Light-emitting diode technology, or LED, has been available for quite some time. In fact, most people are now familiar with its use in computer monitors and flat-screen televisions. But when this energy-efficient lighting option was introduced in mass-market consumer lighting products some years ago, notably as strands of Christmas tree lights and outdoor decorations, the light output was, well…disappointing. This is no longer the case.
LEDs Come of Age
The rapid improvements to LED technology since it was first marketed as a safe and environmentally-friendly option have led to explosive growth in both consumer and professional applications, such as in Oakville outdoor lighting designs. Once known for casting only a cold, blue hue, LEDs designed for outdoor lighting systems are now capable of a wide range of cool to warm colours. The tremendous brightness output, measured in lumens, and the ability to focus light exactly where it needs to be now rivals or exceeds the potential of traditional incandescent or halogen-based outdoor lighting. As a newer technology, the initial cost of LED bulbs is still greater than the alternatives, but the longer-term cost savings found in lower energy consumption and far less frequent bulb replacement is unparalleled.
Transforming Oakville Outdoor Lighting Design Techniques
The endless options in LED fixture sizes and form factors open up the possibilities for the future of outdoor lighting design. In addition to fulfilling common techniques such as up and down spots and wall washes, the flexibility of LED allows for design elements that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive or near-impossible to achieve using traditional fixtures, and limited only by the imagination. While a well-executed outdoor lighting system incorporates function, safety and a certain amount of personality, LED lighting introduces a greater range of artful design options that exactly match the mood and character of your home, deck and landscaping.
The Cost of LED Outdoor Lighting
When CFL, or compact fluorescent bulbs were first introduced as an interior lighting alternative to standard incandescent bulbs, many people were slow to adapt due to the initial sticker-shock, despite the overall energy cost savings. LED is an even more efficient lighting option, but its up-front cost is more than standard outdoor or low-voltage incandescent bulbs. However, the savings on maintenance and on your utility bill is significant. In fact, a typical LED installation can result in energy costs that are less than one-quarter of the cost of traditional low-voltage outdoor incandescent bulbs.
The ongoing cost of ownership is also far lower. Most LED fixtures are rated with a useful life of approximately 50,000 hours–that’s almost six years of continuous use or over twelve years for a night time lighting system. A typical incandescent light can’t boast a lifespan of even one-tenth that longevity. Combined with the fact that LED fixtures are solid-state and much more durable under the wide-ranging temperatures of the annual southern Ontario climate, an LED bulb in an Oakville outdoor lighting system will incur virtually no replacement cost.
Safer For The Environment and For You
Because of the high-energy efficiency of LEDs, most of the electricity is used to produce light and not heat. A typical bulb will remain cool to the touch under most conditions, presenting little danger to children or pets. Most importantly, LEDs contain none of the toxic chemicals, such as mercury, that incandescent bulbs do and they are also 100 percent recyclable.
With all the advantages that LED technology offers, it’s not surprising that it is fast becoming the first choice of both professional lighting designers and homeowners alike. To learn more about the future of outdoor lighting, contact Nite Time Decor for advice on how LED can beautify your home while saving you money in the long run.