The benefits of LED conversion
Retrofitting your existing garden lights with bulbs will deliver four wins:
- Power efficiency: LED bulbs use a lot less power, meaning you can make many more lights with your existing transformer or more light from the current number. I know few homeowners who do not wish their garden lights were brighter.
- Durability: Ease of installation: Even though low voltage. LED bulbs are known for their robustness and it may be years before they have broken down in the dirt Light bulbs are pretty easy to replace.
- Low cost: LED bulb upgrades are a lot cheaper than buying all new garden light fixtures.  You need to know a few things about LED bulbs before you start this upgrade.
LED bulbs wants to fit the sockets in your fixtures. Remove your current bulbs and inspect the base:
Bipin bulbs are common and come in a wide variety of sizes. The key differentiator is the spacing between the pins. A G4 bipin has 4mm spacing, a G5.3 has 5.3mm spacing, and so on.
This is a glossy apple, but it's a misnomer baked in tradition. Wattage tells you how much power it uses, but the two are at least directionally related.
As you pull each incandescent bulb from your garden lights, try to read the wattage rating printed on it. Then shop for LED bulbs whose wattage is promised as equivalent. For example, you may find that a 1.5-watt LED bulb promises to replace an 11-watt incandescent bulb while delivering much more light, so much greater is LED's efficiency.
The color temperature.
The temperature difference of a bulb expressed in degrees Kelvin (K), tells you if the bulb emits warm or cool white light. 4,000K is a warm bulb, while anything above 4,000K is a cool or bluish white. Make it 'smart'
To make your own current garden lighting system smart, which usually just controlled by voice or an app, will switch to the "on" position manually and leave it that way. SmartThings, Apple, Alexa, or Google.
Pro tips while you're out there
- Whenever you can, down lights on a white background.
- Avoid using LED lighting in an area exposed to sunlight. that humans can not detect. Use incandescent in those cases; see my video above for a way to that with 12 volts.
- Use the 14 gauge wire in your low voltage system rather than the cheaper, thinner 16 gauge, which introduces more power loss on long cable runs.
- Splice low voltage landscape wiring with weather-proof wire proof grease inside them to prevent splice corrosion in steam conditions. Bonus points for using weather-proof crimp connectors.
- LED garden lights. They usually have poor output due to battery limitations and must be discarded if any part fails. They're good, but you'll learn why the first night.