02 Oct Installing a Gambino LED landscape lighting system just makes $ense
by Mike Gambino
Light-emitting diode (LED) technology for landscape lighting has arrived. Make no mistake about it, LED is here to stay, and will soon become the light source of choice replacing less efficient lamps. As a property owner, if you are not familiar with this technology and haven’t considered using it, it’s time to get started or you might get left behind. Let’s explore the benefits of energy efficient LED technology.
Benefits to the owner
LED is 50 to 70 percent more efficient than the standard incandescent halogen lamps. For example, compare light output in a 3-watt LED to a 20-watt halogen lamp. From an installation standpoint, you can put more 3-watt fixtures than 20-watt fixtures on a single wire run from the transformer. At a 100-foot cable circuit, you can possibly attach five halogen fixtures at 20 watts each for a total of 100 watts. Switch to 3-watt LEDs and the number can potentially jump up to 20 fixtures or more (for fixtures residing within relatively close proximity of one another) on the same circuit. This can result in savings on material costs, such as cable gauge size and lower capacity transformers. LED lamps can cost 3X or more than halogen lamps. However in some situations, the reduction in material costs can balance with the higher initial cost of LED lamps and make it possible for an equivalent LED system to be close in finished cost of a halogen system to install.
You’ll have the peace of mind knowing you are doing your part to save energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. An incandescent lamp produces light with only 20 percent of the energy it uses, while the other 80 percent is released as heat. LED’s require different amounts of electricity, but in general use more energy to directly emit light than to create waste heat.
LEDs can better handle voltage variations, the reduction of voltage caused when a current passes through a circuit’s wire. Unlike LEDs, conventional halogen lighting systems can accept only a small voltage variation, as little as one volt, before wasting energy and becoming inefficient. LEDs can accept a greater amount.
Lamp life on an LED light source is rated at 50,000 hours, while halogen lamp life is typically 5,000 hours or lesss. The longer lamp life of LED sources not only reduces lamp replacements, but also saves on electricity costs. A 50,000-hour lamp can potentially last more than 17 years, on an average lighting system burning six to eight hours a night.
Is cost a factor? An LED lighting system will pay for itself over time in electricity savings and lamp replacement maintenance costs. An energy-efficient lighting system will save on costs in the long run, which leads us to the cost of ownership.
Cost of ownership
Explaining cost of ownership is the easiest way to recognize the long term cost savings.
For example, let’s illustrate the cost of ownership over a ten-year period using a 50-fixture 20-watt halogen package versus a 50-fixture 3-watt LED package.
The halogen package consists of 1,000 watts versus 150 watts for the LED. We will assume the lighting system will operate for eight hours a night, at a cost of $0.134 per kilowatt-hour (the 2011 national average).
Potential electricity costs
Let’s start with the halogen 1,000-watt system:
1,000 watts x 8 hours / 1,000 = 8 kilowatt-hours x $0.134 = $1.072 per day x 365 = $391.28 per year.
The numbers for a LED 150-watt system:
150 watts x 8 hours/1,000 = 1.2 kilowatt-hours x $0.134 = $0.161 per day x 365 = $58.69 per year
The difference of $332.59, multiplied by 10 years, equals a potential savings of $3,332.59 in electricity costs.
Now look at lamp change-outs for a 10-year period. A halogen lamp will burn for 5,000 hours and require six change-outs. That comes to 300 lamps, and at $12.85 each the total becomes $3,855 before including sales tax and labor costs.
The LED will potentially require no change outs.
So now we can compile the savings over a 10-year cost of ownership:
• Electricity: $3,332.59
• Lamp change outs: $3,855
• Total: $7,187.59
This hypothetical system could potentially save the end user $7,187.59 over the course of 10 years.
Investing in a lighting system that could pay you back the difference on the upgrade to LED in four years, and save you money each year thereafter, just makes plain sense.
To learn more, contact Mike Gambino, an LED landscape lighting specialist.
*Comparisons made between Halogen and LED lamps are based upon lamp manufacture specifications and claims. Gambino landscape lighting does not warrant or guarantee lamp life on Gambino landscape Lighting LED lamps after 3 years from date stamped on back of lamp. Actual performance and lamp life can and will vary based upon each individual and unique situation.
This landscape lighting blog is published by Mike Gambino of Gambino landscape lighting inc. all rights reserved. Mike is a professional landscape lighting system designer/ builder and has been designing, installing and maintaining landscape lighting systems for more than 20 years. Mike resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife and 2 sons. To visit his website go to www.gambinolighting.com . To inquire about hiring Mike please click here .
Blog articles may be published with permission on other websites without editing or removing links.