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Benefits of Using LED in Landscape Lighting (Why the Bay Bridge is Covered in LED)

LED landscape lighting is an increasingly popular choice for outdoor and professional landscape lighting, and offers the latest in illumination technology. LED landscape lighting was recently installed on the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, with 48,000 LED lights being used to navigate nighttime traffic due to the higher efficiency and less pollution that LED lighting offers.


Sodium vapor lamps were used on the Bay Bridge prior to the LED light installation because they used to be the most efficient and affordable form of architectural lighting. But, LED light technology has improved in efficiency and decreased enough in cost to emerge as a strong competitor. They were selected for the recent Bay Bridge lighting project, and they are currently being used in other major architectural projects throughout the world. They are also being increasingly used for small scale outdoor landscape lighting projects.
LED lights offer the following advantages compared to other forms of lighting:

  • Efficiency – LED lights offer more light output using less energy, cutting energy use for standard bulbs by over 50% for landscape lighting and outdoor lighting.
  • Environmentally Friendly – other bulbs have toxic mercury or other harmful components that are leaked when broken, however standard LED lights do not.
  • Durability – LED lights last for a very long time, with standard LED lights lasting for 35,000 to 50,000 hours, and they fade gradually over time rather than completely burning out.

LED lights are commonly being used in home landscape lighting projects for all of the same advantages that benefitted the Bay Bridge project. They are more affordable than ever and offer longer life and less energy usage than standard bulbs. The LED lights used on the Bay Bridge came with a multiple year parts and labor warranty, and LED lights available for landscape lighting projects usually come with a similar extended warranty.

LED lights offer adequate illumination on the Bay Bridge without excess light pollution, and the bridge now looks quite magnificent at night from aerial photos. The same effect can be used for outdoor landscape lighting projects, when appropriately used in a landscape. LED lights can be useful in many different parts of an outdoor landscape lighting project such as pathway landscape lighting, pool lighting, ambient landscape lighting and in many other areas.