Great LED shootout of 2012

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Lite4, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,113

    With all the recent activity on this forum and talk of industry contribution I got to thinking in the wee hours of the morning what is something that would help me and possibly others in the industry.
    I am a photo buff and moving towards cinematography too. On vimeo, for the past several years they have had segments called the great camera shootout, in which they compare different models of cameras to see how they perform in exactly the same conditions to level the playing field and see how they perform head to head.

    I got to thinking that this might be a great way to illustrate the capabilities of the various LEDs from varying manufactures out there on the market. These would be compared to the same halogen lamp as a benchmark, which is what they are mostly trying to emulate anyway. We could see each one go head to head against the halogen on a fixed display and compare the various outcomes on different surfaces ie.. trees, smooth light colored walls, brick, down lighting etc... I would also envision trying to get in some interviews with various contractors and industry professionals about feedback. I am just brainstorming here, but seeing head to head results on a neutral playing field would be something very helpful to me and I'm sure to others also as we navigate through this brave new world of LED's.

    Looking for feedback and possibly ideas to go along with this.
  2. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 381

    Tim, we do something like that at the AOLP conference. Funny thing is that all halogens are different too. No one ever held halogen to the parameters they hold LED to and when they did they realized, wow all halogens are not created equal. Sounds cool though on the different surfaces.
  3. LLC RI

    LLC RI LawnSite Member
    Posts: 149

    Tim... you bring up a good point... the LED lamp movement for landscape lighting has been moving so fast, it seems like no one has done the photometrics like we'd always see in every lighting catalog for MR 16s etc.

    I was thinking the same thing as I use LED's from 3 manufacturers and would like to have a base of comparison with which to aid in my designing. I was actually thinking of doing my own 'testing' so to speak by setting up each lamp, and taking some light measurements and beam spreads etc.

    This way, I'd have the info I need to know who's LED I want to use for a specific application.

  4. niteliters

    niteliters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    Not a bad idea Tim. Like Bob, I have participated in that session at the AOLP conference in past years. as Bob said we did alot of halogen...amazing how many of those are different manu to manu, the l.e.d. sessions were great as well, especially since a particular lamp from one manu last year was different (usually better) this year. It was educational having all the different designer/contractors/manu's right there to discuss. I think one of the challenges might be that everyones monitors are not the same, what's darker on my screen might be brighter on yours. could make it a little difficult. but probably the next best thing to doing it in person
  5. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    Hi Tim. As the others have stated there is a similar program to the one you are describing at the AOLP convention, known as the LAMP program. I have participated for the past few years. It is really amazing to see the vast differences in beams, intensity, and colour across a spectrum of supposedly 'standard' / similar incandescent lamps, let alone comparing all of the LED offerings.

    I can understand why you want to stage such an event, but it will not be an easy undertaking. I would encourage you to join the AOLP and then talk to the conference committee about getting involved in the LAMP program. I know that they would surely accept your help! Expanding on what is in place now is probably the most efficient use of time and resources. They the program could be taped and edited and posted on the website or youtube. (as Chris mentioned, screen / monitor calibration will have a huge impact on what you see in terms of intensity, colour, and contrast. The best is to witness these comparisons live.)

    In regards to LED vs Halogen comparisons. One thing I have seen lately is that many of us are moving away from such comparisons. (which is a good thing!) Comparisons are all the rage amongst the un-initiated; until they start to realize that using LED is like using a whole different palette of paint. Talk to those who have made the switch to 100% LED and ask when the last time is they considered halogen equivalents while designing. Once you have 'experimented' and understand the capabilities, output, and applications you will simply soldier forward and leave all of the comparison considerations behind.

  6. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,113

    Thanks James, I have heard of the LAMP program but was not entirely sure what it was (guess that's why I am joining the AOLP) so I can stay in the loop. Your probably right on the comparison to Halogen. It just seems I keep hearing that from manufacturers and vendors alike.

    I was just thinking it would be a good idea to put out a really first class production that really illustrates the differences in color, beam spread and lumen output with all of the leading brands going head to head in differing classes (integrated and retrofit classifications.) This would give the non-member a source of information they could use to see what is best for them. These would be visible tests certainly against varying back drops, but I could also see using digital light meters to record output and color temp between all of them. A random sample of 5 from each manufacturer would also be good to match consistency and the batch/ bin process. Just thinking out some ideas out loud. I am not thinking some lame video here, I am thinking something that could be linked from youtube or Vimeo right to the AOLP website to help bring their search rankings up on the google crawl also.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012
  7. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    I am with you Tim, it would be a good program. Get er done and I will support you where I can.
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  8. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,113

    What are the top 5 integrated And drop in LEDs you would like to see go head to head?
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  9. LLC RI

    LLC RI LawnSite Member
    Posts: 149

    Drop Ins Illumicare, Brilliance, Dauer

    Integrated : CAST, Aurora, Kichler ( I wanted to include Hadco in there but many of their Integrated LED's are housed in their composite fixtures and that's a tough sell).

    Color, lumens per watt, cost/lumen, warranty, changeability- if integrated module fails, is it field replaceable?

    my 2 cents

  10. Hi George,
    Just as an FYI, Illumicare Group publishes the standard "V" type photometric charts on all of our spec sheets. We find these are a much more useful comparison than lumens, which although are an important matric, are somewhat irrelevant to our daily use of lamps.
    Agree with James and Bob, the AOLP COLD lamps session was most illuminating. Sorry, couldn't resist!
    John Higo

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