View Full Version : contractor transformers

04-19-2007, 08:23 AM
Can some one tell me why Kichler would have discontinued their contractor series transformers? For those of you not aware of this, this IS the case. Something happened at AOLP that started this all. Spill the beans!

04-20-2007, 08:36 AM
Dunno. I just bought 3 pr ss trans tho. Isnt the contractor series the high tap ones ? Could be they are trying to conform to the proffesional more and not the guy just looking to string em along ?

Disturbing trend I see now are the sales of voltage regulators are up. Not only leads to more splices to fail but encourages guys to daisy chain. I use them only to correct others work. Doing one today that has 12v at first fixture and 6 at last with the last strech of it being romex.

04-20-2007, 08:58 AM
I enjoy selling Kichler and its a shame. I am involved in some resort projects and we are putting the transformers in electrical rooms. Some of the areas require higher voltage taps than 15 which forces me to spec Hadco. I would just like to know who said what to Jack to make him make such a knee jerk reaction and pull the line. Its strange.

Firefly Lighting
04-20-2007, 09:12 AM
NiteTyme- I think that you are on the wrong path. Kichler makes its own decisions about the items it makes and sells and I can definately tell you that they are not influenced by someone outside there company and most assuredly not the AOLP. The AOLP would never take a stance like and does not influence its manufacturer members in any way.

04-20-2007, 09:32 AM
I was told by an insider that Jack Miller had a revelation at AOLP and decided to discontinue the line immediately. I have known Jack for 14 years now and have worked with Kichler since 1978; something happened!

04-20-2007, 03:20 PM
well that anwers your question... Jack had a revalation.... Doesnt say someone told jack to yank em. Maybe he is trying to bring his products into spec and limit them to 15v.... maybe someone had an issue with a higher tap near using submerisble fixtures or something.

Call jack and ask him why and get your answer straigh from the horses mouth.

04-21-2007, 08:32 PM
Doug, I buy Kichler contractor series transformers every day and have heard nothing of the kind. I will call Jack on Monday and see what I can find out, but I'm sure that since I buy about 60K a year in contractor series transformers, someone would have told me. By the way, I just ordered some on Thursday and the shipped on the same day.

As a matter of fact, come to think of it, Jack Miller was just promoted and doesn't even deal with these things any more. I just fired off an email to Mike Southard and I'm sure I will hear back from him very soon. I will let you know what I find out.

04-22-2007, 09:36 PM
I can now confirm that Kichler is doing away with it's contractor series transformers. This is straight from Mike Southard who is the national sales director for Kichler. Thanks for the heads-up Doug. I wish someone had told me sooner.

Eden Lights
04-23-2007, 12:12 AM
What was sweet about the C series was that it had up to an 18V tap and didn't miss any voltages below that. I used them on all my large properties for that one run that you might need a 16V tap to get the proper voltage. Any one else make a 12-18V transformer? While I have been a big fan of Kichler's 15384 Accent fixture and transformers, I have always thought they were out of touch with the professional landscape lighting designer and contractor: worst website in the industry and a catalog filled with the worst photography out there. I think the bottom line is they needed more Sku room than the current 55 pages of worthless theme based fixtures than they currently have in the front of the catalog, plus another 8 or so starting on page 96. I still LOVE the work horse fixtures: 15384, 15385, 15087, and 15064, but every year I wonder if they will drop them too? Kichler also gets an A+ for dist. policies that help us earn a wage while doing our passion, if you don't understand that ask any flat panel TV salesman about current dist. problems. The split fixture stake is also the fastest and most versatile out there. I could go on and on but the rant is off now, anyone else feels this way?

04-23-2007, 07:29 AM
Yes! Yes! Yes! I have been a Kichler elite premier contractor for some time and there are a handful of fixtures that I use. Most of the stuff in their catalog I would not use, but they are a "designer" lighting company. They have always been very good about listening to the contractor as well, though the subject of this transformer was not braught up lately and last year it was heavily promoted, which is why I started using it.

Now that I have about 100 of them in the field and many more in stock, I might be looking to see what else is available. It is nice to have a couple of extra volts available for those really long runs. Here in Texas I have a lot of projects that are over an acre and some that are 3 acres. By using that transformer I had to use a lot less #8 wire which is very high.

I will not use the Unique transformer that goes all the way up to 22 volts either. that's going way overboard.

Maybe We can get them from Clarolux or Garden Light. They both carry MDL transformers.

04-23-2007, 07:55 AM
Some Cast units go to 18v as well. I have started using the Kichler PR Stainless series recently especially the 600w boxes. The tilted terminals do make a difference for my big hands and they are also generally 15-20% cheaper for me as well.

Clarolux and gardenlight are both MDL units as paul stated and will perform well.

I still ant bring myself to install a Pan-tech unit at a clients house from florida outdoor. I got one at my house and no issues but its not UL listed. It hasnt given me any problems altho you can see a difference in the terminal blocks.

04-23-2007, 08:15 AM
I am in the finishing stages of designing the lights for 1 of 18 40-50 acre resort projects and had a ton of C series transformers spec'd. I do have enough in stock and have ordered about a years worth now but I noticed that some there were some cancelled on my order so I am thinking I just cleaned them out. yikes! I guess i'll be using the Hadco units.

Paul, you doubted me??? Have you even met anyone who knows more about the insides of Kichler landscape lighting more than I??? Come on man!!! I used to work for them!!!

We could probably save the line if we all called Jack and Mike though!!! Just a thought.

And about calling Jack...no way...I have his cell phone but he calles back late and i am not about to get wrapped up in that conversation at 9:30pm on a Froday night!

Chris J
04-23-2007, 09:51 PM
I was at the conference, and I remember that Jack Miller was really trying to get the UL guy to define what voltage was "UL" approved for landscape lighting. As I remember, the UL spokesman said that anything over 15 volts could not carry the term "Landscape" in their description of their transformers. In other words, any transformer over 15 volts is not approved by UL 1838 for the purpose of "Landscape" Lighting.
I could be wrong on this, but I don't think I am. I think Kichler wants to separate themselves as being the ones that conform to UL standards.

Chris J

04-24-2007, 07:57 AM
Hello Chris, nice to see you here. Mike told me that they plan to continue production through till June and they were planning to have a stock just in case there were any problems with existing units. I think I will stock up on them just in case. I don't want to go back to installing Enhancers.

04-24-2007, 07:58 AM
well hey there chris, how you doing bud? That makes a lot of sense...why didnt they just keep going the route they were going a few years ago and not put the c series in the catalog or on the price list...lol...oh well...its a bummer but jack has made his mind up and after talking with someone last night nobody is going to change his mind!

06-11-2007, 06:59 PM
Yes, Paul is correct, Kichler decided to disontinued the 18 volt transformers. Its simply that our owners, CEO, Jack Miller and myself realized we were making an exception to a policy we have had in place since the company was founded. That policy was we would only manufacturer product that was UL Listed for its use. And the standard for landscape lighting as we all know is 15 volts (UL 1838)...dont want to beat that dead horse. We did make an exception to bring in these contractors for competitive reasons and because our Head engineer felt the UL standard would be changing. After a few years and seeing no change in sight, we made this decision to conform to UL 1838. We all realize we will miss out on some high voltage business but it follows the companies philosopy completely.

Ps Jack is still involved with Landscape Lighting for the electrical wholesale and showroom distribution channels, I am responsibile for landscape supply, irrigation and Landscape only distributors.

06-11-2007, 07:09 PM
well what do we owe the honor mike!!!???!!! Welcome aboard!

06-11-2007, 07:15 PM
well what do we owe the honor mike!!!???!!! Welcome aboard!

I was just at the AOLP board meeting and Paul and David mentioned Lawn Site so it reminded me to get on and take a look. Very good site.

PS Is there anything we can do to get Wolfe Creek to rejoin AOLP? (is this against the site rules?). Lots of new things coming which will really increase the value of the organization for the contractor.

06-11-2007, 08:24 PM
lets get together alright!

06-11-2007, 08:32 PM
Would love to, are you coming to my area anytime soon? Maybe I need to take a trip down your way......what's next week look like?