Converting gas lights to LED

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by starry night, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,311

    I had a condo association contact me about the possibility of converting their
    7 ft. tall post lights from the current natural gas to 12-volt LED. Have any of you guys had experience with such a conversion. I assume the gas line up through the post could be utilized as a conduit for the wiring. But how would a socket be attached?
  2. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,311

    Here I go talking to myself: Maybe it would be cheaper and easier to buy a new top for the lamp post? I still need to know if anyone has used the gas line as conduit for the low voltage wire.
  3. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865

    I'm sure you could do it but honestly, I'd try to talk them out of it. Gas lights produce an effect that can't be duplicated and one that I really like. If they want more area light, maybe you could do some down lighting from the trees or buildings and keep the gas lights?
  4. Steve Atkinson

    Steve Atkinson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94


    I worked on a project in Las Vegas in the recent past where a HOA wanted to do just what you are contemplating. Their contractor modified the gas tube into a conduit application, installed bayonet sockets in place of the wick assemblies, ran l/v wire down to ground level, and installed LED lamps. This is workable.

    Bernie has a point about color temp, but did you know that Brilliance has new2200K miniatures (scb, bi-pin, etc) that would be a great fit for your project. Just have to work out the $$ for them on hardware and LEDs, and energy savings, ROI, and break-even point. I think these new LED lamps in 'candlelight' color will be a winner for you and the client.
  5. LLC RI

    LLC RI LawnSite Member
    Messages: 149

    do they want to convert them away from Gas? ARe they in good shape? I agree with bcg that they do produce a very nice effect and such. I'm wondering if the cost to operate them is becoming prohibitive... ( aren't those on 24/7.. ?)

    You might do as was suggested, add LED downlights and area lighting or if they are adamant about converting them, it's a simple thing to do... you might even put a socket in the top of the fixture and shoot a wide flood LED MR16 downward... for example... Once a qualified individual cuts the gas supply to the field, and you can cut the lines that lead to the lanterns, I am guessing you can use that line to get some power up into the lantern. you might want to use some of that black wire braid for high temp applications... to route the lead wire to where it will be run, along the corner of the fixture.

    Whatever you do, you don't want an open light source... to shine through what I'm guessing is clear glass.

    Keep us posted

  6. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865


    I know the color temperature can be matched. The thing I like about gas lamps, and why I'd try to talk them out of it, is the flicker/dancing of the flame. There isn't an electric lamp anywhere that will properly duplicate that. I'm imagining something like what I've attached though (only on a post), if it's the kind of lamp that has the wicks like a propane camping lantern then disregard everything I've said and go ahead and convert them.

    I would bet that LLC is onto it though by asking if they're becoming cost prohibitive to operate, natural gas lights can get expensive to run and they kind of have to stay on 24x7. I read recently that Berlin is converting all of their historical gas lanterns to LED throughout the city because of the operations cost. Some of the lamps have been in place for 200+ years, I think that is a tragedy. The populous is fighting the change and I hope they win.

  7. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,187


    I do this conversion a lot. In fact I am just finishing one up today on an apartment complex here in Indy. I use the Solas Ray LED's. They are a truly amazing product. They are inverted just like the standard gas lights and the Color and output are great. How many do they want to convert. I would be happy to come over and help you get familiar with them on a joint install. Shoot me a PM
  8. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,311

    Thanks for all your input. It's a small condo complex. There are only six lamp posts involved. Yes, these run 24/7. They also don't give off much light, as you know. These folks don't need an exact cost comparison to judge feasibility. If a conversion can be done for a reasonable cost, they would like to have a little more light and save a little on operation.
  9. KLawn75

    KLawn75 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    When I built my house, I installed 2 gas lights at my entry. It'll be a sad day at that condo complex when the gas lighting is gone :(
  10. Terradek

    Terradek LawnSite Member
    Messages: 104

    I am surprised that no one has mentioned that converting fixtures from their original manufacture; creates a liability that none of us should want. Just buy the correct fixture and don't put yourself at risk. What seems to the the easy, less expensive solution for the condo association could be the most expensive decision you ever make. Protect your business by adhering to NEC regulations and UL listings. Stay safe and stay in business.

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