Few technologies have seen as much change — and received as much attention — in the last few years as lighting with light emitting diodes (LED). Despite the presence of this technology for decades, LEDs recently have entered the lighting market for institutional and commercial buildings and established a foothold faster than any other source available.
The increased lamp life and energy efficiency the technology offers has caught the attention of maintenance and engineering managers, as well as other lighting specifiers, changing the way they plan, implement, and maintain both interior and exterior lighting applications.
LEDs have influenced virtually every area of facilities, but the situation is especially true for exterior environments, including landscape lighting. For example, LEDs have become very popular for parking-lot applications. Qualities such as instant-on, white-color, low maintenance, and good performance have made them increasingly viable options.
As mentioned previously, organizations are specifying LEDs for a variety of applications, including exterior lighting. The relatively small size of some LED products has made installation easier in areas with tight clearance.
Specifiers are placing new light sources in narrow areas, such as under benches or accent planters, where none existed before. Installers can direct LED-sourced bullet accent luminaires on landscape or hardscape elements, and linear LED products can effectively wash or graze building facades.
Light placed on conspicuous building and landscape surfaces goes a long way to increase the perceived brightness of an area and create a lighted environment, so lighting vertical surfaces remains the best way to stretch the lighting dollar, regardless of source type. People tend to recognize vertical surfaces more than horizontal.
LEDs: Popular for Exterior Applications
LEDs Improve Lighting Performance, Reliability
LEDs: Cost Inhibits Widespread Specification
LEDs: Maintenance Considerations, Lamp Replacement