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Chris J
10-07-2007, 10:22 AM
I know the new trend is toward LED, but I wonder why solar technology has not been studied and improved upon more. As some of you know, I've got a big Home & Patio show going on right now and it amazes me how many people inquire if the lighting is "solar." Every show, I actually get tired of answering this question. It seems that there is a great deal of interest in solar lighting, and I know it would put a big dent in all of our businesses. It just makes me wonder why these lighting manufacturers haven't put forth as much effort in developing quality solar equipment as they have with LED? Anyone got any knowledge on the subject (other than solar is just junk)?

Lite4
10-07-2007, 12:13 PM
I can only assume solar is in the top of everyones mind because the box stores have done such a wonderful job of pimping their ***** to the whole nation, and have everyone brainwashed and believing she is the perfect girl for them. (sorry for the calus analogy)
Plain and simple it is pure junk and is innefective, but popular because:
1. It is DIY friendly (even for the mentally challenged)
2. No wires to bury (lazy americans)
3. Relatively innexpensive (not hard to see why)
4. Minimal choices of fixtures (too many would cause confusion, and then they would have to hire someone to show where to place them)
5. Easily moved around (since they don't know where to place them anyway)
6. All the other neighbors have them they must be good (Quoting the Bible here: "if the blind follow the blind, they will both fall into the ditch.")
7. Effective marketing (Americans will buy anything we tell them to if lie to them and tell them it is the best.)
8. In some areas they just have not seen good, effective lighting (OOOh, so that is what lighting is supposed to look like, I guess I won't have to guide any lost 747s into my driveway and sidewalk anymore. Whew, I was worried what that would do to my garage.)
Bottom line: (if you hadn't guessed my stance on solar lighting) It is nothing but a tripping hazard since the glowing usually diminishes in 4-5 hours anyway and all you are left with is a stick to bang your shins on while navigating your front walk "in the dark".

To all you box stores: you are shameless marketers of pure garbage. You will sell whatever will turn you a quick buck from the uninformed public. (We in the LV lighting industry are fed up with it and are going to change the way people in this country think about proper lighting, one city at a time)

klkanders
10-07-2007, 12:54 PM
Cmon Tim don't hold back...tell us how you really feel about it! :)
Seriously that was good stuff!
Chris, Good question. I am thinking they have been looking into it but also knowing that with a couple great fixtures it could eliminate the professional installer. No need for transformers, wire, testing voltage, amps, etc....

JoeyD
10-07-2007, 01:02 PM
I believe they have not perfected transfering the stored energy into constant usable output. Thats the reasoning I have heard being on the manufacturing end.

pete scalia
10-07-2007, 02:48 PM
Batteries used to store the energy produced by solar power are not green enough for Al Gore's followers.

Lite4
10-07-2007, 10:05 PM
Batteries used to store the energy produced by solar power are not green enough for Al Gore's followers.

Anything that will take up space on this planet (except for Al Gore of course and his learjet), is not green enough.

Chris J
10-07-2007, 10:37 PM
I especially love the uplights that have the 12"x12" panel attached to the fixture to capture the sunlight. This is soooo subtle in the landscape.

Eden Lights
10-07-2007, 10:48 PM
Anything that will take up space on this planet (except for Al Gore of course and his learjet), is not green enough.

Al's place has more than just a couple of lights and they are not solar fixtures, but I think he did put in some panels under the canopy of all the big trees on his place. I hope the SS doesn't come visit me for saying that tomorrow.

Chris J
10-07-2007, 10:52 PM
Have you done some work for him Eddie?

Eden Lights
10-07-2007, 11:03 PM
Have you done some work for him Eddie?

No, I would say it is a OLP job. I need to see if if would like to replace everything with LED's don't you think and trash all those tractor headlights.

Chris J
10-07-2007, 11:13 PM
Yep. That would be a good sale. You should try to figure out a way to get a meeting with him and explain the energy efficiency to him. By the way, what did you think of the LED's that you and I were looking at a few weeks ago at the conference? Without mentioning any brand names yet, do you think that this product is worthy and comparable to other brands available today? I definitely think the shroud is going to be necessary; don't you?

NiteTymeIlluminations
10-08-2007, 09:00 AM
The unnamed brand's LEDs are great in the water if you can conceal them. I have heard about the new ones...chris call me with details...I didn't get to see them...I am a HUGE user of LEDs. I have probably used more than anyone on this site and that unamed mfr hasn't shown them to me yet...I'm afraid Mike is waiting to work the kinks out before he hands them to me. but I didnt like the little disc ones they had at first, now I find myself suggesting them for anything with water right now. They are so easy to hide.

Solar though...don't we wish...stay in front of the learning curve though and you'll make some bucks...I would keep asking everyone and you'll get answers some day in our life time...

Lite4
10-08-2007, 10:22 AM
Why all the secrecy with this LED brand. Can I get in on the LED conspiracy.

bmwsmity
10-08-2007, 12:17 PM
honestly i dont see any amount of technology making it possible to make solar lights effective beyond being boundary markers.

i get a lot of customers who ask me about solar lights as well, which i also believe is due to marketers raising consumer consciousness about them.

have you guys ever seen the crappo solar led commercials? they really talk them up.

i love seeing the results that those things give the poor saps who try to "uplight" their 2-story homes with. just a big blue blob of light about 4 feet high! :laugh:

the AWESOME thing about the marketing done for solar lighting is that it raises consumer awareness about landscape lighting in general, and eventually once the majority of homeowners try the products out and realize they suck, they will turn to some real lights from people like us.

just a matter of time!

NiteTymeIlluminations
10-08-2007, 12:29 PM
where there is a will there is a way...

I have lit a 60 foot palm tree with LED...and it blew the top of that tree away...3000 kelvin...couldn't get up there to do a light test though...but the engineer on the job had to pick his jaw off the ground when I told him it was a 12 watt led...

now solar lights...i dont see it coming soon but if your client is concerned have them invest the 50 grand on having a great panel hooked up to the house, get off the grid and only use LEDs inside and out...I mean if they want solar lights outside why dont they have solar lights inside...and a solar tv and a solar radio...make it simple for them, just get a solar panel on your house...
if i knew i'd be staying in my house for over 10 years i would...

bmwsmity
10-08-2007, 12:42 PM
where there is a will there is a way...

I have lit a 60 foot palm tree with LED...and it blew the top of that tree away...3000 kelvin...couldn't get up there to do a light test though...but the engineer on the job had to pick his jaw off the ground when I told him it was a 12 watt led...

now solar lights...i dont see it coming soon but if your client is concerned have them invest the 50 grand on having a great panel hooked up to the house, get off the grid and only use LEDs inside and out...I mean if they want solar lights outside why dont they have solar lights inside...and a solar tv and a solar radio...make it simple for them, just get a solar panel on your house...
if i knew i'd be staying in my house for over 10 years i would...


now we're talking solar! ;)

do you have any pics of these LED's in action Doug?

NiteTymeIlluminations
10-08-2007, 12:48 PM
I dont have any pictures on my pc at all, sorry...I have them in my camera. I'll bring in the camera next time you are in stop by my office and i'll show them to you. I had the light made to my specs by a mfr I best leave unnamed on the forum and they did the job sweeetttt!!!

David Gretzmier
10-08-2007, 12:50 PM
ah, the UNNAMED people. this reminds me of the UNNAMED girl I dated in high school. the UNNAMED meat in the cafeteria.

I have seen a light in frontgate catalog that goes in a shed, it has a solar panel about 12x12 that mounts on the roof. it powers a battery that appears to be about the size of those old lantern 6 volt ray-o-vac. The bulb for the fixture is a fluorescent, about a 5-7 watt, and it gives about few hour's of burn time, but ideal for instant on find what you need in the shed, and then turn the light off.

to power even an LED system, you'd have about 2-3 watts at each fixture, and let's say 20 fixtures. so you need a solar/battery system that provides at least 60 watts for aprox the 6 hour burn time of most systems. and I'd build in a days burn time in the battery for cloudy days.

I'd say it is doable with two large conventional car/deep cycle batteries. To mount on the roof, you can purchase a 2 foot by 4 foot solar panel that puts out 150 watts at 17 volts, 7 amps, to charge the battery during the day. they run around 650-750 bucks. with 10-12 hours of daylight, you should be storing enough to burn the 60 watt system for 60 hours.

I've seen people run cabins off a dozen of these panels and a dozen batteries with an inverter. no a/c, electric heat, or electric stove mind you, but plenty of power for lighting and refridgeration for a small family. To do A/C you'd probably need to triple the size of the system.

surely if people can run houses off solar then a decent solar lighting system is doable.

NiteTymeIlluminations
10-08-2007, 12:58 PM
what has to heppen in order to be able to do it efficiently? I'm no electrical engineer thats for sure...It seems like the panels and batteries need o get more efficient. I just rwad somethingt he other day about the ablitity to charge phones and computers wirelessly...now thats crazy!

NiteTymeIlluminations
10-08-2007, 01:17 PM
[QUOTE=David Gretzmier;1989128]ah, the UNNAMED people. this reminds me of the UNNAMED girl I dated in high school. the UNNAMED meat in the cafeteria. ]

If I named the mfr, the post would be elminated by the forum director or by Joey d the sponsor now

JoeyD
10-08-2007, 01:29 PM
I cannot delete anything here nor would I. I am not here for that. I say share the info! Thats what we are here for. I hold no punches when it comes to products that I think can help us all out weather it is a Unique product or someone elses.

Firefly Lighting
10-08-2007, 08:28 PM
All you have to do is go to Light Fair this year. The whole floor is covered with LED technology. I just finished a shopping center with LED and it is amazing, the amount of amp load for them is staggeringly little.

NightScenes
10-08-2007, 09:05 PM
The unnamed is Kichler!! It is not an LED lamp but an LED fixture!! It comes it will come in a 4, 6 and 9 watt model (if I recall) and will have beam spreads of 12, 36 and 60 degrees (if I recall). The fixture looked VERY good with a color temp of around 3000K.

ChampionLS
10-08-2007, 09:34 PM
Heres some LED lighting pictures from my collection. Not bad, but the lighting is a little harsh and too modern for my liking.

irrig8r
10-08-2007, 09:58 PM
Is this what you guys are talking about?

http://www.ledsmagazine.com/press/15076

NightScenes
10-08-2007, 10:39 PM
Is this what you guys are talking about?

http://www.ledsmagazine.com/press/15076

Not really, the new fixtures are not out yet. Their drivers are built into the fixtures. It's pretty interesting stuff.

Chris J
10-08-2007, 11:00 PM
I wasn't trying to keep any secrets because it's obviously not a secret. I just didn't want to mention the name and put them on the spot in case this turned into a slam fest about their new line.

Lite4
10-09-2007, 12:23 AM
I am intrigued by these new LEDs but still remain skeptical. However, Having you guys vouch for them says a lot. I will definitely be taking a hard look when they come out. I hope they will have some better looking fixtures than their first series.

sprinkler guy
10-09-2007, 12:48 AM
I wasn't trying to keep any secrets because it's obviously not a secret. I just didn't want to mention the name and put them on the spot in case this turned into a slam fest about their new line.

Kichler makes a really good product. If people start slamming them here I would expect it to be based on a specific personal experience with the product line, not just ignorant generalizations about how LED sucks. I haven't yet been exposed to good LED, but I just talked with an old industry friend who used to be the Kichler rep. He told me they've been working pretty hard for quite some time on their LED line to make sure it would compete with their existing products on the performance end. Kichler doesn't have a huge following here in California, but this would bring a lot of folks around. Of course, LED or no LED, where else are you going to get a frog/umbrella light?

JoeyD
10-09-2007, 10:13 AM
You got a point with the frog and umbrella Sean!! Cant find that thing anywhere else!!! LOL

NightScenes
10-09-2007, 10:31 AM
Hey, lay off of the frog man!! I use a lot of those guys. I'm putting some into a design I'm working on right now.

JoeyD
10-09-2007, 10:42 AM
I knew you would jump in and defend your frog!!! You are loyal to the frong and I can respect that Paul. I honestly put that comment in there knowing you would say something!!

GODD MORNING PAUL!!!





disclaimer: all comments made by Joey D regarding the frog are soley his and not those of Unique Lighting Systems. The frog comments are in no way an attack on Kichler and their products. Do not admit to using this light unless you are prepared for Joey D to make fun of you....and the frog! JUST KIDDING USE THE FROG!! Who am I to make fun!?

pete scalia
10-09-2007, 08:50 PM
You got a point with the frog and umbrella Sean!! Cant find that thing anywhere else!!! LOL

Isn't that a blessing. And how.

Chris J
10-09-2007, 10:08 PM
Someone recently posted a message about critisizing others and making negative remarks. I'm wondering if this thread is headed in that direction as well?
Kichler is the largest decorative lighting manufacturer in the world. Although some may think some of their fixtures are silly and unnecessary in our industry, it would be a big mistake to view this opinion as what would be the overall opinion of the landscape lighting consumer. Some customers actually like the idea of having very ornate and decorative fixtures, and this is why Kichler is doing so well in the lighting industry. If someone has a better idea of how to make Kichler more sucessful with their product line, I'm sure they will accept your application. In other words, there is a fixture for everyone. Although the frilly fixtures are not my first choice when designing a lighting system, that doesn't mean that there is not a place for it in the market (and a very big place I might add).
If you or your customer likes it, it is there for the offering. If you don't like it, then don't buy it! However, no good can come out of bashing some one or some company for a particular product.
What's the old saying? If you don't have something good to say, then say nothing at all.

pete scalia
10-09-2007, 10:17 PM
It's called having an opinion and agreeing with someone else. Last thing I new that was allowed in this message board or has that changed too. Some people just like to start trouble for no reason.

Chris J
10-09-2007, 10:22 PM
It's called having an opinion and agreeing with someone else. Last thing I new that was allowed in this message board or has that changed too. Some people just like to start trouble for no reason.

Not trying to start trouble here by any means. Just defending a company who's presence is not available to defend themselves at the moment. You are welcome to your own opinions as the previous message was not necessarily directed toward you.

NightScenes
10-10-2007, 12:08 AM
I think the frog thing is all in fun, at least I took it that way and meant it that way. The fixture lends itself to this type of jesting but I do use it.

Chris J
10-10-2007, 12:13 AM
I understand Paul, and I do agree with you. I just get a bit upset when a particular product or company starts getting picked on when they are not here to fight back. I feel like I'm sticking up for the little guy, but I'm actually not needed in this particular situation as this "little guy" is a really big dude!
By the way, did you get that email I sent you today? Let me know if you can figure out this circuit.

NightScenes
10-10-2007, 12:24 AM
I understand Paul, and I do agree with you. I just get a bit upset when a particular product or company starts getting picked on when they are not here to fight back. I feel like I'm sticking up for the little guy, but I'm actually not needed in this particular situation as this "little guy" is a really big dude!
By the way, did you get that email I sent you today? Let me know if you can figure out this circuit.


I did get the email, thank you. I needed a deversion from the project I was working on. :laugh:

Eden Lights
10-10-2007, 01:00 AM
I realize we are a little of topic here but the frog brings up a good point about Kichler's decorative focus in it's current marketing plan. While there recently I suggested that come up with a small specification catalog with only the task fixtures in it to market to Architects, Builders, and other Professionals since many times the decorative fixtures project a home improvement store type of image and perception. While I have yet to find a better fixture than the K-15384 due to it's deep lamp position, excellent finish, adjustable stem with an conduit locknut, and the split stake it very fast and flexible for those of us that hammer our stakes in with a rubber mallet, and at a retail cost of $60-70 dollars, yet it is still perceived as a cheap low quality product just because of the frog by some.

JoeyD
10-10-2007, 10:12 AM
Chris, I was truly joking around with Paul. I think we all know that there are lights made by Kichler that are very good. I dont think anyone was trying to make fun of Kichler as much as we were just teasing about the Frog and Umbrella light. We need to be able to laugh sometimes right? Paul and I were on the phone togeather when he read the post and we both got a good laugh.

I do understand where you are coming from becuase sometimes there are some cheap shots takin here but this was not one of them. We were purly joking around.

bmwsmity
10-10-2007, 10:47 AM
If you or your customer likes it, it is there for the offering. If you don't like it, then don't buy it! However, no good can come out of bashing some one or some company for a particular product.


I think we always need to keep in mind that our work has a very aesthetic dimension to it. Because aesthetics are involved, we must also keep in mind that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Some customers may like one type of lighting effect or fixture, while another thinks it is the most horrific thing they've ever seen. Sometimes being a "professional" blinds us to the fact that the "professional" way of doing something might not be what the customer wants. Kind of goes back to the thread about PAR lamps. Though they aren't as "good" as MR's, some customers LOVE the way they look...almost to an insane degree...like a previous customer of mind that threw a fit over me only using MR's. Sometimes you just have to do what the customer wants, even if that means using a "silly" fixture, or one that isn't up to the standards of a high-brow, nose-in-the-air, "professional."

Chris J
10-10-2007, 01:34 PM
Chris, I was truly joking around with Paul. I think we all know that there are lights made by Kichler that are very good. I dont think anyone was trying to make fun of Kichler as much as we were just teasing about the Frog and Umbrella light. We need to be able to laugh sometimes right? Paul and I were on the phone togeather when he read the post and we both got a good laugh.

I do understand where you are coming from becuase sometimes there are some cheap shots takin here but this was not one of them. We were purly joking around.

I'm not mad at anybody. I've got a sense of humor too ya know. :)

JoeyD
10-10-2007, 01:36 PM
I'm not mad at anybody. I've got a sense of humor too ya know. :)

I know you do, I saw the way you dress!!!

LOL.....Cant wait to see ya!!!:laugh:

JoeyD
10-10-2007, 02:59 PM
I realize we are a little of topic here but the frog brings up a good point about Kichler's decorative focus in it's current marketing plan. While there recently I suggested that come up with a small specification catalog with only the task fixtures in it to market to Architects, Builders, and other Professionals since many times the decorative fixtures project a home improvement store type of image and perception. While I have yet to find a better fixture than the K-15384 due to it's deep lamp position, excellent finish, adjustable stem with an conduit locknut, and the split stake it very fast and flexible for those of us that hammer our stakes in with a rubber mallet, and at a retail cost of $60-70 dollars, yet it is still perceived as a cheap low quality product just because of the frog by some.


Eddie,

In regards to the split stake.....we have played with this design a bit on our stakes and looked at the competiotions. We still see and experience a problem of when we put the fixture back on the stake the threading and spinning fo the fixture wreks havoc on the wire at the fixture. Do you ever have this problem. And if not what is it you do to prevent this??

Thanks in advance,

Joey D>

NiteTymeIlluminations
10-10-2007, 05:06 PM
hey...this is about Solar and LEDs!!!

JoeyD
10-10-2007, 06:48 PM
one thing leads to another.....this solar light convo is dead! LOL.........j/k

Eden Lights
10-10-2007, 06:58 PM
Eddie,

In regards to the split stake.....we have played with this design a bit on our stakes and looked at the competiotions. We still see and experience a problem of when we put the fixture back on the stake the threading and spinning fo the fixture wreks havoc on the wire at the fixture. Do you ever have this problem. And if not what is it you do to prevent this??

Thanks in advance,

Joey D>

No problem, but I am working with a small 18/2 wire and you are trying something bigger??? On large wired fixtures we use the tri-spike stake from HK lighting group.

JoeyD
10-10-2007, 07:02 PM
Actually we too are doing this with 16 and 18/2 wire. Not always does it happen. But when you twist the wire it spins it in the knuckle or the stem and if it has already been somewhat twisted it wrecks the connection. Not a big deal, just thought you might have a trick.

HK, they make some cool stuff. I really like their drive over MR16 well's. I cant remember for sure but I think the guy who started HK used to have something to do with Lumiere? Anyway, convo for another day. Thanks Eddie!!

Joey D.

Eden Lights
10-10-2007, 07:15 PM
Actually we too are doing this with 16 and 18/2 wire. Not always does it happen. But when you twist the wire it spins it in the knuckle or the stem and if it has already been somewhat twisted it wrecks the connection. Not a big deal, just thought you might have a trick.

HK, they make some cool stuff. I really like their drive over MR16 well's. I cant remember for sure but I think the guy who started HK used to have something to do with Lumiere? Anyway, convo for another day. Thanks Eddie!!

Joey D.

Well I leave the stake just a little high or clear out in front of the slit and then as I turn the fixture with my left hand I turn the wire coming out of the slit with my right hand. When connection is already made I counter clockwise rotate the fixture first and then do the above procedure.

Hiroshi Kira was the founder of Lumiere and designed the product line which was sold to Cooper. Another lumiere spin off is Hevi-Lite.

JoeyD
10-10-2007, 07:18 PM
interesting! thanks Eddie!

sprinkler guy
10-11-2007, 01:24 AM
:laugh: Hey, lay off of the frog man!! I use a lot of those guys. I'm putting some into a design I'm working on right now.

I use them on occasion too, Paul, so my comment was definitely in jest. I'll say again, Kichler makes a good product, and I have no qualms about reccommending it for a client. I used their lighthouse fixture once for a job. Sometimes the querky or unusual is the perfect fit for a project. I just sold a customer some of Vista's new pathlites that have a canvas top. They look like sundeck umbrellas. On this job they were a miniature version of the two umbrellas in this lady's backyard. She went nuts for them. Again, not something I'd use everywhere, but the perfect fit for this application.

pete scalia
10-13-2007, 12:29 AM
I realize we are a little of topic here but the frog brings up a good point about Kichler's decorative focus in it's current marketing plan. While there recently I suggested that come up with a small specification catalog with only the task fixtures in it to market to Architects, Builders, and other Professionals since many times the decorative fixtures project a home improvement store type of image and perception. While I have yet to find a better fixture than the K-15384 due to it's deep lamp position, excellent finish, adjustable stem with an conduit locknut, and the split stake it very fast and flexible for those of us that hammer our stakes in with a rubber mallet, and at a retail cost of $60-70 dollars, yet it is still perceived as a cheap low quality product just because of the frog by some.

In addition to all the stated. The fact that the product is readily available and deeply discounted all over the internet, and that it frequently appears on ebay doesn't dispel this perception by some.