Should I Retrofit My Bulbs for LED?
LED lights have recently become all the rage for homeowners and landscape lighting designers. There’s lots of good reasons for this; LED lights are cooler, brighter, and more energy-efficient, and can offer homeowners both a higher-value lighting system and a cooler lighting scale overall. Many clients are looking to upgrade their existing lighting systems, and wondering if they can retrofit LED bulbs into their standard landscape lighting sockets. We strongly advise our clients against this, for a few reasons.
In order to produce mass quantities of LED bulbs for a cheap price, manufacturers unfortunately have to take shortcuts. Cheaper parts are often installed in the driver and diodes, and (as we all know) cheap products don’t last. While LED bulbs can last for many years, the intensity of illumination can often be diluted over time, even with LED bulbs. The lumens of a light – its level of brightness – changes over time. When an LED bulb is first illuminated, it’ll appear nice and bright – this is “cold” lumens. Once it warms up, the intensity falls off – this is “hot” lumens. A cheaply-manufactured LED bulb may still be illuminating after a year or two, but the intensity will be quite different from when it was first installed.
Additionally, LED lights still produce a small degree of heat in the driver, which will burn out an inferior socket – often used in many bulbs – and cause failure. The ribs on LED bulbs (called fins) are intended by the manufacturer to release heat from within the bulb. Unfortunately, when you place this bulb inside an enclosed fixture, the heat sits within the fixture and bulb, shortening its life. This will lead to frustration for the consumer, a bad reputation for the lighting company, and a waste of money and time for both.
The better option? Replace the whole fixture with an LED fixture specifically designed for outdoor use.
LED: The Better Option
LED fixtures are engineered for outdoor use, and operate equally as efficient in wet or dry locations and are designed for a wide range of hot and cold climates. Color tone remains consistent for the life of the product – often as long as 20 years! No UV damage occurs, and a large heat sync reduces operating temperature, which results in longer life. These fixtures are specifically designed to eliminate failure by placing the driver away from the heat source. Additionally, EMI protection is built into the LED fixture to protect against electrical interference. A high quality 60/61 aircraft grade aluminum or brass fixture has been specifically designed for outdoor use along with a specific diode – it’s a fixture you can count on. Further, our LED fixtures are designed to have consistent lumens, ensuring the highest quality and longest life usage. At the end of the day, it’s worth the up-front cost of replacing your current lighting design with LED fixtures when compared to replacing multiple bulbs and equipment over time.
When Northwest Outdoor Lighting installs your LED fixtures, you can rest assured that you are getting the best products on the market, professionally installed, with a customer service guaranteed to exceed your expectations.
With incredible products, incredible service and a great design you’ll have an outdoor lighting system that will give you many years of trouble-free illumination!
We love showing new and potential clients why our LED fixtures are the only way to go! Contact us today if you’d like to “see” the difference!