Qualities to look for in an LED Landscape light
LED lighting is a relatively new lighting technology. Although the LED was invented over 30 years ago it has only recently been adapted to consumer and commercial lighting applications. With the recent interest in energy-efficient technology and the increase in energy costs manufacturers have been popping up all over who offer LED lighting. However, the quality of the LED lighting products on the market is all over the map and the technology is changing so fast it is hard to keep up. If you are looking into converting your existing outdoor, landscape lighting, or other lighting to LED here are a few things you should consider:
The early criticism of LED lighting was that it was not bright enough. In many cases this criticism was well-founded. In fact, it still can be an issue with lower quality LED lighting products. In the lighting industry, light output is commonly referred to as lumen output. Lumen output measures the intensity or brightness of the light.
When you are considering an LED landscape light or other LED lighting product it is important to be sure that the product you are considering will produce enough light for your application. However, I told the average person that a particular LED light produced a light output of 200 lumens it probably wouldn't mean much to them. So, let's use a common incandescent light bulb as a bench mark. Most people are probably familiar with a standard 60 watt incandescent bulb and the amount of light it produces. A 60 watt incandescent bulb typically produces about 850 lumens of light output. This should help you have a general idea of what light output is like when expressed in lumens.
Light Color or Color Temperature
The other important factor to consider when selecting a LED landscape light or other LED light is the color of the light. The color of light is expressed using what is called Color Temperature. For most people, a technical definition of color temperature isn't much help so we won't get into that here. However, what is helpful is to know that color temperature is expressed in kelvin. A light source with a high kelvin or color temperature (5000K or more) are considered "cool" and produce a light that is a bluer color. Light sources with a low color temperature (2700-3000K) are considered "warm" and produce a light that is yellower in color. The typical incandescent light has a color temperature of about 2700K and is considered warm. A fluorescent light is has a cooler color temperature--typically in the 4800-5000 range. So, when you are shopping for LED landscape lights be sure to select an LED lamp that has a color temperature that is suitable for your application.
There are many factors to consider when choosing an LED light source but these are a few factors that should help you in your research.