View Full Version : Frosted Lens for mr-16 bulbs

08-22-2007, 04:53 AM

I consider myself pretty darn good in turf care, nursery and ornamentals. I've been in that area almost 30 years. But I'm pretty ignorant with lighting. (Maybe we can trade ideas on those topics here?)......... I'm doing a job with some 35 watt mr - 16 halogen flood bulbs that are in well fixtures shining up onto four 6' alberta spruces and the sides of a large ranch house. It looks pretty good, except it appears 'concentrated' above the plants even though they are flood lights. One fellow at Ace Hardware recommended to me an 1 7/8 inch frosted lens to put over the bulb to blur that effect and spread that light over the wall better. (He said he's seen colored lenses too, but he didn't know where to buy them at all.) Do you agree that this will work? If so, where are the best kind of places to buy these lenses? I can't find anything on the internet.

08-22-2007, 08:16 AM
A frosted lens will soften the beam and give it a less pronounced "beam". You can get these lenses from any professional lighting distributor. I assume that since you were talking to your "Ace Hardware Man" about lighting, that you purchased Malibu products from there and they won't know where to pick up these lenses. If you have a John Deer Landscape or Ewing irrigation in the area, you could try them. If you need an internet source, try Terradek, Florida Outdoor Lighting, or California Landscape Lighting.

Good luck, and don't forget the lens clips.

08-22-2007, 09:40 AM
first I am REALLY surprised the guy at ACE knew what a frosted lens is.

I wasnt aware they sold well lights either. Pauls listings for suppliers is spot on. We use the CAST brand of lenses for the most part for frosted mr lenses.

What kind of voltage do you have at the fixture? did you consider trying a 20w bulb in place of the 35's to see if that helped.. also perhaps a wider spread bulb... x-wide 60 degree? It really depends on placement and the size of the plants

If your "ignorant" with lighting you should seek a local lighting guru out and ask him about his refferal program. Could be more lucrative for you than messing with these yourself and alot less headaches.

I think you also have a wolf creek near you. They just combines with Night tyme and should have what you need in stock locally.

08-22-2007, 10:53 AM
Good info Paul and Billy. I also thought I saw a reply by Night tyme but It was gone by the time i got a chance to look at this thread? Anyone know what Doug said or why it was deleted? I feel cheated somehow.

08-22-2007, 11:45 AM
Using diffusers is one of those little tricks that separate the real pro from the wanna-be. I always use a diffuser when shining against a wall. Not only will it spread things out a bit, but you can get some really nasty looking rings and hot spots (depending on the fixture) without one.

35W is too much for a 6' tree. 20W, and try the wide angle one (BAB-60). You may also want to try using more than one fixture on each. I am from the camp that believes more fixtures, each putting out less light, than one big fixture, putting out tons of light and washing out the foliage, is the way to go.

08-22-2007, 01:42 PM
If you go to John Deere you can access lens packs from Unique that have Linear, Frosted, and Dimpled Spread lenses for MR-16's and Par 36's. The frosted will soften and eliminate the harsh beam lines, a dimpled however will soften a little, not as much as a frosted but will spread the light out even more. Then a linear depending if you place the lines horizontally or verticlly will narrow the beam in and spread it up or down or left to right. Colored lenses are not all that great in my opinion, maybe for holidays, and a blue lens works great for moonlighting and some underwater/waterfall applications.

Joey D.

08-22-2007, 02:00 PM
Or visit your locally owned Unique distributor which was already mentioned!!!!

08-22-2007, 02:03 PM
Joey D...if you work for Unique and want to stress that so much, please do some research and fully read the thread before telling a client to go to Deere for Unique...

08-22-2007, 02:30 PM
Thanks Nite Tyme, will do! I was trying to stress the different lenses not the Unique name. I did read and missed the part where you have joined with Wolf Creek, I just saw someone mention Deere so I was trying emphasize IF they did go there....I will try and leave the company name out of my posts. I am learning how this forum works and it's rules. Honestly I am not trying to just push my company on you, I have been in this industry for 12 years so I think I have more to bring to the table then just things that Unique makes. Sorry if I have annoyed you or anyone else with the few posts I have made.

Joey D.

08-22-2007, 02:36 PM
I understand...but little do you know that you are talking to the unique distributor that someone already mentioned...then you come in and mention going to a different unique distributor!?!?

08-22-2007, 07:15 PM
Thanks, guys. Wonderful Advice! Answers:They are LV Manor House wells from Lowe's. The 35 watt bulbs are perfect because they're not focused directly on the spruces, but on the cedar woodwork behind it. And I'm not choosing to sub out the work so that I can learn something new, even if it hurts a little, during the dog days. Q's: Anyone out there ever tried using red or amber lenses to "bring out" the color of a cedar-colored home by restricting the lower part of the spectrum? Let me know. Also, I'm having trouble getting the shadows away from the foot of the wall. Would those aforementioned 60 degree bulbs be the answer? The wells are 7-8 ' away from the wall. Anyone have any troubles working with usalight.com? Their lenses are cheap, but are they CHEAP?

08-22-2007, 07:19 PM
You get what you pay for. allot of cheap colored lenses will lose their pigmentation in a short period of time. A well powered halogen lamp will produce a light that will show and highlight the true colors. Try that before installing any colored lenses. My experience with colored lenses has not been the best, but if I was going to do it again I would not use anything but Diachroic Color Lenses.

08-22-2007, 11:34 PM
Great help! Answers to Q's- They are LV Manor House fixtures from Lowes. No, the 35 watt MR-16's work great because they focus more on the cedar woodwork on the wall, and only sillouette the spruce's shapes. And, with much due respect, I'm combating my iggnoarannce (sic) during the dog days by learing new stuff in new green industry areas. It keeps me humble even if it's a little painful! That's how you grow. ...Other Q's for you- Having trouble with shadows along the ground. (Well units are 7' to 8' from the wall set in the turf) Think the aforementioned 60 degree bulbs will help? Joey D, I like the idea of the dimpled lenses. Gotta get those. Anyone ever play with the spectrum, using red or amber bulbs against a house that is red cedar siding? That's what I have here. My theory is that it will block out much of the "glare" and really set off the color of the siding, especially in winter. I also saw stuff from usalight.com real cheap. What are your positive experiences in dealing with this company?

08-23-2007, 12:25 AM
Cheap is usually just that, cheap. When it comes to using color, it's not something that I use often. You don't want a property to have that Disney World look. There are times to use color though. A blue filter will bring out the green in foliage. A soft amber light can look great as a background. Just don't over do it.

08-23-2007, 01:51 PM
when I first started I tried some cheap lenses and they peeled. They were blue for moon lighting.

Now all I use is glass dichronic filters. They are about 4 times the price of the cheapies but there is a real diff. They dont actually look blue when you just see them. They look almost mirrored. If you look closer thru the lens you will see pure blue. Try this with the cheapie lenses.

If I understand right the cheapie ones ADD blue to the light

The dichonics filter out everything BUT the blue

Either way. Huge diff in performance and color.

08-23-2007, 09:31 PM
Ewing Irrigation Products offers a full line of lenses both dichroic and tempered glass if anybody is looking for them.

08-28-2007, 04:04 AM
Thanks for your help, guys! You got me going in the right direction. Ewing helped me with the dimpled lenses I needed, and they directed me to their supplier, FXL, for the diachroic amber lenses I'll need for the winter snow-show.

08-28-2007, 08:21 AM
don't forget about your local distributor who has the lenses and lenses in stock in Sharonville.