On the lower end of the professional-quality lights are the brass and copper fixtures that use drop-in LED lamps. Drop-in lamps have a much shorter life than integrated LED fixtures, but they have a much lower up-front cost.
No matter how high-quality the fixture itself, there are drawbacks to using drop-in lamps. LED lamps are sophisticated pieces of technology, and they are sensitive to heat and moisture. Drop-in LED lamps:
- have a much shorter life
- light color quality degrades rapidly
- are more expensive to maintain
We recommend drop-in LED lamps for customers who have an existing system that is in good shape and already has high quality fixtures, otherwise we always propose integrated LED lighting systems.
Prices for individual drop-in lamps vary considerably, depending on if the lamp is intended for outdoor or indoor use. For example:
- Indoor Philips MR 16 LED: $7.99
- Outdoor Brilliance MR 16 LED: $43.99
Outdoor lamps are designed to handle extreme temperatures that we experience here in the TriState, from 10 below zero to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Sure, you can use the indoor lamps in a landscape lighting fixture, but they won’t last very long.
If you are maintaining your system yourself, and you don’t mind changing bulbs frequently, you can buy the less expensive indoor lamps. On the other hand, if you are paying a contractor to do the work, the labor cost will make the $7.99 bulb very expensive in the long run.