Colored LED Replacement Lamps for Amusement Parks, Theaters, Whatever


Hey! All you amusement park enthusiasts, operators, owners, whatever…In reference to an article I recently ran on my LED Development Blog about amusement parks not updating to LED lighting when they have thousands of colored incandescent lamps burning out all over the place: I mention that colored LED replacement lamps are just now becoming available but demand is low so availability and cost are high. I didn’t quote figures since, to tell you the truth, I lost the address to the one web page where I could find colored LED replacement bulbs when I wrote the article. Doesn’t matter since I have now found a much larger source for these types of LED replacements: LEDTRONICS, INC. Click here to fly over to their web page with the appropriate S14 LED Replacement bulbs but make sure these are the actual types you need since they do make quite a few other types (these were the type I was referring to in the article). Anywho, these S14 LED replacements were installed in several high-visibility projects including the Bardavon Theater in NY. LEDTRONICS has a great press release/case study showing the theater and throws some savings numbers out. The theater before and after shots are amazing! Quality of LED light compared to incandescents is something that doesn’t get mentioned often but maybe it should. Hmmm….

As expected, the cost of these bulbs (list, single quantities) is very high at around $40.00 each. Compare that to a colored incandescent S14 at $0.98. The energy and maintenance savings offered by these replacements is where users will really benefit. These have a reported life of 100,000 hours. Compare that to a typical, long-life colored S14 incandescent life of 5,000 and you can see where the LED S14’s will really begin to pay off. Better still that 5,000 hours for incandescent S14s is reduced to something on the order of 1,000 hours when they are cycled on and off as they typically are in amusement parks or theater marquees. LED replacements are not effected by cycling.

Anyrate, I thought you might be interested. If anybody uses these LEDTRONIC S14’s or any other colored LED replacement bulbs for high volume installations like amusement parks, theaters, or whatever (particularly high vibration or flashing applications) I’d be interested to hear from you. Even if you’re contemplating LED replacements in high volume but haven’t done so,I’d still like to hear from you. Tell me your thoughts, reservations, experiences, social security numbers (just kidding), etc…

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Thanks for Reading - Craig B - The Architectural Lighting Blog

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3 Responses to Colored LED Replacement Lamps for Amusement Parks, Theaters, Whatever

  1. craigbic says:

    I received an email from a Technical Director from a large amusement park corporation with some great feedback on this article and the insight they provide certainly makes sense and answers a lot of the questions as to why amusement parks have not updated to LEDs yet. They asked to remain anonymous so I am cutting and pasting their email here for them:

    —–start email cut & paste—-
    “Mostly we have huge accounts with lamp suppliers that we have all over the world as we buy as a corporation. Many of the current attractions are specified and designed 5 or 6 years in advance at huge cost. LED technology and in that regard is quite new in this time frame and till recently has not managed to make in roads in terms of output. when an attraction is built often the construction costs include a contract for the first few years for maintenance thus the standard lumen use. One of the other challenges we find from LED is colour temperature. Like many things people do not grasp nor notice, and rightly so, theme parks are designed themselves right down to which road slopes which way to design a sense of feeling safe or excited. The colour temperature of LED is quite high and does not have the same warm and secure feeling of tungsten. This is a very important thing for the design teams of parks.

    Now in contrast to that if you look at the majority of the entertainment segments of the parks then you will see there is a huge inroad in the use of LED lighting. Again though they are competing with standard lamps like MSR1200’s. Again as so much of the current and existing equipment is owned and still owes it’s company 10 or more years of use the change over is coming but will take time to percolate through budgets.

    And finally neither justifying nor siding with one side nor the other if I walked into any of my venues to see lamps out, no matter how high then I would be asking very stern questions as to why. When we build things we design access for maintenance and have very well tried and tested maintenance practices and procedures in place.

    Hope this helps in a very small way to answer some of your questions.”

  2. Tony says:

    Glad to see your forum.
    I’m an energy advisor for the customers of the local utility company and am always searching for viable energy-saving in-common-use items arriving on the market. I am also the specifier for a non-profit holiday lighting historic landmark here in California. We annually install and remove 15,000, S-14 incansescent 11 watt medium based lamps in a festoon lighting arrangement in trees every year. Our display covers both sides of the street for a mile in length. Our utility expence for the two week holiday lighting period approximates two and one-half grand. As you can imagine our replacements due to breakage amounts to an average of 2500 lamps per year. Converting appears to be a practical consideration. The hesitance is a lack of suitable info for worthwhile comparables with incandescent. Universal to the manufacturers lumen/candel power info hidden, comparisons to incandescent sales hype and lies, lumens per watt efficacy info, weak. If the technology is so viable why obfuscate the info? I remain guarded and skeptical. As a refugee from the “show-me-state”, I need to be shown! Have tried Westinhouse S-11, 1 watt LED’s and they barely match 7 watt incandescent.

  3. craigbic says:

    Great to hear from you Tony! Thank you for taking the time to write in.

    I understand your position, totally. LEDs are slowly making progress on the municipal use front with more and more cities taking part in pilot programs like Cree’s LED Cities. Have you looked at Ledtronics’ S-11 DecorLED models (http://www.ledtronics.com/ds/DEC-S11/) You’re paying about 4.5 cents per kilowatt-hour? If you went over to all DecorLED’s (assuming the pubished stats hold up) the energy savings would be 88%. You’d pay $294.84 for the electricity. Assuming the light output was bright enough, which it should be (more or less) for the DecorLED since it puts out 78 lumens compared to the typical clear S-11 at 65 lumens (ignoring MSCP).

    Of course, none of this takes into account the amount of money saved on replacements (lamps and labor). The average life of a typical incandescent S-11 is 1500 – 2000 hours (3500 for a long life type) compared to the average life of the DecorLED which is typically 100,000 hours. The DecorLED is shock and vibration resistant as well where the incandescents frequently are not. All that aside, the big issue is the cost. A typical S-11 (long life) is going to cost about $2.00 in single-quantities whereas the DecorLED costs $45.00 in single quantities Ouch! Of course there would be a price break at 15000 units. It will take some time to recoup the cost but you have to factor in the maintenance savings as well as the energy savings. Plus there’s the added benefit of touting how “green” the holiday display is! LOL

    The reason efficacy is a hard nut to crack is that luminous efficacy takes into account the power supply of the light source (i.e. all power consumption). If manufacturers send in a cruddy power supply when they send their LEDs for independent testing, they get back lower efficacy ratings. They’ll often publish specs and then turn around and switch power supplies, redo the testing and get back better numbers. They might do this several times during a products lifetime. I feel your pain when it comes to the stats. As an LED lighting manufacturer and LED distributor, my company runs into this every day. There are plenty of dishonest manufacturers but that happens on both sides of the fence, lamp and LED manufacturers alike. They’ll use or omit whichever numbers, optical units, etc.. that make their product look favorable. Of course, there are also reputable companies out there, trying to work with the SSL lab at RDI and with the DOE to come up with standard testing methods that will eliminate these shenanigans. Until then, everyone has to order up samples and do side by side comparisons.

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