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Not using LED? Why Not?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Illumicare, Aug 25, 2010.


Reasons you Do Not use LED lamps / fixtures in your lighting systems

  1. They are too expensive. (I could never sell or compete)

    7 vote(s)
  2. The technology is not reliable. (I don't think they will last)

    9 vote(s)
  3. There is not enough variety of lamps / fixtures available.

    3 vote(s)
  4. I don't like the look of the results (LED is not the same light output as incandescent)

    5 vote(s)
  5. All this new fangled stuff is just a fad.

    2 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. For those of you who are not using LED lamps / fixtures in your lighting systems, please take a minute and to answer the poll and write your thoughts down here.
  2. jshimmin

    jshimmin LawnSite Member
    Posts: 99

    I am using them but with a level of trepidation.

    1. A feeling of fear or agitation about something that may happen.)

    Only one manufacturer/distributor has stepped up and offered a warranty near the claimed life expectancy. The margins are not high enough for me to eat the cost of replacing a unit 2 years and 1 day old. Most failures do occur within the first couple months but I have seen enough to make me question the long term financial risk.
  3. Hi Jim. Let me try to relieve some of your trepidation.

    1: Most products, no matter what category, do not offer warranties that come anywhere near the life expectancy of the product. Consumer electronics, appliances, vehicles, power tools, etc etc all offer limited warranties and yet you continue to purchase them with no trepidation. Why should an LED lamp be any different? Just because your car is warrantied for 5 years or 100,000 miles does not mean that the life expectancy of the car is only 5 years or 100,000 miles. Same with everything else. (On another note... I have yet to see any warranty from any incandescent lamp manufacturer that means anything. Extended life claims are made all the time but who ever expects any warranty coverage for a xenon or long life halogen lamp that fails prematurely? You just toss it out and replace with new.)

    2: Perhaps you need to revisit your pricing strategy for lamps? I am not about to tell anyone how to do their business, but our lamps are typically sold to the end user for around $60 each. When you start installing these lamps regularly (on every job), you will quickly see the bottom line benefit to your business and you will not worry so much about what it might cost to replace one or two here or there after any warranty period expires. Switching to LED lamps on your installs is not much different than switching to spec. grade fixtures from the run of the mill stuff. Bottom line is if you want to make more money at the end of the day, use better quality products.

    Putting my 'contractor hat' on for a minute. I made the switch over to LED lamps for all of my installations at INTEGRA over 3 years ago. Even though my first year's lamp selection (Prolight - no longer available) was not 100 % successful (relatively high number of premature failures due to moisture issues) I still made good money and still have hundreds of them installed and functioning fine.

    If you have any other questions or concerns, don't hesitate to bring them up.

  4. After we receive some more responses to the poll, I will go through the numbers and try to answer some questions and quell any trepidation. In the mean time, if you have any specific issues you would like to discuss, post them here.

  5. Classic Lighting

    Classic Lighting LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 492

    I have yet to use LED lamps. The vast majority of information and opinions tells me that LED's are not reliable....yet. IMO, LED technology improves with every passing year. I predict in 2, 3, 4 years that I will be 100% LED. Until then, I feel that halogen is the better choice.
  6. Hi Classic. How about this for an idea... Try some LED lamps out at your own home / shop and see how they perform. Get used to them a bit. Watch the 75 - 80% electrical savings add up, and watch them perform flawlessly night after night. I think your concerns over reliability will be quickly relieved. In the time you spend waiting until you hear other's opinions improve, you could be doing your own evaluation.
  7. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    It is too soon to be tossing around flawless. You admit you had some problems with prolight. There was problems with the Kumho. There has been steady improvments in LED lighting but flawless is an awfully strong term.

    No one can dispute how effecient they are. I doubt anyone will dispute how much they have improved in the past few years. Oh and my own house is done in half Cree LED and half halogen. So far I have replaced 1 led and 1 halogen in the past 6 mo.
  8. jshimmin

    jshimmin LawnSite Member
    Posts: 99

    $60 around here for an LED up charge is not feasible. I have several installers quoting them on almost every job I bid on for a rate below my standard halogen rate. We still see the same failure rate for the LED's as the halogen's for now. Only difference is the customer expects the halogens to have some failures.

    Efficiency - so a $10 electric bill goes to $2 - not big in the scheme of things.

    They will be almost 100% of the installs soon. For now I always inform the customer that they can go halogen to start and switch to LED retro-fits when it comes time for a re-lamp.

    I do have over 40 LED's going in next week. Primary reason - it was the right choice based on existing transformers and distance to the new areas being illuminated.
  9. Hi Jim. My point on pricing the LED lamps is this: They should be treated just as any other component that you sell through your business. I am assuming that you do not give big discounts on fixtures, transformers and halogen lamps... so apply the same markup formula that you would to your halogen lamps to the LED lamps.

    In regards to what the competition is doing; well you cannot control that. All you can do is assure your customers that the lamps and components that you use are superior to those that your competition is quoting. There is simply no way any LED lamp that costs around the same price point as a quality halogen lamp will survive in an outdoor lighting system. Just like cheap incandescents, cheap LEDs will fade, fail, and under-perform.

    When you say you see the "same failure rate" with LED lamps as halogens, what do you mean? Are you talking about out of the box failures? What brand of LED lamps are you currently using?

    Just like any other component out there, you do get what you pay for. By using top quality LED lamps, from www.ledlightsdirect.com , that have been specifically designed for use in enclosed fixtures and outdoor applications, you will be much further ahead of the crowd.

    Have a great day
  10. extlights

    extlights LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 439

    We have had zero requests for LED. Nobody has even brought up the subject. We don't push them for probably the same reasons as the others who don't use them. Energy costs don't seem to be a concern to most. The nice thing is that the halogen systems don't cost much to run anyway. People these days....even the wealthy are watching costs on everything. I just don't have enough confidence in LED yet. I have to be sold on them before I can sell them to my customers.

    Look, we've been doing business the same way for many years and it's worked out great. The burn out lamp issue is really a non issue for me as we do a lot of yearly maintenance contracts anyway. Maybe LED's will be the way of the future, but as of now I'm not considering the change. We always have a lot of people approaching us wanting us to use their product or swith to this or that, but nobody has really tried to get us to switch to LED. That in my mind tells me that it's not quite there yet.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010

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