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The Bright Ideas Blog

Design inspiration and outdoor lighting tips and advice for homeowners

What You Need to Know About LED Landscape Lighting


The landscape lighting industry has changed drastically since the introduction of LED technology. Traditional halogen systems are becoming a thing of the past as people have their current halogen systems upgraded to LED, or more commonly, have a newly designed LED landscape lighting system installed.  The benefits LED systems provide over halogen make them not only more commonly used, but more durable, affordable, and desirable. For anyone looking for a system that will last for years to come, LED is the right choice.

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Though many are aware that LED lamps last longer, are more energy efficient, and less hassle than halogen or incandescent systems, they may not be aware of how to avoid some of the common pit falls and issues that can occur with an LED system that isn't planned carefully. There is a lot of consumer literature floating about that says LED lights have made everything simple; suggesting that LED lights have taken all of the thinking out of outdoor lighting, however, this couldn't be farther from the truth. Outdoor LED landscape lighting systems should always be carefully planned and thought through before any installation happens. There are many components to take into consideration, apart from the LED lamps.

Not being selective about the fixtures that will house your LED lamps, for example, can lead to a number of problems down the road. It's important to understand that not all LED landscape lighting fixtures are designed with the same quality engineering and materials. Choosing a fixture that costs less upfront will, often times, end up costing more down the road when they fail and have to be replaced. Cheap fixtures made of plastic and aluminum come with the same long term durability as the materials that make them cost less than the leading competitors.

 A plastic or aluminum fixture will fade, crack, corrode, and allow moisture to enter the electrical system. While many high quality LED lights can withstand some moisture exposure, they are nevertheless still built with electrical components and are not 100% waterproof. Using cheap fixtures from a Big Box Store, or fixtures that are made with cheap materials, will lead to moisture issues and end tragically in a failed system. Pay close attention to what kind of material the fixture your lighting expert chooses: copper and brass have proven time and time again to be robustly durable and last for years without issue.

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Not pairing the correct LED lamp to the correct fixture is, again, another key element that can lead to a failed system. Each LED lamp is designed to perform a unique task. LED lamps vary greatly: beam spread, lumen output, wattage differences, are just a few of the variations that exist between the many lamps that are available. This is important for your lighting designer to consider because each lamp should be used in a different way depending on the fixture, what is being lit, and what kind of effect your LED landscape lighting designer is trying to achieve.

Combining the correct lamp with the correct fixture is crucial. Fixtures should be avoided if they do not allow lighting designs to be adjusted and changed according to the need. Fixed LED fixtures are an example of the type of light that does not allow a lighting design to be tailored to the home and landscape. A fixed LED light fixture is a fixture that has an LED light permanently built in; the LED light cannot be removed or replaced. The problem these fixtures face is that the LED lamps built into them cannot be adjusted for different lighting situations.

The other concern with fixed LED landscape lighting fixtures is that if, for some reason a light were to fail, the lamp by itself could not be replaced. Replacing the LED light in a fixed LED fixture requires replacing the whole fixture. If your lighting designer is planning to incorporate fixed LED fixtures into your lighting system, don't be afraid to ask them what their reason is for using this type of light in the grand scheme of their design.


In conclusion, it is important to be aware that not all LED landscape lighting fixtures are created equal. Fixtures that may seem less expensive up front are often more expensive over the lifetime of the system and create a lot more hassle and headache. Likewise, using fixed LED light fixtures that cannot be adjusted or used purposefully to illuminate different features of a landscape or home should be avoided. It's for all these reasons that having a design expert can make all the difference. By knowing which distinct fixture and lamp combinations will create the proper look and feel, while also making sure the fixture is the right quality, a lighting design expert can help to ensure a long lasting and affordable overall solution to your LED landscape lighting needs.

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To learn more about how to light your outdoor living space, call us at 801-440-7647 to schedule a free consultation or feel free to fill out a contact form on our website www.utahlights.com. We are located in Midvale and service areas throughout Utah.   

Free Landscape Lighting Design Guide


 

LED Lighting | LED Technology