LED Lighting

Landscape Design Online Anywhere, Anytime, or Local in metro Atlanta, GA and 316 E. to Athens, GA, or up to 4hr drive to GA, SC, NC, AL, TN, or anywhere Non-stop Flight from ATL  Sitemap  Design_Process  Design_Online   Presentations  Waterfalls  Swimming_Pools  Waterfalls  Decks  Landscape Lights  Tennis  Equestrian Estate  Horse_Farm Mansion  Retaining_Walls  Project1  Project2  Project3  3D_Estate1  3D_Estate2  GIS to landscape plan  Resume Fees Email  I'm happy to meet you online to answer your questions and demonstrate my unique skills and tools to serve your needs in a complimentary online consultation.  An image of your project area would be helpful. We will "fly over" your property via satellite imagery, while you aquaint me with your needs.  If we agree that I'm perfectly suited to your needs, I'm happy to help you design and realize your dreams anywhere in the world.  If you see my online banner, click the chat button so we can get aquainted now. Otherwise, email is easier than voicemail for me to keep track and syncronize with you.


We have matched landscape lighting fixtures with LED bulbs, resulting in a quantum leap in cost/benefit efficiencies! The LED light bulbs that I buy direct from manufacturers in China consume only 1/2 watt to 5 watts.  I love the cool white light that renders plant colors much better than the old fashioned orange color of the wasteful old incandescent bulbs, that will be outlawed eventually.  These are 4th generation high power emitters casting near daylight spectrum light (5,000+ Kelvin.  More light fixtures = greater detail, and depth.  The following examples of LED landscape lighting are my beta test sites where I test my technology, prototype new fixtures, and develop this 4 dimensional art form.  Would you like help designing a high efficiency lighting plan?  Let's get together online and discuss your needs. See also: Burch Frank Waterfalls  Presentations
< LED landscape lighting diagram showing evaluation of LED landscape lighting installation front of house in front yard. >Front yard entrance landscape lighting of garden pond and fountain that we made from a glass bird bath.

> Front yard landscape lighting using and updated "Moon shadow" lighting effect

<LED fixtures in the trees down light waterfall, water garden, bog, stone patio, and landscaping which simulates soft, white moon light, while avoiding light pollution.

LED night lighting flood light fixture mounted on camellia branch

< I selected readily available fixtures to provide tool free adjustment of beam direction and glare shields.

LED night lighting wire connector and flood light fixture mounted on ginko tree trunk

< Water resistant wire connectors instead of wire nuts.

Fixtures are cast aluminum which is light weight and rust free.

>LED landscape light fixture path light on tall riser casts a 15' wide circle of light on landscape plants.  The daylight spectrum light renders colors better than the orange light cast by old fashioned incandescent bulbs.

<LED mini egg fixture for lighting waterfalls, and streams.  At 2"x1/2", it will fit anywhere.

<This tree light fixture uses only 15 watts, can light an entire patio, while hiding in a small tree.  The fixture can be aimed and adjusted with one hand, which is a great

> Floodlights on various length risers provide mid level lighting.

LED night lighting flood light fixture mounted on riser
< Natural stone boulder waterfall in creek with waterproof LED lighting fixtures. See Burch >LED waterproof fixtures in the natural stone waterfall and pond. See Burch
Incandescent and Halogen are old technology for low voltage lighting.  LED is the future of landscape lighting

New technology landscape lighting

Life span: 50,000 - 80,000 hours (outdoors is much less)
Pros: High durability - no filament or tube to break; long life span; low power consumption; low heat generation
Cons: High cost of bulb (cost is coming down)
Efficiency: 30 - 120 lumens per watt (improving every few years)
Uses: wide variety of uses including general lighting, accent lighting, and decorative lighting
Notes: LED technology is relatively new, and is changing every day. The quality and efficiency of the bulbs are improving all the time.
The ratings in parentheses (above) are the predicted improvements which are expected to come about within the next few years.
Compact Fluorescent
Life span: Up to 10,000 hours
Pros: efficient
Cons: cost of bulb; sometimes they can't physically fit; to replace incandescent bulbs
Efficiency: 44 - 80 lumens per watt
Uses: General lighting
Notes: frequent switching on and off reduces efficiency.

Old technology landscape lighting

Life span: 700-1000 hours
Pros: cheap; gives a pleasant warm light that most people like,
Cons: least efficient of all the bulbs
Efficiency: 7 - 24 lumens per watt
Uses: General lighting
Notes: can heat up, therefore care must be taken near flammable material, short life span.
Life span: 2,000 - 4,000 hours
Pros: more efficient than incandescent bulbs; bright light
Cons: burns very hot; more expensive than incandescent
Efficiency: 12 - 36 lumens per watt
Uses: 220v tubes - General lighting, floodlights
12V - accent lighting, task lighting
Notes: must be careful using these bulbs near flammable materials or in closed places.
Look for Lumens
Most of us associate the brightness of electric light with the wattage of the familiar incandescent, pear-shaped bulb. You may know, for example, that a standard incandescent 60-watt bulb provides the right level of light in that lamp next to your bed, so that's what you buy every time the bulb burns out. But you will get even greater light output from an 18-watt compact fluorescent. It's the light output you really want--and that is measured in lumens, not watts.

Lighting manufacturers must now label packaging with the number of lumens as well as the number of watts. It may take some adjustment at first, but look for the number of lumens you are getting per watt. Both the 60-watt incandescent and the 18-watt fluorescent give off about 1000 lumens. But the incandescent produces only 15 lumens per watt, while the fluorescent produces over 50 lumens per watt. It's not hard to tell which one is more efficient. A good rule of thumb is to choose a compact fluorescent that is about one-third the wattage of the incandescent you would normally buy.

Don't mistake compact fluorescents for the reduced wattage incandescent "energy savers" that are on store shelves everywhere. These bulbs simply give you less light output. In comparison shopping, look for the lumens you want; then choose the bulb with the lowest wattage.
Judging Quality
While the number of lumens tells you how much light you are getting, it tells you nothing about the quality of that light. When it comes to quality, one big concern is color. Natural light is the standard by which all artificial lighting is measured. Colors can look much different in daylight than they do under some electric lights. You've probably discovered this after buying clothing in a store only to find that once outside, the color seemed to change.

There are two numbers that tell us approximately what a light will look like when it's turned on. The color rendering index, or CRI, is measured on a scale of 1 to 100, where 100 represents how colors look in daylight. The higher the number, the more accurately the artificial light will render colors.

The other number measures color temperature. This lets you know whether the light will have more of a reddish (warm) or a blue-white (cool) hue. Color temperature is measured on the Kelvin scale where the "cooler" the light, the higher the temperature (just the opposite of the Fahrenheit scale). Warm lights are below 3,100 K and cool lights are over 4,000 K; 3,500 K is considered neutral.

Standard incandescent lights, like the 60-watt bulb mentioned above, have a CRI of 95+ and a color temperature of 2,700 K. Fluorescent lights vary because the type of phosphor that coats the inside of a fluorescent determines its color characteristics. A typical 18-watt compact fluorescent replacement for that bedside lamp would have a CRI of 82 and a color temperature of 2,700 K.

Light distribution is another measure of quality. This is determined by the shape of the light bulb, any reflective coatings, and the type of fixture. The distribution pattern is important in directing light to the area where it is needed. For example, a ceiling fixture meant to provide ambient lighting to a whole room would be designed to produce a smooth, broad distribution pattern. It would be very different from a fixture used to highlight a painting in the room. Likewise, the light bulbs used in the fixtures should be different: a diffuse, nondirectional bulb would be best for general visibility, and a bulb that casts a directional beam, such as a reflector light, would be more suitable for accenting the art.

What IS .... LED Definitions

These definitions have been written in a form that is easy to understand, and only as they relate to LEDs. We hope that you will find these definitions easy to apply towards any LED product described on our web site and understand what we have stated for those products. We would welcome any comment, correction or addition to these words and definitions by emailing us at Sales@theledlight.com. Please - do not be counter-productive by suggesting actual word for word definitions found elsewhere.

Amperage: The strength of an electrical current measured in amperes. The higher the amperage number, the higher the ability to place more devices on a circuit that will be driven by that amperage.

Amp: The basic unit of electric current adopted under the System International d'Unites; "a typical household circuit carries 15 to 50 amps"

Bulb: It is not a LED. A bulb is a light bulb, a flashlight bulb, a MR16 or E27 light bulb. A LED light bulb is a finished product that has the LEDs installed, electrical components installed and is ready to be used by the consumer. A LED light bulb is screwed in place, twisted and locked in place, pressed into sockets or contact terminals. This is a LED bulb.

Bulb Base: The part of the bulb that is used to set it into place and to make contact with electricity. There are many types and sizes. Most common are E26/27, USA and European standard household size, or medium base as it often is called. The 26 or 27 equates to the diameter measurement in millimeters of the threads of a screw-in bulb base. This type of bulb also includes the PAR 20, PAR 30 and PAR38 types, and a few others. There are MR16 and MR11 type base LED bulbs as well as GU10s.

Chromaticity: Chromaticity tells you what the lamp itself or a neutral surface illuminated by a lamp will look like. Chromaticity sets the "tone" or atmosphere of a room: warm, cool or something in between. Chromaticity (sometimes called color temperature) is usually measured in Kelvin. It can also be defined by using x and y coordinated against a standard chromaticity scale developed by the Commission Internationale de l'Éclairage (CIE). Here is a Chromaticity Graph that is commonly used.

Color Rendering Index (CRI): Also CCT or Correlated Color Temperature. It is a measure of the quality of light. It is a measurement of the amount of color shift that objects undergo when lighted by a light source as compared with the color of those same objects when seen under a reference light source of comparable color temperature. LED light CRI values generally range from 60 (average) to 90 (best). High CRI equates to sharper, crisper, more natural colored pictures while at the same time reducing glare.

Color Temperature: A measure of the color of a light source relative to a black body at a particular temperature expressed in degrees Kelvin (K). Incandescent lights have a low color temperature (approximately 2800K) and have a red-yellowish tone; daylight has a high color temperature (approximately 6000K) and appears bluish (the most popular fluorescent light, Cool White, is rated at 4100K). Lamps with color temperatures below 5000K tend to be more yellow/red, lamps rated between 5000 and 6000K are viewed as white, while lamps above 6000K tend to have a blue cast.

Dimmer: 12vdc only. Used with LED lights powered by 12vdc - never 110/120vac. PWM built-in, as is an On/Off Switch. Will dim majority of 12vdc LED lights and a few 12vdc LED bulbs such as MR16s with the proper transformer/power supply. Dimmers are part of our LED control products.

Foot-Candle: The unit is defined as the amount of illumination the inside surface of an imaginary 1-foot radius sphere would be receiving if there were a uniform point source of one candela in the exact center of the sphere. Basically, it is the amount of light that a single candle would provide to a 1ft. radius sphere.

Full Spectrum: A light bulb or lamp that produces a light spectrum that covers the entire range of visible light (400-700nm) without gaps in its spectral output. White LEDs are inherently a full spectrum light source.

Intensity: Is a measure of the time-averaged energy flux or amount of light striking a given area. For bulbs alone this is measured in terms of lumens while for lighting fixtures it is measured in lux (lumens/sq. meter).

Kelvin Color Temperature: A measure of the color of a light source relative to a black body at a particular temperature expressed in degrees Kelvin (K). Incandescent lights have a low color temperature (approximately 2800K) and have a red-yellowish tone; daylight has a high color temperature (approximately 6000K) and appears bluish (the most popular fluorescent light, Cool White, is rated at 4100K). Today, the phosphors used in fluorescent lamps can be blended to provide any desired color temperature in the range from 2800K to 6000K. Lamps with color temperatures below 5000K tend to be more yellow/red, lamps rated between 5000 and 6000K are viewed as white, while lamps above 6000K tend to have a blue cast.

L.E.D.: LED means light emitting diode. LEDs are a solid state device and do not require heating of a filament to create light. Rather, electricity is passed through a chemical compound that is excited and as a result, generates light.

LEDs are not bulbs or lamps in the true sense of the word and application. LEDs require a lot of work to make them ready to be used by the consumer. They need to be placed on a circuit board or other material which will allow electricity to pass through it at a specific voltage and current, and with components required to operate them at specific voltages such as 12vdc, 24vdc or 120vac. They do not come ready to plug into a 12volt or 120 volt power source. These are LEDs.

LED Bar: Refers to a solid strip of material on which LEDs have been soldered, along with resistors and other components which a specific product requires to make it operate at the stated operating voltage. The Bars are usually an enclosed strip of LEDs. Enclosures are plastic, or aluminum, or metal composites with various types of lens/cover plates.

LED Cluster or Array: A group of LEDs set in a square, rectangular or linear pattern, and formatted to be operated at a specific voltage. They will always include two wires called leads. One is positive, the other negative.

LED Drivers: are current control devices which replace the need for resistors. LED Drivers respond to the changing needs of a LED or a LED circuit, and supply a constant amount of power to the LED as its electrical properties change with temperature.

LED Lighting: A general term used by those who do not know the specific type or category of LED lighting they are after. LED lighting includes LED bulbs and fixtures, flashlights, strips, clusters and other LED light sources.

LED Strip: LED Strips are usually printed circuit boards with LEDs soldered to the board. The strip can be rigid, or flexible and without any enclosure to protect the LED and circuit.

Low Voltage: With LEDs, that means 12vDC 24vDC or 48vDC, as opposed to 110/120vac which is high voltage. With LEDs, low voltage is commonly 12vdc; sometimes at 24vdc. To run these low voltage lights, power will have to be sent to the light through a power supply/transformer/adapter that is hooked up to 110/120/240vac power lines. The actual voltage reaching the light will be at 12vdc.

Lumen Maintenance: How well a LED light bulb is able to retain its intensity when compared to new. Typically a high power smd LED bulb will retain 70% of its intensity for 40,000-50,000 hours. That means a good quality LED bulb will run 8 hours a day for 13 years at 70% of its new condition. No other light source can do this.

Lumens: The unit of luminous flux in the International System, equal to the amount of light given out through a solid angle by a source of one candela intensity radiating equally in all directions. Used to measure light bulbs as stand alone light sources. Lighting fixtures are measured by lux output which is lumens per square meter.

Lux: Typically used to measure the light intensity produced by a lighting fixture. The higher the lux reading the more light the lighting fixture is producing over a given area. Known as lumens per square meter

mA: stands for milliamp. 1000mA equals 1.0 amp. All LEDs run on current and current is measured in milliamps. All LED products have a mA rating at which they are to be powered at.

MCD: or Millicandela, is used to rank/denote the brightness of a LED. 1000mcd is equal to one Candela. The higher the mcd number, the brighter the light the LED emits.

Nanometers: or nm. Used to measure the wavelength of light. The lower the wavelength for example, 400nm, the bluer and stronger the light source. Longer wavelengths above 600nm are red. Above 680nm, they fall into the InfraRed category, which is colorless to our eyes. White LEDs have no specific wavelength. They are measured by the color of white against the chromaticity scale.

PCB/Printed Circuit Board: are made from various materials including fiberglass and aluminum. The pcb has an electrical circuit imprinted in silver etching. That circuit says how the LED will operate. The pcb is also the platform by which LEDs are employed in various applications. It can be a rigid board or flexible to twistable.

Power Supply: and Transformer and Voltage adapter apply to the electrical conversion of 110/120/240vac line power into 12vdc which will then be applied directly to the LED light product. Power Supplies are rated according to the current/amperage load capacity each will handle. It is an electrical or electro-mechanical device.

PWM: Pulse Width Modulation with regards to LEDs means that the LED will be pulsed or strobed at a rate so fast that the eye will see the light as being constantly on. In fact it is not. This pulsing or turning the LED on and off lowers the potential heat stress on the chemical that makes the light, thus allowing the LED to perform longer than anticipated. This is why we strongly recommend a dimmer/PWM with every purchase of a 12vdc LED product.

RGB: RGB stands for Red, Blue, Green, the 3 primary colors that make white light and all other colors. It can be a pre-programmed 7 color automatically changing LED bar or strip that is non-adjustable. It also means a RGB color changing system that allow adjustment of color change frequency, strobing, chasing and other action modes.

SMD/SMT: A type of low profile LED that is surface mounted to a PCB. These type LEDs are very powerful and range in lumen output from 35 up to 170 lumens. With the latest LED technology being applied today, these have shown to have the most promise in delivering light levels and coloring that we are used to having. Those smd LEDs we talk about, use and sell are in the .5 watt, 1 watt, 3 watt and 5 watt power range. When you see a 7 watt or 9 watt LED light, it will contain 1 watt LEDs x 7, or 1 watt LEDs x 9, or 3 watt LEDs x 3.

SSL: SSL means Solid State Lighting. It does not use heating of a thin fragile filament to create light. Rather, it uses electrical current passing through a chemical which will get excited and thus emit light.

Task Lighting/Lamp: A LED light used to specifically light a particular area used for work or reading. Typically found in the form of a desk, floor, or clamp-on lamp, it can be a high powered LED light in any form.

UV-A: (380–315 nm), also called Long Wave or "blacklight" because it is invisible to the human eye. Can cause skin irritation and fading of fabrics.

UV-B: (315–280 nm), also called Medium Wave radiation. Can cause severe damage to the skin and human eye through exposure.

UV-C: (← 280 nm), also called Short Wave or "germicidal" for its ability to destroy even bacterial life forms. Extremely hazardous to all life forms due to its ability to cause immediate damage to cellular DNA.

View Angle Degree: Also referred to as directivity, or the directional pattern of a LED light beam. The expressed degree dictates the width of the light beam and also controls to some extent, the light intensity of a LED. View angles range from 8 to 160 degrees, and are provided through the use of optics, special lenses made to collimate light to into a desired veiw angle.

Voltage: The rate at which energy is drawn from a source that produces a flow of electricity (amperage) in a circuit. The difference in electrical charge between two points in a circuit is expressed as volts.

Voltage Regulator: A device which limits or controls and stabilizes the voltage being applied to a using unit such as LED lights and motors. Regulators also take higher voltages than required and reduces it to the working voltage that makes a specific product run correctly. In many instances a lack of a Voltage Regulator will allow higher voltage than a product can work with and will cause irreparable damage.

Volts: The International System unit of electric potential and electromotive force, equal to the difference of electric potential between two points on a conducting wire carrying a constant current of one ampere when the power dissipated between the points is one watt.

Waterproof: meaning the LED product can be submerged into calm water but there is a limited depth as stated for each specific product. Most aluminum bodied LED products will not do well in salt or acidic water.

Watts: The unit for measuring electrical power. It defines the rate of energy consumption by an electrical device when it is in operation. The energy cost of operating an electrical device is calculated as its wattage times the hours of use. In single phase circuits, it is related to volts and amps by the formula: Volts x Amps x PowerFactor = Watts.

Watt per LED: It can be confusing when two watt numbers are used in product specifications. For the application to smd high powered LEDs, the 1 watt, 3 watt, 5 watt, etc, refers to the power consumption of that specific LED installed in that product. The watt numbers expressed as light output are a comparison to an incandescent light bulb light output, for example; a 60 watt light output is equal to a 60 watt incandescent light bulb.

Weatherproof: meaning the product will take water splashing and high humidity without deterioration to the LED or circuit. LED product cannot be submerged into water.

White: White is defined by Kelvin Temperature or Degrees Kelvin. Most will say that a Kelvin Temperature of 6000k plus is white with a bluish tint. And let's say that 5000k -5500k is daylight/sunlight white. At 4200k-4500k, it is called cool white. At 2800-3300k, it's warm white, which is the color temperature most incandescent light bulbs emit.

From 5500k on down the scale, the color becomes "warmer" due to the dominance of red and yellow hues. In the opposite direction, whites will have cooler colors like blues and green becoming more apparent, thus they are called cool whites.

To convert from


multiply by


Candela steradian



Candle power (spherical)





Lumens per square centimeter



Lumens per square centimeter



Lumens per square centimeter



Lumens per square foot

Foot candles


Lumens per square foot

Foot lamberts


Lumens per square foot

Lumens /Square meter


Lumens per square foot



Lumens per square meter

Foot candles


Lumens per square meter

Lumens/Square foot


Lumens per square meter



Lumens per square meter




Foot Candles



Lumens/square meter





Home Sitemap  Featured projects 1 2 3 4

Design Process ] Land Planning ] Presentations ] Estates ] Retaining Walls ] Swimming Pools ] Tennis courts ] Waterfalls ] Decks ] [ LED Lighting ] Links ]

 david[at]signaturelandscapes(dot)com  or voicemail at:  706-543-3395

Landscape Design Online Worldwide, local in metro Atlanta, GA and 316 E. to Athens, GA, up to 4hr drive to GA, SC, NC, AL, TN, or Anywhere non-stop Flight from ATL   Let me prove it to you!   Email

 Signature Landscapes on Zillow  Landscaping Companies, Atlanta   Top Design Site Award