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Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by wurkn with amish, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. wurkn with amish

    wurkn with amish LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 662

    Does anyone use them instead of regular mr16s or bi-pins?

    My salesman said you can be a complete idiot and install them in fixtures.
    Your wattage ranging from 2-24 watts and they will still work.
  2. niteliters

    niteliters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    some what of a freudian slip from your salesman. LED, in my opinion, while inexpensive to operate, will last for years and years, has one key flaw...color temperature. If this is a sideline for you, extra cash, quick in and out, go for it. You can hook em up and they will work for a very long time...good luck. If that's not the case, let me know, I'll type more.
  3. steveparrott

    steveparrott Sponsor
    Posts: 1,196

    There's also the concern about operating temperature. LED's are extremely sensitive to temperature. All the heat from these lamps goes back into the circuit board. If there's not an effective heat sink, then the life of the lamp can be half or less.

    Since LED's are so new, we have no information on how they will perform over the long run in the extremes of the outdoor environment. Keep in mind that the newer high-light output types (that we need for landscape lighting) are going to run very hot.

    I believe the color temp issue has been pretty much resolved through phosphor coatings in the bulb capsule.

    The price is still very high. In a couple of years the price will probably halve.
  4. wurkn with amish

    wurkn with amish LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 662

    my salesman said the colors were noticable side by side w/ incadescents it was very noticable. I'm not in to make it rich quick, I've never used them would like some feedback. Is the color ugly? Fakey looking? I know the bulbs are quite expensive as bulbs go. They make LED christmas lights that are warm colored like incadescents. Maybe if I wait a little longer they will match the decorations in color temp.
    thanks for your reply.
  5. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    They look fake and cheap to me. Too bright almost a blueish to my eyes.

    As far as im concered they are not proven in the long run enough to place our company name and reputation on. In the future I can see them becoming dominant
  6. niteliters

    niteliters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    steve, where did you acquire this knowledge?? would like to know more. By the way, really appreciated Dan coming out and installing system
  7. niteliters

    niteliters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    i will say this, there are many other proven types of lighting that you should explore first...incandescent, halogen, flourescent, sodium, xelogen gas, krypton gas. As the other guys have said...LED is a cool technology and will probably improve over the next three years, in the mean time learn about the art of lighting using incandescent and halogen. Glad to hear your not in it for the side $$$ there is a decent living to be made here, especially by those who see the vision and pursue it. Good luck
  8. steveparrott

    steveparrott Sponsor
    Posts: 1,196


    Much of what I learned about LED's came from an advanced workshop on the subject offered a couple years back at Light Fair. The presenters were the actual researchers and developers and let us in on the challenges that don't show up in the marketing materials.

    I'm also approached almost on a daily basis by LED firms (mostly out of China) pushing the latest and greatest. They are pushing the landscape lighting market hard since its so big.

    I also know that some of the more reputable firms like Sylvania/Osram are doing serious R & D.

    As with any new technology, when new breakthrough products hit the market, they are expensive and buggy. It takes 2 to 4 years before the products are optimized and reduced in price.
  9. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    I would like to see how these LEDs are doing in about 4 years. I think that by that time they might be able to dissipate the heat from the circuit boards a little better, which might give these lamps the actual life that they are currently purporting that they will have. They say that these lamps will last for 10-15 years, but of course non of them have been in the field for anywhere near that long.

    As for color temp, these lamps still appear too much like fluorescent to me. They are still too blue in color and therefore a little too harsh. I like the softer/warmer look myself.
  10. ChampionLS

    ChampionLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,066

    Hey guys,

    Reading up on some of the LED threads...

    LED lighting while highly efficient is produced by a semiconductor, not a filament. Regular light (white light) is millions of different frequencies all blended together. LED lighting however, is based upon one frequency of light. The spectrum that is visible to the human eye is a very narrow line between 400-700 nanometers (colors of the rainbow) At 400 is your violets and blues and the 700 is your red. The brightest colors to the human eye are between 500 and 700 (red, through orange-yellow and green) This is why your traffic signals are red, yellow and green, also why vehicle tail lights are orange/red. The issue with LED'S and landscape lighting are several. LED lighting requires DC current (unless designed differently) Low voltage lighting uses AC current for simplicity. Next, is the harsh color output. Laser pointers are in theory semiconductor based- same as a LED. The wave length is right on the money- usually about 630nm (bright red) Since all the light output is exact on one frequency, very low wattage is needed to produce tons of light. In order to get the right color "mood" with conventional lighting, different gasses, lenses, and filaments are used, along with voltage to brighten or soften the lighting effects. To do this with a LED, you would need to have 300 or more separate "lamps" and choose which frequency suits you best. Then...some lamps blend colors mixing red LED's with blue LED's (example) to give you sort of a mix. LED's also do not have beam spread like a incandescent lamp. They need to be arranged in a convex fasion to spread light outward. If you place a LED fixture up against a wall, you will see all the separate pixels in the matrix and the further away you go, the light will blend better. If you try to solve this by putting a frosted lens in front, the light will not project more than a few feet, that is why most LED fixtures use a water clear lens.

    LED's are great for surface mount technology (look at Time Square in NYC) they can make the whole side of building into a TV! It's really nothing more than a grid of LED modules with each one representing one color pixel of a TV screen!

    LED's are great for wall washing with color, adding color effects, and work best with something that can diffuse the light, such as Acrylic, Glass and Water.

    You might want to check out www.colorkinetics.com as they are the pioneers of LED technology.


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