PDA

View Full Version : Focus Fistures, Anyone Using & Your Opinion


Dreams To Designs
07-24-2007, 08:22 AM
I had the pleasure of meeting Stan from Focus at a trade show over the winter and am intrigued by his passion and product. I recently received a couple of fixtures for review and think it is of very high quality and craftsmanship and would like to hear anyone else's opinion about the Focus product. It is quite an extensive line with many options and looks to suit some varied applications. Please offer any feedback you have, positive or negative as I prefer to make an informed decision on Focus.

Kirk

SamIV
07-24-2007, 03:22 PM
I used over a hundred of the DL-13 on a project. The fixture itself is very robust but the wire connections are dismal. I bought these with a 25 foot lead. The way Focus adds the lead is with an insulated bullet crimp leaving all wire connections exposed outside of the fixture inside of the stake. Leaves room for oxidation. And I was installing these on a beach. There is also another splice inside of the bullet, the same and no gaskets on this fixture. A lot of the crimps failed. Billy helped me with this project and we had to correct all of the splices before installation.
I spoke with the rep about this, but nothing has changed. I'm still having to use this fixture with add-ons. The fixture also comes with a Ushio 20 watt 36 degree installed and a bunch were damaged in shipping. The shroud would come off and crack the lamps in shipping.

The way I correct this is to replace with uninsulated bullet crimps and heavy wall, adhesive lined heat shrink tubing. Would like to speak with your rep about this because the fixture is not bad but the connections just don't match up. If he is that passionate, he would like to know.

SamIV

Dreams To Designs
07-24-2007, 05:59 PM
Sam,

Billy and I had this conversation and I did relay that message to my rep who promised he would forward it to Stan at Focus. Perhaps we can get Focus to join us and share their thoughts and ideas. I am an ardent Cast fan and installer, but am always looking for quality options for my clients.

I received a copper AL13 with the 25' lead and it appears to be one piece all the way to the socket. Not sure if your situation is exclusive to the DL-13 or they have since addressed this issue with the rest of the fixture line as well.

Kirk

SamIV
07-24-2007, 10:26 PM
I used to install a lot of Cast, but my distributor and Cast are not on the best of terms. So, I have looked to other lines.
Did you find that the wire for the leads on the Focus much smaller than the Cast even though it is still rated at 16 ga.?

NightScenes
07-24-2007, 11:05 PM
I have used a couple of their putting green fixtures and found them to be pretty good. I did have a lamp issue but corrected it. I have replaced some of their other fixtures on projects that I was called in on but they had never been maintained so it's hard to tell whether it was a product or maintenance issue that ruined the fixtures. I don't think the transformers are very hot.

sprinkler guy
07-26-2007, 02:51 AM
In the last year I've done two overhauls of exisitng jobs that were originally installed Focus. The powder coat finish was coming off, and many of the sockets were corroded. Looking at the systems, you would think they had been in for many years. According to the homeowners, one system was 30 months old, the other "about two years". While I probably could have gotten the fixtures replaced under warranty, even though I didn't do the original install, I sold all new FX product.

Prior to going back into contracting in late 2005, I worked on the supply side for a number of years. The supplier I worked for sold many lines of lighting and the service out of Focus was hands down the worst. Over the course of three years, two of the stores in the Los Angeles area never received a Focus order the way it was ordered. Wrong color finish, wrong bulbs, items backordered but marked as shipped, or simply the wrong fixture. Then trying to remedy the situation was always a struggle, like customer service couldn't believe if was possible for the order to be shipped wrong.

With so many good lines of lighting available, manufacturers don't get too many chances with me to drop the ball.

Pro-Scapes
08-01-2007, 11:04 AM
I used over a hundred of the DL-13 on a project. The fixture itself is very robust but the wire connections are dismal. I bought these with a 25 foot lead. The way Focus adds the lead is with an insulated bullet crimp leaving all wire connections exposed outside of the fixture inside of the stake. Leaves room for oxidation. And I was installing these on a beach. There is also another splice inside of the bullet, the same and no gaskets on this fixture. A lot of the crimps failed. Billy helped me with this project and we had to correct all of the splices before installation.
I spoke with the rep about this, but nothing has changed. I'm still having to use this fixture with add-ons. The fixture also comes with a Ushio 20 watt 36 degree installed and a bunch were damaged in shipping. The shroud would come off and crack the lamps in shipping.

The way I correct this is to replace with uninsulated bullet crimps and heavy wall, adhesive lined heat shrink tubing. Would like to speak with your rep about this because the fixture is not bad but the connections just don't match up. If he is that passionate, he would like to know.

SamIV


Ugh this was such a headache... The only thing that remotely saved this was we had to remove the stakes anyways to install perma posts on every fixture. I have never seen someone splice with plaint butt crimps before. Focus says its probably something our dist did which is totally untrue.

In the future I would definatly grab the cast bullet over the fo fo fo focass.

On another note we did install a few composit spots to match and existing system... no probs yet. We are also fans of thier BBQ lights... seem very well built. Only had them in field about a year now but zero issues besides the included fabric covers fading a bit.

SamIV
08-01-2007, 02:13 PM
Someone actually called me from Focus on Monday about this issue. Her name was Kim from the marketing department. She apologized for taking so long for anyone to get back with me. I spoke with the rep in May or June about this. There is now a new connection inside the bullet only but still with an insulated bullet crimp. They are sending me a sample with the new connection.

SamIV

Dreams To Designs
08-01-2007, 03:42 PM
Sam, better late than never? Hopefully when you receive the sample and test it, you can give us a report either way. At least they are reactive to installer input, and we can always find ways to improve any product out there.

Kirk

SamIV
08-23-2007, 06:49 PM
Update on the samples from Focus. I never asked for the samples. A female in marketing named Kim offered. Been 3 weeks and I never received them. Wonderful customer service.

SamIV
Accent Outdoor Lighting

JoeyD
08-23-2007, 07:19 PM
I sold Focus products for about 3-4 years. Stan is one of the nicer, most respectful people/owners I have ever met. There factory is very nice and they do produce ALLOT of different products. I will decline to discuss quality and so fourth but I can say all my experiences with Focus were pretty good. The occasional mix up in ordering did occur but being back on the manufacturing side I understand the challenges they face. Believe me there are a bunch of manufacturers who are a ton worse when it comes to quality and service, atleast they are not knocking off everyones fixtures and outsourcing them to CHINA!

klkanders
08-23-2007, 07:49 PM
Bad Service! Are they so big she could not have handled the order herself or at least followed up with it on her end to make sure it was shipped out? Especially when it was an old issue. Get your customer taken care of! I called a brand of lighting once to just ask some questions and the owner answered. We had a good conversation and before ending the call he thanked me for my interest and consideration. Later I used the product but had trouble with a few sockets down the road. I called him back explained what had happened and he not only apoligized and sent me more than enough replacement sockets but a new fixture that just came out. After working in customer service in another life I expect.... no I demand ...follow thru. If I dont get it I keep calling til I do!

ccfree
08-23-2007, 09:50 PM
That is an awesome story Klkanders. Manufactures should do that in order to keep their true customers happy. Bet I know who that manufacturer is. They do a great job and have been around forever.

SamIV
08-23-2007, 11:37 PM
Hey Joey D. I worked for a few years while I was a chef down in New Orleans at Arnaud's with a Tommy DiGiovani. He was a short and feisty Italian who was good at his craft and did not take any lip. Your Stellar is a neat and versatile little fixture.

SamIV

JoeyD
08-24-2007, 12:19 AM
Hey Joey D. I worked for a few years while I was a chef down in New Orleans at Arnaud's with a Tommy DiGiovani. He was a short and feisty Italian who was good at his craft and did not take any lip. Your Stellar is a neat and versatile little fixture.

SamIV

Funny you say that Sam. It is possible we are related. When my family came over in the late 40's they settled in New Orleans and then in St. Charles Parish in LA. I will have to talk with my family and find out if Tommy is a cousin.

Have you ever tried using the Stellar with our gutter mount bracket (Uni-Bracket) to uplight into second story dormers and eves?? Very cool application!

Dreams To Designs
08-24-2007, 11:36 AM
Sam, I am very disappointed in your dealings with Focus. Customer service must be number one. There is similar product out there by many manufacturers and service is what ultimately keeps the business. Price is always a factor, but not normally the most important. Quality and service will always outlast the price.

Joey, nice to see Unique with a presence here. I'm sure your insight will be a benefit to everyone. Stan is good people, but it is always difficult to surround ourselves with people of similar attitude and passion.

Kirk

JoeyD
08-24-2007, 11:50 AM
Thanks Kirk! Hopefully I can bring some good stuff to the table for you guys. I am waiting to find out about becoming a sponsor on the site so i can start showing you guys all the really cool new stuff we have sucha as our new universal BBQ Mount and Putting green light. I learned the other day that if I am not a sponsor I cannot "promote" or show any of my products in what my be viewed as an advertisement.

ar-t
08-24-2007, 07:19 PM
The only Focus fixtures that I have problems with are the pagodas.

More so, as the customers insist that I replace them with the same damn thing. Every time.

Then complain when they break again.

BTW........why are so many of us Italians short and feisty?! (I resemble that remark..........)

JackTorsed
08-24-2007, 09:38 PM
Thanks Kirk! Hopefully I can bring some good stuff to the table for you guys. I am waiting to find out about becoming a sponsor on the site so i can start showing you guys all the really cool new stuff we have sucha as our new universal BBQ Mount and Putting green light. I learned the other day that if I am not a sponsor I cannot "promote" or show any of my products in what my be viewed as an advertisement.

We look forward to seeing them Joey. But isn't their a sponsor of this site already?

JackTorsed
08-24-2007, 09:48 PM
I sold Focus products for about 3-4 years. Stan is one of the nicer, most respectful people/owners I have ever met. There factory is very nice and they do produce ALLOT of different products. I will decline to discuss quality and so fourth but I can say all my experiences with Focus were pretty good. The occasional mix up in ordering did occur but being back on the manufacturing side I understand the challenges they face. Believe me there are a bunch of manufacturers who are a ton worse when it comes to quality and service, atleast they are not knocking off everyones fixtures and outsourcing them to CHINA!

Aren't Unique's fixtures made in China? I've seen some exact duplicates of the product in my marketplace sold with no brand labeling for a fraction of uniques cost. They look identical to my eyes. What's the story with that? Bootlegs?

JoeyD
08-25-2007, 05:19 PM
Heres the story with our products. Stop the presses, I want to get this out one time and one time only! LOL

We do have our brass molds made in China. It has bit us in the butt becuase there are little spies everywhere there who have stolen molds only to change them slightly so they can put another name on it and sell them to these "American Entrepe-Screwers". (I'm not bitter) I will not name the names but you guys know who the imposters are when you see them. SO Yes we do have some molds made in china BUT...Here it comes.........WE ASSEMBLE EVERYTHING HERE IN THE USA. We will recieve the product from overseas. We then inspect everything in our factory here in CA, we do some final machining and everything is held up to a high QC standard before being assembled. We then install the highest quality berrilium copper sockets and use the best hardware we can get to ensure these lights will last a lifetime. Our wire is American made and is the best quality wire we can get our hands on as well.

Now as far as the transformers are concerened everything is made, built, and assembled in house in CA. Our Transformers are completely American Made here in the states. We wind all our own transformers ourselves. We do not buy cores and just can them up like alot of our competition. Unique started as a transformer manufacturer who then got into lights. Some of you who go back with us a while will remember that we use to tell everyone a job can be done with a Multi Tap and Well lights. Our philosophy has changed with the times but we still love our transformers and well lights!!

The reason these knockoff guys sell what to appear to be our same lights for so much cheaper is they do not use high quality components, and everything is assembled in China. The box they ship it in from China is usually the same box you get which means no one here in the states has given the product a QC check, which believe me when dealing with Chinese products you have to put it through QC. On top of that these knockoff companies are riding our coat tails, what I mean by that is they do not have the marketing tools to support our customers like we have, they do not have the trained staff we do, they do not have educated sales staff like we do who come out to jobs to train and help troubleshoot. They just cruise behind us and where ever we go they try and steel the buisness by showing what appears to be the same light for half the price. We are activley pursuing lawsuits with a lot of these companies on patent infrigment. We hold a ton of patents on our products so we are going after all of those who have infringed.

There is a ton more to this subject which I am sure will come up again. If you guys ever have more questions on this you can contact me directly at the factory anytime M-F@ 760-291-2419.

Joey D.:usflag:

JackTorsed
08-25-2007, 10:32 PM
Heres the story with our products. Stop the presses, I want to get this out one time and one time only! LOL

We do have our brass molds made in China. It has bit us in the butt becuase there are little spies everywhere there who have stolen molds only to change them slightly so they can put another name on it and sell them to these "American Entrepe-Screwers". (I'm not bitter) I will not name the names but you guys know who the imposters are when you see them. SO Yes we do have some molds made in china BUT...Here it comes.........WE ASSEMBLE EVERYTHING HERE IN THE USA. We will recieve the product from overseas. We then inspect everything in our factory here in CA, we do some final machining and everything is held up to a high QC standard before being assembled. We then install the highest quality berrilium copper sockets and use the best hardware we can get to ensure these lights will last a lifetime. Our wire is American made and is the best quality wire we can get our hands on as well.

Now as far as the transformers are concerened everything is made, built, and assembled in house in CA. Our Transformers are completely American Made here in the states. We wind all our own transformers ourselves. We do not buy cores and just can them up like alot of our competition. Unique started as a transformer manufacturer who then got into lights. Some of you who go back with us a while will remember that we use to tell everyone a job can be done with a Multi Tap and Well lights. Our philosophy has changed with the times but we still love our transformers and well lights!!

The reason these knockoff guys sell what to appear to be our same lights for so much cheaper is they do not use high quality components, and everything is assembled in China. The box they ship it in from China is usually the same box you get which means no one here in the states has given the product a QC check, which believe me when dealing with Chinese products you have to put it through QC. On top of that these knockoff companies are riding our coat tails, what I mean by that is they do not have the marketing tools to support our customers like we have, they do not have the trained staff we do, they do not have educated sales staff like we do who come out to jobs to train and help troubleshoot. They just cruise behind us and where ever we go they try and steel the buisness by showing what appears to be the same light for half the price. We are activley pursuing lawsuits with a lot of these companies on patent infrigment. We hold a ton of patents on our products so we are going after all of those who have infringed.

There is a ton more to this subject which I am sure will come up again. If you guys ever have more questions on this you can contact me directly at the factory anytime M-F@ 760-291-2419.

Joey D.:usflag:

Thanks for clearing it up. Sounds like a big mess. Hope you sort it out. I keep seeing more and more of it around though. It's gotten so you can't tell whose product is whose and what to do if and when it fails. I came upon a project about a year ago that was installed by someone else. It was only a couple of years old and it was trashed. I boxed up the fixtures and returned them to a irri distributor who I thought sold that manufacturers fixtures. they looked at it and said no problem we'll send it in and they'll replace it. well they sent it back saying it wasn't theirs but a cheap knockoff. The distributor couldn't even tell it wasn't theirs either. Unreal. I got to sell them new fixtures though that will last.

JoeyD
08-26-2007, 03:31 AM
Thanks for clearing it up. Sounds like a big mess. Hope you sort it out. I keep seeing more and more of it around though. It's gotten so you can't tell whose product is whose and what to do if and when it fails. I came upon a project about a year ago that was installed by someone else. It was only a couple of years old and it was trashed. I boxed up the fixtures and returned them to a irri distributor who I thought sold that manufacturers fixtures. they looked at it and said no problem we'll send it in and they'll replace it. well they sent it back saying it wasn't theirs but a cheap knockoff. The distributor couldn't even tell it wasn't theirs either. Unreal. I got to sell them new fixtures though that will last.

Yeah it's a real mess. But not much you can do. As long as our quality remains high and we continue to innovate they will always be known as the knockoff guys and we will continue to prosper while they come and go.

JoeyD
08-27-2007, 12:44 AM
Hey Joey D. I worked for a few years while I was a chef down in New Orleans at Arnaud's with a Tommy DiGiovani. He was a short and feisty Italian who was good at his craft and did not take any lip. Your Stellar is a neat and versatile little fixture.

SamIV

Hey Sam can you give me a phone number for Tommy DiGiovanni? Turns out my grandfather wants to call, could be a cousin of mine. Let me know, oculd be a crazy coincidence!

SamIV
08-28-2007, 12:32 AM
I'll see what I can do. I have not seen Tommy in years and there was so much displacement due to Katrina. There is also a small sausage maker there named Giovanni's Sausage Company, and they specialize in Italian sausage, go figure.

SamIV
Accent Outdoor Lighting

JoeyD
08-28-2007, 10:15 AM
I'll see what I can do. I have not seen Tommy in years and there was so much displacement due to Katrina. There is also a small sausage maker there named Giovanni's Sausage Company, and they specialize in Italian sausage, go figure.

SamIV
Accent Outdoor Lighting

No problem Sam, if you dig it up then cool, if not no sweat......I wont coma ana breaka you legs!!!!

SamIV
08-29-2007, 08:22 PM
JoeyD, I have a number for you but don't want to post it here, PM me and give me an email address and I will get it to you.

Thanks,
SamIV

JoeyD
08-30-2007, 10:20 AM
JoeyD, I have a number for you but don't want to post it here, PM me and give me an email address and I will get it to you.

Thanks,
SamIV

Sam, I cant figure out how to PM. Can you email it to me at joey.digiovanni@uniquelighting.com

Thanks Sam!!

Chris J
08-30-2007, 07:47 PM
Joey,
You don't have PM privileges for some reason. Maybe because you are a distributor, or it could be because you smell real bad. :laugh: I suggest you contact the administrator.

NightScenes
08-30-2007, 07:48 PM
Joey, you might want to check your preferences. You might not have enabled your PMs.

JoeyD
08-31-2007, 11:08 AM
Thanks guys, I will have to check those settings.