LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are the most energy-efficient and cost-effective lighting option for outdoor lighting. LEDs use up to 85% less energy than traditional lighting, last up to 25 times longer, and provide a more uniform, consistent light. Here are some of the top reasons why LED lighting should be used for outdoor lighting.
- Better lighting : LEDs provide more directional light that result in a much brighter illuminated area
- Uniformed Lighting: LEDs provide a more uniform, consistent light than traditional lighting, which helps to create a more aesthetically pleasing outdoor environment.
- Durability: LEDs are much more durable than traditional lighting, with an average lifespan 50,000 hours. This means you won’t need to replace your outdoor lighting as often, saving you time and money.
- More Efficient: LEDs are more energy efficient as they provide higher lumen output per wattage compared to traditional lamps used for outdoor lighting.
- Cost Effective:LEDs are more cost effective as they provide cost savings in terms of output efficiency as well as long term savings due to lower maintenance costs.
- Turns on to Full Brightness instantly:Compared to Metal halide used in a variety of outdoor settings, LEDs turn on instantly.
- Dimmability: LED lights are easily dimmable compared to the alternatives
- Compatibility with controls: LEDs pair well with smart sensors, photocells and timer controls
LED lighting is made up of a directional light source, which means that the beam emitted by each individual LED light bulb points in one direction. This is in stark contrast to traditional light sources such as incandescent or fluorescent bulbs which emit ambient light, meaning the light is dispersed in all directions.
Directional lighting offers several advantages over traditional ambient lighting such as being much brighter due to the focused nature of its beam and therefore providing more targeted illumination with less energy consumption.
Additionally, LEDs have the added advantage over other types of directional lighting since the light source is made up of multiple light sources that can each point in a different direction to make a better overall ambient light when you consider the whole ensemble of luminaires working together.
Since LED's are able to create more precise beam spreads, they offer the added benefit of illuminating the intended targeted surface or object while minimizing the amount of unwanted light in areas where you don't want it. Additionally, you end up using fewer fixtures than what would be necessary with other types of lighting systems.
More Uniformed lighting
Light uniformity is a measure of how consistent the light output is in a given area. It’s measured by taking the maximum foot candle reading and dividing it by the minimum foot candle reading. This ratio should be as close to 1:1 as possible, which means that there are no glaring hot spots of light or dark shadows.
When lighting an outdoor space, having uniformed lighting is especially important; too many bright spots will create glare and make it difficult for people to move through the area safely. It’s also key to creating atmosphere – if areas are too brightly lit with overlapping beams, this can look unnatural and uninviting. LEDs offer more even illumination than traditional lamps and help ensure uniform lighting across a space without needing any extra brightness.
LEDs are made of multiple directional light sources so they produce several targeted beams which result in a much more uniform output coming from a single lamp. This means less overlap between each fixture and more control over how each space looks.
LED lights are designed to be more durable and have a longer lifespan than other lighting solutions like metal halide. The fact that they don't require external components such as starters or ballasts makes them more reliable over time, meaning you don't have to worry about replacing parts in the future.
LEDs also provide consistent quality light over their lifetime with no significant deterioration of the light color or brightness. This is because LEDs do not rely on chemical reactions to generate light output, but instead use semiconductors which emit a consistently bright light source for up to 50,000 hours of operation.
In comparison, the most popular alternative for outdoor use, metal halide lamps, suffer from rapid degradation during its lifespan resulting in decreased efficiency, dimming and discoloration of the emitted light when used for longer periods of time. With proper maintenance, these lamps can still last around 20 000 hours – but LEDs outperformed them with less upkeep and are typically rated anywhere from 50,000 - 100,000 hours.
LEDs are more Efficient
We've all heard it before: LEDs are more energy-efficient than traditional lighting sources. That's because LEDs produce more light for less wattage, meaning that they use less electricity to create the same amount of light as traditional light sources. This, in turn, leads to lower electricity bills and less overall energy consumption.
The efficiency of LED lighting is due to the fact that it does not produce heat like other types of lighting. Heat is the byproduct of traditional light sources and it is one of the biggest factors in energy consumption. LEDs convert 80% of the energy they consume into light, while traditional lighting sources only convert 20%. This is why LEDs consume much less energy and last much longer than traditional sources.
This is all well and good for us average folks but for Outdoor applications especially on the commercial side, LEDs provide even more advantage since they have to compete with other lighting sources like HID and Metal Halide lamps that are themselves also more efficient than traditional lights.
The added benefits of LED over other efficient lighting sources are even more pronounced when it comes to outdoor applications.
LEDs are also able to dim or turn off when not needed, providing further energy savings. This means that LED lights can be used to provide targeted lighting in particular areas when needed and then dimmed or turned off when those spaces are not in use, resulting in even more energy savings
LEDs are more Cost Effective
LEDs have been getting more affordable over the years but they do tend to cost more in the short term and tend to make up for it in the future.
The energy savings that come with using LED lighting makes it a much more cost-effective option in the long run. Traditional lighting sources require more energy to operate, resulting in higher energy bills. This is especially true in outdoor applications, where the lights are on for long periods of time. LEDs, however, require far less energy to operate and thus, can save you money in the long run.
LED lighting is also much more durable than traditional sources, meaning that you don't have to spend as much money on repairs or replacements. LEDs last much longer than other sources and are far less likely to fail. This means that you won't have to replace your lighting system as often, saving you money in the long run.
Lastly, all the various controls and dimming capabilities built in LED fixtures allow for it to save you on your monthly bills when alternatives like Metal Halide are much more rigid when it comes to controls.
Instant on / Full Brightness
This is really a dig at LED 's biggest competition when it comes to Outdoor commercial application: Metal Halide lamps. The major disadvantage with this lighting source is that it takes forever to warm up and reach full brightness.
This is a problem for two reasons
- It means you have to turn on this lamp earlier than you would need to waste even more energy.
- It limits you in terms of being able to use sensors to turn these lamps on and off to save energy.
LEDs not only have better lighting output but this is evident as soon as you turn it on . There are no downsides when it comes to cycling them on and off other than the minor decrease in total lifespan.
Dimming your outdoor lights can be useful in many scenarios, such as when you want to create a more romantic atmosphere. It can also be used to save energy, as you can dim the lights when they are not needed. Additionally, dimming can be used to create a more inviting atmosphere for visitors, as it can make the lighting softer and less harsh.
LED lighting can be dimmed in order to control the amount of light output, making it perfect for outdoor lighting applications. As mentioned previously this is something that Metal Halide specifically struggles with since it becomes less efficient and the quality of the light output diminishes significantly.
LEDs efficiency as it's being dimmed stays relatively constant throughout and the output is still unmatched.
LED lighting offers far better control options than traditional commercial lighting systems. This is because LEDs are direct current (DC) devices, which makes them easily compatible with a wide range of motion sensors, controls and dimmer switches.
LEDs can be connected directly to the power source without needing a ballast for regulation, which could explain the fact that you can cycle them on and off without losing much in terms of performance and degradation.
These integration options allow you to save further on your energy bills by making sure your lighting system is only on when it is needed. This is of course useful in outdoor applications, where lights are needed to be come on as a safety measure even when the building is not occupied.
These buildings are often quite sizable and need multiple outdoor lights which further amplifies the savings when it comes to LED lighting.
Our Final Take
LED lighting is the ideal option for outdoor lighting due to its better lighting quality, more uniformed lighting, durability, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, instant on/full brightness, dimmability, and available controls.
With its energy-efficient and cost-effective features, LED lighting is becoming more of a no brainer than years past especially in the commercial sector which tends to be the #1 consumers of outdoor lighting and accessories.
For commercial outdoor use, the advantages of LED amplified as it helps businesses reduce costs in all aspects of the lamp's life
- On the front end, with savings on local rebates
- During its lifetime, by requiring minimal maintenance and being more durable
- On the back end, due to the energy savings for usage and added savings from being more optimized for sensors and controls.