CAST Landscape Lighting LED’s – 7 Reasons for Choosing CAST LED Lights
Before LED’s, selecting outdoor lights was fairly straightforward. You could assume that the bulbs were pretty much the same – cheap lights used the same bulbs as the higher quality lights. All you had to do was select the light that looked sturdy, was made by a reputable manufacturer, and had a good warranty. Of course, looks could be deceiving, and warranties are often misleading. Still, before LED’s the decision was easier.
LED’s enter the stage. On the surface, they look great. They use about 1/3 the energy. They last up to 20 years. What could be better? The reality, however, is less rosy. The majority of these outdoor LED’s have failed to live up to their promises. The Dept. of Energy (DOE) launched a testing program (Caliper) that put these products on the block. The results were staggering; nearly every product failed to meet its claims. One LED manufacturer faces a lawsuit because their products were so abysmal.
The LED problems are light, heat, moisture, color, and fixture body integrity – a lot of factors to consider. Lets not forget, LED circuits are sensitive bundles of electronics. Would you put your cell phone in a leaky box, plant it in your back yard and expect it to last 20 years? It’s not easy to manufacturer a sensitive piece of electronics that will survive the worst of Mother Nature.
That’s why CAST Lighting spent four years developing its LED landscape lights. We hired some of the best engineers in the industry to custom-design our LED’s to withstand the outdoor environment and to perform optimally for up to 20 years. You would need a degree in semi-conductors to understand how they did it, but the following 7 points will (hopefully) hit the main points and help you decide.
1. We Stay Cool
Heat is the number one enemy of LED chips. They function well up to about 150 degrees (F), but above that they start to fail. CAST LED’s transfer heat into solid bronze bodies – massive and effective heat sinks. Enclosed fixtures are like ovens and air is the worst heat conductor. Even short periods of overheating can diminish light output dramatically and reduce LED life by 50%. The thick-walled bronze is extremely effective in pulling heat away from LED’s.
2. We Stay Dry
Water is the number one enemy of electronics (just drop your cell phone in a puddle and see what happens). Water can not only short-circuit the electronics, it leads to corrosion that eats away the entire assembly. CAST LED’s are protected from water intrusion – through multiple methods. All CAST LED components use conformal coatings or epoxy potting to protect from water intrusion. Additional protection is provided with compression fittings, sealed glass lenses, and high-temp silicone gaskets.
3. We Stay Solid
CAST LED’s are the only fixtures designed to last longer than the LED’s. Aluminum, copper, and brass fixtures may claim long warranties, but these metals corrode, bend, and break long before the LED fails. CAST bronze fixtures are the only ones that will never end up in a landfill.
4. We Range Far and Wide
CAST LED’s have a wide voltage range (8 to 18) and are protected from spikes and surges. Most other LED fixtures have narrower ranges and may not perform well throughout the range. A wide voltage range gives installers a lot of flexibility and allows them to connect many more fixtures on a single wire. The protection from voltage spikes and surges is especially important since such events are more common than you might think. A single spike can take out every LED in your yard unless your LED’s are protected.
5. We are Great Drivers
The driver is the circuitry that supplies and conditions power to the LED chip. The driver design is what separates the men from the boys in the LED world. A poorly designed driver with cheap components can greatly reduce the life of an LED. CAST LED’s have extremely high quality driver components rated for extreme conditions. One common component, the electrolytic capacitor, is very susceptible to heat damage, and often leads to failure. Nearly all LED fixture manufacturers use them – CAST does not. Our driver components are extremely robust and are selected to withstand extreme time and temperatures.
6. Our Colors are Right
CAST LED’s have tight control over color temperature & rendering to match incandescent. Most so-called “warm white” LED’s have color temps that range between 2,800K and 3,000K – noticeably cooler than incandescents. All CAST LED’s are rated at 2,700K – indistinguishable from halogen lights. Another common color problem among cheap LED’s is maintenance. A phosphor layer coats the LED chip, this layer transforms the blue light coming from the LED into a mixture of colors that combine to make white light. This phosphor layer is heat sensitive and deteriorates in time. That’s why cheap LED’s may initially have a nice white light, then gradually become bluer. We do two things to prevent deterioration: 1. We only use the highest quality Cree and Nichia chips that have superior phosphor coatings, and 2. We effectively pull heat away from the chip so it never overheats.
7. We Will Never be Discarded
CAST has the only LED Fixtures that will last longer than the LED’s themselves. (I said that before, but it bears repeating!) Despite long warranty claims of other manufacturers, CAST is the only true lifetime product. Even if the LED modules are damaged due to lightning, they are replaceable. Our fixtures will never be found in a landfill.