Help Needed With LED Lighting, Please!

kswl2February 5, 2014

So we are now replacing expensive halogen bulbs in exterior flood lights about every three months,l. We've replaced some of the fixtures and bulbs with "better" quality ones from a lighting supply because everything available at home stores is cheap junk from China. Today electrician, who came to look at expensive light fixture he replaced about 8 months ago but keeps burning up bulbs, told me we need to go to LED.

He recommended Atlas brand and told me I should buy them myself (to avoid his company markup) and have him install them. He said we could choose the color of light warmth by each fixture-- which was not the case when I went to their site. And the lights are upwards of $200 each, before installation. They are guaranteed for five years only. And I need 13 of these!

So I went to other sites and have found the sealed fixtures for $80, which seems more reasonable. But you cannot specify the warmth of the LED color of light, and I absolutely HATE that bright blue interrogation color that most LEDs seem to be.

Has anyone seen, bought, tried, or has any knowledge of LED outdoor floods with a warmer, more natural color, suitable for residential use? I need lights roughly the equivalent of 300 or 500 watt halogen lights. I've plowed thru several retail sites and don't see anything that says "equivalent to" other lights, specifically halogens. Anybody out there already made this change?

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Well I'm no light bulb expert but I was recently told by an electrician to look to the lumen number and not the wattage. Hopefully you can find the lumen on your old halogen bulbs before you buy the LEDs.
We're slowly changing to all LED bulbs and are very happy with them. We've bought them at HoDe and L's though.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 6:54PM
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Thanks---I would love to purchase the lights I need at a big box IF I could specify color....I cannot abide that bright, blue white light, and the **color** of the light doesn't have anything to do with the watts, lumens or brightness.

The outdoor floods are sealed and you cannot change the bulbs....what comes with them stays for the life of the light. If it turns out to be the wrong color light I will have to send them all back and start over.

Has anyone purchased a good, sealed, outdoor LED flood with a more natural yellowish light?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 8:34PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Can you leave the fixture and just change the bulb? These are supposed to be warm light....

Here is a link that might be useful: LED flood bulb

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 8:49PM
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When I think of LEDs I think of CREE... suggest calling them to talk through options. I've been rather amazed to see the Cree LEDs at HD/Lowes with the natural color light. (Not sure which bulb this is and whether they have an outside version; typically I find that the LEDs I buy are too white/bright, and don't dim sufficiently inside).

That reminds me - the other LED light I've purchased recently is the bulb recommended by Tech Lighting - SORAA. These are beautifully crafted LEDs.

One more thought, Davidtay on the lighting forum is always ultra helpful.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 8:56PM
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Did not even realize there is a lighting forum, thanks oldbat! Looked at Cree but no color charts for lighting color.

Annie, our lights are very high and we are looking at sealed units /no bulb changes.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 9:06PM
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kswl, maybe it would help if you posted a photo of and the brand and model of the fixture you are talking about.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 9:07PM
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That's the problem, I am looking for a fixture --- any company--- that is under $100 each and specifies the color of light on the LED color chart. I am being very confusing about it, I realize :-(

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 9:40PM
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Okay I reread the first paragraph and I'm wondering why not try and find an LED bulb to fit the current fixtures and see how that goes?
Another idea is to call Atlas and see what they have to say about the color of their LED fixtures.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 9:48PM
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Try calling CREE and SORAA. Amazing how often I post questions on this forum vs. calling the source(s) :)

Best of luck - oldbat2be

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 9:51PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

A photo of where and how these lights are being deployed would help. 300 to 500 watts sounds like you are looking at a commercial fixture.

Are they on the house itself? Or are they being mounted in trees and on poles and such...Are you looking for spots that shoot from the corners of the building? Or are you looking at floods like they use in a parking lot?

I'm still confused as you say you are replacing bulbs now, so if you can use an LED bulb instead, you won't have to replace them hardly ever...the same as if they were sealed. And certainly it would be less expensive than whole new fixtures.

We have exterior led lights on spikes that we've pushed into the ground as spots and wall washers on the house. I haven't noticed them being particularly blue, esp with night lighting which tends to be cool anyway. There are two floods grazing the stone gable and there's one spot highlighting the gable end over the front porch.

This post was edited by AnnieDeighnaugh on Wed, Feb 5, 14 at 22:13

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 10:07PM
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Justgotta, the current light fixtures are for halogen lights only. We need to find replacements for the actual lights themselves.

Will call Cree in the am. However, their lights are also well over $100 each, not including installation. Maybe they will give me a discount for buying 13.

Annie, we live in the country amidst a LOT of wildlife. (During the last snow there was a raccoon in my back yard.). In front, we need the bright spots to illuminate the center island in the middle of the turnaround, as there is no other lighting...the island is at least 100 feet in diameter, it is big, people need light getting out of their cars so they do not step on anything like deer piles. Also, two spots aimed at house, in addition to the lights on top of brick walls, as we have three steps down, then a walkway, then five steps up. These are the six lights out front. They are installed in the ground and are metal, square halogen fixtures.

We have one mounted under the eave above the library door and another about 20 feet away (also mounted to the eave). This is where we exit with our trash, and it is a hike down to our trash cans, about 75 feet, across brick path, grass, gravel, and beside a large area of ivy, snake heaven. We have to have light here. Don't ask me how I know that, do not want to relive the rattlesnake story!

In back we have three of these lights, also mounted under the eaves, that illuminate: 1. Steps down to swim spa deck from upper deck, 2. Small porch where gas grill is located, as well as a different set of steps down to patio, and 3. Gate to turnaround on garage end of house.

So the short form is that we live in the dark woods, with many scary, poopy critters, and steps everywhere. I need enough light so I don't park wrong, get bitten, or break my neck!

And,,I cannot count. By this list I need 14!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 10:58PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Ah, I see. So it sounds like you need a variety of light fixtures...not just spots. I have to say though that we have bright spots mounted in the corners of our house in the back which are incandescent....the fixtures were cheap and the lights are extremely bright and useful....not so energy efficient, but they work great.

We went to a lighting store and they were nice enough to let us bring home some jury-rigged led spots to play with and that's how we designed the lighting for the exterior. Perhaps a lighting store can help you with the see the lights on your home at night and see if they are too blue or bright enough for your needs. They also gave us a spot vs a flood so we could see the difference.

(We too have deer and coon and coyote, but the worst is the geese...a pound of poo per goose per day! But at least we don't have rattlesnakes. Yikes!)

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 11:35PM
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We had Canadian geese for two days before I called a wildlife extraction team to move them. I told the geese to alert all their little friends who might also be considering a nesting stop chez kswl to think again.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 11:52PM
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This company specifies Cool, Neutral or Warm for the LEDs.

Here is a link that might be useful: RAB LED Flood Lights

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 9:27AM
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Hi Beverly, thanks for your reply. I found that company last night, and the light with comparable output to our current halogens is around $500 per light, making the stated cost savings questionable....or laughable :-(

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 10:06AM
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Here's a comparison chart I saw on that might help with your conversion.

BTW there are LED replacement bulbs that will fit existing halogen fixtures--just have to get the right base, but it seems surprising that your electrician wouldn't have mentioned that. LED bulbs come with so many bases--even pins at both ends. Plus even sealed fixtures can have the bulb replaced (per our electrician). Is it possible your existing fixtures might still work with LED bulbs?

Here is a link that might be useful: One online site for led bulbs

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 2:07PM
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