Stuck on whether to go LED or halogen for your landscape lighting?
Our recommendation:If you can swing the higher upfront cost of LED bulbs, they’re the better option for landscape lighting.
Here’s why. LED lighting:
Requires less maintenance
Has better energy efficiency
Is safer and more durable
Before we get into more detail, let’s first go over the difference between halogen and LED bulbs.
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Halogen vs LED: What’s the difference?
LED (light-emitting diode) is a type of lighting that uses a microchip to emit light in one direction, where halogen (energy-saving incandescent) uses a metal filament to emit light in all directions.
Because LED lights have more advanced technology, they have more benefits over halogen lights. However, they’re also more expensive. See the chart below for a side-by-side comparison of LED and halogen lights:
You’re probably wondering what installation costs look like for the two types of landscape lighting.
Well, the biggest driving factor of your installation cost will be how many fixtures you install. You can expect to pay:
LED: $65–$190 per fixture
Halogen: $50–$100 per fixture
In addition to whether you choose LED or halogen, your installation cost will depend on:
How many lights you want to install. The bigger the project, the more you’ll pay in installation costs.
Type of fixtures you choose. Typically, price of the fixture increases with brightness and size of the beam.
Fixture material. Fixtures made of materials like brass and copper will cost more than ones made of cheap materials like aluminum and plastic.
Your landscaping setup. If the electrician needs to work around landscaping (shrubs, trees, structures, etc.), your overall cost will increase.
The electrician you hire. Better quality electricians will charge more for their experience and know-how.
Now, we’ll break down why LED is the better option for your home’s landscape lighting.
Overall cost and maintenance
While LED bulbs cost more than halogen upfront ($20–$40 per bulb compared to halogen’s $4–$10 per bulb), LED bulbs last much longer. This means you’ll spend a lot less money—not to mention time—replacing bulbs with LED lighting.
Here’s what that looks like in dollars:
Last 1,000–3,000 hours
Need to be replaced every 8–12 months*
Require an additional $40–$50 per fixture to replace bulbs over 5 years
Last 25,000–50,000 hours
Need to be replaced every 5–10 years*
Require no additional cost to replace bulbs over 5 years
*How often you need to replace bulbs depends on how often your use your landscape lighting.
In short, LED bulbs gives you more light for your money.
Also, the “directional” light of LEDs (mentioned above) reduces the need for reflectors and diffusers that can trap light. This makes LEDs more efficient for landscape lighting, which involves casting light in a specific direction to highlight an object.
Safety and durability
Because LED lights are a solid-state form of lighting (i.e., uses semiconductors to turn electricity into light), they can endure more impact than halogen’s fragile filaments. This makes them the preferred option for landscape lighting in Sarasota, which has to withstand thunderstorms and other rough weather.
Plus, LED lights give off a lot less heat than halogen (80% of their energy is released as heat), which means:
They burn cooler and are less of a fire hazard than halogen (important in Florida’s dry season).
They can be enclosed in thicker plastic, making their landscape lighting fixtures more durable than halogen ones.
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- A Landscape Lighting Design Guide for Florida Homeowners
- Posted in:
- Buyer's Guide