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Old 12-05-2013, 07:36 PM
steveparrott steveparrott is offline
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New Caliper Study - Color Shift in LED's

Interesting new study and paper by the DOE Caliper group. They tested a number of LED fixtures in the lab and under field conditions (actually inside a museum). They were looking to document color changes over time. Of the 45 samples tested, 15 failed to maintain color (within Energy Star Guidelines).

Possible mechanisms of color changes included LED's phosphor coating peeling away from the chip, discoloration of epoxy compound used to encapsulate the chip, chemical changes to the chip, and changes to the driver.

In some cases the light became more blue, in other cases more yellow.

Most likely culprits are heat and time - heat especially. Another reason to use integrated LED solutions to pull heat away from the chip.

Read the study.
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Old 12-08-2013, 11:03 AM
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INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting is offline
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Or choose properly designed and engineered LED Lamp solutions that ensure the heat is pulled away from the chips. Either way you choose, there are effective products out there that work just fine. You still have to do your homework though, as not all products deliver on their promises.

The old rule; "You get what you pay for" still applies. If you think you can install value or budget LED solutions and see excellent performance and longevity, you will be disappointed and so will your clients. When doing your homework and evaluations, remember to include a comprehensive cost/benefit analysis for your operations as well as a Total Cost Of .Use analysis for your client's benefit.

Light on!
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:14 PM
GreenLight GreenLight is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveparrott View Post

Most likely culprits are heat and time - heat especially. Another reason to use integrated LED solutions to pull heat away from the chip.

Read the study.

Im not going to fault your study or your argument. Im sure both are fact driven and the evidence is accurate. That said, I think manufacturers who are fighting to keep integration as the future are going to lose.

Im not saying this to be insulting, but if I were a manufacturer I would be putting every bit of effort into lamp technology and ways to make it better as opposed to integration technology. The vast majority of us as contractors simply don't want integrated fixtures (not all of us, but I bet poll numbers nationally would be staggering). We are all competing in a field swappable lamp world now. We are competing with the much lower cost of drop in LED lamps vs. the staggering cost of integration and the outrageous price spikes for increasing wattages and degree spreads. There are so many variables that work against integration, that even if it is a better product, it simply doesn't have much of a chance.
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:19 PM
GreenLight GreenLight is offline
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One small clarification...

I still think integration can be a reality for niche lights and aquatic lights, I just think it's dead in the future on the bread and butter architectural fixtures of most use.
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:27 PM
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Lawnsite should put a "Like" button on the bottom of each post, muck like Facebook and LinkedIn use.

GreenLight = "Like"
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:58 PM
steveparrott steveparrott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenLight View Post
Im not going to fault your study or your argument. Im sure both are fact driven and the evidence is accurate. That said, I think manufacturers who are fighting to keep integration as the future are going to lose.

Im not saying this to be insulting, but if I were a manufacturer I would be putting every bit of effort into lamp technology and ways to make it better as opposed to integration technology. The vast majority of us as contractors simply don't want integrated fixtures (not all of us, but I bet poll numbers nationally would be staggering). We are all competing in a field swappable lamp world now. We are competing with the much lower cost of drop in LED lamps vs. the staggering cost of integration and the outrageous price spikes for increasing wattages and degree spreads. There are so many variables that work against integration, that even if it is a better product, it simply doesn't have much of a chance.
We do seem to replay this argument every now and then, and I do contest your assertion that the vast majority don't want integrated fixtures. I can site about 10 very compelling reasons why contractors benefit from integrated compared to drop-ins, and know dozens of excellent designers who are fully committed to the integrated choice.

As to the claim that the cost of integrated is staggering compared to drop-ins simply isn't true - unless you're comparing what you would buy in home depot.

You need to consider how much money you can save with integrated - by buying fixtures with inexpensive changeable optics and built-in light level adjustment, even changeable color temperatures. You buy a fixture with those options and dial it in exactly as you want it in the field, then change the beam spread and light level as the landscape changes. Making these changes without buying replacement lamps saves money in the long run and makes for better lighting designs, and more customer satisfaction, and consequently more business.

When I say you need integrated LEDs to fully leverage the benefits of LEDs that's what I'm talking about, and about the many things you can do with a bigger driver pkg (not possible in drop-ins).

Yes, we are in a transition phase and drop-ins (new technology in an old package) are popular, but in my opinion we will see the day in the near future when all professional lighting fixtures take an integrated or integrated/modular approach.
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:59 PM
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INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting is offline
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Its too bad we cannot have an open discussion here in regards to cost as it would be very interesting to compare notes.

I have run the numbers and generally find that pro-grade integrated LED fixtures are quite a bit more expensive to install (both to the client and the contractor) when compared to pro-grade fixtures with top quality LED lamps inside. In some cases we are talking about almost 2x more expensive to go the integrated route. That difference pays for at least a couple of lamp changes in the few fixtures that require updated optics down the road. (Lets face it, in a well designed system, maybe 20% of the fixtures will require different optics in the future to accommodate foliage growth, etc. )

Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of using the best quality components available... and am not shy about using specification grade components when I can. But the fact of the matter is that the majority of our clients are still very focused on the value proposition that you offer them. Most would rather see a more comprehensive system installed using Better quality components than a smaller system using Best quality components. Fact is, even with guidance and education, most clients are not willing to increase their budget to accommodate Best quality components. This fact makes selling the significantly more expensive, albeit more feature rich, integrated LED fixtures rather difficult in the real world marketplace that we all operate in. (Note: If Steve, or anyone else out there has some silver bullet technique which will instruct us guys on the ground on how to sell a Bentley into every driveway in the nation, by all means, please share it!)

Then there is a whole debate as to the 'value' of the on-board features that come with some integrated LED fixtures. Changeable optics is a great feature for sure, but not 100% necessary for all fixtures. So if it comes at little to no cost incremental, then fine bring it on, but if it costs significantly more per fixture, then I would argue it should be relegated to the specification grade products rather than asking everyone to incur the extra cost on every fixture. Same holds true of independent, fixture based dimming. Is it a cool feature? Absolutely! but at what cost? We have all learned how to design pro-grade systems using 'pre-set' intensity of lamps, and some of us have invented rather ingenious ways to slightly alter (dim) the intensity of individual fixtures to suit different applications. So having individual dimming on fixtures is a nice, but not necessary feature. Again, if it can be delivered for no incremental cost, then bring it on... but to ask that we pay a significant premium for this feature on every fixture used is asking a lot. Is there a place for this feature in the market? Absolutely, its called Spec. Grade. But again, there are a lot more Better Quality systems being installed than Best Quality.

I like to think of on-board fixture features from the client's POV. (I tend to apply this concept to most of my operations... "what does the client most appreciate, want and expect?") The clients, for the most part, appreciate, want and expect a lighting system that looks fantastic and always works. On board fixture features are not a selling point to them, as they simply expect their fixtures and system to be dialed in. Dialing it in to look perfect is what is done on the aiming & focusing night, and on service calls when necessary. Having a fixture that can be 'hot focused' or dimmed by the contractor is certainly nice, convenient and handy for the contractor, but offers no real value to the client. If these features come at a significant incremental cost, then it is going to be challenging for the designer/contractor to sell those features to the client. (Again, if there is some secret system that exists to sell spec grade products into better quality systems, please share it for the benefit of all.)

Interesting times for sure. Given the huge leaps forward that LED technology is offering, and seeing how so many major lighting companies have embraced the LED lamp sector, I don't see the "drop in" (Oh how I HATE that term! ) market disappearing any time soon. What I do hope we see is the cost of integrated LED fixtures come down, along with some industry optic standardization that would allow us to confidently use integrated LED fixtures from multiple manufacturers without worrying about so many variances in output intensity and colour between products.
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:01 PM
GreenLight GreenLight is offline
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Steve,

I will simply say I strongly disagree with you on the pricing part and it's based on solid brass and copper fixtures from reputable manufacturers. I have some other opinions, but they are probably not going to lead down a constructive road.


James,

You are much more of a wordsmith than I, but that's basically 100 percent of my feeling on all points.

Last edited by GreenLight; 12-08-2013 at 05:05 PM.
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:37 PM
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Oh: and as for individually addressable, multi-intensity (dimable) LED lamps... you won't have to wait much longer for those. I have seen some and they are very cool. Apparently coming soon to market too. (Hopefully the manufacturer has paid as much attention to their component quality and optic quality as they have to the controls. Time will tell.)
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Old 12-09-2013, 03:30 PM
indylights indylights is offline
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"As to the claim that the cost of integrated is staggering compared to drop-ins simply isn't true - unless you're comparing what you would buy in home depot."

Steve, you need to do some comparison shopping. I know what my distributors charge for the Cast Impressionist and standard LED bullet light, and I know what they charge for a quality bullet housing with a quality LED lamp. It's not even close.

Scott Maloney
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