Give Your Outdoor Lighting an LED Makeover

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Outdoor lighting enhances your home's architectural features and landscaping, increases security and safety, and creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere once the sun goes down. If you’re still using outdated halogen lighting, it’s time to consider a refresh to light-emitting diode, or LED, lights.

Thanks to technology advances and price drops in recent years, LED landscape lighting is now the preferred type, advises Rigs Santos, a Walton EMC residential energy advisor. LEDs use 25 to 30 percent of the energy and last up to 25 times longer than halogen incandescent, according to Energy.gov

LEDs use 25 to 30 percent of the energy and last up to 25 times longer than halogen incandescents. —  Energy.gov

Here are a few reasons Santos is advising homeowners to make the switch from traditional halogen bulbs to LEDs for all outdoor lighting applications:

1. Longevity

A typical LED light can last about 50,000 hours, or nearly 20 years in the average outdoor application. Halogen bulbs, which have a maximum life of about 3,600 hours, must be replaced every one to two years. Longer life means lower maintenance.

2. Energy Efficiency

LED lighting consumes up to 80 percent less power than halogen bulbs. A 30 watt halogen bulb can be replaced with a 5 watt LED bulb to produce the equivalent light. The reason: Most of the energy powering an LED bulb converts into light while more than 90 percent of a halogen bulb’s energy gets wasted as heat.

3. Durability

Halogen lights are fragile and break easily. LEDs are much more durable.

4. Versatility

LED landscape lighting rivals other options, offering a wide and varied range of beam angles, colors and wattages. LED fixtures now offer more inviting “warm light” hues and offer a level of consistency between fixtures that is superior to halogen bulbs.

5. Turns On Instantly

Same as halogen bulbs, LED diodes turn on instantly in milliseconds. That’s why LEDs are widely used in motion-activated floodlights.

6. Easy Conversion

Most landscape lighting systems currently using low-voltage halogen bulbs can be easily converted to LEDs. A change of bulbs is all that’s required.

7. Environmentally Friendly

LEDs can be recycled. Traditional halogen lights contain mercury and can’t be recycled.

8. Long-term Savings

Although an LED outdoor lighting system may initially cost a little more, the long-term savings is significant. Depending on the size of the system, it could begin paying for itself in both energy savings and reduced maintenance expenses in three to four years.

Prices on LEDs continue to drop, making them an even better bargain for outdoor lighting. In addition to residential uses, LEDs are also replacing halogen sources for commercial applications such as parking lot lighting and streetlights.

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