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LED's and Multi taps

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by pete scalia, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 960

    If LED's become mainstream will there be a need for multi tap transformers? I've heard through the vine that LED's will work just fine over a wide range of voltages both below and above 12 volts.
     
  2. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    It all depends on what type of LEDs you go with. The units I use have a power management circuit built right into each lamp. This removes the necessity for using either a constant current or constant voltage power supply As a result, I am able to send 7 to 14 Volts, AC or DC to these LED Lamps and they operate just fine. There is no change in their output colour or intensity, thanks to the on board power management circuit.

    Does this make voltage drop less of a concern? You bet it does. It also frees up the designer to use VERY long runs away from the transformer. Now add into this a Multi-tap (UL 1838 here please) and you can send 15 volts down a VERY long wire and still have light at the end.

    The way I see it, it adds a lot of flexibility to our arsenal of tools.

    All that being said, the LED lamps I am using only emulate the output and colour of a BAB 20W Halogen MR16. Units that replicate a FMW 35W lamp are coming, but not available yet.
     
  3. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 960

    Thanks for the info
     
  4. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,533

    So, James....
    If I wanted to find out more about LEDs, what direction would you point me to do my research?
     
  5. ccfree

    ccfree LawnSite Member
    Posts: 100

    Check out what Hadco is doing with LED. They have a bullet that puts out more foot candles than a 35w broad beam halogen at farther distances. Plus it is only 12.4 watts. Puts out a cool blue color. Pretty neat stuff.
     
  6. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    I would recommend you sign up for LEDs magazine online. It is a free weekly news release plus a monthly ezine.

    Sorry I dont have a link right now.
     
  7. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    Yes, it is that cool blue light that simply does not work very well in established outdoor lighting scenes.... It simply clashes with the relative warmth of halogen, xenon and incandescent. (you are seeing between 4000K and 5000k depending on the manufacturer)

    The LED lamps I am using are 3200K and almost identical to halogen.... That way they fit into the scene and do not cause visual abstraction.

    Have a great day.
     
  8. ccfree

    ccfree LawnSite Member
    Posts: 100

    Your comment is purely subjective. I have no problem with that, however, there are some parts of the country that the cool blue light work very well. Take Dallas TX for example. The Mercury Vapor capital of the world. This product gives the non licensed electrician IE. (The low voltage lighting contractor) a very competitive alternative. Besides, an amber lens is available to create the look you that works for you.
     
  9. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    Yes it is possible to place an amber lens in front of a 4000k+ lamp, but when dealing with the LED MR16 Lamp Modules on the market, doing so would reduce the intensity to a point of not being very useful.

    Also, It is possible to create a very nice landscape lighting system using cool or 4000k+ output, however you need all of your sources in this spectrum or things look a bit off. I have yet to find pathlights, deck lights, and the likes that make use of 4000K+ sources. To me, nothing looks worse then some halogen architectural fixtures, some incandescent path lights and some cool blue downlights all competing in the same space.

    In europe and asia, the cool blue 4000k+ look is very popular and becoming prevelant with the introduction and use of LED lamps. Here in North America, I have found that most residential clients want that nice soft 'warm' look (2700 -3200K) that they have become used to.

    Next topic will be CRI of course....
     
  10. ccfree

    ccfree LawnSite Member
    Posts: 100

    You have some very valid points that I do agree on. But it is your opinion that you like the nice soft 'warm' look (2700-3200K). I like this too, especially when dealing with earth-tones. An amber or peach lens will really enhances this effect. As for the LED (5000-5200K), makes a huge difference with moon lighting. It takes out the hotness of halogen for a more subtle look. It really pulls your greens and grays out of a particular scene and makes them come alive. Makes gray bark on a tree look great not to mention the green foliage. Warm light just makes it look unnatural. I do understand the same effect happens when you use LED or blue filters on earth-tones. It makes it look lifeless. I know you know all of this and we could debate this all night long. If you live in Arizona, warm colors make all the sense in the world with all the desert earth-tones and stucco homes. But places like the Pacific Northwest do real well with the cooler colors. It is a matter of preference. You like what you like, and I like what I like. We are both right to some extent. Hopefully I didn't touch to much on the Color Rendering Index.....
     

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