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Design with LED Light

Landscape-specific luminaires with LED light sources are emerging onto the market in ever greater numbers and variety. They are still by no means as common as luminaires using other types of lamps, but most major manufacturers, and many smaller firms, offer some LED models. Kim Lighting, for example, offers a six-inch 6-watt ring array and a nine inch 18-watt array as options for spotlights and in-grade fixtures. It can be difficult to locate specifically LED-based products in manufacturer catalogs.

Until very recently, LED lights have seemed better suited to spotlighting than to illuminating wider areas, because of their tight beam configuration. Several LED streetlights, however, have been recently announced. Among these are "So LED"dark-sky compliant solar-powered LED lights for streets, bus stops, and custom applications from Solar One.
The Philips product shows one of the striking aspects of LED design: because the LEDs are so small, the "head" of the luminaire is a flat plate that appears to be about a centimeter in thickness (about a half inch); mounted in pairs atop a pole, the lights resemble the gull-wing doors of a race car. The small size of individual LEDs and the potential to mount them in almost any configuration promises product designs quite unlike anything achievable with other lamp types.

LEDs, photovoltaics, and aesthetics also intersected in the winning entry for New York City's 2004 City Lights design competition. Thomas Phifer and Partners Design used and Partners Design used an arched tube nearly eight feet long, filled with LEDs, as the light fixture, braced on the top of its pole by a graceful triangular cable support.

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