LED Landscape Lighting & Solar Alternative to Halogen Bulbs
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.