Friday, February 1, 2013

Halogen or LED? Which will you choose?

Since early 2002 there has been growing interest ECO-friendly solutions in USA as the cost of electricity have risen over 25%! There is a demand to find solutions that controls energy and is more GREEN for current lifestyles. With more and more turning to Solar for there homes and RAINWATER retention system. Many have not given thought or forgot about there yard lighting or the pond lighting, it's 12v system right? Well believe it or not you can also reduce electric consumption there as well. Predictions LED will replace incandescent systems, providing equal light output while using 75-90% less energy.

So what is a LED? First introduced back in the 60's, many of use have been using them for years as indicator lights on electronics and other devices. LED stands for "Light Emitting Diode" it is a semiconductor that converts electricity into light. It is a solid state device that does not contain a breakable filament. These lights stand out and provide an ideal mix of efficiency and output in landscape lighting and ponds. One of the draw backs of HALOGEN lamps is that they produce significant heat together with light output.

The bulbs are define as for example; MR16 is a coded designation in which MR stands for multifaceted reflector, and 16 is the diameter in eighths of an inch across the front face. An MR16 is sixteen eighths, or 2 inches in diameter and an MR11 is 11 eighths, or 1.375 inches in diameter.

So how efficient are LED light? That's a good question that many will ask. The simple answer is the LED will produce equivalent light output using 80% less energy, here is an example. Compare a 20 watt MR-16 lamp to 3-emitter LED array which will use 4.5 watts! What a difference as you can have FOUR LED lights to ONE MR-16. Lets take minute and think about that...... say you have a 150 watt transformer, you can have only 7 Halogen fixtures at 20 watts per light BUT with LED's you can have up to 33 fixtures at 4.5 watts!

With lower power consumption you can use a smaller transformer saving cost there and more fixtures per wire run. Lets not forget that with halogen bulbs you have to make sure that proper voltage range is 10.5-12 v on ALL halogen lights. If under or over voltage it WILL reduce the life of the bulb, which is rated on typical halogen lamp at 4000 hours. So what is the average life of a LED? Can you believe 40,000-50,000 HOURS! SERIOUSLY! So wouldn't this be a better choice?

Lets look at cost of a 900 watt system as an example operating around 10 hours per night. Say you local rate is 0.145 per kWh that works out to be around $476.00 per year of usage. Now lets compare to LED system based on the same equivalent number of LED fixtures with equivalent lumen output would cost ..........drum roll, how about $95.00!  Another cost with halogen is re-bulbing every 12-14 months of use on the system described above. Now many may be DIY or you may have a landscape company to do it. So were looking at around 45 fixtures and lamps cost around $6.00 per lamp, so that would be another $270.00 plus labor from your landscape company per year and add electric cost in to the mix.

Landscape LED - LED Underwater Light 
So with LED your looking at 12-13 years on the LED lamp, most all Manufactures like Vista, Kichler have a 10 year on LED and electronics. Fixtures in LED due cost more BUT over the long term you will save over the long haul!

We our now using LED fixtures for all our ponds, with great reviews! 

Its TIME to rethink your lighting!

LED lights


Wider voltage range 6-15+
Long lamp life
Min 75% savings on energy 
Smaller transformers
Longer wire runs, MORE fixtures on a single run
Less time to install
BIG savings to homeowners on electrical cost and lamp replacement
40,000 to 50,000 hours on lamps
10 year warranties 


Higher initial cost on fixtures
Labor cost to replace existing fixtures

Halogen Lights


Fixture cost is less then LED
Lamps can be found at any Home Improvement Center


MUST have proper voltage range 10.5-12 volts
4000 hours before replacement
$6.00 per bulb cost x fixture count per year
1-2 year warranty on fixture only
Larger transformers
Shorter wire runs LESS lights per run
ONE 20 watt compared to FOUR fixtures at same wattage
Labor cost to replace lamps every 12-14 months