Listen to what your yard is telling you:
Pay attention to your yard. If you can walk across the lawn and you are sinking on non-watering days, you are over watering. If moss is growing in shaded areas, you are over watering. If the landscape is dying, you just may be under-watering. Remember, landscapes are very resilient. Unless it dries to a crunchy brown, chances are that it will make a recovery, especially long established yards.
Are we finally able to see some light at the end of the LED tunnel ?
Leaning slowly to the future of :
LED LOW VOLTAGE LANDSCAPE LIGHTING
LED lighting has been surging forward for several years, but the low voltage LED industry is finally starting to catch up. Many companies, most based overseas are producing LED bulbs that plug right into your low voltage landscape lighting fixtures, but not without some reliability issues. While the newest wave of low voltage LED bulbs are greatly improved, and coming down in price, they are not completely proven when mated to higher than recommended wattage input. While many of these LED elements are rated to 50 thousand hours, some of the technology is less than satisfactorily proven under the applications that they are introduced into.
One of the major issues are that LED components are not recommended for outdoor usage. While most fixtures are sealed against the elements, heat , organically produced moisture on the outside, and moisture from irrigation systems may cause condensation inside the fixture causing these LED elements to be compromised.
In the past, incandescent low voltage lighting systems are mathematically calculated to determine their proper installation. Several factors are taken into consideration when they are calculated. Wattage from the transformer, length of a wire run, total amount of watts per run, and gauge of wire are some of the factors used when installation is planned. Incandescent bulbs have a life expectancy of between 2000 and 3000 hours. In a standard install, if the bulbs are slightly under ‘juiced’, their life span can double, but if slightly over ‘juiced’ it can be cut in half.
When replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs, it will, to put it simply. over ‘juice’ the LED elements. LED elements are touted to operate properly when they receive between six and 25 volts of power, where incandescent bulbs operate properly using between 9 and 12 volts. To further add to the complicated mix, most LED bulbs can only function properly when mated to a magnetic power supply.
Several companies are now producing low voltage fixtures which contain an complete LED retrofit. They are designed to ‘regulate’ the voltage within the fixture. They are boasting 50,000 hour guarantees.
For some, the cost of these fixtures can be a bit prohibitive. If one does the math, the savings can be recouped over time. An incandescent fixture might cost $ 50.00 compared to $ 125.00 for an identical LED fixture. The consumer savings starts in the maintenance, or lack there of. 2000 hour bulbs cost $5.00 each which can save the total cost of an LED fixture over it’s life span, not to mention the savings in energy (20-35 watts incandescent vs. 3-6 watts LED).
While none of these items are fool proof, there seems to be greater success when using this type of LED retrofit. Like many other cutting edge industries, the technology seems to be constantly evolving. As advancements are being made, the prices seem to be dropping. At this time, the conclusion would be that if you can afford the up front cost for retro fitted LED fixtures, they will pay for themselves over time.
Brought to you by The Sprinker and Lighting Doctor Neal Kaufman
The Sprinkler Doctor
23705 Van Owen Street #213
West Hills, CA 91307
Phone Number: (818) 992-6353
Email Us At The Sprinkler and Lighting Doctor
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