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mlongano
05-13-2007, 12:43 PM
Does anyone know how to change the bulb in this low voltage Kichler Outdoor fixture?

http://images.lightinguniverse.com/imagezoom/zoomProcessor.aspx?x=0&y=0&z=1&img=/img/x/163/15374azt.jpg

extlights
05-13-2007, 12:46 PM
Unscrew the screw at the bottom of the shroud, pull the shroud off, pull the bulb out....put in the new bulb, put the shroud back on, and tighten the screw. Shouldn't take more than 30 seconds. Make sure the new bulb is the correct one for that fixture.

mlongano
05-13-2007, 01:03 PM
Thank you sir!

extlights
05-13-2007, 01:11 PM
You're welcome

NightScenes
05-13-2007, 01:22 PM
Whatever you do, don't upsize the lamp wattage.

mlongano
05-13-2007, 03:06 PM
Whatever you do, don't upsize the lamp wattage.

Okay, I'll be sure to match the wattage...thanks everybody.

mlongano
05-18-2007, 09:06 PM
Well I got the housing off and removed the bulb, but it seems to be connected to the bezel (see pictures below). Can I ask you guys for help one more time? How do I remove the bulb from the bezel...it seems to be very tight and does not want to budge.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/mlongano/DSC00064small.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/mlongano/DSC00065small.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/mlongano/DSC00066small.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/mlongano/DSC00067small.jpg

Pro-Scapes
05-18-2007, 09:09 PM
that IS the bulb... the whole thing is the lamp. Dont remove the capsul.

An MR16 bulb comes complete with the whole thing you pictured. :dizzy:

mlongano
05-18-2007, 09:21 PM
Okay, thank you...now I REALLY feel stupid!! It just seems strange that they would manufacture it so that the entire unit had to be replaced.

NightScenes
05-18-2007, 11:10 PM
Whatever you do, don't touch the "bulb" inside when you replace it. You will damage it with the oil from your skin.

David Gretzmier
05-19-2007, 02:06 AM
This may state the obvious, but if you look on the bezel, the writing indicates this is a BAB light, 20 watts, 12 volt. if you do a search on google, for mr16 bulb -you can find many websites that sell this bulb.

If you have other fixtures in your system, I'd get a few for spares. You might even consider replaceing them all, to avoid replacing one every few weeks and give you another year or so without any burnout. all the bulbs may not be bab 20 watt, but should have written on the bezel what they are. don't upsize.

this sounds like your first burnout, you're probably in for more.

good luck-- dave g

mlongano
05-19-2007, 07:24 AM
Thanks everyone...yes, this is my first"burnout" and I will be going to Lowe's today to try and find replacements for this bulb. We have about 20 of these low voltage spots throughout the yard that were installed by our landscaper in February of this year. We also have about six path lights although they are a different type of fixture.

I'll make sure I don't touch the bulb portion of the light.

You guys are great and I certainly appreciate your timely responses to my newbie questions.

Thanks again!!

Mike

Chris J
05-19-2007, 10:52 AM
Don't want to beat a dead horse here, but there is one more thing to consider: Bulbs purchased from big box stores like Lowes and Home Depot are usually lower end, 1000-2000 hour lamp life. Longer lamp life bulbs are available, 4000-10000 hours, if you look in bulb supply houses. They cost a bit more, but they will save you from having to relamp very often.

extlights
05-19-2007, 10:53 AM
Premature burnouts do happen, but do yourself a favor and call your landscaper if more start to burn out in the near future. Bulbs should last much longer than 3 months. Who knows, maybe this fixture got hit by something and that's why the bulb burnt out. Eitherway, if more start burning out fairly quickly, get on the horn to that landscaper and have him come out and re-check his work. Just my opinion.

Pro-Scapes
05-19-2007, 11:58 AM
classic example in the difference between using a specialist and a landscaper. Just out of curiosity if you got a volt meter check the voltage and let us know what it is at the fixture.

If I had installed your lights I would of been there within 1 business day to replace that bulb for you.

David Gretzmier
05-19-2007, 12:15 PM
Yeah, I hope that light got kicked or something. it would cost you 20 bucks to get a small digital voltmeter at sears, but if you have another burnout in a month, I'd go through and check your voltage at each light at either the tap or the socket. I'd not only second the don't buy from lowes, I'd reccomend against it.

also, the bulbs at lowes or home depot are pretty much unlabeled. for the most pard they are mid floods, and yeah, probably 2000 hours. I don't use them, but if your voltage is 12 volts and up, you're looking at burnout at less than a year. at 10.8-11.5 volts you've got better chance.

you probably found us through a search, I'd do the same to get your bulb replacemants, and buy a few to save shipping.

I replace all bulbs for free in the first year of install within 48 hours of call.

mlongano
05-19-2007, 04:21 PM
Thanks for all of the advice.

I bought one bulb from Lowe's this morning and replaced the burned out one...it tested out okay...I mean it works when I turn the lights on.

I ordered ten more online from Light Bulbs Etc. Inc.

I have a digital multi-meter...again I need detailed instructions on how to check the voltage.
..sorry

Mike

Chris J
05-19-2007, 06:36 PM
Set your meter to AC voltage. Touch one probe of the meter to one side of the lamp's pins, and the other probe to the other. If you can't get your probes to the socket/pins, the dig up the wire where it comes into the fixture. Push one probe into one side of the fixture wire, then push one probe into the other side; check your reading.
Side note: If you penetrate the wire with the probes, use a lighter and heat up the holes you just created in the wire (this will weld the holes shut).

Chris J
05-19-2007, 06:37 PM
By the way, the lights have to been on for this....

mlongano
05-19-2007, 07:01 PM
Set your meter to AC voltage. Touch one probe of the meter to one side of the lamp's pins, and the other probe to the other. If you can't get your probes to the socket/pins, the dig up the wire where it comes into the fixture. Push one probe into one side of the fixture wire, then push one probe into the other side; check your reading.
Side note: If you penetrate the wire with the probes, use a lighter and heat up the holes you just created in the wire (this will weld the holes shut).

Thanks, I'll give it a try.

mlongano
05-23-2007, 09:01 AM
If the voltage is too high, is the transformer adjustable to bring the voltage down to specs?

David Gretzmier
05-23-2007, 12:50 PM
take a picture of your transformer with the cover/door open. a model # would be nice. some transformers have different taps with different voltages. unfortunately it is not a matter of just turning a knob, and changing to a different tap/voltage changes all the voltages on that run, So it is complicated. do you have a voltage reading on that fixture yet?

mlongano
05-23-2007, 02:18 PM
take a picture of your transformer with the cover/door open. a model # would be nice. some transformers have different taps with different voltages. unfortunately it is not a matter of just turning a knob, and changing to a different tap/voltage changes all the voltages on that run, So it is complicated. do you have a voltage reading on that fixture yet?


When I tried to use the multimeter this past weekend, the voltage seemed to move all over the place and would not settle down. I was getting readings from five or six, to thirteen and everything in between. I could not fit the probes into the socket, so I had the bulb halfway in with the probes on the bulb's male prongs.

The transformer is a Kichler Pro 900 watts, but if it's a complicated correction I will probably call the contractor back out to take a look at it.

Thanks,

Mike

Pro-Scapes
05-23-2007, 02:50 PM
you probably have your voltmeter set to DC not AC

You might be best calling the contractor back. I list voltages and specs on inside of lid of the trans as most pro's do. He should have all these readings for you.

Chris J
05-23-2007, 04:33 PM
Try sticking the probes into the home-run wire at the fixture; one probe in one side of the wire, one probe in the other. The battery in your volt meter might also need to be changed, or there might be a slight short in your probe wire. Unless this fixture is very close to the transformer, this is a very rare occurance. Also check the voltage coming out of the outlet where the trans is located.

extlights
05-24-2007, 01:31 AM
It's a new system, call your landscaper back. Sometimes they might void the warranty or guarantee if a homeowner starts messing around with it and something else goes wrong. Don't take the chance, it's only a few months old and if the voltages are too high, then it's on their shoulders and they should fix it. At least that's what we would do if it ever happened.

Pro-Scapes
05-24-2007, 09:54 AM
It's a new system, call your landscaper back. Sometimes they might void the warranty or guarantee if a homeowner starts messing around with it and something else goes wrong. Don't take the chance, it's only a few months old and if the voltages are too high, then it's on their shoulders and they should fix it. At least that's what we would do if it ever happened.


Dave nothing like this would happen if it was one of our systems lol... Im pretty sure all the pro's on this board balance thier voltages.

If the guy didnt set the system up right and has not made it clear he will handle any issues I dont know what kind of warranty he will have. I say check the voltages and if it aint right DO NOT adjust it and get him back to make it right. We have all seen it. Sounds like a classic daisy chain to me. I wouldnt void a warranty for someone checking voltage but I would void it for messing with the trans.

David Gretzmier
05-24-2007, 10:15 AM
yeah, I would 2nd or 3rd that. get your meter where you know the voltage is right, new batery or new meter, and check your fixtures. Ideally they should all be between 10.8 and 11.5. they could be 10.3 to 11.8, which is actually decent for a landscaper, but what you are looking for is premature burnout, which is 12.0 and up.

if it is too high- 12.0 and up, then call in your guy. If he won't show, then you call a light guy that know what he is doing. We can talk you through stuff, but in the end, If you have alot of problems, you need a professional onsite to redo this.

Pro-Scapes
05-24-2007, 10:25 AM
just out of curiosity can you post some basic photos and the stats like numb of fixtures and installed price ? No one knows if the voltage is off or the system is poorly installed yet. Just curious what landscapers are charging vs what a specialist fetches.

Chris J
05-24-2007, 07:42 PM
I just gave a proposal to a homeowner yesterday for his home. The design came up to 39 lights, and the cost is going to be $7600. After the meeting was over, he told me that his yard man was going to install 9 lights for $1000...:hammerhead: :dizzy: :hammerhead: Not only did he not know what to charge, he also did not know what he needed to do!

mlongano
05-24-2007, 08:26 PM
Well, our landscaper did a pretty extensive job at our new home...sod, lighting, 52 trees , some shrubs, etc...all told about $35,000.00. However, the lighting portion came to $3,260.00, and included 27 fixtures and two transformers, both of them Kichler Pro Series 900 watters.

They stopped by today and found a cble clipped next to a bed (where I edge). They told me they would fix it this weekend, and they dropped off several new MR16s to reimburse me for the ones I replaced. They have yet to measure the voltage however.

I will stay on their back until they do.

Thanks for all of your help.

Mike

High Performance Lighting
05-24-2007, 11:48 PM
Well, our landscaper did a pretty extensive job at our new home...sod, lighting, 52 trees , some shrubs, etc...all told about $35,000.00. However, the lighting portion came to $3,260.00, and included 27 fixtures and two transformers, both of them Kichler Pro Series 900 watters.

They stopped by today and found a cble clipped next to a bed (where I edge). They told me they would fix it this weekend, and they dropped off several new MR16s to reimburse me for the ones I replaced. They have yet to measure the voltage however.

I will stay on their back until they do.

Thanks for all of your help.

Mike

Let this be a lesson to those up and coming landscape lighting design build companies that perform landscape lighting services only.

The bad news first- The landscape contractor has an extreme advantage over you in that he is able to establish a relationship with the client and sell landscape lighting as an add on during a landscape construction project often at very low (as described here) or no profit margin at all. Sometimes it's "thrown in " to close a job. Not all landscapers but a large number , enough to make a point of mentioning it here.

The good news for the specialist- I'm not saying this is true in this example but more times than not a landscaper will not do many of the following things for the low price quoted-

Use proper design principles
use enough fixtures
Use quality fixtures and or transformers
will use offshore lamps with poor lamplife and durability
will not load balance his system to operate within acceptable voltage range
will not use enough cable runs and use poor engineering techniques
Will use undersized cable
Will daisy chain
leave loose and or unacceptable connectors that will fail (wire nuts and tape)
leave cable exposed where it can be esily damaged
doesn't Come back at night to aim and adjust and make sure the client is happy with the results
Doesn't offer any follow up maintenance service

And what happens when there is a problem or maintenance is needed. The homeowner will get these answers when they call. We don't do service you'll have to call someone else. We're too busy call someone else. Even when the system is young and should be under some kind of minimum warranty.

Again I'm not saying this is the case here but I've been doing this 17 years and have built a very nice business coming in and evaluating and replacing scenarios I've described above. Many times when I get the call the owner is ready to have things done right and will pay what it takes to make things right and add value and enjoyability to their home.

mlongano
05-25-2007, 08:07 AM
Let me add a bit to the post above:

My wife and I are 55 years old and have built eight homes in our lifetime, four of which were custom built homes with outdoor lighting and extensive landscaping. Until I found this site and did some research I was not even aware that lighting specialty companies existed!!

We have always had our outdoor lighting installed by the landscape contractor. Had we known that specialists existed we would have at least solicited a quote, as we like to get the best that we can when building a home. For example, although our furniture may be specced by an interior designer, we do not usually purchase custom made draperies by the furniture company who happens to offer custom made drapes...we prefer to employ a specialist whose only product is custom made draperies and window treatments.

The point is that at least in the areas we have lived (Hilton Head South Carolina, Cleveland Ohio, and Charlotte North Carolina), most folks are not really aware of the services you offer and what makes using your services superior to having the landscaper put the lighting in.

After I viewed your website(s) I realized that we should have hired a specialist in the first place, and certainly will next time.

Thanks again for all of your help.

Mike

Chris J
05-25-2007, 09:04 AM
You are not alone Mike. There are thousands of homeowners just like you who go through this same thing day in and day out. This is why we try so hard to educate the general public on the differences between hiring a "jack of all trades" and hiring a specialist. This is why it is so frustrating when I lose a potential client to a "low bid" from some guy with a truck and a few cheep lights. Good luck to you and enjoy your new home. Let us know if we can be of any further assistance.

Pro-Scapes
05-25-2007, 09:25 AM
Mike its great to get a homeowners view and im sure alot of us appreciate it.

As a lighting contractor I would of probably been at least tiwce what your landscaper charged you for the lighting. Im banking he used alluminum fixtures tho where mine would of been brass or bronze with Ushio ultra line bulbs and wired properly.

Something you would of gotten with alot of specialists that you didnt get with your landscaper.

Possibly a much better design

balanced system voltage and amperage to ensure proper performance
1 year or more of included maint (burnt out bulbs and lens cleaning ect)

lifetime warranty on workmanship and most components provided they are maintained properly

Im willing to bank better splice techniques

As mike said top quality bulbs built to last

Nightime system adjustment after system is installed.

SERVICE! after the installation

That cable you cut with the edger would of been extra deep (it should be!!) where you edge and or placed in a protective conduit. We sleeve any place there is a risk of cut... in annual bedding areas.... edges...ect.

Its great you learned there are specialists out there. Im sure you can find one in your area I think someone on this board is from your neck of the woods. Might be worth having them come check the system over and let ya know all is well before you have headaches.

High Performance Lighting
05-25-2007, 09:27 AM
Let me add a bit to the post above:

My wife and I are 55 years old and have built eight homes in our lifetime, four of which were custom built homes with outdoor lighting and extensive landscaping. Until I found this site and did some research I was not even aware that lighting specialty companies existed!!

We have always had our outdoor lighting installed by the landscape contractor. Had we known that specialists existed we would have at least solicited a quote, as we like to get the best that we can when building a home. For example, although our furniture may be specced by an interior designer, we do not usually purchase custom made draperies by the furniture company who happens to offer custom made drapes...we prefer to employ a specialist whose only product is custom made draperies and window treatments.



The point is that at least in the areas we have lived (Hilton Head South Carolina, Cleveland Ohio, and Charlotte North Carolina), most folks are not really aware of the services you offer and what makes using your services superior to having the landscaper put the lighting in.

After I viewed your website(s) I realized that we should have hired a specialist in the first place, and certainly will next time.

Thanks again for all of your help.

Mike

Historically the industry has done a very poor job of promoting itself. True that usually an electrician or landscape contractor comes to mind as the one to call for low voltage landscape lighting.

Pro-Scapes
05-25-2007, 06:18 PM
landscape contractors and electricians have been around alot longer than lighting specialists for low voltage too I think.

mlongano
05-25-2007, 06:55 PM
Thanks for all of your informative comments and suggestions. I consider myself to be a savvy home buyer (having built eight homes)...I guess it proves that you always have more to learn!!

One thing I gave noticed in the three years I have lived in Charlotte...there seems to be a lack of top notch lawn maintenance companies in the area. We have been through three of them in three years. This is what happened:

Lawn Care maintenance company number one failed to apply pre-m for crabgrass and my entire yard was loaded with it by June of 2004. I fired him.

Lawn Care maintenance company number two failed to respond to calls requesting identification and treatment for baseball sized round brown spot in my back yard in August of 2005. Three weeks later, and after numerous unanswered calls, he showed up and said he would have to overseed in the fall and that nothing could be done. By this time, the entire back yard had been destroyed. He siad fungicide is too expensive to apply to prevent it. I fired him.

Lawn Care maintenance company three swore that they had all the answers and the customer service to go with it. Of course, they would have to charge $100.00 per month more than the other guys, which I happily agreed to. I made it clear to him (and the other two companies also) that I was the type of homeowner who never wanted to step a foot into the yard. I want them to take care of everything, and just tell me how often to run the irrigation which I will do. The rest I expect them to take care of without me calling about problems all of the time. I don't care if it costs $400.00 per month...but it better look good all of the time.

Well after a year, this guy was no better than the rest, and I went out and spent about $8-9,000.00 on an Exmark 48" turf tracer, a Stihl combi system with head, edger, and weed wacker, a Lesco back pack sprayer, a RedMax EBZ7001 backpack blower, and a Lesco spreader. My lawn now looks immaculate.

The point is I'd rather pay someone to do it, but cannot find anyone up to the task in the Charlotte area. You guys in Charlotte...this is an untapped market. All the companies want to do is cut, blow, and go. There are plenty of homeowners willing and able to pay what it costs to do proper lawn care, but so far, no companies out there to do it.

Chris J
05-25-2007, 10:04 PM
Thanks for all of your informative comments and suggestions. I consider myself to be a savvy home buyer (having built eight homes)...I guess it proves that you always have more to learn!!

One thing I gave noticed in the three years I have lived in Charlotte...there seems to be a lack of top notch lawn maintenance companies in the area. We have been through three of them in three years. This is what happened:

Lawn Care maintenance company number one failed to apply pre-m for crabgrass and my entire yard was loaded with it by June of 2004. I fired him.

Lawn Care maintenance company number two failed to respond to calls requesting identification and treatment for baseball sized round brown spot in my back yard in August of 2005. Three weeks later, and after numerous unanswered calls, he showed up and said he would have to overseed in the fall and that nothing could be done. By this time, the entire back yard had been destroyed. He siad fungicide is too expensive to apply to prevent it. I fired him.

Lawn Care maintenance company three swore that they had all the answers and the customer service to go with it. Of course, they would have to charge $100.00 per month more than the other guys, which I happily agreed to. I made it clear to him (and the other two companies also) that I was the type of homeowner who never wanted to step a foot into the yard. I want them to take care of everything, and just tell me how often to run the irrigation which I will do. The rest I expect them to take care of without me calling about problems all of the time. I don't care if it costs $400.00 per month...but it better look good all of the time.

Well after a year, this guy was no better than the rest, and I went out and spent about $8-9,000.00 on an Exmark 48" turf tracer, a Stihl combi system with head, edger, and weed wacker, a Lesco back pack sprayer, a RedMax EBZ7001 backpack blower, and a Lesco spreader. My lawn now looks immaculate.

The point is I'd rather pay someone to do it, but cannot find anyone up to the task in the Charlotte area. You guys in Charlotte...this is an untapped market. All the companies want to do is cut, blow, and go. There are plenty of homeowners willing and able to pay what it costs to do proper lawn care, but so far, no companies out there to do it.

This is exactly the foundation on which I built my business: EXTREME CUSTOMER SERVICE! I have done this from the very beginning, and it is the single thing that has propelled us to the level we are at now. No one does this anymore, and it seems that most contractors (no matter which profession it is) only wants the paycheck and not the responsibility that comes with it. I wrote in an earlier post that I am of the attitude of "if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself." The above mentioned post is exactly the evidence of that statement. Some business owners get too big for their pants and start hiring people to do the work for them while they focus on sales only. This is a big mistake as no paid employee will ever take as much pride in your business and the installations as the business owner would. I believe I have to stay connected with every aspect of my business from the sale straight through to the final connection. It simply is not good enough to look the job over when it is done.
Thank you Mr. Homeowner for your thoughts. You have just given me a new fire to interject back into my business plans.