LED Durability vs Halogen...

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by GreenLight, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. GreenLight

    GreenLight LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    This question is for everyone, but especially for those who know a bit about the manufacturing of LED technologies. I understand enough about LED to feel comfortable installing them, but I admittedly don't know a whole lot about their overall durability. These are lamps that we are forced to stand behind for a lot greater length of time so I was wondering about a few things.

    1) Halogen/Incandescent lamps are always susceptible to blowing/breaking the filament with minor abuse (good wack from a blower, soccer ball hitting a fixture, foot traffic bumping a fixture). How do LED's stand up to similar abuse? Is there anything as fragile in the LED that could be compromised fairly easily from something like above. Obviously im not talking about kicking the fixture across the yard, but just general things that are bound to happen occasionally.

    2) How susceptible to failure are LED lamps (especially Par types) to water damage or failure? Many well light and par lamp replacements would be open air fixtures. I have not done any drop in replacement with pars for this reason as I imagine that this would certainly be a no-no, but it's fairly common amongst halogen installs. Whether it be pars or bi-pins and wedge lamps. There are many wall lights (using a small wedge or bi-pin) that are open air applications and many downlights that are as well (mr 11, mr 16, ar11, 1156, etc..) Do the LED manus take this into account or are we all sort of flying blind on this as installers and acting as guinea pigs who will be given the run around about water damage as soon as they fail ?
  2. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865

    1 - They're pretty durable. I've dropped retrofit lamps 15' onto hardscape and they still worked fine.

    2 - It depends on the LED, some can be submerged and some can't handle condensation.
  3. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,187

    I would recommend purchasing some lids for any cans you are going to put LED's into. Even if it is only the cheap plastic ones with a clear lense, it is better than having them open. However, they are going to fill up with water anyway if they were not supplied with proper drainage underneath them anyway.
  4. Illumicare

    Illumicare Inactive
    Messages: 148

    From a durability standpoint, most LED lamps stack up much better than their halogen counterparts. Unlike tungsten filaments, LED lamps are not as affected by vibrations (i have heard of halogen lamps going bad and being more prone to breakage from being kept in trucks.) That being said, all things are not created equal. Our miniature lamps for instance, are mounted to an aluminum core, and are much more durable than those that stack PCB with not heat sink. (not to mention the heat dissipation aspect!!)
    The most fragile thing in the MR16 lamps is typically the collimators (lenses) and these are generally polycarbonate, so also very resistant to breakage shock or vibration.

    In terms of water resistance...again, all things are not created equal, and in a lot of cases, it is caveat emptor. For our lamps, our PAR36 lamps are actually IP68 rated, and are tested under 6ft of water for 24 hours. Now they are not designed for continuous submersion, but suffice it to say, if they get wet, they will be okay.
    Our miniature lamps and MR16 lamps are moisture resistant, not water proof. These lamps are not designed to be submerged or in direct contact with water for any length of time, and are not warranted for this. That being said, I am told that all of our lamps installed on a job that was flooded by Sandy still worked afterward. We seal all of our drivers in an epoxy to protect the sensitive electronics from moisture, and all of our PCB boards (the part that holds the actual LED chip) are coated with a conformal coating.

    I hope this has helped to answer some of your questions...please feel free to contact us for any further information, or drop by our website for some spec sheets.

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