integrated LED's

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Mike M, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    I'm wondering if LED retro-bulbs in MR-16 sizes are going to be popular for the long term? It seems like integrated LED's make the most sense for new installs.
  2. Viewpoint

    Viewpoint LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    Keep in mind retrofits will keep being popular because they will be able to be retrofitted more than once. Look at how far the quality has come in the last 5 years. Imagine where it will be 5 years from now? We'll be able to go back after 5-8 years and re-sell those retrofit projects with the newer, better LED retrofits.

    Integrated LED systems won't be able to offer that (unless they are using a modular design). They are more robust and can do more than the retrofits, but they will be stuck, and you won't be able to change intensities or beam spread like you could with a retrofit.
  3. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Integrated LEDs are fine, as long as you can find that one company that makes a full line of fixtures that are just perfect for every application in your system. Until that time, you will probably be left to cherry pick fixtures from different manufactures and that is where you run into colour and intensity issues. If you don't mind your systems having visible colour temperature differences between fixture types then you are good to go... but I find that it looks pretty awful in most cases. Nothing looks worse to me than a group of fixtures that are all supposed to be 3000K but in fact range in CCT from 2800K to 3200K depending on the manufacturer = visual diarrhea.

    Quality LED lamps (from a company that takes the time to match up the light output across their line --- not all do!) allow you to rely upon all of the fixtures you have come to know and trust and keep a consistent colour output throughout the system. PLUS you have the opportunity to retrofit LED into all of your client's existing systems (not to mention those of your competition's as well)
  4. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,311

    Integrated fixtures are already available and being further developed with the ability to change LED modules including intensity and beam spread.
  5. Viewpoint

    Viewpoint LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    True, depending on the manufacturer. Some have potted everything together. This makes it very robust, but not able to upgrade without throwing out the whole luminaire. I would lean toward those manufacturers that are finding ways to make their integrated LED lines possible to upgrade.
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  6. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Even those who are working towards interchangeable and field adjustable optics and components are not applying this tech. to all of their products. I still think the majority of pro installers will be cherry picking components from across the industry, making the use of integrated LED fixtures more challenging.
  7. steveparrott

    steveparrott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,276

    We believe that modular integrated LED fixtures are the best approach for a few reasons:

    1. To best pull heat away from the LED's into the fixture body. Jury's still out on the longterm success of drop-ins.

    2. To be able to construct an advanced LED driver (with dozens of components) and position it in the fixture body (there's just not enough space in a drop-in)

    3. The ability to incorporate changeable optics.
  8. BrandonV

    BrandonV LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,625

    let me ask this as all I've worked with so far is drop in be they from unique, alliance or illumnicare:

    with these integrated units like kichler or volt are offering what guarantee am I going to have in 5-10 years they supposedly will need replacing that i'll be able to get parts? The parts aren't interchangeable from brand to brand and god forbid someone goes out of business. I'm not well versed on these yet and I suppose it makes me nervous selling someone somthing like that with in mind in years to come having to explain that that the expensive brass light fixture I sold you with that great warranty needs to be replaced because I can't get a "bulb" for it
  9. steveparrott

    steveparrott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,276

    Brandon, valid concerns. Integrated fixtures exist because they are can be very robust solutions - better than drop-ins for a variety of reasons. Modular integrated fixtures are even better - replaceable drivers, LED arrays, and optics - but, you're right - can you trust a manufacturer to support their modular components after many years? Check the manufacturers' reputation for standing by their products and their committment to the landscape lighting profession in the long term.

    If you're committed to providing the best products to your best clients, do your research and select fixtures that are specifically engineered for LED light sources.
  10. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    I'm a big fan of integrated LED fixtures. And I feel like I've done more research than most on the subject. So for what it's worth, I am a big fan. I haven't had an integrated LED fixture fail yet, from either of the brands I've installed. But then again, it's only been just over 2 years. So may be too soon to tell. Regardless, I have seen several drop-in LED lamps fail. Most of those have been PAR-36 LED drop ins. I don't know that I've had any MR-16s fail. But I honestly believe there's going to be a lot sooner failure rate on drop in LED lamps than on integrated ones where the manufacturer has done a really good job of isolating it from heat and moisture. We'll see if I'm right.....

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