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pete scalia
11-07-2007, 10:05 PM
Picture speaks for itself

ccfree
11-07-2007, 10:11 PM
Nothing wrong with aluminum fixtures as long it is rust proof and the powder coat system is top notch. I have aluminum fixtures in the ground for 10 years and still look great.

irrig8r
11-07-2007, 10:23 PM
You paint with a broad brush there Pete. I agree with you about aluminum spikes.

When it comes to fixtures though, you should take a look at an aluminum alloy called 6061-T6. I'm not sure who is using it besides FX, but I've never had one of their aluminum alloy fixtures corrode (unlike NS, Hadco and Vista).

This Aluminum / Silicon / Magnesium alloy has been solution heat treated and artificially aged. Machines well with excellent welding qualities. Resists stress cracking. Good formability with medium strength and high corrosion resistance. Used in many heavy–duty structures, particularly for transportation and marine applications.

pete scalia
11-07-2007, 10:27 PM
You paint with a broad brush there Pete. I agree with you about aluminum spikes.

When it comes to fixtures though, you should take a look at an aluminum alloy called 6061-T6. I'm not sure who is using it besides FX, but I've never had one of their aluminum alloy fixtures corrode (unlike NS, Hadco and Vista).

This Aluminum / Silicon / Magnesium alloy has been solution heat treated and artificially aged. Machines well with excellent welding qualities. Resists stress cracking. Good formability with medium strength and high corrosion resistance. Used in many heavy–duty structures, particularly for transportation and marine applications.

Maybe in california and texas but they don't survive on Long Island which is surrounded by salt water ocean.

Lite4
11-07-2007, 11:07 PM
Geez Pete, the pic looks like you dug an old cow bell out of the ground. I am sure there has got to be better grades of aluminum like Gregg is talking about. I believe Chris J. brought up one time about all the aluminum stairs, railings etc.. on boats that seem to stand up to direct salt water spray.

Eden Lights
11-07-2007, 11:57 PM
Maybe in california and texas but they don't survive on Long Island which is surrounded by salt water ocean.

FX has never had a corrosion return according to there slicks.

sprinkler guy
11-08-2007, 01:33 AM
Maybe in california and texas but they don't survive on Long Island which is surrounded by salt water ocean.

I don't consider myself the smartest guy in the world, but last time I checked California is on the coast. I do alot of work right on the beach, and I've serviced plenty of 7-10 year old jobs with FX aluminum fixtures that don't show any signs of corrosion.

Lawn Designers
11-08-2007, 01:49 AM
Companies in china applying rust proof coatings to aluminum fixtures = corrosion. I have no faith that these imports use proper rust proofing methods. Maybe they can buy paint from Matel, I hear lead doesn't corrode for decades.

ChampionLS
11-08-2007, 02:44 AM
Ok boys and girls.. This is a deep issue. There are MANY grades of Aluminum... not just the 'silver stuff' or the kind you wrap your lunch in. Some Aluminum will turn to dust in a very short time, such as the pic above., while others will do nothing. Then comes the issue of painting or Powder Coating. Most fixtures are Powder Coated then baked at 400*, which will protect them indefinitely. Most of the jobs you see that are corroded are OLD style fixtures. Just like with boats, the older the boat, the more corrosion on the outdrive. Anyway, I'll post what I have on Aluminum and this will help shed some light. (haha)
Aluminum - The Most Common Grades

1100 This grade is commercially pure aluminum. It is soft and ductile and has excellent workability. It is ideal for applications involving intricate forming because it work hardens more slowly than other alloys. It is the most weldable of aluminum alloys, by any method. It is non heat-treatable. It has excellent resistance to corrosion and is widely used in the chemical and food processing industries. It responds well to decorative finishes which make it suitable for giftware.

2011 This is the most free-machining of the common aluminum alloys. It also has excellent mechanical properties. Thus, it is widely used for automatic screw machine products in parts requiring extensive machining.

2014 & 2017 The 2017 alloy combines excellent machinability and high strength with the result that it is one of the most widely used alloys for automatic screw machine work. It is a tough, ductile alloy suitable for heavy-duty structural parts. Its strength is slightly less than that of 2014.

2024 This is one of the best known of the high strength aluminum alloys. With its high strength and excellent fatigue resistance, it is used to advantage on structures and parts where good strength-to-weight ratio is desired. It is readily machined to a high finish. It is readily formed in the annealed condition and may be subsequently heat treated. Arc or gas welding is generally not recommended, although this alloy may be spot, seam or flash welded. Since corrosion resistance is relatively low, 2024 is commonly used with an anodized finish or in clad form ("Alclad") with a thin surface layer of high purity aluminum. Applications: aircraft structural components, aircraft fittings, hardware, truck wheels and parts for the transportation industry.

3003 This is the most widely used of all aluminum alloys. It is essentially commercially pure aluminum with the addition of manganese which increases the strength some 20% over the 1100 grade. Thus, it has all the excellent characteristics of 1100 with higher strength. It has excellent corrosion resistance. It has excellent workability and it may be deep drawn or spun, welded or brazed. It is non heat treatable. Applications: cooking utensils. decorative trim, awnings, siding, storage tanks, chemical equipment.

5005 This alloy is generally considered to be an improved version of 3003. It has the same general mechanical properties as 3003 but appears to stand up better in actual service. It is readily workable. It can be deep drawn or spun, welded or brazed. It has excellent corrosion resistance. It is non heat-treatable. It is well suited for anodizing and has less tendency to streak or discolor. Applications same as 3003.

5052 This is the highest strength alloy of the more common non heat-treatable grades. Fatigue strength is higher than most aluminum alloys. In addition, this grade has particularly good resistance to marine atmosphere and salt water corrosion. It has excellent workability. It may be drawn or formed into intricate shapes and its slightly greater strength in the annealed condition minimizes tearing that occurs in 1100 and 3003. Applications: Used in a wide variety of applications from aircraft components to home appliances, marine and transportation industry parts, heavy duty cooking utensils and equipment for bulk processing of food.

5083 & 5086 For many years there has been a need for aluminum sheet and plate alloys that would offer, for high strength welded applications, several distinct benefits over such alloys as 5052 and 6061. Some of the benefits fabricators have been seeking are greater design efficiency, better welding characteristics, good forming properties, excellent resistance to corrosion and the same economy as in other non heat-treatable alloys. Metallurgical research has developed 5083 and 5086 as superior weldable alloys which fill these needs. Both alloys have virtually the same characteristics with 5083 having slightly higher mechanical properties due to the increased manganese content over 5086. Applications: unfired pressure vessels, missile containers, heavyduty truck and trailer assemblies, boat hulls and superstructures.

6061 This is the least expensive and most versatile of the heat-treatable aluminum alloys. It has most of the good qualities of aluminum. It offers a range of good mechanical properties and good corrosion resistance. It can be fabricated by most of the commonly used techniques. In the annealed condition it has good workability. In the T4 condition fairly severe forming operations may be accomplished. The full T6 properties may be obtained by artificial aging. It is welded by all methods and can be furnace brazed. It is available in the clad form ('Alclad") with a thin surface layer of high purity aluminum to improve both appearance and corrosion resistance. Applications: This grade is used for a wide variety of products and applications from truck bodies and frames to screw machine parts and structural components. 6061 is used where appearance and better corrosion resistance with good strength are required.

6063 This grade is commonly referred to as the architectural alloy. It was developed as an extrusion alloy with relatively high tensile properties, excellent finishing characteristics and a high degree of resistance to corrosion. This alloy is most often found in various interior and exterior architectural applications, such as windows, doors, store fronts and assorted trim items. It is the alloy best suited for anodizing applications - either plain or in a variety of colors.

7075 This is one of the highest strength aluminum alloys available Its strength-to weight ratio is excellent and it is ideally used for highly stressed parts. It may be formed in the annealed condition and subsequently heat treated. Spot or flash welding can be used, although arc and gas welding are not recommended. It is available in the clad ('Alclad") form to improve the corrosion resistance with the over-all high strength being only moderately affected. Applications: Used where highest strength is needed.

ALUMINUM ALLOY DESIGNATIONS
The aluminum industry uses a four-digit index system for the designation of its wrought aluminum alloys.
As outlined below, the first digit indicates the alloy group according tothe major alloying elements.

1xxx Series
In this group. minimum aluminum content is 99%. and there is no major alloying element. The second digit indicates modifications in impurity limits. If the second digit is zero, there is no special control on individual impurities. Digits 1 through 9, which are assigned consecutively as needed, indicate special control of one or more individual impurities. The last two digits indicate specific minimum aluminum content. Although the absolute minimum aluminum content in this group is 99%, the minimum for certain grades is higher than 99%, and the last two digits represent the hundredths of a per cent over 99. Thus, 1030 would indicate 99.30% minimum aluminum. without special control on individual impurities. The designations 1130, 1230, 1330, etc.. indicate the same purity with special control on one or more impurities. Likewise. 1100 indicates minimum aluminum content of 99.00% with individual impurity control.

2xxx through 9xxx Series
The major alloying elements are indicated by the first digit, as follows:

2xxx Copper
3xxx Manganese
4xxx Silicon
5xxx Magnesium
6xxx Magnesium and silicon
7xxx Zinc
8xxx Other element
9xxx Unused series

The second digit indicates alloy modification. If the second digit is zero. it indicates the original alloy: digits 1 through 9, which are assigned consecutively, indicate alloy modifications. The last two digits have no special significance, serving only to identify the different alloys in the group.

Experimental Alloys
Experimental alloys are designated according to the four digit system, but they are prefixed by the letter X. The prefix is dropped when the alloy becomes standard. During development, and before they are designated as experimental, new alloys are identified by serial numbers assigned by their originators. Use of the serial number is discontinued when the X number is assigned.


ALUMINUM TEMPER DESIGNATIONS

Temper designations of wrought aluminum alloys consist of suff ixes to the numeric alloy designations. For example, in 3003-Hl4, 3003 denotes the alloy and "Hl 4" denotes the temper, or degree of hardness. The temper designation also reveals the method by which the hardness was obtained. Temper designations differ between non heat-treatable alloys and heat-treatable alloys. and their meanings are given below:

Non Heat-Treatable Alloys
The letter "H" is always followed by 2 or 3 digits. The first digit indicates the particular method used to obtain the temper. as follows:
- H1 means strain hardened only.
- H2 means strain hardened, then partially annealed.
- H3 means strain hardened, then stabilized.
The temper is indicated by the second digit as follows:

2 1/4 hard
4 1/2 hard
6 3/4 hard
8 full hard
9 extra hard
Added digits indicate modification of standard practice.

Heat-Treatable Alloys
-F As fabricated
-O Annealed
-T Heat treated

The letter "T' is always followed oy one or more digits. These digits indicate the method used to produce the stable tempers, as follows:
-T3 Solution heat treated, then cold worked.
-T351 Solution heat treated, stress-relieved stretched, then cold worked.
-T36 Solution heat treated, then cold worked (controlled).
-T4 Solution heat treated, then naturally aged.
-T451 Solution heat treated, then stress relieved stretched.
-T5 Artificially aged only,
-T6 Solution heat treated, then artificially aged.
-T61 Solution heat treated (boiling water quench), then artificially aged.
-T651 Solution heat treated, stress-relieved stretched, then artificially aged (precipitation heat treatment).
-T652 Solution heat treated, stress relieved by compression. then artificially aged.
-T7 Solution heat treated, then stabilized.
-T8 Solution heat treated, cold worked, then artificially aged.
-T81 Solution heat treated, cold worked (controlled), then artificially aged.
-T851 Solution heat treated, cold worked, stress-relieved stretched, then artificially aged.
-T9 Solution heat treated, artificially aged, then cold worked.
-TlO Artificially aged, then cold worked.
Added digits indicate modification of standard practice.

irrig8r
11-08-2007, 10:51 AM
Evening Star, I think I have a copy of that same article.
Here's something more specific about 6061 from Alcoa:

Alcoa Alloy 6061, a cold finished aluminum wrought product, is offered for use in applications requiring excellent corrosion resistance and anodizing response, good workability, excellent joining characteristics, good acceptance of applied coatings, and adequate machinability. Some applications include impact stock for low pressure ammunition and aerospace connectors.

General Characteristics of Alcoa Alloy 6061

Excellent joining characteristics
Good acceptance of applied coatings
Combines relatively high strength, good workability and high resistance to corrosion

The T8 and T9 tempers offer better chipping characteristics over the T6 temper.

Typical Uses for Alcoa Alloy 6061

Aircraft fittings
camera lens mounts
couplings
marine fittings and hardware
electrical fittings and connectors
decorative or misc. hardware
hinge pins
magneto parts
brake pistons
hydraulic pistons
appliance fittings
valves and valve part

JoeyD
11-08-2007, 11:10 AM
FX has never had a corrosion return according to there slicks.


That is a pretty broad statement. I sold FX for 2 years and I sold those products here in southern california and I have seen RS bullet lights with corrosion issues starting right at the knuckle for years. So maybe the reason they have not recived any fixtures on warranty due to corrosion is becuase the one's that corroded were wired to Unique transformers which voids the fixture warranty?

NightScenes
11-08-2007, 03:03 PM
I've worked on many F/X systems around here and corrosion has never been an issue with the fixtures. I think that when you start talking about quality manufactures, you find that they make the effort to insure that their products will last. I use Kichler aluminum fixtures every day and have yet to have any corrosion issues.

To make a blanket statement that all aluminum fixtures are no good is irresponsible at best.

irrig8r
11-08-2007, 03:51 PM
Doing a Google search on "6061-T6, lighting fixtures" returned a couple of links referencing BK and Lumiere. Any idea what Kichler uses? Couldn't find anything on their site about it.

Another architectural grade lighting manufacturer, who I saw at an ASLA show a few years ago that uses 6061-T6 is Vision3.

NightScenes
11-08-2007, 03:54 PM
I have no idea what type of aluminum Kichler uses but maybe I can find out.

Frog Lights, LLC
11-08-2007, 04:13 PM
We found out early on that unless you watch the manufacturing process carefully cheaper grades of aluminum will be use. We only use the highest grade, at this time, so the spike and bodies will not rot. Powder spray is another problem overseas that needs to be improved. There are also different grades of stainless that also must be addressed.

sprinkler guy
11-08-2007, 09:46 PM
Companies in china applying rust proof coatings to aluminum fixtures = corrosion. I have no faith that these imports use proper rust proofing methods. Maybe they can buy paint from Matel, I hear lead doesn't corrode for decades.

Are you referencing the picture above, or do you have a specific manufacturer in mind? Your post comes right after mine, so it looks like you are referencing to FX, but all of their product is made in the US, including molding the metals.

ccfree
11-09-2007, 09:13 AM
That is a pretty broad statement. I sold FX for 2 years and I sold those products here in southern california and I have seen RS bullet lights with corrosion issues starting right at the knuckle for years. So maybe the reason they have not recived any fixtures on warranty due to corrosion is becuase the one's that corroded were wired to Unique transformers which voids the fixture warranty?

Come on now Joey. I have been selling FX fixtures for over 10 years and they have a solid powder coat system that does not corrode. It does hold up to the coast climates. I have never seen corrosion at the knuckle on the RS bullet. You might argue this, but in my experience, I have not encountered this problem.

JoeyD
11-09-2007, 10:51 AM
I never questioned their quality, and anyone who has had discussion with me regarding FX would know that I always have stated that they are a quality company with quality products. but it simply is not true that they have never had a product corrode. I am not making this up Craig, maybe you have the same luck as a lot of others have. But I can tell you right now I have RS BULLETS in my possesion with corrosion issues at the knuckle and at the knuckle adjustment screw. No product is so perfect that they can make aluminum and never have a corrosion issue!!

This comment I made was not to say that FX is not quality. I know they are, this comment was regading a blanket statement that bassicly says they have never had a fixture corrode. To me it is either a lie or they just have never had a customer ask to return one.

I refuse to go after my competition, I will go after a knockoff but I will not post a photo of these lights. But if it is possible please undertsand and trust that I sold FX for 2 years but I have been involved lighting in San Diego for 12 years. They will corrode at some point and they do corrode at some point. The aluminum is only as good as it's powdercoat. Once the powdercoat gets a chip or an imperfection water will bubble it and then it is only a matter of time before the aluminum begins to corrode. I dont care if this aluminum comes from another galaxy, it will corrode at some point.

irrig8r
11-09-2007, 11:43 AM
I don't want to beat a dead horse Joey, but I still have fixtures in the ground from back when FX first came out and was using bare aluminum stakes. They're stilll standing and working. (Granted, they're mostly not exposed to overhead irrigation.)

I think we can agree on a handful of conclusions:
1. Some grades of aluminum are more corrosion resistant than others.
2. A good quality powdercoat process increases that resistance.
3. Some environments (soil type, moisture, salt air) are harsher on aluminum than others.
4. Nothing lasts forever.

Beyond that, everyone has their own experiences that lead them to their preferences as to what fixture materials to favor in what situation, and which manufacturers will give them the best warranty service when equipment doesn't meet expectations for durability and longevity in the field.

So, to go back and address Pete's original contention, aluminum will continue to have a place in landscape lighting, but one must be careful about where to use it, and some will not use it at all.

It's nice to have choices.

JoeyD
11-09-2007, 11:48 AM
Very well put Gregg!!

I am not denying that ok a MOAJORITY of the lights last a very long time. But it is an outlandish statement to say that none have ever failed on a corrosion issue. You cant tell me in 15 yrs or more of buisness that they have never had one of their aluminum products fail. Thats all I am saying. Again there are some very good quality aluminum products? Yes. But out of all of those good quality aluminum products there will be some that corrode. Maybe the lights I am seeing corroded because of installer error or bad luck with a weed wacker, but whatever the case they corroded.

I shall let it go now!! LOL

irrig8r
11-09-2007, 03:01 PM
This is a line from the FX newsletter just arrived in my inbox, referring to the mistake of placing fixtures in lawns...

Regardless of brand, fixtures prefer not to be mowed, fertilized or watered.

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

JoeyD
11-09-2007, 03:11 PM
I would have to agree!!!

JoeyD
12-04-2007, 05:46 PM
Come on now Joey. I have been selling FX fixtures for over 10 years and they have a solid powder coat system that does not corrode. It does hold up to the coast climates. I have never seen corrosion at the knuckle on the RS bullet. You might argue this, but in my experience, I have not encountered this problem.

Here you go. This was pulled out of a job just the other day. The job was about 25 miles from the coast in a warm climate here in San Diego.

http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb97/ulsjoeyd/FXCorrosion3.jpg

http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb97/ulsjoeyd/FXCorrosion2.jpg

http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb97/ulsjoeyd/FXCorrosion.jpg

pete scalia
12-04-2007, 06:32 PM
Here you go. This was pulled out of a job just the other day. The job was about 25 miles from the coast in a warm climate here in San Diego.

http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb97/ulsjoeyd/FXCorrosion3.jpg

http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb97/ulsjoeyd/FXCorrosion2.jpg

http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb97/ulsjoeyd/FXCorrosion.jpg

Hope your FX rusted photo doesn't get deleted just like mine was. Perhaps the moderator uses F/X?

JoeyD
12-04-2007, 06:34 PM
Well I am not puting it up there to attack them only to show that their aluminum does corrode

pete scalia
12-04-2007, 06:36 PM
OH, you mean thats an FX light??? They have never had one fixture corrode?
:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

JoeyD
12-04-2007, 06:37 PM
:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

I changed my post.........I know they dont fawn over me anyway but I best not ad to much fuel to the fire thats been burning for 12 years

pete scalia
12-04-2007, 06:37 PM
Either your date code is off in the camera or your lying about the other day taking it out though.

JoeyD
12-04-2007, 06:39 PM
Date code is off, I just took the pictures about an hour or so ago

JoeyD
12-04-2007, 06:40 PM
I can fix the date code and go take another picture of the light if anyone feels I am fibbing

irrig8r
12-04-2007, 07:21 PM
No problem Joey I know you wouldn't lie to me.
But those were installed in a tidal marsh, right?

Seriously though, were they in a wet area?
Overhead irrigation or drip?
Clay soil?
And it seems obvious they were buried up top the adjustment screw on the knuckle.
I think I even see some rust on that stainless screw though... what would that tell you?

Oh, and if it was in a lawn all bets are off. :)

JoeyD
12-04-2007, 07:37 PM
Yeah Gregg I am not sure what type of soil they were in but I did not clean the light. It is pretty clean other than the corrosion. Lens has some deposit on it/mineral coating but not to much. Even the corroded part is fairly clean so I dont think it was buried to far down past the stake. The screw has some surface rust but if it was buried that deep you would think it would have dirt in the phillips head. But Whatever, brass or copper would't do this even if you bury the knuckle. I see these all the time and have seen these for years. Maybe it's just San Diego dirt that causes that aerospace grade aluminum to corrode?

irrig8r
12-04-2007, 08:36 PM
Or maybe it was hit with something like nylon string from a weedwhacker to cause the finish to flake? In any case, despite the the hassle of a return, I'll bet FX would cover and exchange it for a new one. It's not their first generation product.

Is the guy that works for Ewing still reading this thread? Craig? What do you think of Joey's photos?

ccfree
12-04-2007, 09:23 PM
Couple of questions Joey...Was that the only RS fixture on this job site that corroded? Were anymore RS fixtures on the job? Okay, so we have an FX fixture that corroded. The interesting thing to me is this. The corrosion is at the bottom of the fixture, meaning it was installed fairly deeply. Greg could be right about weed eaters. I have seen this one time in my 10 year career selling FX. Of the two fixtures that corroded on this job, they were the only ones installed in turf. I did some extensive research at the job site. I concluded that the problem was man made in that the landscaper liquid fertilized the lawn 3 times a year in which it had a chemical reaction to the aluminum alloy which was chipped from weed eater lines. It was 2 powder coated path lights that corroded the riser in half at the base, and the plastic spike was 80% dissolved. Mother nature was not involved in my opinion for what its worth.

ccfree
12-04-2007, 09:34 PM
Let me make one correction from memory. The spike was not plastic, it was the old aluminum one FX used to ship with their fixtures.

pete scalia
12-04-2007, 10:43 PM
I can fix the date code and go take another picture of the light if anyone feels I am fibbing

Not at all. I'm just kidding with you

pete scalia
12-05-2007, 12:44 AM
Couple of questions Joey...Was that the only RS fixture on this job site that corroded? Were anymore RS fixtures on the job? Okay, so we have an FX fixture that corroded. The interesting thing to me is this. The corrosion is at the bottom of the fixture, meaning it was installed fairly deeply. Greg could be right about weed eaters. I have seen this one time in my 10 year career selling FX. Of the two fixtures that corroded on this job, they were the only ones installed in turf. I did some extensive research at the job site. I concluded that the problem was man made in that the landscaper liquid fertilized the lawn 3 times a year in which it had a chemical reaction to the aluminum alloy which was chipped from weed eater lines. It was 2 powder coated path lights that corroded the riser in half at the base, and the plastic spike was 80% dissolved. Mother nature was not involved in my opinion for what its worth.

This is one of the worst attempts to explain away a problem that I've ever seen. I had a similar photo which was promptly deleted several weeks back. So Joey's case is not an isolated incident. Bottom line is if it was brass or copper this would not have happened. You can bury the thing as deep as you want and it won't corrode. Only those who are making blood money from aluminum fixtures would defend them. I have been told that profit margins for aluminum fixtures are higher for the manufacturer than brass or copper thus the continuance to put them out in the field only for them to fail over time.

JoeyD
12-05-2007, 02:41 AM
With all do respect Craig the stake is plastic and there are quite a few more than just one that have this corrosion taking place. You have seen 1 in your 10 years and I would say that is an awesome tack record. But in my 10 year career I can tell you I have seen more than I can count on yours and my hands. Maybe all these guys bury them 3 inches in the dirt past the stake, maybe they all get smacked up with a metal weedwacker I dont know. Bottom line, that is corrosion and one corroded fixture is one too many. I have fixtures that may have a socket fail or maybe someone strips a screw out, those things can be fixed in the field fairly easy. But a corroded housing is dead and needs to be completely replaced. That is all I am saying. In Texas Aluminum will last a bunch longer I do understand that, but here in CA and in other coastal and humid climates this corrosion will happen to an exposed aluminum fixture in a matter of years for sure.

ccfree
12-05-2007, 08:49 AM
I am not defending FX Pete, I am just merely explaining my experience with FX powder coated fixtures. It is what it is. Since you have every aspect of lighting manufacturing figured out, why don't you enlighten me "oh great one" since my answer was the worst you ever heard.

ccfree
12-05-2007, 09:06 AM
With all do respect Craig the stake is plastic and there are quite a few more than just one that have this corrosion taking place. You have seen 1 in your 10 years and I would say that is an awesome tack record. But in my 10 year career I can tell you I have seen more than I can count on yours and my hands. Maybe all these guys bury them 3 inches in the dirt past the stake, maybe they all get smacked up with a metal weedwacker I dont know. Bottom line, that is corrosion and one corroded fixture is one too many. I have fixtures that may have a socket fail or maybe someone strips a screw out, those things can be fixed in the field fairly easy. But a corroded housing is dead and needs to be completely replaced. That is all I am saying. In Texas Aluminum will last a bunch longer I do understand that, but here in CA and in other coastal and humid climates this corrosion will happen to an exposed aluminum fixture in a matter of years for sure.

I don't dispute that at all Joey. I totally understand where you are coming from. I am simply stating that under normal wear and tear conditions, a lighting manufacturer who has powder coating technology figured out, can have their product installed in coastal climates with no problem. It has been proved time and time again. I am all for copper, brass, and bronze fixtures. I would rather sell the quality of that material anyways.

JoeyD
12-05-2007, 10:13 AM
I don't dispute that at all Joey. I totally understand where you are coming from. I am simply stating that under normal wear and tear conditions, a lighting manufacturer who has powder coating technology figured out, can have their product installed in coastal climates with no problem. It has been proved time and time again. I am all for copper, brass, and bronze fixtures. I would rather sell the quality of that material anyways.


I hear ya! I just wanted to be clear, i was not trying to facilitate a cheap shot at FX or you I just simply wanted to show that it does happen and that i wasnt just pulling some garbage out of my butt to put them down. FX makes a better product then most and i have always admired their product line. But there will alwyas be a corroded fixture as long as you build aluminum products it just comes with the terrtory. Trade off......the light is $40 not $75.

jana
12-07-2007, 03:20 PM
Mortal enemies. "Predators's at War" !!! :weightlifter:

Gotta love it...... :laugh:

JoeyD
12-07-2007, 03:24 PM
Naaa, Unique and FX? We love eachother, I can only speak for us but...............

Indiana Outdoor Lighting
12-07-2007, 05:28 PM
This is fun. Here aluminum guys - find fault with this image.
94834

JoeyD
12-07-2007, 05:44 PM
By the looks of things they forgot to use "Aerospace" Aluminum.

irrig8r
12-07-2007, 06:00 PM
I can't tell if that's a Peony or a Hellebore on the left, but either one would indicate a shady spot, plus the tree next to it... Locust maybe from the fallen leaves and little bit of visible trunk.

So anyway, at least part shade during the growing season.
Does it get sprinklers spraying on it?

I'd be surprised if the fixture was under 10 years old. Is it a Hadco? (I don't recognize the design.)

I think it's ready for the recycler.

pete scalia
12-07-2007, 09:06 PM
This is fun. Here aluminum guys - find fault with this image.
94834

As the original thread starter I rest my case. Riposa in pace.

Chris J
12-08-2007, 12:22 AM
That particular fixture would be a kichler 15381AZT, but it could also be a 15383AZT. The difference would be in the lamp configuration (which I can't see). Makes me sad.

pete scalia
12-08-2007, 12:25 AM
This is fun. Here aluminum guys - find fault with this image.
94834

Is this what it is supposed to look like?

Chris J
12-08-2007, 12:27 AM
Yep. That's the ticket.

pete scalia
12-08-2007, 12:30 AM
Yep. That's the ticket.

Thank you Mr. Johnson

Chris J
12-08-2007, 12:33 AM
The name is Chris. My Dad is Mr. Johnson....but, you're welcome/

Mike M
12-08-2007, 07:51 AM
Well for one, they didn't use the plastic stake, they used a short aluminum base designed for screw-mounting. This means they had to submerge the aluminum into the soil, including the fixture housing. But what about the upper shroud/cover? Can aluminum spread from the housing like that? Makes me wonder about the acid from the tree. I've had to fix lawns that wouldn't grow under certain maple canopies. Aluminum corrodes rappidly under or over neutral pH.

Holy crap that picture speaks volumes.

Frog Lights, LLC
12-08-2007, 10:16 AM
Aluminum is fine for outdoor lighting . The problem is in China they will cast out of low grade metal. We found that problem and corrected it. All of our product is made of the best grade of metal and that will nolonger happen. The cost is much higher. Also the powder spray is not the same quality as available here in the USA.

JoeyD
12-08-2007, 12:03 PM
Well one thing you guys should know and maybe you do is that you do not need to bury the fixture for the aluminum to corrode. The only thing you need is a pinhole size imperfection in the powdercoat and it is over. A kicked rock could cause this, a weed wacker, a bouce off the concrete by the installer on accident, anything. The moisture will expose it, bubble the powdercoat and the deterriorate the aluminum.

Noel, Are your fixtures aluminum?? When you say best grade metal I think of Stainless Steel or Titanium, Gold, Platinum, Silver, Copper, or Brass. I am not a metelurgist but thats what comes to mind. Aluminum would be near the bottom of that list. So what are Frog Lights made of? If it is aluminum I find it hard that your fixtures "will no longer corrode". When manufacturing aluminum corrosion just comes with the territory. We used to make an aluminum line but soon got rid of it once we realized how bad the corrosion was and how quickly it progressed.

The only reason I say this is we have just seen 2 examples of corroded aluminum lights and these lights are from 2 of the biggest manufacturers in the lighting industry, Kichler and FX.

Joey D.

irrig8r
12-08-2007, 02:30 PM
Janet Moyer said in a seminar last year that she thought titanium could become the fixture material of the future.

As for nicks in the finish, weedwhackers are really really good at doing that. I don't put fixtures in lawns at all, but if you put a powdercoated aluminum or steel fixture anywhere near where mowing equipment can make contact, you're asking for trouble.

JoeyD
12-08-2007, 02:51 PM
Janet Moyer said in a seminar last year that she thought titanium could become the fixture material of the future.

As for nicks in the finish, weedwhackers are really really good at doing that. I don't put fixtures in lawns at all, but if you put a powdercoated aluminum or steel fixture anywhere near where mowing equipment can make contact, you're asking for trouble.


Geez, guys complain about pricing with Brass and Copper. I cant imagine what titanium would cost to manufacture??

Although I am all for it!! If we could make platinum and gold fixtures and sell them we would!

Frog Lights, LLC
12-08-2007, 03:25 PM
Joe
Aluminum is a self protecting metal. It will oxidize slightly, (skin effect) however if it is mixed with other materials when it is molded that will affect its purity. The more pure the metal the less it will rot or oxidize. We use now their number 360 grade which is the best. That grade is used in engines and other high stress applications. It is equal to USA 5052-H32 grade aluminum. Further, we iridite it prior to powder finish. This will lend additional protection to the metal as a good undercoat for the finish. We are also working to equal the US powder spray.
We are also now using the best stainless. There are different grades of that also. This has been an education to say the least. Maybe you want to contract me to manufacture aluminum fixtures for you.

irrig8r
12-08-2007, 03:48 PM
Maybe Noel is onto something. As stated above:

5052 This is the highest strength alloy of the more common non heat-treatable grades. Fatigue strength is higher than most aluminum alloys. In addition, this grade has particularly good resistance to marine atmosphere and salt water corrosion. It has excellent workability.

Applications: Used in a wide variety of applications from aircraft components to home appliances, marine and transportation industry parts, heavy duty cooking utensils and equipment for bulk processing of food.

JoeyD
12-08-2007, 06:57 PM
All sounds good. But I will stick with what I know works. I have seen way to many aluminum products get eaten up in the soils. We will stick with making products we know we can warranty for long periods of time. But hey if you are the first to figure this out then congrats. I know there are marine grade aluminum lights they make for the coast guard, they consider them military spec/grade. But they cost hundreds of dollars. If someone has found a way to make lights using those specs then maybe you could be onto something. Bu until then I will play it safe with Brass and Copper.

irrig8r
12-08-2007, 08:25 PM
Reasons not to install aluminum fixtures:

It's no secret that profits per unit are generally gonna be higher when using more durable (more expensive) materials, depending on how you figure your bid.

Copper, brass or stainless steel don't take any additional labor to install.

Because they last longer in outdoor environments you build your reputation for installing systems that last.


So basically, the main reason to install aluminum (or composites) is if budget/ sticker shock are concerns. And that might really give the homeowner a false sense of economy given the comparative life of systems.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-09-2007, 11:19 AM
Reasons not to install aluminum fixtures:

It's no secret that profits per unit are generally gonna be higher when using more durable (more expensive) materials, depending on how you figure your bid.

Copper, brass or stainless steel don't take any additional labor to install.

Because they last longer in outdoor environments you build your reputation for installing systems that last.


So basically, the main reason to install aluminum (or composites) is if budget/ sticker shock are concerns. And that might really give the homeowner a false sense of economy given the comparative life of systems.

Succinct and to the point... I have to agree with Gregg here. If you have built a reputation for installing the finest systems, yadda yadda... then you want to be wary of changing the quality of the build in order to secure a job that might be looking for more 'value'. Gregg's comment on "a false sense of economy" is right on.

Have a great day.

ChampionLS
12-09-2007, 11:45 PM
I dont think most landscape lighting fixtures are made from pure Aluminum. Solid Aluminum would be like billet Aluminum and lathe cut from a solid chunk. Thats way too costly and slow. Fixtures are cast from a mold and the Aluminum must be made from an alloy. This alloy is similar to pot metal, and has a lower density. It must be coated or painted to resist corrosion. I don't know what they are coating fixtures in from China or Hong Kong, but most of the world uses industry standards. We've used coatings from Tiger Drylac and they have distribution on the entire globe. Technical specs should be available.