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6:49 AM   May 03, 2015
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L.E.D. Lights the Way

As the cost of fossil fuels and the resulting rise in energy rates continues to rise, consumers find themselves hunting for ever more efficient ways to enjoy their pond keeping hobby.

With pumps taking up the lion’s share of the energy, many may skip lighting altogether. Convince them to spend a little more up front, on light emitting diode bulbs, and they’ll save big in the long run.

The recent popularity of energy-efficient lighting has led to a greater number of LED light bulbs in the consumer market. The pond (and pool) industry has taken the technology further than any other industry – and for good reason.

LED bulbs: last indefinitely, use very little energy, can function submersed in water and offer high-intensity light. The only drawback … LED products cost an average of 20 percent more than the traditional low-voltage halogen light fixtures currently used by most pond keepers.

There’s good news. The cost of developing and manufacturing the burgeoning technology is starting to decrease, translating into a more affordable product available to a wider range of consumer.

Learn all you can about the emerging technology, fiber optic lighting pioneer A.J. Hetzke said, it’s about to eclipse the products currently on the market.

“LED lighting may not be 100-percent ready as a one-for-one replacement for incandescent lighting, but it’s getting close,” he said. “It will be there soon.”

Hetzke, currently vice president of IlluminFX in Rochester, N.Y., believes LED will one day replace fiber optics as the most energy-saving form of outdoor lighting. The proof is in the numbers.

“An LED system is going to use very little energy,” Hetzke said. “That’s one of the nice things about it. Most functional [LEDs], right now, use about 3 watts. In terms of fiber optic, one 250 watt halogen can run up to 16 lights, so you’re looking at about 20 watts [per fixture].”

Further appeal lies in the special design effects LED’s create. The nature of the light they produce shows off the pond keeping hobby’s most popular attributes. Their non-directional light perfectly showcases cascading waterfalls, flowerbeds at the pond’s margin and water lilies from beneath the water.  <HOME>

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