We just received a new MR16 LED lamp to test out. It is designed to take the place of a 20 watt halogen MR16 lamp. For those of you unfamiliar with an MR16 lamp, they are commonly used in low voltage recessed lights and in low voltage track lighting. They are also very common in low voltage landscape lighting. What really impressed me about this new LED version was that it was bright, and it’s color rendition was excellent. You cannot tell that it is a LED lamp at all. What’s the advantage of LED over incandescent or halogen? Well – let’s just compare this new LED MR16 to it’s halogen counterpart. At 3.2 watts, this new LED lamp is extremely energy efficient. You could use six of these for a total of 19.2 watts and it would STILL be less than the 20 halogen it replaces!!! But you only need one because it produces the same amount of light. The halogen lamp lasts about 3000 hours. The LED lamp lasts about 35000 hours. So you replace the halogen lamp about 12 times BEFORE you would need to replace the LED lamp. This means a lot less maintenance, a lot less going to the store and paying for the lamp (in addition to your time and the gas), and less waste in our landfills. I just think it opens up so many possibilities that didn’t exist before both in designing lighting for a space and in energy savings. Let’s just look at a simple outdoor landscape lighting example. If we have twenty outdoor floods lighting up our home, some trees, and some rocks, and those floods use 20 watt MR16 halogen lamps, then our energy usage is 400 watts. This results in us having to design the job with a large transformer, say a 500 watt transformer, and we have to use large wire. We also have to maintain those 20 lamps and probably change a few of them every year. They also produce a lot of heat so eventually they will heat stress the socket and the fixture will need to be repaired or replaced. Now if we switch to LED, we go from 400 watts to 64 watts. Would you feel better about running a 60 watt light bulb for 8 hours a day or a 400 watt light bulb 8 hours a day? Our transformer could be five times smaller (and cost less too). Our wire size could be much smaller and again cost less. LED produces very little heat so you will not have to worry about heat stress burning out the socket. You will not have to replace a few lamps every year but rather every 10 or so years.