RETROFIT LED LANDSCAPE LIGHTING VERSUS INTEGRATED LED LANDSCAPE LIGHTING

Both LED luminaires and Halogen luminaires convert electrical power into useful visible light. Both technologies create heat as a by-product of the conversion of electrical power. However LED luminaires enjoy the performance advantage of creating less heat for every lumen of light that they produce. Typically a halogen luminaire will create 3 times the amount of heat that an LED luminaire will produce for every lumen of light that is produced.
Both technologies create light and heat from electrical power. The heat created is not typically useful when the objective is to create light and this can be considered a waste of power. Led luminaires also have an advantage as less power is consumed for every lumen of light produced when compared to Halogen luminaires. Typically a 50-70% electrical power consumption savings is achieved when using an LED luminaire when compared to an equivalent lumen output from a halogen luminaire. Since more power is consumed by halogen luminaires a proportional increase in the size (gauge) of the wire used at system installation will be required. This is a cost consideration.
All luminaires will require maintenance of the luminaires finish via some form of cleaning during the life of the luminaire. Because halogen luminaires run at higher temperatures there may be some extra effort expended in maintaining the finish do to the greater heat baking on dirt and debris. More significant though is the maintenance of changing the halogen bulbs periodically. Although halogen bulb life is specified by the manufacturer it is often not reached in practice as real world variables such as voltage fluctuations, voltage surges, and contaminants on the outer surface of the bulb all degrade the life of the halogen bulbs. LED luminaire lifetimes are such that a fixture should not require a “bulb” change for at least 50,000 hours. LED luminaires use a power converter, or driver, and this is typically the weakest link in an LED luminaire. Driver lifetimes are determined by several factors but a driver should typically be expected to last in excess of 10,000 hours. Since the halogen power consumption is greater the electrical current flowing through the wiring is also greater. A typical landscape lighting system includes many electrical connections or splices. This greater current flowing through the connections will cause greater heat to be created at the connections. This will cause the connections to have a larger voltage drop at the connections and hence more heat is created at the connections. This additional heat will increase the rate of degradation of an electrical connection.