Comparison of Single-Source vs Multi-Source LED for Landscape Lighting Fixtures

One important consideration when selecting a landscape lighting system is whether to use single source or multi-source LEDs. Both have their own unique advantages and disadvantages and the best choice for your project will depend on the specific application and the desired lighting effects. Our product design team here at Sterling Lighting has actually used both options in our fixtures. However, it appears that many lighting designers in our industry have not considered why single-source LEDs may work out better than multi-source LED fixtures in different situations and vice versa.

What are the benefits of using Single-Source LED Landscape Lighting Fixtures?

Single source LEDs, use a single, unified light source and can provide more consistent lighting and fewer shadows than multi-source LED systems. They are often used in applications such as automotive headlights, street lighting, and architectural lighting where a consistent, shadow-free light is desired. Single source COB (Chip on Board) LEDs, in particular, offer a more consistent light output than lower quality multi-source LEDs. The use of a single, large chip to house multiple LED diodes allows for a more consistent and uniform distribution of light, which can reduce the occurrence of hot spots and uneven light spread. This feature provides greater control over light output and can be used to project light evenly from side to side and top to bottom.

What are the benefits of using Multi-Source LED Landscape Lighting Fixtures?

On the other hand, multi-source LEDs, use multiple individual light sources. These systems can provide more flexibility in terms of lighting design and can be used to create specific lighting effects or to illuminate large areas with multiple light sources. They are often used in applications such as stage lighting, retail lighting, and display lighting.

What role does thermal management play in selecting the right landscape lighting fixture?

Thermal management is another important factor to consider when selecting a lighting system. Improper thermal management is one of the main reasons why LEDs do not last as long as they should. The use of high-quality COB LEDs in combination with premium TIR (Total Internal Reflection) optics can help increase efficiency in lighting, which in turn helps to ensure optimal thermal management. Ultimately this can result in a longer life span of the LED. TIR optics is designed to control the light beam and maximize the use of light emitted from the LED.

Which Sterling Lighting Fixtures use a multi-source LED?

We have chosen to use multi-source LEDs in our flood light, the SL04 Mini Flood Light, and in our linear patio light fixture, the SL02 In Line Light. In designing these fixtures, our goal was to produce an even spread or wash of light versus projecting light with an even output.

Is a Single-Source or Multi-Source LED Fixture Best For Your Landscape Lighting Project?

In conclusion, we believe single source COB LED with premium TIR optic is considered to be the best solution for architectural lighting as it offers a consistent light output, reduces hot spots, and projects light evenly from side to side and top to bottom. It also provides a longer life span of the LED due to efficient thermal management. However, the best choice for your lighting system will depend on the specific application and the desired lighting effects, and the use of multi-source LEDs may be more suitable in some cases.

~ Patrick Harders, Co-Owner of Sterling Lighting