, 09:37 PM
Totally agree! However, I do feel like if your not on the LED train you will soon be left at the station. IMO, the guy who refuses to promote LED is akin to the same guy who refuses to close the cassette tape music store.

Prolightscaper
10-14-2010, 10:00 PM
Time will tell. The consumer will decide if the future of outdoor lighting will be LED's or not.

steveparrott
10-15-2010, 09:51 AM
I'll give Steve G. the benefit of the doubt, as Billy seems to... also might want to check out this article about new metrics for color output too...

http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/publications/pdfs/ssl/led_watch_9-10.pdf

Excellent article on the development of the Color Quality Scale (CQS). The article also points out a general human preference for warmer, more saturated colors.

As you may know, all bright-light white LED's use blue-emitting LED's coated with layers of phosphors - this is similar to flourescents that generate an ultraviolet light that are converted to a white light through the use of phosphors. We are all too familiar with so-called warm flourescents - their light is markedly different from incandescents (even though the CCT may be the same).

Also an issue, mentioned in this thread, is the fact that warmer LED's are less energy efficient (lumens/watt) than cooler color LED's. Warm LED's need a relatively thick layer of phosphors that absorb a lot of light energy in the conversion process.

Also to note, phosphor coatings vary considerably in quality and stability. Many researchers are very nervous about degradation of phosphor coatings over the many years of LED life. We've all seen what a flourescent tube looks like after a few years towards the end of its life - the phosphor coating has darkened and changed color. The same can happen with LED's.

emby
10-16-2010, 12:14 AM
Lets not forget about the binning issues with the LED's as well. Five lamps, five fixtures from the same manufacturer and you get five totally different colour temperatures. Put them on a flat white surface and you will see what I'm talking about.
As designers we use the MR16 because it has provided many beam spreads and wattages thus giving the intended effect. What tools are LED's providing us landscape disigners today? Four different beam spreads (if your lucky) with four different colour temperatures with four different center beam candle power. LED fixtures with limited capabilities of attachments such as lens options or glare control such as a hex louver or screens etc. Some manufacturers producing LED lamps others are producing LED fixtures so which will it be and will it ever provide us the multiple options that the MR16 provides us today. I think that the industry will eventually get there but are you willing to ask your clients to become the guinea pigs to test these products?
Unfortunately the big players are working on interior applications when designing there products (LED chips) and landscape lighting will be one of the last hurdles they tackle. I think we will be waiting for a while before your going to be replacing those wonderful MR16 lamps.

Ken

Pro-Scapes
10-16-2010, 07:50 AM
Excellent post Ken

As a test I gave 2 clients recently the option to go LED vs halogen and gave them pro's and cons to both and lit 2 Crepe Myrtles close to eachother with one being LED and one Halogen. I had to use 35w due to the ambient light from the street but both clients (nieghbors) choose halogen and asked me if we could retrofit later even tho both systems were fairly compareable in price due to wire and transformer savings.

I have been placing LED's here and there and in some tree applications and in the mr16 paths I am using. I will have 20 paths going in soon with LED lamps in em.

Illumicare
10-17-2010, 09:34 AM
Somebody earlier said it was possible to manufacture an LED with this color but the output would not be satisfactory. Herein lies the problem with LED's at this point in time.


No, I said it would be possible to manufacture an LED lamp that produced 2500K. I did not say that it would be possible to manufacture 'with this colour'. The original image did look much too warm to be accurate in my opinion and the colour corrected image does look much more accurate.

As for intensity vs. colour with LEDs. A very warm, 2500K, LED lamp package would produce near to the same intensity as a 3000K LED lamp using the same drivers. You could of course tweak the driver circuit to boost output of the chips even at 2500K and have a very effective, very warm white LED lamp. Fact is that 3000K is the most commonly requested lamp on the market. We produce a 2700K for those wanting a slightly warmer look. We have not identified much market for a 2500K and so have not gone to the trouble to produce it.

Illumicare
10-17-2010, 10:01 AM
Lets not forget about the binning issues with the LED's as well. Five lamps, five fixtures from the same manufacturer and you get five totally different colour temperatures. Put them on a flat white surface and you will see what I'm talking about.

Ken, batching and binning issues are not the issues that they used to be only 2 years ago. The manufactures of quality LED chips have greatly improved their production systems, metering systems and tolerances. You can now pre-select your LED chips from batches and bins that have very tight tolerances. I have been producing LED lamps for about 1.5 years now and you cannot see any difference in output colour or intensity between lamps that were produced in different batches across that time. We use the exact same components in every production run.


As designers we use the MR16 because it has provided many beam spreads and wattages thus giving the intended effect. What tools are LED's providing us landscape disigners today? Four different beam spreads (if your lucky) with four different colour temperatures with four different center beam candle power. We are on the precipice of putting our new 35W Halogen Equivalent LED MR16 into production. Great pains have been taken to produce this new, higher output, LED MR16 lamp and we will be one of the first to market with an ANSI MR16 Lamp that produces over 350 Lumens at a optimal and manageable temperature. When that lamp becomes available, we will have more choices in terms of output, colour, and beam spread than any other LED lamp manufacturer on the market.

Some manufacturers producing LED lamps others are producing LED fixtures so which will it be < The market will decide and I don't think that either one will be knocked out completely... LED lamps offer the advantage of retrofitting into existing systems and are more easily adjusted and changed if necessary.> and will it ever provide us the multiple options that the MR16 provides us today. The short answer is yes. See above.

I think that the industry will eventually get there but are you willing to ask your clients to become the guinea pigs to test these products? I do not see it this way at all. I have been installing LED lamps for more than 3 years now. I have not 'tested' these products on my clients, nor have they been guinea pigs. I have lost count of how many thousand LED lamps I have installed successfully. The clients have been please with the results and the effectiveness of the lamps. The key for you, the designers and contractors, is to choose wisely.

Unfortunately the big players are working on interior applications when designing there products (LED chips) and landscape lighting will be one of the last hurdles they tackle. I think we will be waiting for a while before your going to be replacing those wonderful MR16 lamps.

Ken

Illumicare & LED Lights Direct may not be one of the "big players" just yet... but we have done a lot of research and development into the realm of LED lamps and our products are second to none.

extlights
10-17-2010, 10:10 PM
We just landed a large project in which we were the only company who submitted a quote that was not LED. I do know for a fact that we have yet to loose a project because we do not offer LED. Eventually we might phase it in, but I can't say that it will even happen next year. We have gotten many jobs where the customers have gotten other quotes where LED's were spec'd. Maybe I'm old school, but I see no advantages for us to switch over at this time. With that said however, I think the photos in this thread look nice. The fixture placement looks good and both renditions look nice.

Bob Klaidman
10-18-2010, 02:51 PM
It is true that photos of light can be deceiving, but LED's are definitely ready for prime time! I have included some pics, in my warehouse. This is from my Iphone just now...1 single 3w source, and 1 single 7w source. It's a dark room and there is no other source of light.

If anyone wants a free sample, just contact me- seeing is believing! There so many reasons to change to LED, the biggest inhibitor is FEAR. Once you get over the fear, you will never go back to halogen.

These are my hard wired units with interchangeable beam spread optics.

extlights
10-18-2010, 05:28 PM
Fear is not an issue for us when it comes to not switching over, but merely practical business sense. I know LED's have been discussed at great lenghts on this forum, but in all reality I don't see enough advantages on the issue to make the move. Again it comes down to practical business and what's best for our company and our customers. Demographics play a huge role and in certain parts of the country maybe LED's are booming, but around here the guys who no longer want to use halogen are second guessing their decision.

I'm not saying that LED's are bad, just that at this stage of the game they aren't for everyone. I know they are comming of age and because of that everyone is pushing them. It's like that in any field with any new product. Just because it's new and "exciting" doesn't mean that it's always the correct choice.

Bob Klaidman
10-18-2010, 07:37 PM
My grandparents always called their refrigerator “the ice box.” I found this curious, because in my parent’s house, we called it “the refrigerator,” or “the fridge” for short. When I asked my grandmother about the difference, she smiled and explained that when she was a little girl, there were no such things as refrigerators. They hadn’t been invented yet. Instead, folks used wooden boxes to hold a large block of ice, which in turn kept their perishable foods cool.

I remember asking her, “If there were no refrigerators, where did you get the ice?”

She then told me about the iceman, a businessman who would harvest ice from a local pond during the winter. The ice would be stored in a barn and then, using hay, would be insulated in such a way that it could keep for many months. As long as ice remained in that barn, the iceman could deliver it to a customer’s house.

The iceman had a very nice business — well, until the invention of the refrigerator, when some of his “early adopter” customers stopped ordering ice from him.

At first, I’m sure he pooh-poohed these early refrigeration devices. I bet that the technology’s reliability was poor. No one would be able to afford such an extravagant luxury. Compressors probably wore out; the electricity supply wasn’t as reliable as today; and its whirling mechanical parts obviously made more noise than a passive icebox. When asked his opinion on the refrigerator, he probably mocked the device, calling it a fad. Looking at the investments that he had in land, water rights, ice-cutting saws, conveyors, barns, hay, and ice-carrying vehicles, he might have chosen to “wait-it-out,” expecting his customers to come to eventually return to the world’s oldest and most reliable form of refrigeration: the icebox.

And he’s still waiting. The technology of refrigeration improved, iceboxes were relugated to museum pieces, and the iceman went out of business.

My point here is that 50, 35, and 20 watt bulbs will soon be extinct. There is really only one reason to use LED, and that is energy efficiency. If we all want to stay in business for the long term, we must all learn this new technology and become very proficient in finding the best way to embrace it. We must learn how to make money using LED's, and I suggest that those of us who climb on board early, will be the leaders in the industry...those of us who wait...will be waiting along side the iceman!

Illumicare
10-18-2010, 08:40 PM
:clapping: :clapping: :clapping:

Well done Mr. Kalidman

Prolightscaper
10-18-2010, 09:42 PM
It is true that photos of light can be deceiving, but LED's are definitely ready for prime time! I have included some pics, in my warehouse. This is from my Iphone just now...1 single 3w source, and 1 single 7w source. It's a dark room and there is no other source of light.

If anyone wants a free sample, just contact me- seeing is believing! There so many reasons to change to LED, the biggest inhibitor is FEAR. Once you get over the fear, you will never go back to halogen.

These are my hard wired units with interchangeable beam spread optics.

Do you have any landscape lighting pics with your LED's ? If so please post.

Illumicare
10-18-2010, 09:47 PM
:clapping: :clapping: :clapping:

Well done Mr. Klaidman

My apologies for the typo.

extlights
10-19-2010, 09:22 AM
The refridgerator story is nice and all, but the comparison is completely different. I could say that Betamax was far superior to vhs but people didn't want to spend the extra money because they didn't see the value in Betamax and next thing you know it was gone. Or that the Delorean was the car of the future in 1981 because of it's stainless steel body that guaranteed to never rust and that people would jump on the bandwagon because of it....in the end they were produced for 1 year. There are all kinds of "improvements" throughout every industry that while they seem superior and maybe were, it doesn't always mean it was the right choice.

I'm pretty sure that the halogen bulbs will be around for quite some time, so that I'm not worried about. For a salesman to tell me that we are going to be left behind if we don't install LED's is nonsense. It's basic sales 101 and simply a tactic. Everyone who sells LED's are in business to make money also. You said it yourself...."We must LEARN how to make money using LED's". First and foremost you can't sell something and put your reputation on it if you yourself aren't completely sold on it yet. I'm not saying that LED's aren't possibly the way of the future in landscape lighting, but no matter what anyone says they simply aren't to that point yet.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-19-2010, 01:21 PM
The refridgerator story is nice and all, but the comparison is completely different. The point was to illustrate that when a new technology comes along, and proves itself to be superior, more convenient and more efficient, older technologies tend to get used less and ultimately abandonded. I think the 'refrigerator story' was an excellent comparison.

I could say that Betamax was far superior to vhs but people didn't want to spend the extra money because they didn't see the value in Betamax and next thing you know it was gone. The real issue was that Sony demanded high licensing fees to use it's Betamax format and the producers of content were not willing to pay for it.

Or that the Delorean was the car of the future in 1981 because of it's stainless steel body that guaranteed to never rust and that people would jump on the bandwagon because of it....in the end they were produced for 1 year. The real issue was that the Owner and Founder ran the company into the ground and was ultimately convicted of dealing drugs.

There are all kinds of "improvements" throughout every industry that while they seem superior and maybe were, it doesn't always mean it was the right choice. And there are many many more examples of technological advancements in every industry that were superior, were adopted and result in the lifestyle and standard of living that we enjoy today.

I'm pretty sure that the halogen bulbs will be around for quite some time, so that I'm not worried about. For a salesman to tell me that we are going to be left behind if we don't install LED's is nonsense. Look at it from the others side of the fence... if you are not equipped with the knowledge and ability to implement a technology when it is requested and when it is necessary they you very well could be left behind... by your competition who is well versed and has established supply lines, design protocols and experience in using that technology. Just because your clients in your market are not asking for and even demanding LED lighting should not limit your willingness to learn, adopt and use it. That way, when it does come up, you will be prepared and able rather than dismissive of your client's needs wants and desires.

It's basic sales 101 and simply a tactic. Everyone who sells LED's are in business to make money also. Dave, are you the only one here who is not in this business to make money? You sort of make it sound like generating a profit is a bad thing.

You said it yourself...."We must LEARN how to make money using LED's". Yes, just like you had to LEARN how to make money installing lighting systems. I know I had to learn how and to a large degree I am still learning all the time. Adopting a new fixture line requires it, using different power sources requires it, switching to LED lamps requires it... A constant effort to learn, adopt, and succeed. That is one thing that keeps me engaged.

First and foremost you can't sell something and put your reputation on it if you yourself aren't completely sold on it yet. I'm not saying that LED's aren't possibly the way of the future in landscape lighting, but no matter what anyone says they simply aren't to that point yet.

Really Dave? And by what measure do you make this statement? What experience do you have that allows you to claim that LEDs are not a viable lighting solution? I have been installing LED based systems for three years now and retrofitting almost every system I have installed in the 9 years previous to that with LED. In my experience they have been a fantastic advancement for my clients, our systems and my business. In fact, these past 3 years have been my most busy, most successful, most profitable and most award winning since starting out.

I will state that LEDs are unequivocally the best advancement in outdoor lighting systems since Bill Locklin dropped an SCB lamp inside a tomato juice can and lit up some roses for a garden party!

Bob Klaidman
10-19-2010, 01:38 PM
Dave, I'm glad you liked my refrigerator story :)

Let me give you a little back-ground on myself:
I have been in landscape lighting Supply for 15 years, the last 10 in manufacturing. I was a landscape contractor for 10 years before that, installing landscape lighting. I attended Nightscaping University in 97', So I have a little experience.

Sales tactic, maybe, but I could sell a high quality brass or copper MR-16 fixture just as easily...but I am looking to the future. The fact is I am selling more LED's than anything else.

I think your Betamax and Dolorean analogy is not quite the same. These items were never mainstream, LED's certainly are. The record companies ignored the internet downloading thing, and look at them now. Even in our industry, some years back they said the MR-16 and T4 wouldn't work because they are interior grade. Incandescent lamps have had a good long run, but their time is over, not just in landscape lighting, but all lighting all over the world.

My argument or point is that they are ready, I don't say you will be out of business tomorrow, but I truly believe that my 1 year old daughter will not know what a 100 watt or 50w lamp is, just like the kids of today don't know what a cassette tape is, hardly even a CD anymore.

The leaders in this industry today, are the ones with the most experience...I just meant that the sooner you start learning about LED's the sooner you will be leading the industry. You will be able to tell me which LED's work, and the best way to install them, and the problems with them.

I understand that you are an expert right now, you know how to do a fantastic job, and you know how to make money. This where my "Fear" comment comes into play, who would want to mess with this proven formula of success. I understand!

As I said, in a previous post, let me send you a sample fixture...with the caveat that you MUST tell everyone on this forum what you thought of my product once you test it. This is how confident I am!

Leon
10-19-2010, 03:39 PM
Wow, what a great thread. I think I learned more about LEDs, and more, from this one thread than anywhere else.

Prolightscaper
10-19-2010, 08:14 PM
Dave, I'm glad you liked my refrigerator story :)

Let me give you a little back-ground on myself:
I have been in landscape lighting Supply for 15 years, the last 10 in manufacturing. I was a landscape contractor for 10 years before that, installing landscape lighting. I attended Nightscaping University in 97', So I have a little experience.

Sales tactic, maybe, but I could sell a high quality brass or copper MR-16 fixture just as easily...but I am looking to the future. The fact is I am selling more LED's than anything else.

I think your Betamax and Dolorean analogy is not quite the same. These items were never mainstream, LED's certainly are. The record companies ignored the internet downloading thing, and look at them now. Even in our industry, some years back they said the MR-16 and T4 wouldn't work because they are interior grade. Incandescent lamps have had a good long run, but their time is over, not just in landscape lighting, but all lighting all over the world.

My argument or point is that they are ready, I don't say you will be out of business tomorrow, but I truly believe that my 1 year old daughter will not know what a 100 watt or 50w lamp is, just like the kids of today don't know what a cassette tape is, hardly even a CD anymore.

The leaders in this industry today, are the ones with the most experience...I just meant that the sooner you start learning about LED's the sooner you will be leading the industry. You will be able to tell me which LED's work, and the best way to install them, and the problems with them.

I understand that you are an expert right now, you know how to do a fantastic job, and you know how to make money. This where my "Fear" comment comes into play, who would want to mess with this proven formula of success. I understand!

As I said, in a previous post, let me send you a sample fixture...with the caveat that you MUST tell everyone on this forum what you thought of my product once you test it. This is how confident I am!

Since you didn't respond or post any landscape lighting pics using these LED's then I will assume you don't have any.

Perhaps quality nighttime photos along with several testimonials from satisfied contractors or homeowners will better help present your position.

I'd especially like to see large trees up lit with these or any other 12V LED with color rendition similar to halogen. Maybe an established oak or a 60' fan palm- no problem with 35 watt narrow spots on the palm and multiple 35 watt floods on the Oak. How about your LED?

Lighting a highly reflective wall, stone or statuary, small tree, shrub or bush or shining an LED at a person in a dark warehouse is hardly a test or comparison to halogen.

Like I said in an earlier post, the consumer will decide if LED's will be the light source of choice or not for landscape lighting in the future. Right now it is not. Widespread Demand is certainly not there.

If you like analogies then here is mine. Using LED's are like drinking a diet soda. The flavor and end result is just not as satisfying as a sugar filled drink.

If you are on a diet and trying to lose weight then you settle with the diet soda because you have a specific goal in mind. But make no mistake , at this time you are saving electricity but you are settling with lesser effect.

Make me a believer and show me some photos and testimonials that will really impress me.

Alan B
10-19-2010, 09:35 PM
I believe both sides are being a little extreme. I can present strong and valid arguments for both sides that are positive or that are damning depending on what I want to sell. The reality is there is no right or wrong sound byte but you need to be educated about the situation, application, product etc.. Since there have been some analogies used, and I love using analogies, I'll add my own...I liken it to my kids asking Dad "what's the best car?" and I say for what? Racing? off roading? Luxury? For a family of 6 like ours? Over $100K? Under $20K? Depends on what you want, like and need. There is no right answer.

In summary its still a little early on the curve to be claiming you should be going LED. But its improving a lot and following Moorse Law for computer chips (gets twice as good every 2 years). It will be the future no doubt but its far from a slam dunk at this moment, there are pro's and cons.

Personally I feel:
-If you live in CA and are in a high Tier for electric pricing LED can make alot of sense.
-If you have a dusk to dawn application strongly consider LED.
-If your customer just wants the latest or to be green go LED
-If you are a contractor trying to make a living push LED.
-If you are a novice who does not know what you are doing, do not understand voltage drop, multitap trans, proper layouts etc, go LED.

-If you live where electricity is near the nat'l average of $.10-.13 kW, I'd stick with halogen for a couple years.
-If you want the best effect go halogen.
-If you don't want the risk of having a computer chip which hates heat inside a hot fixture, or in a hot/cold/moist/outdoor environment, go halogen.
-If you think sockets can corrode and wonder if tiny electrical pathways on a micro chip can corrode as well and are worried what will likely happen to said chip, outside after 5 years, go halogen.
-If you don't want to trust small entrepreneurs about their outsourced/imported LEDs about what might happen to your $5000K system in 5 years, go halogen.

-If you want the best of both worlds and what I would honestly suggest for a family member should they ask, I would say buy a quality halogen system now. Use the halogen lamps. They will need to be replaced in year or 2. After one or two lamp cycles (1-3 years) you can switch to LED. LED's will be twice as good as they are today for half the price. They will be brighter (more lumen's), warmer (color temp), more reliable (learning curve and reliability curve and real field study feedback), cooler (operating temp) and less expensive. True you lose some benefit of not using the "smaller trans or less wire" but you'll end up with LED's that are twice as good (which is what really matters).

You'll get great now and you'll get excellent later. That's how I really feel, regardless of my economic position on it.

On that front, we will start carrying LED's very soon (with-in the next 8 weeks). There is a demand and there is a lack of quality product. We won't say you should only go LED or not. There is a choice to be made and sacrifices with either decision, at least for now.

In my world there is no black and white, you need knowledge about every situation.

Cheers!

Alan

p.s. ProLight, Steve G from Brilliance has been nothing but a polite gentleman. You have some nice insight but perhaps your wording could be a little more civil? (like asking before condemning/accusing). Dialog is great but I think it can also be respectful at the same time.

Bob Klaidman
10-19-2010, 09:39 PM
Hi Pro,
I have been busy today! Here are a few photo's, don't know how good they upload, but here is a link to the page on my site if they don't come out right...all of these are 3 & 5 watt LED's.

http://www.spjlighting.com/servlet/Detail?no=%20695

I extend the same offer to you as far as a free sample, with the same condition...you must report what you discover back to this forum. You will be my testimonial!

By the way, do you know who Jan Moyer is? Here is an email between my partner Paul and her. I hope she doesn't mind that I cut and pasted it here-

Paul,

after I spoke with you on Wednesday, Don Bradley (my ec) and I did a mockup on a Japanese Maple in the arrival garden at the studios at Dog Park. We are extending the lighting as it has been about 5 years since the tree was planted. It is a multi-branched tree with low branches near the ground. I am giving you this description since we can't send a photo yet - GG still out of commission due to the detached retina. When he recovers sufficiently and Don gets the lighting installed, we'll send you a photo.

The expanded lighting consists of 5 LED products - 3 SPJ - 2 of the 7 watt, 45° and one of the 3 watt 45°. The LED fixtures fill out the trunk and balance the original downlighting that no longer can cover the tree.

So, the point is: both Don and I were very impressed with the products. I am seriously interested in specifying it for 3 projects that we are working on right now.

I have a few questions: can I specify a fixture with multiple optics so that I can change it in the field - do I do that by listing all the optics I want? Can you give me pricing on the Mr. Universe and Titan, and, the optics. Thanks, Jan


Janet Lennox Moyer, IALD
Jan Moyer Design

Chris J
10-19-2010, 10:49 PM
My grandparents always called their refrigerator “the ice box.” I found this curious, because in my parent’s house, we called it “the refrigerator,” or “the fridge” for short. When I asked my grandmother about the difference, she smiled and explained that when she was a little girl, there were no such things as refrigerators. They hadn’t been invented yet. Instead, folks used wooden boxes to hold a large block of ice, which in turn kept their perishable foods cool.

I remember asking her, “If there were no refrigerators, where did you get the ice?”

She then told me about the iceman, a businessman who would harvest ice from a local pond during the winter. The ice would be stored in a barn and then, using hay, would be insulated in such a way that it could keep for many months. As long as ice remained in that barn, the iceman could deliver it to a customer’s house.

The iceman had a very nice business — well, until the invention of the refrigerator, when some of his “early adopter” customers stopped ordering ice from him.

At first, I’m sure he pooh-poohed these early refrigeration devices. I bet that the technology’s reliability was poor. No one would be able to afford such an extravagant luxury. Compressors probably wore out; the electricity supply wasn’t as reliable as today; and its whirling mechanical parts obviously made more noise than a passive icebox. When asked his opinion on the refrigerator, he probably mocked the device, calling it a fad. Looking at the investments that he had in land, water rights, ice-cutting saws, conveyors, barns, hay, and ice-carrying vehicles, he might have chosen to “wait-it-out,” expecting his customers to come to eventually return to the world’s oldest and most reliable form of refrigeration: the icebox.

And he’s still waiting. The technology of refrigeration improved, iceboxes were relugated to museum pieces, and the iceman went out of business.

My point here is that 50, 35, and 20 watt bulbs will soon be extinct. There is really only one reason to use LED, and that is energy efficiency. If we all want to stay in business for the long term, we must all learn this new technology and become very proficient in finding the best way to embrace it. We must learn how to make money using LED's, and I suggest that those of us who climb on board early, will be the leaders in the industry...those of us who wait...will be waiting along side the iceman!

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Bob Klaidman
10-20-2010, 12:04 AM
Here are some LED night shots

David Gretzmier
10-20-2010, 12:41 AM
I agree with Alan on all points.

One of the things that gets missed about the LED conversation is the jobs that go to another contractor because that person appears to be up to date and using the latest and greatest thing.

Although we have been testing LED's over on the Christmas side for over 8 years now, and landscape light LED's for about 5, the products even as recently as 2 yars ago still fail at a greater rate than incandesant/halogen.

Christmas Decor franchise and thier sister landscape light franchise company Nitetime Decor are huge pushers of LED's. Lighthouse landscape lighting also pushes LED pretty hard, and I have talked to the owners about buying a franchise, and they truthfully push them for one reason only, and that is to make more money. It has very little to do with what looked better, what is a better value for the customer, or the choices of bulbs available to you. it is all LED all the time, and who cares about anything else.

The minute you choose to put an LED bulb in a socket that creates a worse effect than a halogen, be it for color, beam spread or brightness, you are choosing hopeful bulb life over professionalism, period.

as the color has improved, and the apparent longevity improved over the ones that have come out in the past 2 years, I am finally coming around to believing that LED has a place here and there for a few beam spreads. as the offerings get better, I will use more of them. once the selection and effects are as good or better than halogen, and the bulb life is proven to be better tin the field, then I am LED all the way.

mdlwn1
10-20-2010, 07:57 AM
Led's do not look half as good...they are just way too bright for most applications. I understand the points you all have made, but when artistic quality matters most...led's are not even considered.

extlights
10-20-2010, 09:42 AM
I agree with Alan also. In this particular business, adapting to the new technology isn't the problem. James, I understand that your business is producing LED lamps. The one thing I know very well is general business and you have to make money producing those lamps or there is a lot of time and wasted resources involved. I understand why people who are in the LED business push LED's.....because that's their business. They aren't going to push something they don't sell or don't intend to sell much longer. You feel that LED's are far better than halogen and that's the direction you decided to go.

I'm in the landscape lighting business. I'm going to sell landscape lighting to my customers. I am going to listen to what they want and give them the best possible option with what they have to work with. If they have a certain budget that they have to stay within, we do everything we can to stay within that budget. With that being said, budgets are set lower these days for a lot of people and landscape lighting is far from a neccessity. Can I achieve more using a proven halogen system with these clients? Absolutely. Could I try and install a LED system for these people....probably, but more than likely with the cost difference they won't get what they want.

So continuing with the analogies I guess I look at it this way. Flat panel tv's were fairly pricey when they came out years ago. The technology was there, yet not proven and there were some minor irritating problems with them. Now a few years later the technology is far better and the prices have dropped 50% allowing more consumers to afford them. My guess is that the same thing will happen with LED's in landscape lighting. The color will improve, the bugs will get worked out, and the prices will lower because more people will start using them.....at that point I will see the advantages of switching to LED for us and our customers. I don't think we have to worry as a company about being left behind. Our workmanship and customer service backs our reputation. It's not that we don't know how to install LED's, we just choose not to. When we do have that customer that wants an LED system, we are well prepared and qualified to install that system for them.

Alan B
10-20-2010, 10:13 AM
Ok, now that I feel I've satisfied my intellectual position on LED's, I want to discuss my commercial position on LED's (because they can be different). If I were a contractor I would be pushing LEDs (not exclusively but definitely using them as the lead marketing effort). It's an excellent differentiator from the competition, its new and exciting, its something people want to hear and learn about. It will get you more appointments and enable you to close more business. You will close more business in the upper end and its higher margin.

I would push LED for the upper half which wants the next best thing and to be on the tech forefront, and halogen for the value customers.

It doesn't mean compromising. You can deliver quality either way. In the end you need to add value AND be commercial.


Alan

Bob Klaidman
10-20-2010, 11:50 AM
I have been in the Landscape Lighting industry for the past 25 years. 10 years as an installer, 5 years as a distributor, and the past 10 years in manufacturing.

I have been on the bus in Redlands, CA. with Bill Locklin as my tour guide as he proudly showed off the prominent jobs in his neighborhood...always asking the question "why light?" I attended Nate Mullen's travelling seminar back when he had little more than a plastic can, a par 36 lamp, and a 22 volt transformer. Nate offered me a job while I was in the bathroom taking a leak, he's got balls, I thought about accepting, but I did not. He stood his ground when everyone was disputing his 22 volt idea. He took a large share of the market because he taught guys how to make money.

I have installed, sold, and had to deal with the failure of every lamp and socket to ever hit the industry. In the 80's, the Powerliter & Footliter was king, I watched Lockin stand behind his warranty when paint, rust, and aluminum issues destroyed entire systems. In the 90's, Composite Mr-16's and halogen Bi-pins ruled. Composite material was the answer to harsh landscape environments, but these halogen lamps were interior lamps so the fixtures had to resist water much better than ever before. But stiil, sockets failed and fixtures did too. In the 2000's, copper and brass took over. Savvy contractors and homeowners were willing to promote and pay for the additional cost because they were better.

I have seen the rise and fall of brands all across the country. Small companies started by former employees of manufacturers who believed they could do better. I have been to 100's of trade shows all over the USA. I was there when Dan Cunado got tossed out of a major national distributors office due to an ego clash, Dan landed OK! I have seen the break up of long term business relationships and friendships along the way. Yes it has been a long strange trip, but it has been very rewarding. Landscape lighting is the only thing I really know.

So now it is 2010 and LED's are about to take over. Maybe you are not ready to be the first to take the leap of faith... I am. I want to lead the way. The only way I know how to do this is to get these things out on jobs. This is the only way I will know how they will perform over the long haul. I have them on jobs since 2007. I have seen premature failures, and I have taken my lumps but, I have learned how to fix the problems. I have also seen great successes taking a 3500 watt system down to 300 watts with no quality or artistic value being compromised. I have seen an off "UFO" blue color, turn into a warm, better than halogen artistic color. I am almost 4 years ahead of the game. I am learning everyday how to improve LED landscape lighting. There are many LED's out there, some cheap and unreliable, others expensive and ready to compete.

I know that many of you will let me figure it out before you take the risk, but if you are in the landscape lighting industry, you will be installing LED's soon enough. The contractors who are currently installing LED's exclusively are leading the way, learning, and earning a premium for their green minded, forward thinking services. They are setting themselves apart from the competition. Plus they are becoming experts so that by the time it is truly mainstream, their jobs will look fantastic.

One thing I can tell you for sure, there are two things that are not going away...Taxes and LED's.

P.S. -- No need to correct my history, I'm speaking in very general broad strokes. I am just talking trends over the years. I know it's a long post--Good day!

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-20-2010, 03:46 PM
James, I understand that your business is producing LED lamps. The one thing I know very well is general business and you have to make money producing those lamps or there is a lot of time and wasted resources involved. You feel that LED's are far better than halogen and that's the direction you decided to go.

I'm in the landscape lighting business. I'm going to sell landscape lighting to my customers.

Just a note to clarify: I am in the LIGHTING BUSINESS, I just happen to have diversified into three separate and distinct streams. Known as vertical integration. The vast majority of my time, effort and expertise is spent on designing and installing lighting systems; Landscape, Architectural Outdoor, Interior and Commercial. After becoming frustrated by the lack of quality LED lamps available I took it upon myself to get into the LED lamp business too, with the original intention of simply supplying my own businesses with quality lamps. Turns out I engineered some winners... and now that business has grown and been acquired by others, hence the switch to Illumicare Products Group.

There is much more behind the LED Lights Direct / Illumicare product line then a simple profit motive. These really are well designed, engineered, and built LED lamps that are specifically made for use in outdoor lighting systems.

Dave, I have respect for your work, your knowledge and your position. I just hope that you keep an open mind and understand that there are quality LED options out there that offer many advantages.

Regards

AztlanLC
10-20-2010, 04:21 PM
Alan your responses are always good and civil, that is one of the reason I'm one of your satisfied customers, I really think LED is the future for our industry but as of now the cost and looks is not there, I have being informing and offering customers the option but they can't justify the price difference for going LED's it would take years to recover the extra cost, just my 2 cents.
On a side note I will be installing some LED's lights in my house to experience on my own the difference and report back in couple of seasons.

Let There Be Light
10-20-2010, 10:06 PM
Alan your responses are always good and civil, that is one of the reason I'm one of your satisfied customers, I really think LED is the future for our industry but as of now the cost and looks is not there, I have being informing and offering customers the option but they can't justify the price difference for going LED's it would take years to recover the extra cost, just my 2 cents.
On a side note I will be installing some LED's lights in my house to experience on my own the difference and report back in couple of seasons.

AztlanLC, I would have to respectively counter your 2 cents with you. In my experience, if you take a like halogen based system and compare it with an all led system, the pricing is usually within a few dollars of each other and the customer will always choose the led system every time because of the features and benefits. As far as looks go we use the Brilliance Brand and they are spot on for color. Just my 2 cents. :))

extlights
10-20-2010, 10:18 PM
Maybe my statements came across a little harsh towards the LED industry. There was no intention of putting the segment down in anyway, rather just expressing my thoughts on why I don't feel that they are right for us at this time. We all know that what might be the right choice for one isn't always the right choice for someone else. James, I understand that you are a lighting designer first and foremost and didn't mean for it to sound like you are only here to make money selling LED's. I know you put a lot of time and energy into your lamps and that's something to be proud of. Eventually I'll probably be ordering some from you to try out. In the end it's all about the customer. I'm not going to be happy until they are happy.....if they want LED then we will installs LED's. I'm not closed to the idea, we're just not pushing them due to reasons mentioned before.

emby
10-20-2010, 10:47 PM
Ok fellows I have to add some of my thoughts to this great thread.
As lighting designers we use the lamp as our main tool to create a magical painting for our wonderful customers who appreciate lighting. The tools that you have had over the years have changed but are kept around and sometimes used in those unique situations.
Why would any lighting designer ever want to limit the amount of tools to create that magical scene for the customer?

If the designer is specifiying an eighteen thousand hour lamp and you have that lamp set in the sweet spot that lamp should last you for 35,000hrs give or take. Thats pretty close to the LED. I am not going to discuss this part so please look at the charts that are available for the percentages with certain voltages.
What about developing some standards for all these LED's. Up until recently there has not been any and clearly it was needed. So what happens to all of that off shore stock that does not fall within those standards. Can you say blue light special in aisle four.
Now what about the government pushing all of us into saving on our electricity use. I now have a smart meter on the side of my house and next year they will be dictating different prices for different times. Why should I be forced to run my dishwasher in the middle of the night to save electricity.

With all the lighting designers in this world it surprises me that none of us have brought up the issue of our huge orange money sucking glare bombs on every paved street in North America. Street lights that usually contain 400-1000 watt lamps are on from dusk to dawn 24/7 365 days a year.
The way I look at it is this, do not dictate to me the lighting designer what tools I am going to carry and instead lead by example and invest in the change out of every street light in North America to LED's.
Just imagine what it would be like to drive down a residential street in the evening whithout squinting your eyes because of coarse the designers for those lights will place glare sheilds on them.
Come on people lets get real here. Why are we allowing this change to be rammed down are throats. I like the tools in my belt and I am always looking for better ones to improve my designs but please do not tell me that LED's are and will be replacing are wonderful MR16's because thats just not right.
If you really have a passion for what you do you will voice your opinion on this topic so have at it.

Ken
Copper Expressions Landscape Lighting Design

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-21-2010, 08:38 AM
Ok fellows I have to add some of my thoughts to this great thread.
As lighting designers we use the lamp as our main tool to create a magical painting for our wonderful customers who appreciate lighting. The tools that you have had over the years have changed but are kept around and sometimes used in those unique situations.
Why would any lighting designer ever want to limit the amount of tools to create that magical scene for the customer? We don't Ken it is about providing the market with more options. Why should a lighting pro not be provided with more efficient, longer lasting 'tools'? Several people here (including myself) who have primarily switched to LED systems have clearly said they will never go back. I assure you they have not made that decision without due consideration and experience.

If the designer is specifiying an eighteen thousand hour lamp and you have that lamp set in the sweet spot that lamp should last you for 35,000hrs give or take. Yes you are right... it SHOULD. Have you actually tried any of those 'ultra' 10,000 and 18,000 hour lamps? I have... what a disaster that was! Something about those lamps is so wrong, so fragile that in real world applications I was lucky to see 1000 hours out of them. Ask around and see what others say about those 'ultra' lamps. That decision cost me nearly $5k in 2006/2007. so please look at the charts that are available for the percentages with certain voltages Charts are one thing, real world applications are another. (Have you noticed how the Ontario Hydro Grid Voltages fluctuate through the seasons, making it nearly impossible now to provide a steady voltage to your halogen lamps? LEDs = no issues!)

What about developing some standards for all these LED's. There are existing standards and the IES is busy updating and creating more. Up until recently there has not been any and clearly it was needed. So what happens to all of that off shore stock that does not fall within those standards. Can you say blue light special in aisle four.
Now what about the government pushing all of us into saving on our electricity use. I now have a smart meter on the side of my house and next year they will be dictating different prices for different times. Why should I be forced to run my dishwasher in the middle of the night to save electricity. You will not be forced to do that, you will have the option of saving if you choose to do so. ( I will not talk about the politics in the Ontario Power Industry... dont get me started)

I like the tools in my belt and I am always looking for better ones to improve my designs but please do not tell me that LED's are and will be replacing are wonderful MR16's because thats just not right.

Ken
Copper Expressions Landscape Lighting Design

Right or wrong is up to you Ken but I am telling you that LEDS are and will be replacing incandescent lamps and fixtures. It is happening now in every segment of the industry. It isnt anything new.... compared to MR16s how many PAR36 lamps do you install in a year? The "Tractor Beam" used to be one of the most common lamps used in landscape lighting... then the next thing came along.

Bob Klaidman
10-21-2010, 01:09 PM
In case anyone is interested, since I started this whole refrigerator story, I had been participating in this thread all along. But due to the fact that I am new to this forum, I was unaware of all of the rules. I am clear now.

My previous posts are a little out of time now...

Anyway, 2 things- Isn't there any contractors currently installing LED's that are doing well with them? Please chime in.

Secondly, James I will call you today. I do want to see your products since it sounds like you have done your home work as it relates to Landscape lighting. I do have a good quality MR-16, but it was not developed by someone in our industry, so again I am really interested in yours.

My main LED products are hard wired units with my own brand of lamping.

Thanks for all the great insight here!

Prolightscaper
10-21-2010, 08:32 PM
In case anyone is interested, since I started this whole refrigerator story, I had been participating in this thread all along. But due to the fact that I am new to this forum, I was unaware of all of the rules. I am clear now.

My previous posts are a little out of time now...

Anyway, 2 things- Isn't there any contractors currently installing LED's that are doing well with them? Please chime in.

Secondly, James I will call you today. I do want to see your products since it sounds like you have done your home work as it relates to Landscape lighting. I do have a good quality MR-16, but it was not developed by someone in our industry, so again I am really interested in yours.

My main LED products are hard wired units with my own brand of lamping.

Thanks for all the great insight here!

I know of several other product suppliers that are selling the same fixtures that you are without the spj brand name and they are exactly the same. I assume they must be getting them from the same supplier as spj probably in china. A quick peruse of the internet exposes this very quickly.

What is it about your LED that makes it proprietary and different from the rest?

There are others selling what they say are the same LED's as SPJ yet they claim they have no affiliation with spj.

Are they in fact spj LED's and if so how can anyone using your product have piece of mind that what they are installing is spj?

Seems to be so much ambiguity in product lines and most have no brand name (including most of spj) on the product itself.

Thank you in advance for your response.

AztlanLC
10-22-2010, 10:14 AM
AztlanLC, I would have to respectively counter your 2 cents with you. In my experience, if you take a like halogen based system and compare it with an all led system, the pricing is usually within a few dollars of each other and the customer will always choose the led system every time because of the features and benefits. As far as looks go we use the Brilliance Brand and they are spot on for color. Just my 2 cents. :))

Can you go into more detail with that please, every time I try to use led's the price jumps couple hundred dollars just for a 10 light system, maybe I'm doing my math wrong, I know I can get away with a smaller transformer and maybe less wire but how can I accomplish the price to be closer, thanks.

Bob Klaidman
10-22-2010, 12:28 PM
I know of several other product suppliers that are selling the same fixtures that you are without the spj brand name and they are exactly the same. I assume they must be getting them from the same supplier as spj probably in china. A quick peruse of the internet exposes this very quickly.

What is it about your LED that makes it proprietary and different from the rest?

There are others selling what they say are the same LED's as SPJ yet they claim they have no affiliation with spj.

Are they in fact spj LED's and if so how can anyone using your product have piece of mind that what they are installing is spj?

Seems to be so much ambiguity in product lines and most have no brand name (including most of spj) on the product itself.

Thank you in advance for your response.

Prolightscaper,

Let me first say that I have a full operating factory in Southern California where I fabricate all of my products from scratch, and I invite you and any other contractor to come and visit any time. I do custom metal fabrication out of copper and brass, and we have perfected our "Acid Etched" finishes which we do in house. Take a look at this page, you can't order this stuff from China. http://www.spjlighting.com/servlet/the-Architectural-Lanterns-cln-Scroll-Mount/Categories

That being said, yes it is true, I do get my hi volume items made in China. It makes good business sense. There are probably 20 manufactures in China making similar SPJ products. In fact, you could take one of my lights and find someone in China to knock it off for you. They will not be exactly the same, but pretty close. So whats the difference?

In 2005 we wanted to get into the LED business and we started selling OPTI-LED mr-16's. The appearance of the unit is fantastic, but the light output, at least back then, was not so great. And the price was outrageous!

In 2006 I was at a trade show and a guy approached me with an LED engine that was designed for a Marine application. He never installed it in a landscape fixture, and it wasn't quite ready for my fixtures. But what I liked about it was the light output and color temperature, and the fact that it was "Marine" ready, an environment that is equally as harsh as landscape. It has an IP67 rating. We partnered up.

Who would say they have the same fixture or LED as SPJ? Vista, Kichler, FX...no, for two reasons. 1. They are not the same, and 2. They would say theirs are better! The only person who would say they are the same is some knock off company trying to take my customers claiming the same thing at a cheaper price. I would never say that I have the same as anyone else. Of course mine are better!

I have painstakingly developed my LED engines, through trial and error. Our LED engines are unique to the industry. (see pic) We have invested time and money in getting ETL/UL listings for all of our LED's...which is extremely expensive. We have a system where in the field, you can change the beam spreads, 4 options (10 degree-80 degree) using our optic system. I would like to see who is offering my LED, with my listing, immediately! Look for my label on all my fixtures.

We are on our 4th generation of our engines. Our first generation did have many problems, which we warrantied and analyzed and LEARNED from. As I said in a previous post, without that trial and error we would not have the great product that we have today.

As far as the fixtures go, if someone knocks me off, after time we change, they change, and they are no longer the same. Also if a company is only doing China importing, and doesn't have a factory here to support it, they will have problems.

So, is someone knocking me off again? I don't know, but I trust my suppliers and I know that they would not risk our business by selling our products to anyone else. If someone is using my LED, it is off the sweat of my back!

Are you an SPJ customer?

Prolightscaper
10-22-2010, 08:09 PM
Thanks for the reply.

I am not an SPJ customer. And for the record I have nothing against SPJ.

Someone showed me an LED which looked like yours but had a brass heat sink. I was told that theirs was superior to yours because yours was aluminum and theirs was brass.

They told me they are getting the product from the same source as you.

Either way it makes no difference to me as I'm not using yours or theirs.

Hopefully this is a heads up for you.

I'm not particularly fond of fixtures that house an MR-8 size lamp as uplights in the landscape.

they are just too small to see and are always getting stepped on and kicked around by gardeners.

Not that full size Mr-16 bullets don't take abuse too but not as much due to their larger size and heft.

I understand that you posted photos here and I saw them before they were deleted. I appreciate that.

No offense but I was not impressed with what I saw.

Perhaps very bad photography but the pics were so yellow that these photos looked again like someone over compensated the color with photo processing software.

I post this at the risk of being called harsh and disrespectful but my intent is not that. My apologies if it is interpreted that way but perhaps I have a difficult way of expressing myself here.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-22-2010, 09:00 PM
"prolightscaper" you tend to say "I" quite a lot, and yet nobody here knows who you are. You also tend challenge others and ask for them to show, do and prove to you... again nobody knows who you are.

Perhaps you could take a moment, be polite and show some courtesy by properly introducing yourself to us here.

Prolightscaper
10-22-2010, 09:18 PM
"prolightscaper" you tend to say "I" quite a lot, and yet nobody here knows who you are. You also tend challenge others and ask for them to show, do and prove to you... again nobody knows who you are.

Perhaps you could take a moment, be polite and show some courtesy by properly introducing yourself to us here.

What are you so infatuated by me for? I don't see you making the same request of anyone else. I prefer to remain anonymous. I feel it will keep my posts honest and true without the threat of repercussion.

I have noticed that many who post here are reluctant to post their true feelings or even comment on controversial posts.

I have done my best to steer clear of sponsors messages as they are clearly the untouchable and sacred cows of lawnsite so to speak.

I already have had at least 2 messages deleted and they did not violate the TOS.

When wild and unsubstantiated claims are made is it a crime to question or ask for more supporting info to support these claims?

When information is blatantly false or grossly embellished is it wrong to disagree and challenge it?

Does this board have an ignore feature. If so perhaps you might care to employ it as it pertains to me.

Thank you .

Let There Be Light
10-22-2010, 09:24 PM
Gents, what started as a simple picture has now escalated into all kinds of ideas and sidetracks. I would now vote to close this thread as it has become viral.

Illumicare
10-22-2010, 09:53 PM
Steve, with all due respect, I think this thread is one of the most relevant threads here in months. Most of the information contained here is excellent.

Please re-consider your request to close it.

Thanks

James

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-22-2010, 10:16 PM
What are you so infatuated by me for? I don't see you making the same request of anyone else. I prefer to remain anonymous. I feel it will keep my posts honest and true without the threat of repercussion. I assure you I am not infatuated, I just find your tone to be somewhat bombastic and want to know who is behind it. If you feel you must hide behind some veil of annonymity in order to avoid repercussions, then you should re-consider your message and tone. I along with others here have in the past asked 'newbies' to the forum to introduce themselves and they generally oblige. It is only polite to do so. (See the Roll Call Thread)

I have done my best to steer clear of sponsors messages as they are clearly the untouchable and sacred cows of lawnsite so to speak. I know several sponsors here who are open and capable of engaging in excellent debates. Some welcome it, few shy away. I call it a healthy discourse and it is why I continue to participate here.

I already have had at least 2 messages deleted and they did not violate the TOS.

When wild and unsubstantiated claims are made is it a crime to question or ask for more supporting info to support these claims? Absolutely not. The whole point here is to share and disemanate information. If anyone is spreading BS you can be certain that one (or many) of the top pros here will call them on it.

When information is blatantly false or grossly embellished is it wrong to disagree and challenge it? I don't think so.

Does this board have an ignore feature. If so perhaps you might care to employ it as it pertains to me.

Thank you .

I have never had to use the ignore feature yet and don't plan on it. All I ask is that you show some common courtesy and manners and let us know who we are communicating with. Why would anyone want to share with, engage, and assist an annonymous character online?

Let There Be Light
10-22-2010, 11:43 PM
Steve, with all due respect, I think this thread is one of the most relevant threads here in months. Most of the information contained here is excellent.

Please re-consider your request to close it.

Thanks

James

Hi James, I appreciate that, keep 'er runnin' then powers that be...

irrig8r
10-23-2010, 12:05 AM
If some admin/ moderator sees a need to close a thread, please explain why so whatever the transgression is it's less likely to be repeated AND please don't delete threads with good discussions and informative posts even if you feel you have to close them...

Let There Be Light
10-23-2010, 12:07 AM
If some admin/ moderator sees a need to close a thread, please explain why so whatever the transgression is it's less likely to be repeated AND please don't delete threads with good discussions and informative posts even if you feel you have to close them...


well I certainly cannot close a darn thing, but would suggest this has gotten way off base. IMHO.

OVER and OUT

Prolightscaper
10-23-2010, 08:59 AM
Could I please see some photos of large trees uplighted with LED sources

RLDesign
10-23-2010, 01:10 PM
Hello All,

I am not sure why "prolightscaper" finds it necessary to have something combative to say to everyone. Certain comments from a nobody seem a little harsh and conflicting. If I knew who was writing these things, it might be easier for me to find credit with them. I enjoyed this thread, but personal bashing of product or pics is not needed. Constructive discussion is what has been great for this group and forum. I see the whole group stronger today. I do not care who you are, but maybe try to be a little more respectful. I have not read one post from you that did not read like you are mad at the world.

I never get people who lurk and hide behind veils... it just doesn't make any sense. If you hide and keep your mouth shut, that is one thing. I do not know who prolightscaper is, but I try to sign all my emails so if someone has beef with me they know who I am.

Talk soon.

Tanek
Reynolds Lighting

emby
10-23-2010, 01:57 PM
I am not about to get tangled up in the politics going on in this thread nor choose any sides but all of us here need to remember that sharing our thoughts and opinions are crucial for landscape lighting to grow and raise the bar or standard.
Every designer is going to paint a different picture using different tools. Some people are going to like a swath of light here or there others are going to want to see a much more detailed composition. One thing is for sure...if we cannot communicate through forums like this we will never be able to raise the bar or standard together as a team. Do we really care who is who?
I have always loved this forum from an apprentice point of view as everybody shares their experiences and especially their ideas. I too would like to see more pictures within these threads so that we can see how people are designing there compositions. It would be awsome if you could add your thoughts on how you designed that tree or scene too.
There is enough potential work out there for us to share with each other without worrying about someone stealing the business secret.
Lets all play nice in the sand box :)

Ken

Let There Be Light
10-23-2010, 02:30 PM
Agreed Ken, Thank you for putting this so eloquently...

elegance_alex
10-24-2010, 02:40 PM
I've heard that the phosphor coating that gives LEDs color (anything besides the eerie blue) tends to degrade and burn off over time. Anybody know about this? I'd think it wouldn't matter too much if all the fixtures age at the same time, but if you do a job in phases, or replace some fixtures in the design (squirrels, ants, plant maturity, whatever) would the difference in color make a problem? Or would you consider that part of the "color palette" - I dunno what I make of this - just opening it for topic discussion.

Prolightscaper
10-24-2010, 03:16 PM
I've heard that the phosphor coating that gives LEDs color (anything besides the eerie blue) tends to degrade and burn off over time. Anybody know about this? I'd think it wouldn't matter too much if all the fixtures age at the same time, but if you do a job in phases, or replace some fixtures in the design (squirrels, ants, plant maturity, whatever) would the difference in color make a problem? Or would you consider that part of the "color palette" - I dunno what I make of this - just opening it for topic discussion.

How can a color shift and light degradation over time not be an issue?

Especially color and or output degradation. Our art is aesthetic.

This is an issue with inferior MR-16's .

There is a huge difference between a $.85 MR-16 and a $10 one. Specifically in the way it ages -maintains it's original color, light output, reflector and ceramic that holds the pins firmly in the socket.

I don't have an answer to your question but I have heard the same.

I have been told that all LED's naturally have the bluish, greenish color until this phosphorous coating is applied. In order words the chip needs to be masked or manipulated to get a warmer color out of it.

Not a problem if this phosphorous coating remains constant throughout the effective lifetime of the LED. Too early to tell in my opinion. You take your chances.

There is an article in my sunday newspaper today that is about how disappointed some plasma and LCD flat screen TV owners are due to the extremely short life compared with cathode ray tube TV's. Those who contributed to the article spoke of 1 yr use before the TV broke down and was not worth fixing due to the cost.

Not to say that there is any correlation with LED technology but there is a cost to pay for everything. Nothing is perfect.

Personally, regarding the TV's, I believe that the quality increase is well worth the concession made in longevity and durability.

Right now I don't see the same with LED. The cost is initially higher but yes they do save electricity.

But are they more effective?

Are they equal in effectiveness?

I will be very happy when I can honestly answer yes to these questions.

Illumicare
10-24-2010, 04:20 PM
I've heard that the phosphor coating that gives LEDs color (anything besides the eerie blue) tends to degrade and burn off over time. Anybody know about this? I'd think it wouldn't matter too much if all the fixtures age at the same time, but if you do a job in phases, or replace some fixtures in the design (squirrels, ants, plant maturity, whatever) would the difference in color make a problem? Or would you consider that part of the "color palette" - I dunno what I make of this - just opening it for topic discussion.

Hi Alex. Broad spectrum, white LEDs use a phosphor coating on what is essentially a narrow spectrum, blue LED chip. The narrow spectrum, blue light from the LED chip excites those phosphors and in return they "glow" and emit a much broader spectrum light we see as white. By altering the formulation and application of the phosphors, LED chip manufacturers are able to control the colour output of the light and to some degree the intensity.

The phosphors can be negatively affected by heat. This is where most of the cheaper, generic LED chips fall down. As the heat from the chips increases it breaks the phosphors down more quickly and the result is colour degradation and accelerated lumen depreciation. This is the major reason that heat management in the LED device is so critical. When you are dealing with top quality, name brand LEDs, used in applications where the Chips are operating below their max junction temperature threshold these problems are not an issue. As for testing, the IES has developed a number or tests and standards and you should insist on seeing the full photometrics and spectra-analysis reports on any LED lamp or fixture you are using.

At Illumicare / LED Lights Direct, we take great care to only use the best quality name brand LED chips and have taken great strides to ensure that our LED lamps operate well below max temperature levels, even when installed in sealed / enclosed fixtures. ( Most LED lamps on the market clearly state they are not intended for use in enclosed fixtures or moist / humid environments... use these and you will get to experience what accelerated lumen depreciation is all about)

Regards

steveparrott
10-24-2010, 04:48 PM
Only time will tell how well LED phosphors hold up over time. I was speaking with a photometric testing engineer the other day, asking about the best test procedures to measure LED color changes.

First, he confirmed that they do change due to phosphor degradation, tending to get bluer as they age (the rate of this change is variable - and may not be significant with well-designed LED's - I'm not implying any problem with our sponsor's products).

He also said that when you attempt to measure color changes, you need to realize that the degradation tends to happen unevenly across each chip - meaning the edges of the phosphor coating may change at a different rate than the center. He stressed this because, for the purpose of color measurement, you need to take color readings across the entire beam spread. I imagine the visual result may be illuminated surfaces with bluish edges.

(I just bring this up as another tidbit of information that may be useful as we move into the LED world.)

Illumicare
10-24-2010, 05:24 PM
It would be good for those of you who are interested in learning more about LEDs to familiarize yourself with a full specification, photometric and spectra-analysis report.

Here is one of ours: http://www.integralighting.com/pdfs/MR16LED_Specifications.pdf

The instrument we use to measure the light output uses multiple data collection points inside a sphere in order to capture information on all of the light produced.

elegance_alex
10-24-2010, 06:21 PM
Good read. What is non-condensing humidity? Does this mean it can't get wet at all?

Illumicare
10-24-2010, 07:02 PM
Hi Alex. Non Condensing Humidity is just that. You can us the lamp in environments up to 95% Humidity, but need to beware of moisture that might form on the product from condensation. This is heads and tails above the abilities of most LED lamps. Most will tell you that they cannot be used in humid or moist environments.

With our next generation of lamps we are removing the "non condensing" reference and will be testing for and assigning an IP rating to the lamps.

Regards

elegance_alex
10-24-2010, 07:11 PM
Thanks- that was my next lead - how about the ingress. I've yet to open an uplight and not find at least a little moisture or condensation. I'm guessing that in an open downlight the LED replacements would be safe, since it hardly ever rains UP, even here in Texas

Illumicare
10-24-2010, 07:17 PM
Using fully sealed and IP rated fixtures is your best line of defence against moisture issues no matter what lamps you use. Because so many fixtures do allow some moisture in, it is best to use LED lamps that have been designed specifically for high humidity and moist environments. We fully pot our drivers in epoxy, and now apply a clear sealant to our LED clusters and mounting circuits. Once we have a few other priorities sorted out we will be applying an IP rating to the lamps.

Bob Klaidman
10-26-2010, 12:03 PM
Thanks for the reply.

I am not an SPJ customer. And for the record I have nothing against SPJ.

Someone showed me an LED which looked like yours but had a brass heat sink. I was told that theirs was superior to yours because yours was aluminum and theirs was brass.

They told me they are getting the product from the same source as you.

Either way it makes no difference to me as I'm not using yours or theirs.

Hopefully this is a heads up for you.

I'm not particularly fond of fixtures that house an MR-8 size lamp as uplights in the landscape.

they are just too small to see and are always getting stepped on and kicked around by gardeners.

Not that full size Mr-16 bullets don't take abuse too but not as much due to their larger size and heft.

I understand that you posted photos here and I saw them before they were deleted. I appreciate that.

No offense but I was not impressed with what I saw.

Perhaps very bad photography but the pics were so yellow that these photos looked again like someone over compensated the color with photo processing software.

I post this at the risk of being called harsh and disrespectful but my intent is not that. My apologies if it is interpreted that way but perhaps I have a difficult way of expressing myself here.

Photos don't do justice to any lighting! Please let me send you a sample and judge for yourself. If you dont like it, you will be the first in hundreds of contractors and architects! I will send an MR-16 size (or larger if you want), please email me directly bob@spjlighting.com


By the way, we use aluminum heat sinks because they keep the LED cooler than brass...something we have learned along the way.

A China note: I can get anybodys lights from China, not just mine.

NightScenes
10-26-2010, 03:02 PM
Wow, all of this out of a thread named "quick pic"!! A lot of good information and opinions on both sides of the LED issue. I-for-one am on the LED train myself.
I have had a few issues here and there but not anywhere near as many as I used to have with halogen and so I've cut my expenses a BUNCH. I have yet to see an advance in technology that hasn't had a few things to work out, but those on the leading edge usually come out on top in the end.
I have also found that I can sell an LED system for about 20% more than a halogen system. Over the life of the system, it ends up costing my clients far less than a halogen system when figuring in lamp replacement maintenance and energy (NOT JUST ENERGY SAVINGS).
We are almost 2 years into this LED change now and there is no turning back. There are great products out there and I have yet to have a single complaint from a client and a LOT of thank you's when we have gone in and retro-fitted existing systems to LEDs.

Have fun guys with either way you go. We are all doing what we love and doing what we feel is the best we can for us and our clients I'm sure.

Bob Klaidman
10-27-2010, 10:24 AM
Nightscenes
I knew there had to be someone on this forum with a positive experience.

Thanks for your input, I am sending that 7Watter.
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