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Lawn Designers
11-01-2007, 05:35 PM
I am very new in the lighting arena but I was wondering why do lighting companies use aluminum spikes? It makes no sense to me at all. After 1-2 yrs they are completely rotted and the entire fixture needs to be replaced from the service jobs I have went to look at. Why doesn't every company use a non-metal spike? The PVC spikes make the most sense. Do the copper, brass and bronze spikes rot as much as the aluminum?

NightScenes
11-01-2007, 06:19 PM
Only the cheapest fixtures like Malibu use aluminum stakes. I don't know of any "professional" lighting people that would use these products but I'm sure that there are some trunk slammers out there using that "stuff".

Pro-Scapes
11-01-2007, 07:31 PM
bronze stakes seem to hold up real well. PVC as long as its not exposed to sunlight is good too.

I would never consider installing a fixture with alluminum in the ground like that

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
11-01-2007, 08:01 PM
I am not a fan of non-metallic ground stakes. I like to know that all my ground mounted fixtures are in fact grounded. This adds an extra layer of safety.... I submit the following for your perusal:

"The rapid growth of 12 volt outdoor lighting using plastic stakes should make safety a great concern to consumers. Plastic ground stakes used to support 12 volt metal outdoor lighting fixtures are a devastating accident waiting to happen!

My transformer campaign for fire prevention a few years back has been credited with forcing the industry to change transformer design to a safer design in use today. I am compelled to take the industry to task for the use of plastic stakes. Yes, they are cheaper also durable. The problem with using plastic is it’s insulating qualities. Placing a metal electrical fixture in a plastic stake isolates the fixture from the earth (electrical ground). In the event that a live current carrying wire touched the metal fixture the entire fixture would become a source for a severe electrical shock.

Being deeply involved in the industry for almost a half century gives me the knowledge and experience to speak out. I'm concerned about the future of our industry. However, I am more concerned about the possibility of a single fatal accident caused by using a plastic stake.


How could this happen you ask? After all we are only dealing with 12 volts and UL says that 15 volts or less is OK. The heart of any 12 Volt system is the transformer, the item that reduces 120 Volt household electricity to a safe 12 Volt. The transformer is an electrical device containing two coils of copper wire, one for the 120 Volt while the other is isolated for the 12 Volt.

In the event of a lighting strike or power surge causing one of the 120 Volt wires(within the transformer) to touch one of the 12 volt wires the transformer could continue to provide 12 Volt for the fixtures. However from the 12 volt wires to ground (earth) the voltage would be a deadly 120 Volt.

Should the installing mechanic accidentally remove a small section of insulation from the 12 Volt wire allowing the bare wire to touch the metal fixture support, instantly the fixture becomes electrified with 120 Volt to ground. The 12 Volt lamp will continue to burn even though the fixture surface is charged with deadly 120V to ground making it possible for the unsuspecting to receive a deadly shock.

Because the accidentally skinned wire is touching the metal fixture stem the metal parts become dangerously charged with 120 Volts. Should a person not knowing the danger of this 120 Volt be kneeling on the wet ground ( knees touching the wet ground) use the 12 Volt fixture as an assist to "getting up" they would be subject to a full 120V AC, far greater than the deadly 100 MiliAmps, the minimum for possible electrocution.

Had a metal spike been used the scenario would be entirely different, it would have been SAFE! When the skinned wires from the fixture were inserted into the metal spike and then placed in the ground (earth), as the electricity was applied to the fixture immediately a fuse, circuit breaker or the GFCI would have interrupted this dangerous 120 Volt.

I invite you in public service, professionals that are installing 12V AC outdoor lighting, Wholesale/retail businesses that are selling 12V (low voltage) outdoor lighting. E-mail me to receive a CD of a real live demonstration which will show you the need for a 12V AC installations either existing or new to be grounded at each individual fixture, either by metal spike or some other approved method. We do not need one single person maimed or killed "because it is cheaper". "This is the “Shocking Truth”." Bill Locklin, Nightscaping.

As for Aluminum stakes, it all depends on your soil conditions. I have some pathlights that were installed almost 10 years ago with aluminum stakes and they are as good as the day I installed them. In other areas, the Aluminum doesn't last more then a couple of years.

Have a great day.

pete scalia
11-01-2007, 08:25 PM
I am not a fan of non-metallic ground stakes. I like to know that all my ground mounted fixtures are in fact grounded. This adds an extra layer of safety.... I submit the following for your perusal:

"The rapid growth of 12 volt outdoor lighting using plastic stakes should make safety a great concern to consumers. Plastic ground stakes used to support 12 volt metal outdoor lighting fixtures are a devastating accident waiting to happen!

My transformer campaign for fire prevention a few years back has been credited with forcing the industry to change transformer design to a safer design in use today. I am compelled to take the industry to task for the use of plastic stakes. Yes, they are cheaper also durable. The problem with using plastic is it’s insulating qualities. Placing a metal electrical fixture in a plastic stake isolates the fixture from the earth (electrical ground). In the event that a live current carrying wire touched the metal fixture the entire fixture would become a source for a severe electrical shock.

Being deeply involved in the industry for almost a half century gives me the knowledge and experience to speak out. I'm concerned about the future of our industry. However, I am more concerned about the possibility of a single fatal accident caused by using a plastic stake.


How could this happen you ask? After all we are only dealing with 12 volts and UL says that 15 volts or less is OK. The heart of any 12 Volt system is the transformer, the item that reduces 120 Volt household electricity to a safe 12 Volt. The transformer is an electrical device containing two coils of copper wire, one for the 120 Volt while the other is isolated for the 12 Volt.

In the event of a lighting strike or power surge causing one of the 120 Volt wires(within the transformer) to touch one of the 12 volt wires the transformer could continue to provide 12 Volt for the fixtures. However from the 12 volt wires to ground (earth) the voltage would be a deadly 120 Volt.

Should the installing mechanic accidentally remove a small section of insulation from the 12 Volt wire allowing the bare wire to touch the metal fixture support, instantly the fixture becomes electrified with 120 Volt to ground. The 12 Volt lamp will continue to burn even though the fixture surface is charged with deadly 120V to ground making it possible for the unsuspecting to receive a deadly shock.

Because the accidentally skinned wire is touching the metal fixture stem the metal parts become dangerously charged with 120 Volts. Should a person not knowing the danger of this 120 Volt be kneeling on the wet ground ( knees touching the wet ground) use the 12 Volt fixture as an assist to "getting up" they would be subject to a full 120V AC, far greater than the deadly 100 MiliAmps, the minimum for possible electrocution.

Had a metal spike been used the scenario would be entirely different, it would have been SAFE! When the skinned wires from the fixture were inserted into the metal spike and then placed in the ground (earth), as the electricity was applied to the fixture immediately a fuse, circuit breaker or the GFCI would have interrupted this dangerous 120 Volt.

I invite you in public service, professionals that are installing 12V AC outdoor lighting, Wholesale/retail businesses that are selling 12V (low voltage) outdoor lighting. E-mail me to receive a CD of a real live demonstration which will show you the need for a 12V AC installations either existing or new to be grounded at each individual fixture, either by metal spike or some other approved method. We do not need one single person maimed or killed "because it is cheaper". "This is the “Shocking Truth”." Bill Locklin, Nightscaping.

As for Aluminum stakes, it all depends on your soil conditions. I have some pathlights that were installed almost 10 years ago with aluminum stakes and they are as good as the day I installed them. In other areas, the Aluminum doesn't last more then a couple of years.

Have a great day.

This is a statement based more on competitive advantage then on safety and I will tell you why. Why does Nightscaping use plastic bayonet sockets when most of the majors use brass-lower cost? Are their sockets grounded when isolated in a plastic shell (No)? in reality Isn't there more of a chance for a socket short than the scenario Mr Locklin put's forth regarding the knees on ground and grabbing a fixture? I don't doubt his scenario but it is very very very remote. The socket however is a real threat as I have seen many a shorted bayonet socket in my day. Now what if 120 v were running through that socket due to a trans malfunction and someone went to change a bulb and came in contact with it?

irrig8r
11-01-2007, 08:31 PM
This is where James and I part company a little, that is, not on the issue of a grounded metal stake, but aluminum stakes in particular.

The only aluminum stake I've ever seen hold up to irrigated clay soils is the original 6061 T6 aluminum alloy stake that FX used to use.

If a Nightscaping ground-mounted I want to order doesn't already come with a brass stake, I order it w/o stake and add the brass one instead. All the copper pathlights come with brass stakes standard.

The Nightscaping cast aluminum stakes just haven't held up for more than three years in my experience in the soils in my area.

YMMV.

irrig8r
11-01-2007, 09:05 PM
This is a statement based more on competitive advantage then on safety and I will tell you why. Why does Nightscaping use plastic bayonet sockets when most of the majors use brass-lower cost? Are their sockets grounded when isolated in a plastic shell (No)? in reality Isn't there more of a chance for a socket short than the scenario Mr Locklin put's forth regarding the knees on ground and grabbing a fixture? I don't doubt his scenario but it is very very very remote. The socket however is a real threat as I have seen many a shorted bayonet socket in my day. Now what if 120 v were running through that socket due to a trans malfunction and someone went to change a bulb and came in contact with it?


I'm not sure what specific type of plastic is being used currently in the Nightscaping bayonet sockets, but it's a heat resistant plastic and the big advantage is it doesn't corrode.

I agree that the grounding issue is dealing with a remote possibility. But Bill has always erred on the side of safety, and that's alright with me.

pete scalia
11-01-2007, 09:10 PM
I'm not sure what specific type of plastic is being used currently in the Nightscaping bayonet sockets, but it's a heat resistant plastic and the big advantage is it doesn't corrode.

I agree that the grounding issue is dealing with a remote possibility. But Bill has always erred on the side of safety, and that's alright with me.

If he always erred on the side of safety then what about his plastic sockets? I've seen so many of them broken it's not funny. Brass doesn't corrode either. The contacts are brass so why not make the whole enchilada brass like others- cost?

irrig8r
11-01-2007, 09:23 PM
If he always erred on the side of safety then what about his plastic sockets? I've seen so many of them broken it's not funny. Brass doesn't corrode either. The contacts are brass so why not make the whole enchilada brass like others- cost?

I don't know why. Why not give Nightscaping a call and ask?

FX uses sturdy brass bayonet sockets. It's standard with the handful of their fixtures that I use from time with an AR-11 bayonet halogen lamp (CL-20, TC-20, VL-20, TS-20).

I know it's no excuse, but a few guys custom order the Nightscaping pathlights with bi-pin sockets.

I've only had about 6 of the older style plastic Nightscaping sockets break (white) and none of the current ones (black)...

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
11-01-2007, 09:48 PM
I don't know why. Why not give Nightscaping a call and ask?

I've only had about 6 of the older style plastic Nightscaping sockets break (white) and none of the current ones (black)...

It has been a few years now since NS used the old white SCB sockets, and yes there was a problem with them breaking over time, specifically in applications like the Deliter where the socket was inverted. Since then they have switched to a black nylon SCB socket which has held up just fine.

That being said, I am not a fan of SCB lamps, and so I order my fixtures with either wedge base or bi-pin sockets instead. They are happy to do this and the 'upcharge' is so minimal that it is not even noticed.

I also agree, the 'shock scenario' that Bill spells out in his piece "The Shocking Truth" has a very very remote possibility of ever ocurring, but... it is possible and I do love to sleep at night.

As for the Aluminium stake thing... its all about the soils

pete scalia
11-01-2007, 10:02 PM
It has been a few years now since NS used the old white SCB sockets, and yes there was a problem with them breaking over time, specifically in applications like the Deliter where the socket was inverted. Since then they have switched to a black nylon SCB socket which has held up just fine.

That being said, I am not a fan of SCB lamps, and so I order my fixtures with either wedge base or bi-pin sockets instead. They are happy to do this and the 'upcharge' is so minimal that it is not even noticed.

I also agree, the 'shock scenario' that Bill spells out in his piece "The Shocking Truth" has a very very remote possibility of ever ocurring, but... it is possible and I do love to sleep at night.

As for the Aluminium stake thing... its all about the soils

How about the plastic sockets and his shock scenario? do they put a glass lens on the open end of the fixture when you specify a bi pin? They got sprinklers here that are murder on exposed parts especially sockets and bulbs other than PAR

irrig8r
11-01-2007, 10:20 PM
Ummmm... maybe you're not that familiar with the NS line. I was referring to two of their most popular pathlights that come with bayonet sockets, the Illuminator and Footliter. Both come with good sprinkler shielding (Lexan I believe). Guys that order the bi-pin socket usually order a spread lens too.

Both come with stainless steel bodies standard, and can be ordered in copper, or even custom ordered with part copper, part stainless (raw or powder coated) if you want to be different.

I generally don't use fixtures with exposed sockets, except for the wedge-based Postliters, and they don't get sprinkler water the way I use them.

pete scalia
11-01-2007, 10:37 PM
Ummmm... maybe you're not that familiar with the NS line. I was referring to two of their most popular pathlights that come with bayonet sockets, the Illuminator and Footliter. Both come with good sprinkler shielding (Lexan I believe). Guys that order the bi-pin socket usually order a spread lens too.

Both come with stainless steel bodies standard, and can be ordered in copper, or even custom ordered with part copper, part stainless (raw or powder coated) if you want to be different.

I generally don't use fixtures with exposed sockets, except for the wedge-based Postliters, and they don't get sprinkler water the way I use them.

I was talking about the bell , do they have a lens on that?
Why is my socket question being ignored/

is it true. somebody told me that lvlia was a happenning organization when the Nightscaping crew ran it now it's gone to hell in a hand basket once the kichler people took over? that's just the rumor. Anything to it?

irrig8r
11-02-2007, 10:26 AM
Ah, the Deliter. See James' post somewhere on this forum where he mention that the wedge base socket is a better option.

Beyond that, I'm going to walk away from this thread because there don't seem to be answers that satisfy you Pete. I've shared my own biases and made suggestions that you contact NS and ask some of your questions directly.

I get the feeling that sometimes that you just try to stir things up for your own amusement or to get attention. This time I'm not taking the bait.

Later dude.:dancing:

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
11-02-2007, 06:39 PM
How about the plastic sockets and his shock scenario? do they put a glass lens on the open end of the fixture when you specify a bi pin? They got sprinklers here that are murder on exposed parts especially sockets and bulbs other than PAR

I fail to see how a plastic socket has any bearing on the 'shock scenario' that Bill speaks of.

All of the fixtures that I have ordered with a bi-pin socket come with some form of lens or 'sprinkler sheild'. As for the Deliter and the Postliter, they use wedge base lamps and sockets and have no need for a sheild as the lamp's heat output is drastically lower then a halogen bi-pin. All of their fixtures are ULc and/or CSA approved.

YardPro
11-02-2007, 08:54 PM
lol,

you have a better chance of being bit by a lethal snake than the scenerio described.... so do you wear snake proof clothes?

there are a million things that are far more likely to kill you, so for those that say they "sleep better" using metal spikes, are you loosing sleep about the much more likely situations that could end your life??????

If the transformer is on a GFI breaker, then the possibility of the shock is negated

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
11-02-2007, 09:03 PM
lol,

you have a better chance of being bit by a lethal snake than the scenerio described.... so do you wear snake proof clothes?

there are a million things that are far more likely to kill you, so for those that say they "sleep better" using metal spikes, are you loosing sleep about the much more likely situations that could end your life??????

If the transformer is on a GFI breaker, then the possibility of the shock is negated

None the less.... Metal Stakes do add an extra layer of safety and are much more sturdy then any plastic stake ever could be.

I would encourage you to contact Nightscaping and have them send you the CD with the full demonstration on it. It is an eyeopener and interesting at the very least.

Have you never found a faulty GFI receptacle? I come across them all the time. In fact, I find so many failed or stuck GFI receptacles that I have stopped specifying them. I now have GFI Breakers installed at the panel for all of my larger systems. This eliminates the annoying service calls to re-set GFI receptacles.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
11-02-2007, 09:07 PM
Also.... Lets compare fixture X, it is a copper path light that will do the job you need and it is $100, and it comes shipped with a 8" plastic stake....

And then there is Fixture Y, also a copper path light that will do the job, also $100 and it comes with a 10" brass stake....

All other things being equal, you would choose which one?

Chris J
11-02-2007, 10:05 PM
I would agree that the above scenario is "possible", but has anyone ever heard of someone who has actually been killed (or even hurt) because the stake was plastic/pvc? I've been in business for quite some time now, and I have never heard of this happening to anyone, anytime, anyplace; ever. I'd very much like to read the articles, however, if any exist.

pete scalia
11-02-2007, 11:51 PM
[QUOTE=James Solecki - INTEGRA;2019587]I fail to see how a plastic socket has any bearing on the 'shock scenario' that Bill speaks of.

Nevermind. I think I explained it well enough to be understood.

ChampionLS
11-03-2007, 04:44 AM
In the event of a lighting strike or power surge causing one of the 120 Volt wires(within the transformer) to touch one of the 12 volt wires the transformer could continue to provide 12 Volt for the fixtures. However from the 12 volt wires to ground (earth) the voltage would be a deadly 120 Volt.

Should the installing mechanic accidentally remove a small section of insulation from the 12 Volt wire allowing the bare wire to touch the metal fixture support, instantly the fixture becomes electrified with 120 Volt to ground. The 12 Volt lamp will continue to burn even though the fixture surface is charged with deadly 120V to ground making it possible for the unsuspecting to receive a deadly shock.

Who wrote this crap??? Jerry Springer? You have a better chance of being hit by a meteor than being accidentally electrocuted by a wire inside a fried transformer shorting to the secondary from a bolt of lightning. IF by chance there was a broken connection in the transformer due to lightning, then it would obviously fail, and not mysteriously continue to work. I'm sure the residence would incur substantial damage, both inside and outside- needing repair well before the landscape lighting.

The use of a metal support stake of any style or length is not a sufficient grounding rod! A real UL listed 467 grounding rod that meets ANSI C135.30 specification is all that may be permitted, and only on the power unit's line voltage ground. Even if you grounded each metal fixture, that does not prevent a person from receiving an electrical shock when they are handling conductors carrying line voltage.

The different choices in mounting stakes are clearly from a manufacturing point. Nylon, Graphite, PVC, ABS, HDP are easy to mold and manufacture, so they are more readily available. Obviously (maybe it isnt...) that there may be other choices better suited depending on the soil/climate conditions where you live. Also- fyi, The sunlight resistance test is found in UL Standard UL651 for plastics. Any Listed product will have an indefinite life period outdoors. - This includes mounting hardware.

Aluminum, while more durable to install, must be painted or powder coated to resist corrosion. This is also another manufacturing step increasing cost. Again- the life expectancy will vary on your geographic region. (The metal stakes provided in Malibu products are a cast pot metal alloy and not designed to last- mostly a homeowner item)

Bronze, as most of you know offers the most resistance to the elements. It is probably the most difficult to cast, and actually a alloy of Copper and Tin (or Aluminum). Highly recommended, this is the way to go on a professional budget.

~Anthony

pete scalia
11-03-2007, 08:40 AM
Who wrote this crap??? Jerry Springer? You have a better chance of being hit by a meteor than being accidentally electrocuted by a wire inside a fried transformer shorting to the secondary from a bolt of lightning. IF by chance there was a broken connection in the transformer due to lightning, then it would obviously fail, and not mysteriously continue to work. I'm sure the residence would incur substantial damage, both inside and outside- needing repair well before the landscape lighting.

The use of a metal support stake of any style or length is not a sufficient grounding rod! A real UL listed 467 grounding rod that meets ANSI C135.30 specification is all that may be permitted, and only on the power unit's line voltage ground. Even if you grounded each metal fixture, that does not prevent a person from receiving an electrical shock when they are handling conductors carrying line voltage.

The different choices in mounting stakes are clearly from a manufacturing point. Nylon, Graphite, PVC, ABS, HDP are easy to mold and manufacture, so they are more readily available. Obviously (maybe it isnt...) that there may be other choices better suited depending on the soil/climate conditions where you live. Also- fyi, The sunlight resistance test is found in UL Standard UL651 for plastics. Any Listed product will have an indefinite life period outdoors. - This includes mounting hardware.

Aluminum, while more durable to install, must be painted or powder coated to resist corrosion. This is also another manufacturing step increasing cost. Again- the life expectancy will vary on your geographic region. (The metal stakes provided in Malibu products are a cast pot metal alloy and not designed to last- mostly a homeowner item)

Bronze, as most of you know offers the most resistance to the elements. It is probably the most difficult to cast, and actually a alloy of Copper and Tin (or Aluminum). Highly recommended, this is the way to go on a professional budget.

~Anthony

Take it easy. That's the founder of low voltage lighting that you are talking about.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
11-03-2007, 04:14 PM
Who wrote this crap??? Jerry Springer?

It was written by Bill Locklin, the original inventor of Low Voltage Outdoor Lighting. If you are not familiar with him, you might want to do a bit of research. You will find that he is quite the man, entrepreneur, and innovator.

Instead of arrogantly sloughing this piece of information off as improbable and foolish, you might want to contact Nightscaping and ask them to send you a copy of the CD which has the full explanation and graphic example on it. I believe it is called "The Shocking Truth".

Be safe, sleep well.

pete scalia
11-03-2007, 04:46 PM
It was written by Bill Locklin, the original inventor of Low Voltage Outdoor Lighting. If you are not familiar with him, you might want to do a bit of research. You will find that he is quite the man, entrepreneur, and innovator.

Instead of arrogantly sloughing this piece of information off as improbable and foolish, you might want to contact Nightscaping and ask them to send you a copy of the CD which has the full explanation and graphic example on it. I believe it is called "The Shocking Truth".

Be safe, sleep well.

Amen brother

YardPro
11-04-2007, 05:17 PM
i think this is just a scare tactic marketing gimmick that is over dramatizing the remote chance that something like this can happen.

i have used both and could care less what kind of stake i have. We are on an island, and have sugar sand that we work in, so i always order my lights with longer stakes. Also we use composite lights most of the time, so the reis of being electrocuted by the light housing is even that much more remote.

ChampionLS
11-04-2007, 10:57 PM
This just keeps getting better and better. It truly amazes me how a clever scare tactic, marketing ploy, and press release can cause so much controversy. I don't care who invented what, or what someone post's on their corporate website, in trade magazines or thinks the rest of the world should believe in. All the world needs to know is if your using a UL listed product and it fails, it will fail safely. PERIOD.

JoeyD
11-06-2007, 10:37 AM
LOL.......OK so we are all pro's here. So how man of you have heard of or experienced this scenario that James posted? If you have never had this happen do you credit your metal stakes or luck or what? It just cracks me up some of the stuff people come up with. I know he had good intentions but honestly if you mix gas and fire an explosion occurs yet people still smoke while driving and i dont know if I have ever heard of the lit cigarette going out the window and landing in the gas tank becuase they forgot to put the gas cap on and the gas spout was broken so the tank was exposed then the world blew up and now there is only one person left and AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH THE APOCOLYPSE!

Again I know his intent was good and he is thinking saftey but sometimes I think people over think things to justify the way they do buisness.

irrig8r
11-06-2007, 12:52 PM
Well, apparently the scenario described in Bill's message "The Shocking Truth" did happen to a contractor in Rhode Island. His position is "once is too often."

I'm not saying I buy it or I don't.

If you want to see a copy of the video, and take a look for yourself, send an email to Steve Atkinson. I was talking to him this AM about other stuff and I brought it up.

He says wants to hear from anyone who doubts the scenario....

JoeyD
11-06-2007, 12:59 PM
I dont know that anyone doubts it I just think there are plenty of other scenarios that are more likely to happen then this. It is kind of liek the reasoning behind 15v and 1838. if your standing in a puddle and you have the 15 v cable in your hand and then the TF fails and crosses the 120v you could die? Lots of things COULD happen is all I am saying.

pete scalia
11-06-2007, 08:26 PM
I still want to know why plastic sockets and not plastic stakes. It makes no sense.

irrig8r
11-06-2007, 08:56 PM
Well, Michael Donovan saw fit to remove the email address I put in the message.

I just took a look at the guidelines we all agreed to when we registered. Funny I didn't read them then... oh well.

http://www.lawnsite.com/guidelines.php

So, instead I suggest calling Nightscaping's toll free number. Tell them you'd like to get a copy of "The Shocking Truth" video.

Is it propaganda? Take a look and judge for yourself. If you haven't seen it then you haven't really heard Bill's argument.

Do I buy into it completely? No. But it raises interesting questions.

And Pete, about a hundred posts back (OK, maybe I exaggerate) I made the suggestion that you call NS and ask them yourself about the sockets.

So tell us, what did they say?

pete scalia
11-06-2007, 09:06 PM
Stay tuned Mr. Nightscaping. I will have a nice photograph for you tomorrow that is very appropriate to this thread.

irrig8r
11-06-2007, 09:35 PM
Pete, if you are addressing me, I am not "Mr. Nightscaping". I use a variety of products from a handful of good, solid American manufacturers.

Believe it or not NS makes up a good portion of what I install simply because many of my clients find me through them, or by searching for the NS brand using Yahoo Local (I show up #1 for any of the cities in a 25 mile or more radius). I'm not going to disappoint them by suggesting another line.

pete scalia
11-07-2007, 08:23 PM
Stay tuned Mr. Nightscaping. I will have a nice photograph for you tomorrow that is very appropriate to this thread.

This is why you shouldn't use aluminum stakes

irrig8r
11-07-2007, 08:38 PM
I agree 100%. I have a collection of similar pics myself. I'll see if I can post a couple.

irrig8r
11-07-2007, 09:01 PM
These were taken almost exactly two years ago.
I did a complete replacement of the lighting and added more.
All the new pathlights are copper with brass spikes.

These were about 20 years old, and installed two owners ago...

http://lh3.google.com/g.catanese/RzJsLp9a43I/AAAAAAAAAgw/nQu_UCPZ0OU/1118051315.jpg?imgmax=512

http://lh3.google.com/g.catanese/RzJsXp9a44I/AAAAAAAAAg4/7KhIzFBXFgo/1118051315a.jpg?imgmax=512

Lawn Designers
11-07-2007, 10:36 PM
I think these photos show why you should never use aluminum. Why do the manufacturers continue to offer them? Price?

ChampionLS
11-08-2007, 01:59 AM
Very nice pictures. BUT... they ARE 20 years old. they've provided a useful service life. 20 years ago, who else was out there making bronze stakes? Probably nobody. And.. the Aluminum of today is not the same stuff as back then. Companies learn from Research and Development what to improve on. A lot of companies have a target price to the end user and will design their products accordingly. Aluminum has it's place, and so does Plastic and Bronze.

YardPro
11-08-2007, 06:30 AM
here aluminum spikes look like that after 5-6 years. I replace them all the time.
this is also why i try and use only composite/brass/bronze/stainless fixtures.

irrig8r
11-08-2007, 09:40 AM
Very nice pictures. BUT... they ARE 20 years old. they've provided a useful service life. 20 years ago, who else was out there making bronze stakes? Probably nobody. And.. the Aluminum of today is not the same stuff as back then. Companies learn from Research and Development what to improve on. A lot of companies have a target price to the end user and will design their products accordingly. Aluminum has it's place, and so does Plastic and Bronze.

Well, for the most part I agree. These fixtures were not in the line of fire of sprinklers. The aluminum spikes of those that are around here last 5 or 6 years tops.

I don't know if there were flaws in the powdercoating of the fixtures either, but imagine leaving you car sitting out in the elements in one place for 20 years, w/o ever waxing or washing or babying it. How would it look?

JoeyD
11-08-2007, 09:46 AM
I think these photos show why you should never use aluminum. Why do the manufacturers continue to offer them? Price?


It has everything to do with price. If copper and brass were as cheap to build and buy no one would never build another aluminum light.

JoeyD
11-08-2007, 09:49 AM
Well, for the most part I agree. These fixtures were not in the line of fire of sprinklers. The aluminum spikes of those that are around here last 5 or 6 years tops.

I don't know if there were flaws in the powdercoating of the fixtures either, but imagine leaving you car sitting out in the elements in one place for 20 years, w/o ever waxing or washing or babying it. How would it look?

Thats the problem with landscape lighting in general. Noone wants to maintain, clean, and take care of their lights. Hoemowners just want them to turn on and off. No matter how many times you tell themt hat lenses should be cleaned and a powdercoat finish will hold up better if maintained and kept clean they just never do it. Thats why Brass and Copper work so well. As long as the fixture itself makes a good seal to protect the lamp the materials will hold up forever regardless of maintenance. Obviously the cleaning of lenses should always still be done. But I guess thats why guys have gone to using rain-x on their lenses too now.

pete scalia
11-08-2007, 08:24 PM
Well, for the most part I agree. These fixtures were not in the line of fire of sprinklers. The aluminum spikes of those that are around here last 5 or 6 years tops.

I don't know if there were flaws in the powdercoating of the fixtures either, but imagine leaving you car sitting out in the elements in one place for 20 years, w/o ever waxing or washing or babying it. How would it look?

Those grey fixtures in Greg's photo are not 20 yrs old. That color paint was not available 20 yrs ago. Black and green is all I remember. Unlike most here Pete has been around a long time and you can't pull the wool over his eyes. I'm gonna say 10 yrs at most on those grey ones.

irrig8r
11-08-2007, 08:43 PM
Those grey fixtures in Greg's photo are not 20 yrs old. That color paint was not available 20 yrs ago. Black and green is all I remember. Unlike most here Pete has been around a long time and you can't pull the wool over his eyes. I'm gonna say 10 yrs at most on those grey ones.

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Nobody's pulling any wool over your eyes Pete. I recommend you have them checked though.

Those fixtures started out black. The paint faded, hard water deposits accumulated, and you can see the rust more clearly on the underside in the second photo, but a lot of the topsides are rusted through too.

It would take more real weather than we have in California to do that much damage in much less time.

Believe me, these were installed in 1985.

Now you know why the Footliters and Illuminators have come standard in stainless steel for the last 5 years or so...