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forestfireguy
04-18-2007, 12:04 PM
Anyone using this system? Our rep from Shemins is pushing it as the best lighting system availible. Supposed to be very user friendly and not labor intensive. If you are using this product have you found the Demo package sales kit to be an effective tool? Thanks Guys

eskerlite
04-18-2007, 04:21 PM
Dont drink the KOOL AIDE!:laugh:

bumper
04-18-2007, 07:07 PM
Wellllllllllllllllll, fairly strong claim. I would put them in the same arena with Vista. They do have 20 watt tap transformers though:) up to 22 I think

Pro-Scapes
04-19-2007, 08:02 AM
Its a good product... To claim to be the best is a real bold statement. From what I have learned in my short lighting career is everyone has some good and some bad fixtures. Its hard to lean on one line exculsivly. I wouldnt hesitate to install Unique as it is a quality product.


demo kits CAN be effective. I dont chase the free demo offer or something but if a client is serious or I want to confirm my design plan I will do a demo. I have now started charging 100 bucks for a demo if they do not buy. Chasing lights around in bushes at 9pm sucks and you should be paid for it or at least know your client is super serious about this.

"supposed to be very user friendly and not labor intensive" Seans right. Dont drink the kool aid on that one. Lighting is alot of work to do it right. I dont care if your using malibu or auroralight. Digging wires is hard work. Adjusting tree lights is hard work. Climing around in bushes is hard work. Im sick of manufactures and dist alike telling guys this is easy and not labor intensive. If you call digging several hundreds to thousands of feet of wire 6 inches deep in rock hard soil not labor intensive my hats off to you.

to me it ranks right up there with irrigation minus the ditch witch.

Dreams To Designs
04-19-2007, 05:51 PM
Unique is a quality product but the price is a bit excessive. You can buy better quality for less money and be proud to install it. They do have some fixtures that are very nice and come in very useful in certain situations, but being tied to one manufacturer and especially one distributor can be a problem. The hub system they have is not much different than many of the other manufacturers and adding an additional fuse at the hub seems to be a Unique exclusive.

Kirk

forestfireguy
04-20-2007, 06:26 AM
OK guys, thanks for the input. WHO SPIKED THE KOOL-AID??????? lol.. On a serious note, I like the idea of a fee to demo, it will certainly qualify those who are serious.

irrig8r
04-21-2007, 04:51 PM
Dont drink the KOOL AIDE!:laugh:

Interesting statement Sean.

As someone who installs a lot of Nightscaping, and has had a lot experience with F/X, Hadco and Vista along the way, just so you understand my bias, I think anyone installing non-UL1838 compliant transformers is completely nuts.

Maybe it's time to ask your insurance broker whether you'll be covered for whatever laibilty arises from installing a system that doesn't comply to UL standards.

Might just wake the KoolAide drinkers from their trance.

irrig8r
04-21-2007, 05:00 PM
Unique is a quality product but the price is a bit excessive. You can buy better quality for less money and be proud to install it. They do have some fixtures that are very nice and come in very useful in certain situations, but being tied to one manufacturer and especially one distributor can be a problem. The hub system they have is not much different than many of the other manufacturers and adding an additional fuse at the hub seems to be a Unique exclusive.

Kirk

I admit i haven't looked at Unique's products beyond trade magazine ads in the last 3 or 4 years. What I saw in person before convinced me the products were no different than similar offerings by any of the other "manufacturers" whose products were probably made by the same Chinese factories... overpriced, crudely designed, and poorly finished. (Just my opinions... not stating as fact.)

There are plenty of quality, American made fixtures to choose from. I like well thought out and engineered products... I don't use the full line from any one source, but pick the fixture that does the job I need it to.

So far, other brands of fixtures always fill the niche better than anything I've seen from Unique.

NightScenes
04-21-2007, 10:16 PM
Unique, as with other manufactures have good and bad. Don't fall for the "sales pitch" though. Demos are not all that they are cracked up to be.

Pro-Scapes
04-23-2007, 08:02 AM
demos are a tool. They aid you in design and showing a client that design before they buy. Demoed clients should be serious buyers or willing to pay that fee if they dont buy.

There is a way to use demos to your advantage if you got the time. Ask EXISTING high end clients if you can demo a portion of thier property to obtain photos for your portfolio. If they agree make sure they get a copy of some high quality pictures.

eskerlite
04-24-2007, 10:11 PM
I have never moved a fixture or have taken out a fixture demoed to a client. I have moved or taken out at least one fixture from all jobs I designed and installed without the customer seeing in person at night. I demo one fixture at a time and if the client likes it they say how many do you think? I always say start small and live with it then we can add more. Demos seal the deal for the seriously interested and pre qualified client.
As for the Not complieing with UL standard, They do comply but not for ul-1838 and not for landscape lighting listing when above 15 volts.
Sean C.

irrig8r
04-25-2007, 12:10 AM
I have never moved a fixture or have taken out a fixture demoed to a client. I have moved or taken out at least one fixture from all jobs I designed and installed without the customer seeing in person at night. I demo one fixture at a time and if the client likes it they say how many do you think? I always say start small and live with it then we can add more. Demos seal the deal for the seriously interested and pre qualified client.
As for the Not complieing with UL standard, They do comply but not for ul-1838 and not for landscape lighting listing when above 15 volts.
Sean C.

Correct me if I'm wrong Sean, and please cite sources if you do...
My understanding is that the ONLY UL standard that applies to outdoor low voltage lighting is 1838. There are other UL standards that apply to other kinds of transformers, but all of those older classifications were superceded by UL 1838.

In other words, if it's above 15 volts, it doesn't conform or comply. PERIOD.

NightScenes
04-25-2007, 07:37 AM
UL1838 is the standard for "low voltage landscape lighting". Other items can and are UL listed but are not suitable for "low voltage landscape lighting". Here's a kicker though. I doubt that anyone has ever installed a system that is 100% UL1838 compliant. After talking with someone from UL at the last AOLP conference, If there is a body of water somewhere (it gives no limitation as to how far away it is), there is a set of rules that are truly imposable to follow. That means, if you follow the letter of the standard, (UL is a "standard" not a code, NEC is code and limits low voltage to 30 volts)then you are probably not installing a "system" that is compliant with UL1838.

So, if Unique has a transformer, fixtures, or whatever and they are all UL listed parts, install it according to the NEC and everyone should be happy.

Now, there are manufactures out there that sell parts that are not UL listed at all. I would stay very far away from them. That means that those materials have not been tested for safety and therefore your insurance (and you should have insurance) probably would not cover you.

Chris J
04-26-2007, 07:39 AM
Dont drink the KOOL AIDE!:laugh:

OK, I give up. Someone please let me in on this. What the heck is Kool aide? I don't get it.

irrig8r
04-26-2007, 09:45 AM
Drinking the Kool Aid could refer to two things...

1.) Jonestown

or

2.)The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test...(a book by Tom Wolfe.)


In the first case, it's about mass "suicide" and trusting in questionable leadership.... Jim Jones, though I hear it applied to political discussions too...

"Everyone, including the children, was told to line up. As we passed through the line, we were given a small glass of red liquid to drink. We were told that the liquid contained poison and that we would die within 45 minutes. We all did as we were told. When the time came when we should have dropped dead, Rev. Jones explained that the poison was not real and that we had just been through a loyalty test. He warned us that the time was not far off when it would become necessary for us to die by our own hands."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonestown



In the lsecond case, it's about being "dosed" or involuntarily and unknowingly consuming hallucinogens...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merry_Pranksters


Or maybe you just never heard of Kool-Aid?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kool-aid

eskerlite
04-26-2007, 06:51 PM
Thanks Gregg, It was Jonestown i was refering to. Unique is very passionate about their way of doing things.
Sean c.

Chris J
04-26-2007, 07:51 PM
HA! OK, Sorry for being so slow. That's pretty funny Sean because I do agree with the "cult like" following.
Thanks again for enlightening me on the joke. You guys are killing me!

Chris J

Firefly Lighting
04-26-2007, 08:48 PM
Of course Sean one could also apply the Kool Aide opinion to the Nightscaping bunch. :)

irrig8r
04-26-2007, 09:21 PM
Oh, I dunno about that. I wouldn't paint all the "Nightscaping bunch " with the same broad brush...

Some of us in this business are passionate about lighting with no particular loyalties to one brand or another...

And others of us have found that a little loyalty can turn into a big payback when it comes to things like warranty service or even having the ear of a decision maker in the company when some issue or other needs prompt attention...

Same thing goes when patronizing a distributor, though I've sometimes found it pays to remind them from time to time not to take your business for granted...

Chris J
04-26-2007, 09:39 PM
On the subject of demos: I have always been a big proponent of the demonstration, even though I do not do them anymore...
To a non-educated, prospective client, even one light is pretty.... If you demonstrate several lights at the same time, you are putting on a sales presentation that will sell itself. In a highly saturated market, such as N. Florida, there are at least 300 contractors (of every shape and size) who are willing to install landscape lighting for any given homeowner. As most of you may already know, Florida is a nesting place for new homeowners from all over the country to retreat in their retirement, resulting in an unfamiliar environment where "word of mouth" is not not always the form of advertisement that they are often met with.
Having said all of this, imagine yourself (as a home owner) being faced with this decision: On one hand you had a contractor willing to "Show" you what he would do at a reasonable price. On the other hand, you had a contractor full of wind and some pictures mixed with some arrogance with a big price tag......Being brand new to the market, and nothing to go by, what would you do? My bet , if you're an older person looking to relax, is go with the guy with the lower price.
Again, I don't do the demo's because I believe I have enough referral base to demand the higher prices... But I'm not arrogant enough to believe that I don't lose a ton of business to the small guy who does the demo.

Chris J

eskerlite
04-27-2007, 06:34 AM
You will never see Bill Locklin or anyone from Nightscaping being escorted out of a seminar or expo for getting out of control. Cant say that for Unique.
Sean C.

irrig8r
04-27-2007, 10:05 AM
You will never see Bill Locklin or anyone from Nightscaping being escorted out of a seminar or expo for getting out of control. Cant say that for Unique.
Sean C.

Sounds like an interesting and entertaining story if I read between the lines.... I hadn't heard anything about it...

I think Mr. Mullen is a marketing whiz, despite not being very impressed with the products his company offers.

There's a guy I don't know who has written some amusing reviews of Mr. Mullen's books on Amazon.com. Here's an example:


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful:

expert opinion, September 12, 2000
Reviewer: Joseph T. Masciotti (Reading, PA United States) - See all my reviews

This is a print version of what is now termed an "info-mercial" on TV. The "Secret" is that the technical content is based on the use of single-source equipment and if you don't buy (literally and figuratively) the multi-tap transformer (12v to 22v secondaries) you cannot repeat the results. Lighting techniques are discussed but since reliance is placed almost exclusively on a single fixture (an in-ground uplight) and a single lamp type (the 12v PAR 36 sealed beam flood) the palette of effects is somewhat constrained. A very "California" book in that techniques and effects rely upon a benign climate, lush foliage and high surface brightness. The dust jacket photograph illustrates this well. The usual charts and voltage drop formulae plus many sample wiring schemes based on hundreds of feet of low voltage cable with voltages as high as 22v supporting two or three lamps per cable run. The sections on sales and marketing will interest readers who intend to get into the field of outdoor lighting. The high profit margins given are based on labor and materials only with no mention of overhead costs; the marketing tips exhaust the obvious. Much padding, didactic repetition, many typos and a section on where and how to buy equipment from the author.