Without a doubt, LED optics have definitely gotten better recently. New, more powerful LEDs are now bright enough to light large trees and buildings, but unlike traditional lights they do not suffer from being switched on and off. This gives LEDs a huge advantage for anything that requires frequent switching such as security lighting. With the touch of a button or app based control they can be switched or dimmed. Colour changing LEDs can be used to change the mood and even switch between warm and cool white.
Cheaper running costs have been well documented, but good quality LED outdoor light fixtures are not only efficient, but now much more affordable. Some LEDs don’t cost much more than the halogen lamps they replace. Also in a garden the lower power consumption is a big advantage because it allows longer cable runs with less volt drop. Fewer transformers are needed for low voltage lighting circuits.
Stricter legislation has encouraged greater efficiency, with the result that inefficient lamps are being phased out, and LEDs are often the only products still available. But with careful selection, many halogen systems can be retrofitted with good quality LED lamps – offering dimmable, warm whites producing nice soft lighting, specific beam angles or even colour changing.
Life expectancy of LEDs is much better than most of the lamps they replace allowing manufacturers to bond the LEDs into their fittings. But even good LEDs don’t last forever, so with our more expensive fittings we make use of retrofit LEDs or replaceable LED modules allowing easy replacement.
Low voltage LEDs are inherently safer in outdoor environments, and pose less risk of injury. Lower energy use, improved reliability and longer lifespans help them to be regarded as one of the most energy efficient, artificial light sources available.
Philip Milner Head of Technical LFG