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View Full Version : What is made in the USA, and do you care?


Eden Lights
10-14-2007, 06:18 PM
I just finished watching the Titans get beat and it reminded me of something that I have been thinking about since a recent visit to a lighting manufacturer. On the back of the Tampa Bay Bucs helmet was a good size USA flag. First what fixtures and transformers are made where? And second do you or your customers really care?

I will say that I do care, but I have not actively done anything about it, such as researching products and etc. I don't think my customers care, but I do think it is a good sales tool if it presented to the customers as high quality American made product.

Now what is made where? If it is made in ? and assembled in the USA, how do we count it? I consider those products assembled here to be of better quality that those not even if the raw pieces are made somewhere else.

FXL - FX products are manufactured in southern California where we comply with the worldís toughest environmental, labor and work place safety regulations. We are proof positive that an American company can still compete very successfully with foreign made brands. We win the game with superior quality, delivery and support.

Hadco ?

Kichler - All China

BK Lighting - Everything that I buy from them says made in the USA

Vista?
Hunza?
HK Lighting
RSL Lighting
Dabmar
Focus
Hevi Lite
Hydrel
Kim
Nightscaping
Greenlee
Bronzelite
Hinkley
Escort
Hanover
Unique
Lumiere
Coppermoon

YardPro
10-14-2007, 08:21 PM
vista is 100% us made except for the usho bulbs.

i just got baack from thier plant. They have a great operation and they make everything in house. they also have a 24 hour ship guarantee on custom orders, even if it's one fixture.

they have a great operation.

pete scalia
10-14-2007, 08:27 PM
Excellent Topic
:usflag:
In addition how bout

SPJ- China
Aurora light- ?
Lightcraft- China
Cast- South America
MDL-?
Justin- ?
Federated-?
Atom lighting ?
Evening lights- china
Frog lights- china
winnscape-?
BQL-china
CCL-china
Atlas-?

Regarding FXL has anyone seen their manufacturing facility in So Cal?

carcrz
10-14-2007, 08:54 PM
Really I have no problem w/ foreign made products as long as their presence in the US is very available & their quality is good.

YardPro
10-14-2007, 09:12 PM
it matters to me where they are made. I would like to buy only us made goods if a all possible.
and i try to avoid all goods from china. That, however, is getting harder and harder.

G.M.Landscaping
10-14-2007, 09:16 PM
How can you even compare anything that's made in the USA? 80% is made somewhere else. I hate Chinese made stuff, but try and find it made here. I'm talking anything made, not lighting products, but I'm sure it applies here.

I'll buy something brand new and it doesn't work. Ahh, made on China. So if I could find these items made in the US, would they work better? I'll never know since they don't exist.:cry:

carcrz
10-14-2007, 09:36 PM
It seems like everything I buy US made turns out to be junk lately. Cars, clothing, etc... I buy a foreign car & it will run forever.

G.M.Landscaping
10-14-2007, 09:40 PM
It seems like everything I buy US made turns out to be junk lately. Cars, clothing, etc... I buy a foreign car & it will run forever.

Maybe a Japanese vehicle, not a Chinese, Korean etc.

pete scalia
10-14-2007, 10:13 PM
vista is 100% us made except for the usho bulbs.

i just got baack from thier plant. They have a great operation and they make everything in house. they also have a 24 hour ship guarantee on custom orders, even if it's one fixture.

they have a great operation.

They don't make their own brass and copper products. That is outsourced. can't tell you foreign or domestic. my guess would be foreign though

pete scalia
10-14-2007, 10:27 PM
Anyone afraid of Chinese made lighting products sprayed with lead paint? Not much of a risk of anyone chewing on them but you never know. Better safe then sorry.

Chris J
10-14-2007, 10:49 PM
This is a tough post to enter into with an opinion. My first response will not necessarily be my final stance, but I will say that cost will be a big factor in evaluating the overall final factor. With overseas manufacturing and/or assembly being so readily available at such a relatively low price point, it is no wonder that so many US based lighting companies are involving them in some regard. It is much like the modern-day entrepreneurs that you see employing the services of the illegal immigrants who may be highly skilled craftsmen, but are willing to work for far less per hour than the average American would consider a decent wage. Big lighting corporations are willing to outsource their labor costs in order to be that much more competitive in the market place. I can only assume that if a manufacturer existed that actually produced the raw materials, manufactured them, assembled them, and provided all QA here in the US this would be an extremely high cost product. I know there are a whole bunch of people out there who claim "Made in the USA" but if you could actually get right down to the bottom of it all, I would bet there is a lot more overseas involvement in their process than they willingly admit.

Lite4
10-15-2007, 01:32 AM
I am afraid of being owned by China someday with all the outsourcing we give to them. I buy everything made in the USA if possible, Unique, Vista, etc...

pete scalia
10-15-2007, 09:22 AM
I am afraid of being owned by China someday with all the outsourcing we give to them. I buy everything made in the USA if possible, Unique, Vista, etc...

Unique is made in china except transformers

NightScenes
10-15-2007, 09:37 AM
I would like someone to name 10 items that are 100% made in the USA. I don't mean assembled, or partially made here. I mean all parts and labor manufactured right here. This may take awhile. The point being, we are now a global economy and you will more than likely be buying foreign items and not even know it.

I buy Ford vehicles and try to buy American when I can. I use mostly Kichler product which is an American company that employs a lot of Americans.

steveparrott
10-15-2007, 10:09 AM
Paul,

I don't think a 100% US-made product still exists in any electrical/electronic manufacturing sector. Screws, electronic components, you name it.

Even if you did find a product with all the components from the US, what about the raw materials - copper, zinc, nickle, etc?

Global trade is here to stay, there's no going back. The key is to make it work for us, so we all have good jobs - that depends on trade policy. . .

JoeyD
10-15-2007, 11:34 AM
Unique is NOT MADE IN CHINA! We do have our copper and brass molds made in China, this is true. Our transformers are 100% made in our factory in California. Our fixture molds like I stated come in from overseas then are completely checked over, then put into the assembly line and built to order rigth here!! We do all the assembly, QC, packaging, and shipping from our factory in California.
I wish we could go 100% American made in terms of our molds but it would make our lights that most already consider expensive even more. We do our best and keep our outsourcing to a minimum. But like Steve said, half the products you buy that you consider American Made and can carry Made in The USA stickers are really no different then us. Half of the components they use including wire and sockets come from overseas.

I try to buy American products when possible but if I was 100% I wouldnt be able to watch TV or listen to the radio, or work on this computer.

bmwsmity
10-15-2007, 07:32 PM
It seems like everything I buy US made turns out to be junk lately. Cars, clothing, etc... I buy a foreign car & it will run forever.

Unfortunately, I think this is why more and more people don't care if something is made in China or not.

I would never, ever own an American made car (can't you tell by my name on here). Not only for the fact that they are pieces of crap, but also for the fact that I don't want to reward companies who refuse to innovate, pay people $70k a year to put brakes on cars, and have an overall belief that mediocrity is the best way to go. Sad, but true. Companies like this deserve to lose market share just for being stupid.

Who knows, maybe Cerberus buying Chrysler will change things in the American Auto Industry. We'll see...they've already begun making some incredible marketing moves.

Now, some people may still care. I have some customers with $2 mil homes that still drive American cars, probably because they are American made. I think if you notice things like this, it might be worthwhile pitching products that are Made in USA.

JoeyD
10-15-2007, 07:38 PM
Well when it comes to Trucks I will stick with my 7.3l Ford Turbo Diesel

bmwsmity
10-15-2007, 07:54 PM
:usflag:

Have fun with that Joey. I know I may not be the most admired person for saying what I said. To each his own. And, I forgot to put that one little disclosure that if for some reason I ever needed a 3/4 ton or larger truck, I would buy American.

However, I doubt any American car company would give someone a FREE transmission, with no warranty coverage, on a vehicle with 94,000 miles. Well, that's exactly what Honda did for my wife's Odyssey. It's pretty tough to win me over when a car company saved me about $3,000, especially when out of warranty.

JoeyD
10-15-2007, 08:39 PM
Hey Dodge just came out with a LIFETIME WARRANTY for the origional buyer!! But I know what your saying, I just wanted to show off my new truck! LOL

bmwsmity
10-15-2007, 08:41 PM
Hey Dodge just came out with a LIFETIME WARRANTY for the origional buyer!! But I know what your saying, I just wanted to show off my new truck! LOL

that's what i was referring to with cerberus' wise marketing strategy. that's a pretty strong reason to buy, and it sends a strong message about the brand itself.

that truck is pretty sweet man. you can tow what, about 15k lbs with that?

JoeyD
10-15-2007, 08:45 PM
I thought it was closer to 12 but I honestly havent looked? I know it will tow my 25 ft Weekend Warrior.

pete scalia
10-15-2007, 09:31 PM
Unique is NOT MADE IN CHINA! We do have our copper and brass molds made in China, this is true. Our transformers are 100% made in our factory in California. Our fixture molds like I stated come in from overseas then are completely checked over, then put into the assembly line and built to order rigth here!! We do all the assembly, QC, packaging, and shipping from our factory in California.
I wish we could go 100% American made in terms of our molds but it would make our lights that most already consider expensive even more. We do our best and keep our outsourcing to a minimum. But like Steve said, half the products you buy that you consider American Made and can carry Made in The USA stickers are really no different then us. Half of the components they use including wire and sockets come from overseas.

I try to buy American products when possible but if I was 100% I wouldnt be able to watch TV or listen to the radio, or work on this computer.

why so defensive? If your molds (cast brass parts) are made in china then your product is made in china since your mold (cast brass parts) consist of 90% of your product. I said your transformers were made in US so my post is accurate and I stand by it. To hear you deny it's made in China would imply your not happy with that fact. I don't see anyone making a fuss over it so you shouldn't either. Frankie says....Relax.

JoeyD
10-15-2007, 09:54 PM
It is touchy. Personally when I hear "Made In China" it seems to cheapen the product. Although there are plenty of top notch quality products made in China. I am clear on this for one reason. (another sore subject) There are a tremendous amount of companies like stated in a lighting manufacturers PR release today, in Asia looking for product ideas to steal and sell to any one willing to buy them. We have fallen victim to this and it does not do anything more than anger us guys putting in all this work developing the products, coming up with all the cool innovative stuff.

So my point is we assemble and perform all the QC here so that we can verify that it is a quality product. Unlike our knockoff competitors who just have the supplier in China assemble the light. they sell it as being just as good as ours but cheaper......but that is impossible. I asked one of these guys before I came back to Unique. He worked for one of these companies. I said what do you do with all the returns on the faulty product, isnt there a bunch. He said "Yeah we get a lot, but what does it matter when they are so cheap. We just throw them away and give them a new light." You see they dont try and improve, they dont care about making things better.

Dont get me started. I feel like Eddie talking about Par 36 Lamps!! LOL

I just want people to know that we take pride in having our products QC'd and fully Assembled in the USA. And rememeber Unique was a Transformer Manufacturer long before it made lights. They have always been built 100% right here!

Joey D.

pete scalia
10-16-2007, 12:39 AM
It is touchy. Personally when I hear "Made In China" it seems to cheapen the product. Although there are plenty of top notch quality products made in China. I am clear on this for one reason. (another sore subject) There are a tremendous amount of companies like stated in a lighting manufacturers PR release today, in Asia looking for product ideas to steal and sell to any one willing to buy them. We have fallen victim to this and it does not do anything more than anger us guys putting in all this work developing the products, coming up with all the cool innovative stuff.

So my point is we assemble and perform all the QC here so that we can verify that it is a quality product. Unlike our knockoff competitors who just have the supplier in China assemble the light. they sell it as being just as good as ours but cheaper......but that is impossible. I asked one of these guys before I came back to Unique. He worked for one of these companies. I said what do you do with all the returns on the faulty product, isnt there a bunch. He said "Yeah we get a lot, but what does it matter when they are so cheap. We just throw them away and give them a new light." You see they dont try and improve, they dont care about making things better.

Dont get me started. I feel like Eddie talking about Par 36 Lamps!! LOL

I just want people to know that we take pride in having our products QC'd and fully Assembled in the USA. And rememeber Unique was a Transformer Manufacturer long before it made lights. They have always been built 100% right here!

Joey D.

In a nutshell are you saying the chinese are inferior at assembly? Is that what differentiates your brand from the knockoffs, your US assembly? The scabs will buy the knockoffs cause they're too cheap to buy your stuff. The quality guys will buy the real deal. The way I see it nothing you do or say is gonna change that so I wouldn't be concerned to the point of getting an ulcer over it. There is a problem when the knockoffs are being passed off as the real deal though. Obviously you don't want failed producted being perceived as yours.

Eden Lights
10-16-2007, 12:59 AM
We need someone like Bill Locklin to post on this subject.

Look what he posted on his website about Ewing and JD

"Iím proud of the profitable industry built for contractors and loyal distributors. John Deere and Ewing are quite successful in turning a contractors specialty into a commodity."

"I didnít and I wonít."

Bill Locklin

Wow! and I just bought a couple grand worth of Nightscaping stuff from Ewing, no wonder it was so high!!!!!!!!

David Gretzmier
10-16-2007, 01:06 AM
I remember when Brite Ideas corporate moved thier Christmas Light Manufacturing to China in '02 and '03. in '01 when they were made in the US, we saw maybe 500 pieces, and only one to my memory broke at the weld. in '02 and '03, close to 25-40% of the items would break at the welds. It probably set my business and reputation back tens of thousands of dollars. ridiculous.

Today the items from china are vastly improved, and I probably see 1 out of a hundred broken or so. This is due mainly to a different design, elimination of welds, and other improvements. I also buy from a different manufacturor that really tries to work with the chinese to improve the product. Items made in china can be good and inexpensive with very good oversight of engineering and quality control.

due to the price of oil/shipping and steel, and China possibly letting thier currency float a bit, US manufacturing may make a comeback. I spoke to a manufacturor at a ball game a few weeks ago, and he said if gas hits 3.50-4 bucks a gallon, many items made in china will not be cheaper than if made in the US simply because of shipping costs. If the yuan floats in the open market that would happen closer to the 3 buck a gallon fuel cost.

we'll see.

pete scalia
10-16-2007, 01:16 AM
We need someone like Bill Locklin to post on this subject.

Look what he posted on his website about Ewing and JD

"Iím proud of the profitable industry built for contractors and loyal distributors. John Deere and Ewing are quite successful in turning a contractors specialty into a commodity."

"I didnít and I wonít."

Bill Locklin

Wow! and I just bought a couple grand worth of Nightscaping stuff from Ewing, no wonder it was so high!!!!!!!!

If that's what he says about his friends (Ewing=distributor) I can only imagine what he says about his enemies.

Eden Lights
10-16-2007, 01:44 AM
If that's what he says about his friends (Ewing=distributor) I can only imagine what he says about his enemies.

http://www.nightscaping.com/site1/index.php/

All the way down at the bottom of Bill's blog, but read all of it he takes several shots at others.

irrig8r
10-16-2007, 01:46 AM
I don't think you're going to find Bill posting in this forum. James Solecki might correct me regarding the following though.

As far as I know, every Nightscaping fixture currently available is made in Redlands, California. They have a brass and aluminum foundry there. Powercenters (transformers) are made in-house. The only significant non-US made components I know of are the control modules.

Those include the Dominator (Taiwan), the Control Pro (Aube, Canadian I believe) and the analog timers (Grasslin, Germany?)

The local Ewing branch managers here are not Nightscaping-friendly. FX is really all they know. Don't get me wrong, I like FX quality, and I've never had a warranty issue that wasn't resolved quickly, usually with an over-the-counter exchange or parts sent to me at no cost. (And that's even when I'm doing the service and repair but wasn't the original installer.)

And I like buying off the shelf too, but all my Nightscaping orders go through another distributor, mostly because Ewing has put up roadblocks...

Ewing HAS made lighting a commodity. It's how they operate. Certainly there's a convenience factor to it, but it means that a lot more people without much training or talent are installing lighting, because it's readily available, and because someone told them it was a good additional profit center.

For better or worse....

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-16-2007, 01:55 AM
I don't think you're going to find Bill posting in this forum. James Solecki might correct me regarding the following though.

As far as I know, every Nightscaping fixture currently available is made in Redlands, California. They have a brass and aluminum foundry there. Powercenters (transformers) are made in-house. The only significant non-US made components I know of are the control modules.

Those include the Dominator (Taiwan), the Control Pro (Aube, Canadian I believe) and the analog timers (Grasslin, Germany?)

The local Ewing branch managers here are not Nightscaping-friendly. FX is really all they know. Don't get me wrong, I like FX quality, and I've never had a warranty issue that wasn't resolved quickly, usually with an over-the-counter exchange or parts sent to me at no cost. (And that's even when I'm doing the service and repair but wasn't the original installer.)

And I like buying off the shelf too, but all my Nightscaping orders go through another distributor, mostly because Ewing has put up roadblocks...

Ewing HAS made lighting a commodity. It's how they operate. Certainly there's a convenience factor to it, but it means that a lot more people without much training or talent are installing lighting, because it's readily available, and because someone told them it was a good additional profit center.

For better or worse....

No need to correct you on anything in this post Gregg... As usual you have your facts straight.

Good to see you participating here!

Have a great day.

pete scalia
10-16-2007, 01:56 AM
I don't think you're going to find Bill posting in this forum. James Solecki might correct me regarding the following though.

As far as I know, every Nightscaping fixture currently available is made in Redlands, California. They have a brass and aluminum foundry there. Powercenters (transformers) are made in-house. The only significant non-US made components I know of are the control modules.

Those include the Dominator (Taiwan), the Control Pro (Aube, Canadian I believe) and the analog timers (Grasslin, Germany?)

The local Ewing branch managers here are not Nightscaping-friendly. FX is really all they know. Don't get me wrong, I like FX quality, and I've never had a warranty issue that wasn't resolved quickly, usually with an over-the-counter exchange or parts sent to me at no cost. (And that's even when I'm doing the service and repair but wasn't the original installer.)

And I like buying off the shelf too, but all my Nightscaping orders go through another distributor, mostly because Ewing has put up roadblocks...

Ewing HAS made lighting a commodity. It's how they operate. Certainly there's a convenience factor to it, but it means that a lot more people without much training or talent are installing lighting, because it's readily available, and because someone told them it was a good additional profit center.

For better or worse....

I'm not defending Ewing cause I don't know them or what they are up to, but if Mr. Locklin feels this way and Ewing is not a loyal distributor than why does he continue to do business with them?

JoeyD
10-16-2007, 10:34 AM
In a nutshell are you saying the chinese are inferior at assembly? Is that what differentiates your brand from the knockoffs, your US assembly? The scabs will buy the knockoffs cause they're too cheap to buy your stuff. The quality guys will buy the real deal. The way I see it nothing you do or say is gonna change that so I wouldn't be concerned to the point of getting an ulcer over it. There is a problem when the knockoffs are being passed off as the real deal though. Obviously you don't want failed producted being perceived as yours.

You are absoulty right. Although there is much more that seperates us from them other than US assembly, but in a nutshell you are correct. The good thing is everything we make is propriatory to us so they cant get our wire, sockets. They can try but they wouldnt spend the money for them anyway. They are all about cheap!!!

irrig8r
10-16-2007, 05:43 PM
http://www.nightscaping.com/site1/index.php/

All the way down at the bottom of Bill's blog, but read all of it he takes several shots at others.

So, by "taking shots" do you mean he's saying something untrue?

He says that Nightscaping is willing to customize fixtures, and others aren't. Have those others changed their stance on that?

Bill doesn't just mean custom colors, lamps or pathlight stem lengths.

Hell, they'll even manufacture a fixture to your specifications if you order sufficient quantity. And if they really like it and see a market for it they might name it after you and offer it up to everyone. (Ask James or Mike G. about that.)

JoeyD
10-16-2007, 05:51 PM
We customize lights all the time. we also customize transformers.

irrig8r
10-16-2007, 06:02 PM
You are absolutely right. Although there is much more that separates us from them other than US assembly, but in a nutshell you are correct. The good thing is everything we make is proprietary to us so they cant get our wire, sockets. They can try but they wouldn't spend the money for them anyway. They are all about cheap!!!

You know Joey, when I first saw Unique presented at local trade shows, with a lot of emphasis on green plastic can Par 36 uplight bodies, and transformers with galvanized steel cases, I was less than impressed.

Nate's novel approach to wiring was interesting, but the higher voltage transformer taps and other stuff just didn't seem all that well thought through to me. I wasn't buying.

I have to hand it to you guys for capturing a big share of the lighting market. And your product quality has improved. (I even know one landscape designer who used to specify only Nightscaping that has your adjustable pathlights in her own front yard and loves them.)

I still don't understand Unique's position on the 1838 issue...though others like Cast and Vista have followed suit by making higher than 15 volt (thereby not 1838 compliant) transformers available... or at least they had last time I looked...

Anyway, as I said before, I only call 'em as I see 'em. I'm not going to criticize something until after I've held it in my hand and maybe even taken it apart to see what makes it tick.

And don't get the wrong impression that Nightscaping is immune to my criticism either.

JoeyD
10-16-2007, 06:46 PM
No I understand. I know I will not get every customer out there, and I am ok with that. I sponsored this site becuase I want to be able to share my products and ideas with everyone when I see fit, not to censor others from sharing what they like and use.

You guys help me with developing new products and you give me a better understanding as to what and why you guys want certain products. I too have used other products and have sold other products so I understand there are those that are great and are certainly worth using and in some cases better than what we have to offer.

Unique's Position on 1838 is the same as it has always been. That is we believe it was created for companies like Malibu who sell kits for homeowners to install. 1838 does nothing more than restrict you the professional. If the NEC says 30v or less is safe then why does 16-22v scare you guys? Fact is most people who are pro 1838 dont even undertsand it was written for a system not just transformers and fixtures but for wire and connections as well. I dont know of anyone using 1838 wire and connections do you? I am not an expert here and this is a dead horse that has been beaten for awhile. I always end it like this. If our products were so dangerous then why did most of our competition go out and build a TF to 22v? If we are so dangerous than why would ETL list us at all? If our TF's are so dangerous then why arent more people coming about and expressing how we have ruined their jobs and reputations? You never hear this stuff. You only hear what someone else might think or what our competition has fed everyone. We have always had an 1838 product but nobody wants that from us. Unique has never gone out to delibritly attack soemone elses buisness by bad mouthing. I cannot say the same for our competition. To this day our competition chooses to bad mouth, call our owner names, and to make a mockery out of the innovations we have set forth by claiming them as un needed or dangerous. PLEASE DO NOT TURN THIS THREAD INTO AN 1838 THREAD. EMAIL ME OR PM ME WITH QUESTIONS OR START A NEW THREAD IN OUR FORUM FOR MORE DISCUSSION!!!!!

I think our products speaks for themselves and anyone who knows us knows that we want nothing more than to take our industry to the next level by innovating cool new products. Not just by making another path light or copying someone elses ideas. (just look at all of the companies who have come about in the last few years based off of our system and ideas. I find a new company selling products or pushing a system like ours every month.)

I appreciate all and any advice and or criticism. I dont want anyone to feel like they cant say something around me, I want guys to want to get to know Unique and to do this I have to show all of you that we really aren't the bad guys we had been made out to be all these years.

Check us out for yourself and decide if our products are quality.

Joey D.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-16-2007, 07:05 PM
And don't get the wrong impression that Nightscaping is immune to my criticism either.

Ladies and Gentlemen... I can attest to this statement by Gregg. He pretty much calls it as he sees it and he regularly tells it as it is.

If it wasnt for his in depth analysis, strong commitment to research, and solid history of being right on the money, I might accuse him of being overly critical!

Since I started in this business I have heard the songs and seen the dances of many a manufacturer. Essentially they all want the same thing from us. Loyalty and a commitiment to purchase.

I like to treat my lighting work as art. As such I dont call myself a contractor too often and I don't fit into many peoples' idea of a typical building trade. My job is to create the art using the most appropriate and best materials I can find. There are many different tools to choose from and I have yet to find one manufacturer that makes the best of everything. This is why no one manufacturer gets 100% of my business, and why I am always pushing them to improve their product lines. Those who are responsive and who strive to meet my criteria are those whom I buy my 'tools' from.

Nightscaping's commitment to mass customization, contractor feedback and input, and their ability to create completely unique fixtures at a moment's notice is one of the many reasons they get my support. I have never met another manufacturer so willing to change a product or create a new one and deliver it to me in DAYS... It is truly a remarkable thing.

Same goes for distribution... If you will not stock what I need in house in quantities that I dictate, then I move my business to someone else who appreciates it. (thankfully I have an AMAZING stocking distributor... and in return he gets 95%+ of my purchase orders.)

time for me to hop off my soap box and get some dinner!

Enjoy.

pete scalia
10-16-2007, 08:24 PM
So, by "taking shots" do you mean he's saying something untrue?

He says that Nightscaping is willing to customize fixtures, and others aren't. Have those others changed their stance on that?

Bill doesn't just mean custom colors, lamps or pathlight stem lengths.

Hell, they'll even manufacture a fixture to your specifications if you order sufficient quantity. And if they really like it and see a market for it they might name it after you and offer it up to everyone. (Ask James or Mike G. about that.)

Not for nothing Gregg you seem like a nice enough guy but you've posted about 8 messages since last night and at least half of them made mention of Mike G. Are you getting paid by him per mention? I was told that your boy was not only kicked out of Lawnsite. But he's also been banned for life from LVLIA, AOLP, NAACP, AARP, AAA, ASPCA (I heard he kicked a dog) and a bunch of other lettered organizations so many of them that the letters escape me now.

ccfree
10-16-2007, 09:51 PM
"Iím proud of the profitable industry built for contractors and loyal distributors. John Deere and Ewing are quite successful in turning a contractors specialty into a commodity."

"I didnít and I wonít."

Bill Locklin

I can tell you one thing for certain. Ewing is totally committed to the landscape lighting industry 100%. Ewing prides themselves in helping contractors understand the lighting business as a whole. Ewing has a highly specialized trained group of lighting experts working for them who give non manufacturer specific seminars from beginner installation classes to expert design in different regions across the country.

Pro-Scapes
10-16-2007, 11:42 PM
back to the original topic.

Yes I care what is made in the USA... think about it... with technology in all aspects proggressing forward at its current rate, in 20 years we will be lucky to find something that says Made on Earth. (just kidding)

You buy "american made" cars and trucks assembled here with over seas electronics and parts. You buy a Nissan truck built right here in Mississippi assembled with over seas parts. Both create american jobs while keeping the total manufacturing cost down to a somewhat affordable level. I really dont think I can find any electrical type device in my home thats completly american made. Even if I did where are the batteries that are powering it made ?


flip over that mouse you been clicking... china... Go look at the back of the dishes you just ate off of... bangladesh. I think Steve said it best... make it work for us.

That being said its probably more the "manufactures" who import and call a product thier own asking for a cheaper and cheaper price that makes a lot of made in china stuff cheap crap. Im pretty certain if you specify your products they have the technology to deliver. Didnt Mike G say in a thread awhile back his lights are being made over seas when he was discussing mold fees and such ? I could be wrong there.

Crap my clothes are made over seas too... maybe we should stop .... crap never mind you get the point.

Eden Lights
10-17-2007, 12:09 AM
"Iím proud of the profitable industry built for contractors and loyal distributors. John Deere and Ewing are quite successful in turning a contractors specialty into a commodity."

"I didnít and I wonít."

Bill Locklin

I can tell you one thing for certain. Ewing is totally committed to the landscape lighting industry 100%. Ewing prides themselves in helping contractors understand the lighting business as a whole. Ewing has a highly specialized trained group of lighting experts working for them who give non manufacturer specific seminars from beginner installation classes to expert design in different regions across the country.


Agree Ditto Same

Eden Lights
10-17-2007, 12:11 AM
Ladies and Gentlemen... I can attest to this statement by Gregg. He pretty much calls it as he sees it and he regularly tells it as it is.

If it wasnt for his in depth analysis, strong commitment to research, and solid history of being right on the money, I might accuse him of being overly critical!

Since I started in this business I have heard the songs and seen the dances of many a manufacturer. Essentially they all want the same thing from us. Loyalty and a commitiment to purchase.

I like to treat my lighting work as art. As such I dont call myself a contractor too often and I don't fit into many peoples' idea of a typical building trade. My job is to create the art using the most appropriate and best materials I can find. There are many different tools to choose from and I have yet to find one manufacturer that makes the best of everything. This is why no one manufacturer gets 100% of my business, and why I am always pushing them to improve their product lines. Those who are responsive and who strive to meet my criteria are those whom I buy my 'tools' from.

Nightscaping's commitment to mass customization, contractor feedback and input, and their ability to create completely unique fixtures at a moment's notice is one of the many reasons they get my support. I have never met another manufacturer so willing to change a product or create a new one and deliver it to me in DAYS... It is truly a remarkable thing.

Same goes for distribution... If you will not stock what I need in house in quantities that I dictate, then I move my business to someone else who appreciates it. (thankfully I have an AMAZING stocking distributor... and in return he gets 95%+ of my purchase orders.)

time for me to hop off my soap box and get some dinner!

Enjoy.


What are your go to NS fixtures?

pete scalia
10-17-2007, 12:42 AM
"Iím proud of the profitable industry built for contractors and loyal distributors. John Deere and Ewing are quite successful in turning a contractors specialty into a commodity."

"I didnít and I wonít."

Bill Locklin

I can tell you one thing for certain. Ewing is totally committed to the landscape lighting industry 100%. Ewing prides themselves in helping contractors understand the lighting business as a whole. Ewing has a highly specialized trained group of lighting experts working for them who give non manufacturer specific seminars from beginner installation classes to expert design in different regions across the country.


If that's so then it sounds like a distributor that isn't in bed with any one particular manufacturer. Independence is a good thing

sprinkler guy
10-17-2007, 01:32 AM
In 1999 or 2000, while I was working for Hunter Industries, I got into a lengthy conversation with the V.P. of manufacturing about all the changes going on at Hunter. New products being developed, new sales markets the world over, and new manufacturing locations. We delved into the whole "made in the USA" vs. import sales tactic, and he recommended I read a book called 'The Lexus and the Olive Tree' by Thomas Friedman. It really opened my eyes to how much the global economy was changing and how much more change there was to come. This V.P. also explained to me the growing gap in labor costs for building things in the U.S., Mexico, and China. I'm paraphrasing and simplifying his analogy, but he broke it down like this. If something cost $1.00 per labor hour to build in the U.S., it will cost about $.10 per labor hour to build in Mexico, but only cost about $.01 per labor hour to build in China. A strong argument for building things outside the U.S. borders.

Everyone has an opinion about things made in the U.S. that they consider 10 times better than something made overseas, and vice versa. To each his own. I keep looking for ways to stay profitable, deliver quality projects to my customers, and take care of my family. Where it is made becomes less important every year as I continue to watch the ebb and flow of the global economy. How good it is is much more important.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-18-2007, 11:21 AM
What are your go to NS fixtures?


My go to NS fixtures would include:

Copper Postliter - Simply the best looking post light fixture around

Copper Deliter - Another total classic. Probably the most copied pathlight ever. (besides the god awful 'pagoda')

Guardian (Custom Colour) - A nice small format architectural downlight that can be coloured to match any application. It disappears.

INTEGRAliter (Brass) - Still the only dark sky friendly dock light in the industry.

Vermeer - Best inground uplight I have ever used. It just doesn't leak, period.

Mini Wash Liter - Its new and it is awesome. Designed by Mike Islander, it fills the niche for when you are looking for a small format soft flood. All copper with a nice dimpled reflector and frost lens.

Have a great day.

Eden Lights
10-18-2007, 10:32 PM
James you have encouraged me to revisit the NS line, I really didn't consider them because all their stuff that I see around here seems really Old School. Maybe it's just what I see. I got these pics while waiting for a client today: Fixtures are glare bombs, Transformers out in the open, GFIC setting on the ground not to Code. I guess installers can really send a bad first impression with choices and install methods. I have admired your posts and insight provided.

pete scalia
10-18-2007, 10:35 PM
James you have encouraged me to revisit the NS line, I really didn't consider them because all their stuff that I see around here seems really Old School. Maybe it's just what I see. I got these pics while waiting for a client today: Fixtures are glare bombs, Transformers out in the open, GFIC setting on the ground not to Code. I guess installers can really send a bad first impression with choices and install methods. I have admired your posts and insight provided.

Nice attempt to hide the tranny, hiding in plain site.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-19-2007, 09:14 AM
James you have encouraged me to revisit the NS line, I really didn't consider them because all their stuff that I see around here seems really Old School. Maybe it's just what I see. I got these pics while waiting for a client today: Fixtures are glare bombs, Transformers out in the open, GFIC setting on the ground not to Code. I guess installers can really send a bad first impression with choices and install methods. I have admired your posts and insight provided.

Your pictures and example simply illustrate what I have been speaking of for years. It is not the fault of the tools employed to create the "art" but rather it is the fault of the 'artist' who incorrectly chose those particular tools, then applied them poorly, thus creating second class 'art'.

I am sure that you could do an equally poor job using the wrong 'tools' from any manufacturer.

I am not about to state that all of Nightscaping's products are winners. They, like most manufacturers have some improvements to make in their line. I, along with many others, feel that a cull of the fixture line is long overdue.

However, that is not to say that NS does not have some amazing products to offer the professional lighting designer/contractor. That and their rather remarkable corporate culture ( "friends doing business with friends".... it is a very unique and remarkable structure in this day and age) make them an important part of my ability to design, adapt, install and succeed.

Take a nice long view through their website, pay close attention to the myriad of products available... you just might discover something you have never seen before, and re-discover the merits in some things you have seen over and over in the past.

Have a great day.

JoeyD
10-19-2007, 11:39 AM
Regardless of who makes it, those lights are hideous!

irrig8r
10-22-2007, 02:39 PM
Regardless of who makes it, those lights are hideous!

This time I'm going to come right out and agree with you Joey.

Those appear to be a fixture called a Julietliter. It is Nightscaping's lower end MR-16 uplight, and though I admit to having installed a few (with glare shields), I've suggested it ought to be scrapped for a long time.

There are simply better choices available, (even U.S. made) that fall within the same price range.

Eden Lights
02-22-2008, 10:15 PM
I started out 2008 with all American made products and I feel much better if nothing else. I feel the quality of my offerings has greatly improved also and this also has been well received by my clients. While you can't really get completely away from the China made products, I have came a long way since my awaking last summer. I have kept my margins the same, but my overall retail equipment invoices have gone up about 15%.

Chris J
02-22-2008, 10:24 PM
Eddie, what product lines can we stay with and be 100% USA compliant? What are the mainstays that you are using? I'd like to investigate this idea, but I'm afraid this might be just too much of a pain in the a## to figure out. Even some that advertise "made in the USA" are being shipped from over seas? How can we do this and still feel good about it? Is it really worth the effort?

ChampionLS
02-22-2008, 10:26 PM
<--------------------<<<<<< 100% made in USA. Every single component.

pete scalia
02-22-2008, 10:26 PM
I started out 2008 with all American made products and I feel much better if nothing else. I feel the quality of my offerings has greatly improved also and this also has been well received by my clients. While you can't really get completely away from the China made products, I have came a long way since my awaking last summer. I have kept my margins the same, but my overall retail equipment invoices have gone up about 15%.

Is this a political or sociological statement you are making?

ChampionLS
02-22-2008, 10:38 PM
Excellent Topic
:usflag:
In addition how bout

SPJ- China
Aurora light- ?
Lightcraft- China
Cast- South America
MDL-?
Justin- ?
Federated-?
Atom lighting ?
Evening lights- china
EVENING STAR LIGHTING - 100% USA
Frog lights- china
winnscape-?
BQL-china
CCL-china
Atlas-?

Regarding FXL has anyone seen their manufacturing facility in So Cal?

Eden Lights
02-23-2008, 10:32 AM
Eddie, what product lines can we stay with and be 100% USA compliant? What are the mainstays that you are using? I'd like to investigate this idea, but I'm afraid this might be just too much of a pain in the a## to figure out. Even some that advertise "made in the USA" are being shipped from over seas? How can we do this and still feel good about it? Is it really worth the effort?

This has also been a quest to buy or support local wholesale and local reps also along with Made in the USA. In Jan. we spent a few days returning things all over the place: bad product, overstock, and etc. This stuff had accumulated over the course of a couple of years. Finding someone local to work with more is going to eliminate that hassle. Buying local also comes at a increased cost, but it is something that we are trying just for the networking benefit. In the controls side most reps are paid by where the products ship and not where their purchased so my controls reps help alot, that's not the case on the lighting side. It might not work out, but we are going to give it a try. The made in the USA has been great and Ewing has been great as a supplier. We are using FXL and Vision3 to answer your question Chris. This is more of a personnel decision since Jerry, Terradek, and Kichler are about the best business decision available.

irrig8r
02-23-2008, 05:16 PM
I'm hoping someday to take a road trip to Southern California just to visit some lighting manufacturers' facilities.


Vista- Simi Valley,
HK- Newbury Park
Aurora and DG- Carlsbad
Unique-San Diego?
FX- San Diego?

I've made the trip to Redlands a few times, but have never seen the others...

The Lighting Geek
02-24-2008, 12:31 AM
Here is my 2.75 cents....
I offer a lifetime warranty on my systems as long as the client has me service the system annually. I don't really care if parts are made in the USA or China and I doubt my customers do either. I happen to use all Unique because I just don't have problems with the products and the customer service is over the top. The fact the units are assembled or in the case of their transformers are made here, it is an added bonus to tell the customer. They really don't hire me for fixtures or products anyway. They hire me for my artistic ability with light, similiar to what James said. Beatiful lighting portraits with a lifetime warranty, that is it. I typically don't get into a bidding war or get underbid because good lighting professionals use top products and have great portfolios. I lose a job now and then to a lower bid, but they were not customer anyway, they didn't see the the value of what I have to offer.