The votes are in: LED lighting has a leg up on its traditional halogen cousin when it comes to lighting your landscape. So if you’re in the market for landscape lighting – or if you’ve been putting off the switch because you don’t think it’s worth it – you may be in for a surprise.
Gone are the days when LED lighting was only a hopeful second to the lovely effects you could get with halogens. These babies have grown up and they bring some serious advantages to your landscaping. These are a few advantages, so if you’re on the fence or haven’t thought much about upgrading yet, this may be the season to take the plunge.
Serious Cost Savings
It’s true that the initial cost of installing an LED lighting system can be higher than installing a halogen system. The bulbs are pricier and when you multiply the increase over what may be a hundred bulbs or more, you can see why many people dismiss LEDs out of hand.
But the cost of the bulbs isn’t the whole picture. There are other components, too, such as transformers and wiring, and the cost of these is generally less expensive for LED lighting.
So when you do the math, the initial cost may not be as high as you think.
Still, that’s only a fraction of the picture. Here’s a stat you can hang your hat on: LED lighting can afford you a 70-80% savings in your energy costs over halogen lighting.
When you consider that number over the course of a season – and even the course of the lifetime of the lighting system – it will quickly and exponentially add to your savings and more than pay for your initial investment. Plus the transformers are cheaper to run because of the lower wattage output.
And yes, the price tag on the bulbs is higher, but consider this: your average halogen bulb has a lifespan of 2 years, but an LED light can live for 12-15. When you multiply the cost of replacing halogens up to 7 times during the single lifespan of an LED bulb, you can see why LEDs shine.
With a halogen lighting system you can expect to replace bulbs approximately every two years. That not only incurs the expense of the bulbs but the expense of the labor – or your own time if you’re a DIYer and you’re tackling the job yourself.
When you consider the typical landscape, which often consists of walkway lighting, perhaps tree lighting and pond or pool lighting, the idea of replacing those bulbs every couple of years is a bit daunting. The lifespan of LEDs makes them incredibly easy to manage and maintain.
As an added perk, LEDs don’t “blow out” the way halogens do. They will dim and fade, giving you plenty of time to replace them without losing the overall aesthetic of your outdoor landscape.
Halogens are also susceptible to the cold. Especially here in the northeast where winters have been unpredictable and temperatures can fluctuate from 20 degrees today to 60 tomorrow, halogens have a tendency to “pop”. That’s more maintenance, which equals more time and money.
LEDs on the other hand are sturdy in any weather.
Increased Property Value
Landscape lighting can increase the value of your home by enhancing its curb appeal and security.
Various studies and reports have put this increase anywhere from 7-28% over homes without good landscaping or lighting. Well-landscaped and lit homes also tend to be on the market for a shorter period of time.
The National Homebuyer’s Association consistently shows outdoor lighting at the top of its list of “most desirable features.” In fact, not only do nearly half of people surveyed consider outdoor lighting “desirable,” but most of those consider it “essential.”
In addition to adding to your personal enjoyment, improving your home’s curb appeal and increasing its overall value, landscape lighting adds a measure of extra safety by illuminating dark spaces that may otherwise go unwatched and unnoticed. Some insurance companies even provide discounts to homeowners with added security because it naturally leads to fewer burglary claims. And given the cost savings of running LED systems, you can easily leave your lights on all night without significantly impacting your energy bills.
Beautiful Design For A Beautiful Space
Imagine those summer evenings sitting in the sanctuary of your back yard, enjoying the cooling air, relaxing to the sound of your pond or waterfall, perhaps sharing this peaceful time with friends or family. Or if you enjoy an active nightlife, picture yourself hosting a dinner party, cocktail glasses reflecting the lights carefully positioned among tree branches and along patios and pathways.
Early LED lights used to emit a rather harsh light, not the cool blue tones of halogens that we know and love. No longer – now LED lights are every bit as lovely as their halogen counterparts and can be designed in myriad ways.
Lights sprinkled throughout trees can cast a moonlight effect, or they can be positioned to cast light in any direction you choose – up, down, even to different degrees and different angles. They’re perfect for paths and walkways and they can even be used underwater in ponds to highlight waterscapes and koi.
So if you’re in the market for landscape lighting, or if you’re looking for an improvement, LED lighting may be just what you need. It will save you money, make maintenance easier, increase your property value, improve security and enhance your outdoor experience.
Plus, with emerging technology you’ll soon be able to control your outdoor lighting from your smart phone!
If you have any questions about the pros and cons of installing or upgrading to LED lighting, let us know. We’re happy to discuss your options and show you how we can help you create an outdoor living space that’s the envy of your neighbors.