Which Outdoor Lighting Is Right for You, LED or Low-Voltage Halogen?

County Living Magazine

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Which Outdoor Lighting Is Right for You, LED or Low-Voltage Halogen?  February 11, 2013

Outdoor lighting can be a highly efficient way to add curb appeal, safety and security to your home each and every evening – even when you’re not at home.But what kind of outdoor lights should you buy, LED or low-voltage halogen?

One is halogen. One is LED. Can you tell which is which?

In short, either can work and make your home look beautiful and lived-in with the right outdoor lighting design. Both have distinct advantages, and both have the ability to highlight all the best parts of your property. The chart below is a quick summary of key differences between LED and low-voltage halogen outdoor lighting.

What the image above shows is that when planned and installed correctly, and with the right fixtures and bulbs, LED and halogen lights can create the same desired effect. You’ll notice the color of both bulbs is very similar, and that’s because of the quality of bulbs used. High quality in both low voltage and LED lighting will provide a color rendering index CRI of over 80, which is what’s needed for outdoor lighting applications. Make sure you check your fixtures’ CRI, as older LED technologies may produce a substandard light.

Energy efficiency is important when choosing an outdoor lighting fixture. For residential lighting, LED takes the cake on being more energy-efficient and longer lasting than halogen, cutting down on maintenance costs as well. And even on properties where primarily halogen lights are used, it is recommended that LED outdoor fixtures be selected for hard to reach areas like up in trees or on the peaks of the home. The reason? To cut down on maintenance and bulb replacement and the cost for repair if needed. Where halogen fixtures come out on top is the initial price. Halogen’s initial price is lower, where the initial investment in LED’s can be rather expensive, depending on your needs.

The bottom line is that both LED and Halogen are good options. It’s important not to overlook the proper design and installation of the lighting, regardless of the technology. Careful planning of the location of the lighting and the effect that it creates are often overlooked.Some homeowners work late or travel a great deal. Many of them really enjoy the flexibility that a Lighting Control Automation system provides. Lighting Control Automation allows your home to look lived in even when you are away, with preset controls to manage your lights – both inside and outside. You can change the settings anytime remotely using a computer or smart phone with Internet access.

Comparisons: Halogen vs. LED Outdoor Lighting

Bulb Life 5,000 hours 40,000 hours
Energy Usage Low Lower – 80%
Maintenance Low Low
Installation Easy Easier
System price Low up front cost Higher up front cost


via Which Outdoor Lighting Is Right for You,LED or Low-Voltage Halogen?.