LEDs: Frequently Asked Questions
LEDs have been in the lighting market for some time. Now, LEDs are a mainstay for outdoor lighting.
Many of our clients are retrofitting their outdoor lighting to LEDs. Often, they have us relamp/retrofit to LEDs progressively, where they replace expired lamps with LEDs.
Why LEDs for my landscape lighting?
LEDs last! In most cases, you can expect years – if not decades – of lamp life. This could significantly reduce maintenance labor costs for years to come.
Some brands boast of lamp life exceeding 50,000 hours? Really?
Yes and no. These lamp life ratings are usually measured in the lab. Outdoor conditions are challenging. And some will fail – nothing is foolproof. But you can expect a majority of your LEDs to last for years.
Do LEDs ever fail?
Yes. Even top quality LEDs can fail. Many are under warrantee for three, five or even 15 years. As usual, our warrantee covers parts and labor for one year, and after that we charge for labor and support manufacturer warrantees.
What other benefits will I enjoy?
Reduced energy consumption of nearly 80%! You will save on your energy bill and reduce our community’s consumption of energy.
Don’t LEDs create a cold, blue hue?
Many of the first generation LEDs were 4,000 Kelvin (or higher) color temperature. LEDs now offer many color options, and usually employ warmer light frequencies (2,700 – 3,000 K), but specific designs may dictate color modulation. Also, LEDs now offer a full spectrum of beam spread and lumen output options.
Will I still need maintenance?
Yes. Fixtures, transformers, sockets and connections can fail; wires get cut; and plant material changes. Fixtures, including those with LED retrofits, should have annual lubrication for sockets and seals – just like autos. LEDs generate less heat, which may allow more plant debris to build up, particularly in up lights. Tree mounted fixtures will still need to be readjusted for tree growth every few years.
What is the best strategy for LED retrofitting?
Most of our clients have us retrofit to LED on all the fixtures on a given line. Often there are 3-5 fixtures on a specific line of halogen. If one halogen lamp expires, the remaining fixtures are subject to spikes in voltage, which often compromises lamp life for the remaining lamps.
What if I don’t want to wait?
Of course, you can have a full relamping (halogen to LED, or even halogen to halogen) for all your fixtures. Just let us know what is best for you.
What is the cost difference of LEDs versus halogen?
In most cases, between $20 and $40 per lamp. While the long term benefits far outweigh the initial cost, that cost can still add up if you are changing 20, 40 or even 100 lamps at one time. LED prices are slowly going down, which is yet another benefit to the progressive retrofit.
Is any LED fine?
Actually the market is flooded with LEDs that are poorly engineered, then sold for impossibly cheap prices on the internet and in some big box stores. These cheap LEDs are more prone to failure and less likely to deliver desired lighting results. We employ top quality LEDs that are designed for outdoor environments, have specific aesthetic effects, and are supported with legitimate warrantees by firms with long track records in outdoor lighting.
Can I just plug in the new LED?
Actually, voltage and amperage calculations are still critical to performance of LEDs outdoors. Adjustments must be made in the transformer for this change. Further, in many cases, LEDs must be “de-rated” when calculating load levels.
Is there an LED retrofit for virtually any fixture?
Yes, but some LEDs are not “market ready” in our current view. Fortunately, most are up to standard.
What about my 120V post lamps and wall mounted fixtures?
There are now LED retrofits available for these fixtures too. The A-19 appears virtually the same, but note that the candelabra-based LED looks a little different – particularly during the day. The lumen performance is comparable.
What about security lighting?
This might be the best news yet! Finally, there is a legitimate LED retrofit option for PAR lamps outdoors. You may never again need to service those often dangerously located eave-mounted fixtures.
How will this affect my routine maintenance invoices?
They will be initially higher, but lon- run savings will far outpace the initial investment.
Please contact our service team for more details. We hope to hear from you soon!