by Mike Gambino

I have wasted no time in implementing my new 3 watt LED replacement for the 20 watt halogen lamp in my designs. For projects where the client appreciates the long term cost savings and are not resistant or sensitive to the increased upfront investment in LED technology I will be offering this substitution.

Thomas Edison's 120 volt incandescent light bulb is on its way to extinction. Halogen low voltage bulbs are still a great solution for landscape lighting applications. New low voltage LED technology is fast becoming a great complement to the halogen low voltage system.

This featured project has 66 fixtures. Only  twelve of which are 35 watt halogens used on the large Queen Palm specimens. The balance of the 54 fixtures on the project have my new 3 watt MR-16 CREE LED installed with three different beam angles of 30, 45 and 60 degrees to achieve varying light intensities and spread for effect.

The large Queen Palms have been installed on a separate timer which will go on at dusk nightly and turn off at 11PM when the client goes to sleep.

The balance of the LED lighting system is on a seperate timing system and is set to turn on at dusk nightly and off at dawn since there is such little electrical power draw. Not only will this lighting system look beautiful during the clients waking hours when they can enjoy it but will provide safety and security while they are asleep without guilt or the high electric bill at the end of the month.

My client and I are really pleased with what the results of what I’m calling my first official extensive hybrid LED/halogen landscape lighting system. See photos below.

The electrical energy savings from the use of the 3 watt LED’s over the 20 watt halogen equivalent is significant. 54 lamps X 20 watts is 1080 watts. 54 lamps X 3 watts is 162 watts. That is a whopping 918 watt difference to produce the same quantity and quality of light between the LED and halogen lamps. This is game changing.

Let’s look at this further. Using a constant of .10 cents per killowatt hour (costs may differ, check your electrical bill) in electrical cost. If the lighting where to operate an average of 12 hours per evening. The electrical costs to operate both systems are as follows.

In Dollars and Cents

Here’s the formula to figure the cost of operating the lighting:

wattage x hours used ÷ 1000 x price per kWh = cost of electricity

For LED- The power required to operate 162 watts of LED light for 12 hours per evening is- 162 watts X 12 hours = 1944 divided by 1,000= $1.94 X .10= $ .194 or 19 cents per day

For Halogen- The power required to operate 1080 watts of halogen light for 12 hours per evening is-1080 X 12 = 13080 divided by 1,000=$13.08 X .10 = $1.31 or one dollar and thirty one cents per day.

LED- $.39 X 365 days per year is = $70.81 total yearly cost for electricity to operate this low voltage LED landscape lighting system.

had these same lamps been halogen the cost to operate would be as follows.

Halogen- $1.31 X 365 days of the year = $478.15 total yearly cost for electricity to operate this low voltage halogen landscape lighting system.

The LED system represents a whopping $407.34 cost savings of electricity over the halogen system over the course of one year!

None of this means anything if the LED does not perform as well as the halogen.

Below are photos so you can determine for yourself. I think you will agree that the Gambino 3 watt LED lamp is a credible equivalent and a viable substitution for a 20 watt halogen lamp producing comparable color and light output .

I believe that right now until a higher output 35 watt halogen replacement is developed. A hybrid LED/halogen Gambino low voltage landscape lighting system offers the highest performance, most energy efficient environmentally responsible system and best overall value available that money can buy.


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