LED Lamps

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by trailboss, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. trailboss

    trailboss LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    I know there has been much discussion about this in the past, but in view of the ever changing marketplace, we continue our search for something better. Constantly looking for lamps that have the most longevity and consistent output and color. What LED lamps are you using? As always, any input and/or suggestions are greatly appreciated.
  2. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,694

    I would like to put in a word for Illumicare's bi-pins or as they call them "miniatures." Specifically, I use their G5.3 bi-pin in all my area/path lights. Consistent color, I prefer their 2700K. For me, the perfect intensity at 230 lms. And longevity, you ask? I haven't replaced one since I started using them 7 years ago.
    Jimmy Turks and GreenLight like this.
  3. Night Owl

    Night Owl LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    I mostly stick with Brilliance - consistent color and their Gen 4 stuff has been positively bulletproof - and although Gen 5 is still new to this year, thus far, there's been zero issues. 8-25v range on the MR-16 and 2w Beacons can be clutch as well. They also have such a wide range of LED products that you can fit 95% of 12v stuff out there while also retrofitting 120v fixtures on the same project, and keep all products coming from a single source. Which is certainly nice from a color consistency aspect.

    Dauer MR-16s are nice as well and have been super reliable. They have lots of products too, but not always available in matching color temps which is frustrating. I wouldn't recommend those silicone style of bi-pins from any of the myriad manufacturers that currently sell them. Weird color inconsistencies all around and I think there's a chance that silicone will discolor over time.

    Alliance has a nice COB MR-16 and its 2900K is just lovely.
    GreenLight likes this.
  4. GreenLight

    GreenLight LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 582

    I have used just about all of them at one time or the other with the exception of Illumicare, but after Starry's endorsement I will be ordering some out of curiosity.

    Like Night Owl, I have been happy with Brilliance newer product line and have had good results from them over the past 3-4 years. I like their line of Mr16, but really like their beacons and bayonnets.

    Honestly, Halco had some early struggles but over the past handful of years I have found their MR-16 and Bi-pin reliable. Occasional failure, but many that have been working well over 5 years. I do wish they would offer a bi pin with a more protected cob for open air path lights, but we generally just use Brilliance for anything like that.

    VISTA... Just let me start by saying What the hell went wrong?
    They had the most reliable Mr16 I had found up until about 1.5 years ago. They changed something in the assembly and all hell broke loose (literally and figuratively). Massive failure rate from the lamp assembly breaking apart. It's been an expensive problem. I have probably had to replace at least 200 or so in the past year and a half. Yes, they honored the warranty, but our labor took a huge hit. We would go to our supplier and just see piles of returned vista bulbs in the past year. Suffice to stay, we stopped using them. In fact, my understanding is that VISTA took such a huge hit that they are discontinuing offering there MR16 LED as a stand alone sale.

    Volt - Had some poor performance from the first generation bulbs, but haven't had any real complaints since. Overall, they have been reliable.

    FX - No real complaints with their Mr16 as far as lifespan, but the color temperature just always looks odd to me.
  5. Night Owl

    Night Owl LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    Vista - I've seen the same issues. Lamp bodies made entirely of plastic and glue that pull apart with the slightest effort when removing from a fixture. Greenish/yellow hues in the color as well. No surprise that those products aren't doing them any favors

    I've also installed a fair amount of Kichler lamps and have never had issue with those products.

    The newer Illumicare lamps with interchangeable optics have a real nice output but I can't see wanting to assemble your lamps as well as your fixtures. Makes sense from stocking perspectives but still... if you can open it yourself, moisture will find it's way in as well
  6. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Silver Member
    from usa
    Messages: 2,037

    AMP and Brilliance both are much better now for me than earlier generations. Not sure how people are not getting into lamp failures, but I have had several, maybe it's my climate or the particular heatsink qualities of the fixtures I had been sourcing earlier on.

    Longevity in my climate is my primary concern and I am exploring to see if the premium lamps are actually outlasting the more economical versions.

    I am finding that the performance of some recently introduced and more economically-priced lamps are great in terms of color, lumens, consistency, and that the slightly lower cri is not a real issue as I had thought it would be. We'll see about longevity. I've replaced a lot of premium-priced lamps, so I would like to see if these alternatives are worth exploring. I also like leaving a few extra lamps for the homeowner as I did in the old halogen days. But it's easier when lamps are not over twenty bucks each. If they truly lasted forever or even fifteen years with a very very low failure rate, I would pay $30 plus.

    Anyways, the pic on the bottom shows the light quality/effects of Universal 5W's (2700) on the palms, and Brilliance 4W Ecostars (2700) on the home. I will post back here if there are any premature failures this year or in the next few years.

    I would really like to know more about anyone else's experience with failures associated with a particular fixture or fixture material. I did notice more failed lamps of 2 different premium name brands, when using heavy gauge copper fixtures than those installed inside of fixtures made of brass. But it may be a coincidence.


    Exterior Lighting Hilton Head.jpg
  7. Jimmy Turks

    Jimmy Turks LawnSite Member
    Messages: 105

    Nice to see people using correct terminology here! These are LED Lamps... not "drop ins". The illumicare miniature line has been fantastic since inception and is still the only miniature LED lamp line that offers effective heat sinks. I have had issues with the Vista MR16s (besides the ridiculously high cost) and stopped using them. Dauer MR16s seem to be the most reliable I have ever used.

    Interesting how so many of you are using LED lamps vs integrated... go back a few years and look at the thrashing I took when i was developing my LED lamps. Now I get to say: "Told you so!" :)
  8. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,694

    There is so much continuing advancement/development of LED lamps. I have not used integrated and being "stuck in the moment".
  9. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,694

    James, I was just looking at the Dauer MR16 after your post. The pictures don't look like single source which you have touted for some time.
  10. Jimmy Turks

    Jimmy Turks LawnSite Member
    Messages: 105

    Phil. For the most part, multiple emitters, when used in a true landscape application, are not an issue. It becomes more of an issue when you are illuminating smooth surfaces such as a wall and you have foliage or movement in between the lamp and the object. Now when you get to interior applications, I would not install a multiple emitter LED in any application. The shadow effect is too annoying.

    Light on!
    knox gsl likes this.

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