Author Topic: 10 Years. 6 Brands. The Results.  (Read 4312 times)
merc
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10 Years. 6 Brands. The Results. « on: November 10, 2019, 11:55:21 AM » Author: merc
On November 11, 2009, seven neighbouring locations in the area of Prague-Smichov were converted and the LED Street Lighting Pilot Project started. With the amount of more than 100 replaced lanterns it must have taken some days of preparation. At that time, LEDs were more expensive and less energy efficient than HPS lighting. The goal of the pilot project was to test white light on pedestrians and drivers. Checking the reliability and preserving light parameters of the new lanterns were other reasons. No new poles were installed - it always was an HPS lantern to LED lantern replacement.

Did the LED lanterns last for all those ten years? Three lanterns (out of more than 100) have failed completely and had to be replaced. Maybe ten lanterns have one or more diodes dead, performing mildly worse. Two brands have greened out, giving off light very similar to well used MV/MBFU lamps. The rest looks intact.


The brand installation map below comes from this article in Czech.

Here's a list of brands with day and night shots showing their condition and night performance after 10 years of use (~44,000 hours in operation).
Click the images for better resolution.

ETNA

The worst score with 2 completely failed lanterns (out of 28 installed). The rest seems to work fine (haven’t checked all of them for failed particular diodes). Not very bright but keeping cool white light colour without greening out.


INDAL

Three lanterns with some dead diodes, the rest fully lit. Visibly greened out, creating the atmosphere of the park lit by MV lamps with well used MBFU lamps. I like it! The installed amount of lanterns is less than 20.


LG

These are the first lanterns I spotted ten years ago (from a distance) and was really confused (thought they had replaced HPS lanterns with MV or MH ones). They’re still very bright but strongly greened out - making the street look almost like lit by clear MV lanterns. One lantern has failed completely and had to be replaced by a Schréder LED lantern (both of them in the picture for the colour comparison), another one has a pair of diodes dead, the rest is performing fully.


MSC

Installed in two shorter streets both in cool white and warm white version. No failures spotted. They keep the colour without greening out except both ends of the cool white street. Those two lanterns are cool white with a yellowish/greenish tint which could possibly be an experiment with a different kind of phosphor.


PHILIPS

The winner of the competition with no failure among 20 lanterns and no colour shift. On the other hand, these aren’t very bright.


SITECO

Also these don’t show any failures or a colour shift but all of them have the protective plexiglass cracked (click the image to see it better). This hasn’t probably been caused by vandalism but by the weather.


The conclusion?

For early LED lanterns from times when LED technology was still young and manufacturing processes not completely established, those a few failures and greening out isn’t so bad for ~44,000 hours of use. How many more years do you think the particular brands will last?
The conclusion of the pilot project might be something like this: Using lanterns from renown makers and not pushing the power too high could make an almost maintenance free installation for more than 10 years with a benefit of energy saving white light.
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Edmund Ironside
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Re: 10 Years. 6 Brands. The Results. « Reply #1 on: November 12, 2019, 03:01:56 PM » Author: Edmund Ironside
Very interesting read, many thanks for compiling this for us.

Great proof that all LED technology isnt trash as some on this forum would have you believe.

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Re: 10 Years. 6 Brands. The Results. « Reply #2 on: November 12, 2019, 04:06:03 PM » Author: merc
Thanks for the feedback, Edmund Ironside. I appreciate that. It indeed took some time to prepare this "report".

Yes, ten years (so far) isn't so bad. Some may point at classic lanterns made 50-60 years ago - still being in a decent condition (like this). That's true and I like the old lighting, especially MV.
But let's don't forget the lower efficiency, poor CRI, regular relamping needed, no dimming after midnight etc.
Mass converting from HPS to LED isn't really needed if the old lanterns are still in a good condition but if a new installation is needed, LED lanterns from renown makers are now the most logical choice.
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Re: 10 Years. 6 Brands. The Results. « Reply #3 on: November 16, 2019, 12:35:11 PM » Author: Edmund Ironside
Thanks for the feedback, Edmund Ironside. I appreciate that. It indeed took some time to prepare this "report".

Yes, ten years (so far) isn't so bad. Some may point at classic lanterns made 50-60 years ago - still being in a decent condition (like this). That's true and I like the old lighting, especially MV.
But let's don't forget the lower efficiency, poor CRI, regular relamping needed, no dimming after midnight etc.
Mass converting from HPS to LED isn't really needed if the old lanterns are still in a good condition but if a new installation is needed, LED lanterns from renown makers are now the most logical choice.

I completely agree with you.

I dont understand why you have not gotten more responses on this post. I guess it's because many people here dont want LED's to be good.
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Re: 10 Years. 6 Brands. The Results. « Reply #4 on: November 16, 2019, 12:40:24 PM » Author: fluorescent lover 40
Somehow didn't see this, but nice comparison! I don't mind LEDs, but over here, I wish they could last that long. Some die after only two years. Even months! But that's from my experience in my area.
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Re: 10 Years. 6 Brands. The Results. « Reply #5 on: November 16, 2019, 12:50:57 PM » Author: Rommie
I completely agree with you.

I dont understand why you have not gotten more responses on this post. I guess it's because many people here dont want LED's to be good.

The problem we have here is that they have gone for the cheapest and most basic systems available, which have no optical control whatsoever and throw light in all directions except where it's actually needed. The street where we live was completely re-lamped from perfectly serviceable HPS to absolutely terrible LED lanterns all at once, and the light level at night is half what it once was. As a female walking home after dark I honestly feel more scared than I used to.

The HPS lamps that were replaced were all working perfectly, no failures, and had years of life left in them. Then one day they were gone. Why..??
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Re: 10 Years. 6 Brands. The Results. « Reply #6 on: November 16, 2019, 01:36:12 PM » Author: FGS
I completely agree with you.

I dont understand why you have not gotten more responses on this post. I guess it's because many people here dont want LED's to be good.

I’m not surprised at all by this. I’m thinking they’re ashamed of how wrong they are and doesn’t want to admit it and hope this thread gets buried in the forums.

I saw the evolution of LEDs in flashlights and saw how much it evolved from the dim dinky 5mm purple hued white LEDs in 2001~ to the intense pure white LEDs of today so I knew it wasn’t long for general and street lighting and I didn’t get disappointed. (Dim 5mm cluster golf ball bulbs in 2005 to multi colored bright bulbs today.) Who knows where they’ll be in 2040. Mebbe they’ll go from blue based white LEDs to UV ones due to this BLH hype I’m hearing around here. I know Soraa is one of such company doing just that with their LEDs.

The fact that LEDs green out when they reach 5 digits just like MV is awesome. MV is my favorite type of lighting tech.  :mv: FTW! 8) ;D
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Re: 10 Years. 6 Brands. The Results. « Reply #7 on: November 16, 2019, 01:47:18 PM » Author: Edmund Ironside
The problem we have here is that they have gone for the cheapest and most basic systems available, which have no optical control whatsoever and throw light in all directions except where it's actually needed. The street where we live was completely re-lamped from perfectly serviceable HPS to absolutely terrible LED lanterns all at once, and the light level at night is half what it once was. As a female walking home after dark I honestly feel more scared than I used to.

The HPS lamps that were replaced were all working perfectly, no failures, and had years of life left in them. Then one day they were gone. Why..??

Cheap, stupid and bandwaggoning "green" politicians and electric companies. I have seen these horrible LED installs and they really are just sh*t. Many industrial complexes and private residences choose the cheapest crap available and it is glarey, fail after a year and colors usually are bad.

I am however lucky to live in a town where the power company doing the street lighting has been very conservative, waiting with installing LED until the technology matured. They only do LED for new installs and for HID fixtures they do MH upgrades to older HPS lanterns. The newer installs around town are great, even and high quality light with limited glare and light spill. This is what you get when you choose top of the range lanterns like the gen.3 Iridium lanterns and carefully adjust them for the situation. The newest install is very interesting as you can see that each lantern along the road has been individually adjusted for the best light output, a job done right from the beginning.

Unfortunately the hate LED's get here is based on the crappy LED tech, the cheap and badly made one. The high quality LED installations where good stuff has been chosen and the install has been done by professionals that care, is great. Just look at this great report compiled for us by Merc, it says it all!

All these bad things that people usually say about LED is things that can be said about many HID installations done with crappy fixtures and cheap lamps installed by gorillas in high vis jackets, lots of glare and low reliability.

And it sucks that you feel less safe than you used to, that is truly a societal failure. Lighting is only a small part of what builds safety, the rest is societal.
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Re: 10 Years. 6 Brands. The Results. « Reply #8 on: November 16, 2019, 01:52:31 PM » Author: Edmund Ironside
I’m not surprised at all by this. I’m thinking they’re ashamed of how wrong they are and doesn’t want to admit it and hope this thread gets buried in the forums.

I saw the evolution of LEDs in flashlights and saw how much it evolved from the dim dinky 5mm purple hued white LEDs in 2001~ to the intense pure white LEDs of today so I knew it wasn’t long for general and street lighting and I didn’t get disappointed. (Dim 5mm cluster golf ball bulbs in 2005 to multi colored bright bulbs today.) Who knows where they’ll be in 2040. Mebbe they’ll go from blue based white LEDs to UV ones due to this BLH hype I’m hearing around here. I know Soraa is one of such company doing just that with their LEDs.

People easily get blinded by interests and opinions, especially when there is a whole army of people backing whatever you say. Does not matter if it is LED's or politics or sport or whatever.

That sounds interesting, ill have to look it up, thank you.
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Re: 10 Years. 6 Brands. The Results. « Reply #9 on: November 16, 2019, 02:43:22 PM » Author: Mandolin Girl
I'm afraid that round here, we will never see a change from the cheapest of the cheap installations of LEDs, as it's all driven by what the immediate costs of the lanterns are.  :(

There is no thought given to the ongoing costs of replacement every couple of years, or sooner when they fail.  >:(
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Re: 10 Years. 6 Brands. The Results. « Reply #10 on: November 16, 2019, 03:49:18 PM » Author: merc
@FGS: I don't know if modern (2015+) LEDs still tend to green out. Maybe it was a problem of a specific kind of phosphor? Because 4 out of 6 tested brands have kept the cool or warm white light colour well even after 10 years.

@Edmund Ironside: Well said. It is partly a prejudice and partly a need to belong to a herd.

In the town where I live, first a few LED street lights were also installed in 2009 and those where complete rubbish! (Google Street View, no idea what it was.) They performed like 60W incandescents when new and all failed completely within a few years.
Some years of sobering followed with no new LED installations at all. But now we have Osram, Philips and Thorn lanterns that may look a little boring with their 4000K light but their performance is excellent with no failures. The places where 30W LED lanterns replaced 70W HPS Schréder MC1 (very reliable and sturdy lanterns with a little worse optics) are now clearly better lit.
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Re: 10 Years. 6 Brands. The Results. « Reply #11 on: November 16, 2019, 04:19:08 PM » Author: Edmund Ironside
In the town where I live, first a few LED street lights were also installed in 2009 and those where complete rubbish!

Looks like a Philips Malaga. Maybe retrofitted with a LED-module? I dont think the original Malaga was ever made with LED's from the factory, they where HPS/MH or MV. Could explain the crappy performance.
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Re: 10 Years. 6 Brands. The Results. « Reply #12 on: November 16, 2019, 05:22:17 PM » Author: High Intensity
There are many Cree/RUUD LEDWay streetlights in my area that are going about 8 years of service with the only LED issue being color degradation. Some of these streetlights did stop working, however, this appears to be an issue with the drivers and not the LEDs themselves.
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Re: 10 Years. 6 Brands. The Results. « Reply #13 on: November 17, 2019, 03:59:57 AM » Author: merc
Looks like a Philips Malaga. Maybe retrofitted with a LED-module? I dont think the original Malaga was ever made with LED's from the factory, they where HPS/MH or MV. Could explain the crappy performance.
Hmm. You're probably right. Here's another one, Google Street View captured from behind. Thanks for solving this mystery. IIRC, the module was a horseshoe shaped string of 36x 5mm LEDs that looked native for the lantern but performed pretty bad since the first day and failed early.

There are many Cree/RUUD LEDWay streetlights in my area that are going about 8 years of service with the only LED issue being color degradation. Some of these streetlights did stop working, however, this appears to be an issue with the drivers and not the LEDs themselves.
Failed driver also means a bad reputation for a LED lantern. I saw some lanterns working in a strobe mode (like 1 flash per second) and despite perfectly healthy LEDs, such lanterns are of no use. Failed driver might also have been the reason why those 3 lanterns above must have been replaced by something else.
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Re: 10 Years. 6 Brands. The Results. « Reply #14 on: November 17, 2019, 04:50:09 AM » Author: Froggy05
Looks like a Philips Malaga. Maybe retrofitted with a LED-module? I dont think the original Malaga was ever made with LED's from the factory, they where HPS/MH or MV. Could explain the crappy performance.
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