Jumping on the LED bandwagon

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by irrig8r, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. Alan B

    Alan B Sponsor
    Male, from tampa, fl
    Messages: 446

    Joey-- exc solution, I wanted to give you an FYI that we have been working on the same thing (testing/design/dev for about 9 months), and I assume most other manus are as well.

    Ours involves a molded heat transfer piece inside the fixture that connects the fins of the retrofit lamp to the fixture body for direct heat transfer from the lamp to the fixture. We have been holding off on release until retrofit LED's reach what we consider an acceptable value proposition (lumen's/color temp/longevity/price) for pro installers and to solidify our patent filings. With the good LED progress, we anticipate a late Spring 2010 release of fixtures made specifically for LED retrofit lamps, and that the color/lumen/longevity/price of LEDs will then be a reasonable value proposition.

    We feel this will be the best of both of worlds-- quality fixture, retrofit LED lamps, but with proper heat dissipation by heat sinking the retrofit lamp to the fixture.


  2. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Question for Alan and Joey.... why not just adopt the use of the lowest operating temperature LED lamp on the market? One that has already beat the heat issue.
  3. Alan B

    Alan B Sponsor
    Male, from tampa, fl
    Messages: 446


    Haven't seen one. I'd love to test them out, it may save us a lot of tooling. I'll make a deal with you. When we get our complete new line in of all solid brass fixtures across all fixture styles, I'll send you free samples to check out if you do the same with your LED line. And we can both post independant reviews. Sound like a good deal?

    I'd love to long range test them (continually on at their max volt rating for the next 4 months and check their color temp/heat measurement, etc.).


  4. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    That is option #1 in a perfect world but we always need to be prepared and explore all possibilities. We have been working with LED's for 4-5 years now and still have not had confidence in actively promoting them. We appear to be getting closer and closer.
  5. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    So I saw the new Nightscaping LEDs yesterday at Lane Irrigation, a local distributor in Campbell, CA....

    Steve Atkinson, Nightscaping's National Sales Manager showed up on time, despite the raging storm.

    I looked at his samples and I have to admit.... I didn't expect to be impressed, but I was...

    He was a little cagey about their source. The base/ driver for the SCB LED is made in Salt Lake City. The chip/lamp by someone else.

    If you look at the photo (on their website), all you see of the lamp is the tip.


    It is very small and screws into the base. It overlaps the top of the base about 1/8" maybe with a reddish thin flexible/ rubbery gasket.

    I have to say, as they claim, it does indeed look to be weather resistant.

    That lamp is available in red, amber, green or blue as well as the warm white. The warm white is nice, but maybe a little less bright than a 93.

    We looked at them in a totally darkened room, similar to the NS set up in Redlands...

    We saw the SCB in a Footliter, on a 12 in stem, in a fake flower bed with plastic mums and bark chips on the edge of an astroturf lawn floor. I would think one would want to space fixtures something like 9 to 11 ft apart.

    We compared the output of the MR-16 35 x 35 style in a blind test with a 10W and 20W BAB halogen. Lamps were placed overhead shining at a vertical wall about 15 feet away.

    Also (later) overhead hanging from an arbor shining onto a bare redwood deck and from ground level uplighting an unfinished redwood lattice wall... truly a warm pleasing light.

    Steve says these will probably work best for "small space lighting" and I think I'd have to agree.

    He's asking whether the MR-16 can be done with 3 x 1.5 W chips in addition to the current 3 x 1 W.

    I'm not sure yet about pricing, and I'd like to see more specs that might help better indicate the life of these things.

    And of course I want to compare them to other offerings out there...

    This is the Cree chip NS is using for the MR-16. Just confirmed it with Steve.

  6. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    We have seen LED's that look good but I have not seen one that stays looking great. The DG is about as close as I have seen and that is based on the lamina atlas 2 chip. The ushio synergy looks promising but it does not fit in all housings. I think the fact Ushio delayed the release instead of rushing up to milk the cash cow says something about it too.

    I think alot of factories can make a nice looking LED but look at the Kumho mess that Unique is having issues with. Its too soon to run and jump on the latest and greatest if you care about your longetivity in the field. a 1 yr test is not accurate enough for something electronic or even electrical that is supposed to last 5-10 yrs.
  7. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    Billy, look at the Cree link I posted above. It explains how the lamps are tested and how the useful life is projected.
  8. jshimmin

    jshimmin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99

    I have four of the 1 watt Cree chip sets in deck lights that died after 1 week. Now comes the fun of re-installing them in the wall they are on. Basically was told there are going to be some good batches and others...
  9. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    The Nightscaping MR-16 LED uses Cree chips (3 actually x 1 W each) but is assembled for NS by someone else. In other words, Cree makes the chips, but doesn't make the MR-16 equivalents.

    A lamp change with these would be simple. They are guaranteed for two years. Is that long enough for me to want to buy one? Not sure.

    So, what happened with yours? Bad batch? Excessive temperature or moisture intrusion issues?
  10. jshimmin

    jshimmin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99

    Same set up here..
    Someone else assembles the Cree components into their design.

    I putting the new units in Friday and will have a better feel for what happened. There was no moisture inside the fixture and the test units run for days with no evident external heat. Heat on the LED driver is something I can not reliably measure though.

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