With 65% of Americans using LED lights for their home, it’s no wonder that LED lighting has become a trend in outdoor lighting fixtures. While the general benefits of LED lighting are known, we wanted a professional’s opinion on just how important they are to your outdoor lighting system and what to expect from LED lighting in your lighting fixtures.
Suzanne is a lighting professional at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Kansas City who has spent many years advising clients on the use of LED lighting. We’ve sat down with her to ask nine questions every homeowner should know the answer to about LED Lighting systems. Check it out:
1. HOW LONG DOES IT USUALLY TAKE FOR AN INSTALLATION OR UPGRADE OF AN OUTDOOR LIGHTING SYSTEM? IS IT AN EXTENSIVE PROCESS OR RATHER SIMPLE?
Our process has been streamlined to be stress free for our clients. On average an installation takes about 2-5 weeks – from the moment a client calls requesting a consult to the first night they can enjoy their newly installed outdoor lights.
2. SHOULD YOU UPGRADE EXISTING SYSTEMS TO LED LIGHTING OR SHOULD YOU PURCHASE ENTIRELY NEW SYSTEMS?
Depending on whether or not they have an Outdoor Lighting Perspectives system and the age of their existing system will depend on whether they are able to simply upgrade their current fixtures or need to purchase new fixtures. Swapping out the bulb on an old system is like putting a Band-Aid on it. Issues will arise down the road if not upgraded properly.
Your outdoor lighting system is more than just the fixture – it’s the wiring, the connectors, the transformer, the timer. You need to factor in all of this in order to determine how best to upgrade your system in order to maximize the life of your outdoor lighting.
3. ARE THERE BENEFITS TO LED LIGHTING VS HALOGEN?
Absolutely! LED bulbs burn cool. Halogen burn hot and are dangerous. LED are better for the environment. They do not have mercury and they are recyclable. Halogen are not. LED last up to 50,000 hours. Halogen last only 4,000.
4. WHAT ARE THE ECONOMIC BENEFITS TO LED LIGHTING AND HOW MUCH CAN YOU SAVE?
LED are much more energy efficient than other bulbs. You have an 80% wattage reduction – a direct savings on your electric bill. Depending on the number of fixtures you have, the initial investment you make to upgrade or install LED lamps can start saving you money in as little as a year.
5. HOW DOES LED LIGHTING DIFFER FROM REGULAR LIGHT BULBS IN TERMS OF HOW IT MAKES YOUR HOUSE FEATURES LOOK?
LED and Halogen bulbs look the same when installed. They differ in how they look over time. Halogen start to dim making your outdoor lighting system less attractive at night. LED burn at the same intensity until they go out – they don’t dim over time. Keep in mind Halogen only burn for approx. 4,000 hours and LED burn for 50,000 hours.
6. WHY DO PEOPLE WHO UPGRADE TO LED LIGHTS MAKE THE CHOICE TO UPGRADE?
People have busy lives and want a system that is low maintenance. An Outdoor Lighting Perspectives LED system gives them this. We even take it one step further and offer our clients maintenance plans. This takes the burden of upkeep and maintenance off of the client while extending the life of their system. Also people today are more environmentally aware. LED bulbs do not contain mercury therefore making them recyclable and better for the environment.
7. WHAT TYPE OF MAINTENANCE IS NEEDED ON LED LIGHTING?
It is no different than getting an oil change in your car or having your heating/AC unit at your house serviced regularly. Your outdoor lighting system should be serviced regularly as well. We recommend once a year although we have many clients who prefer to have their systems checked more frequently. Many people think they only need to worry about the lamps in their outdoor lighting system. It is much more than that. Checking the wiring, connectors to fixtures, transformer, timer it’s all important in extending the life of your system.
8. WHY DO YOU THINK SOME PEOPLE HAVEN’T SWITCHED TO LED LIGHTING?
I think there are many reasons. Education – Many people do not understand the difference between halogen and LED and the benefits in upgrading their system. My job when they call is to educate them. Time – people have busy lives. Dedicating time to research, call and schedule service for an upgrade is often something a client simply does not have time for. My job is to keep in touch with our clients and be sure they know what their options are and make the process as simple and easy as possible.
Cost – money is always a concern for people. Many times we will upgrade a system in phases. My job is to find the best fit for a client and make it an option they can take advantage of. For us it is all about the relationship with our clients and serving their needs. Every client is different and we want to be sure we are sensitive to their needs while providing them a service they will be happy with now and in the future.
9. WHAT QUESTIONS DO PEOPLE COMMONLY ASK ABOUT LED LIGHTS?
The questions I get most often are whether a client can upgrade just the bulb without having to replace the entire fixture. What is the cost involved to upgrade a system and how much money are they going to save. These are the questions I would say I am asked the most.
So there you have it folks! The LED lighting trend won’t stop, and with apparent good reason.