LED Landscape Lighting & Solar Alternative to Halogen Bulbs

behlgardenOctober 19, 2011

Sorry I posted previously elsewhere and now I cant find the post. Anyway. I wanted to share my experience with outdoor LED lighting and see what others have done and think.

I have a very large yard that has about 20 spot lights and about 15 path lights. all lights have 1.5W G4 halogen bulbs. with average use of 6 hours/evening, that comes to about 350W/hr OR 2100 hrs/day. That is a lot of electricity being used daily. I wanted to save electricity costs and started looking into alternatives.

First I looked at Solar LED's. tried some and what a waste of time and money. Returned back to Costco. Then I thought about adding a 300W Solar panel for outdoor use. then it turned out that for solar I will need to update my bulbs to LED. So, I started looking into LED bulb options.

I finally narrowed down my research to 1.5W LED bulb that would easily replace the bi-pin halogen bulb from existing light fixtues (malibu), the bulb I got was from Amazon.com, link here http://www.amazon.com/Landscape-Lighting-Lumen-Bi-pin-Replacement/dp/B005OFK542/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1319055466&sr=8-1

Here is what I found:

1. Bulb consumes only 1.5W and color of light is a bit whiter than halogen but not white as tubelight. the color I got was warm white.

2. On trees/shrubs, the spot focus was excellent, a bit less than the 10W halogen but once I put two side by side, there was slight difference.

3. At 99 actural lumens, factory claims 130 lumens, it was quite bright bulb.

4. Not knowing how good these bulbs perform in the long run, the manufacturer does say that life span is well over 20,000 hrs. that is a lot of hours of use.

With 35 bulbs to replace, 35 bulb consumption will go down from 350 watts/hr to 52.5 watts/hr. that is dramatic 85% effifiency. Talk about $$$ being saved when you have to use 6-hrs/day on 35 lights.

Back to my energy independence, now the backbone of Solar makes perfect sense. I can easily get a 60W panel and get $$$ free lit backyard.

Just wanted to see what others have done to cut down on their energy costs @ backyard. I am yet to make the change, but easy switch out of bulb and cost savings outweigh the initial cost investment.

Any personal experiences or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

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behlgarden

Sorry, all halogen bulbs are 10W and not 1.5W, sorry about the typo.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 5:02PM
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brickeyee

"350W/hr OR 2100 hrs/day"

If the lights run for 6 hours per day you are using 2100 (W-hrs)/day. That is 2.1 (kW-hrs)/day.

Unless you have extremely high electric rates, at $0.10 per kW-hr tat os less than 0.25 per day.

I would almost bet that the Chinese made solar powered lights actually cost more when you factor in their short life span.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 6:27PM
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behlgarden

well, 2.1KW/day, my rate is hitting 3rd tier on So Cal Edison, pricks have electricity very expensive, 3rd tier is $0.23/KW. so daily use of electricity would cost about $0.48/day or about $15/month OR $180/yr. If bulbs last longer than halogen that burn out frequently, LED use cost would be about 0.315KW/day or $0.072/day, $2.17/Mon. or $26/yr, electricity cost saving of about $155/yr. based on manufacturer's guarantee, these bulbs are great payoff around 1st year to 14 months.

I still need to find someone who has been using these 5050 9SMD type LED bulbs for a while and find their reliability.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 6:54PM
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brickeyee

"$0.48/day or about $15/month"

how long do you expect eh other lights to last exposed to the weather?
It costs money to replace them.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 8:25PM
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zeak

Hi all. I'm researching solar powered outdoor lighting for my walkways and garden. Reviews in the past have been mixed. Has anybody found anything that they're happy with and provides adequate light? Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 1:42PM
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behlgarden

yes, after extensice research I found that switching to LED was best choice with or without added expense of solar. also, no need to replace fixtures, this website that I found has almost every application of LED direct replacement available and the most resonable cost.

link to website is here www.mygreenpros.com

I replaced all my yard lights with combination of SMD chips, MR11, MR16 and some Disc. leds and so far I am on month 22 with no problems. very reliable LED's and good customer servivce too. I triled Ebay but found a lot of issues.

this this website a try, they take it back if you are not satisfied. good luck!

This post was edited by behlgarden on Tue, Apr 8, 14 at 14:01

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 1:51PM
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zeak

thanks! looks good. Anybody have any positive experience with solar powered free standing lights? I'm looking for the easiest option in terms of installation.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 2:22PM
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behlgarden

I tried westinghouse solar led lights in bought from costco and ended up returning. So far have not found good solar but leds sort of cost next to nothing on energy costs.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 2:42PM
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