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Mike M
12-17-2007, 09:51 PM
When using PAR's in wells, what are some tricks people are using for installations? Is it better to use a lense cover to keep debris out, or is it better to use the shield side to avoid glare? I'm thinking I should experiment with debris covers, and improving protection of contacts.

Just wondering about tricks and preferences when using wells by people who have figured out how to use them with success. Also, wondering if silicone from a caulking gun or a hardening sealant would provide better protection than grease on the contacts.

Thanks,

Mike M

Chris J
12-17-2007, 09:56 PM
You should get someone like Joey to manufacture a well light with both a glare shield and a lens. It's probably already in stock! If not, I'll be expecting commission checks for my invention.

pete scalia
12-17-2007, 10:05 PM
When using PAR's in wells, what are some tricks people are using for installations? Is it better to use a lense cover to keep debris out, or is it better to use the shield side to avoid glare? I'm thinking I should experiment with debris covers, and improving protection of contacts.

Just wondering about tricks and preferences when using wells by people who have figured out how to use them with success. Also, wondering if silicone from a caulking gun or a hardening sealant would provide better protection than grease on the contacts.

Thanks,

Mike M

there are two schools of thought. If it's open on the bottom (ie: standard 5" black PVC issued sleeve)use a grate or "open" shielded device as not to accumulate condensation on the underside of the glass lens.

If it's fully sealed then use a glass lens and or grate cover together

Mike M
12-17-2007, 10:15 PM
Thanks, that makes sense about the condensation. Chris, Unique has a debris grate that fits over the slanted side. I'd like to try some of those.

Also, for the flat side, they have a grate that looks like it works as a louver to reduce glare.

Mark B
12-17-2007, 11:08 PM
Well I prefer the well lights on walls, trees, etc. I do not use anything to cover the light. I wonder even with a cover will the mulch still catch on fire? Seems to me that heat would still build up.

On that note. I do tell my customers DO NOT cover the fixture with mulch or line needles, or it will catch on fire. I have had 2 service calls to where the mulch has caught on fire, due to who installed the mulch.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-17-2007, 11:17 PM
Well I prefer the well lights on walls, trees, etc. I do not use anything to cover the light. I wonder even with a cover will the mulch still catch on fire? Seems to me that heat would still build up.

On that note. I do tell my customers DO NOT cover the fixture with mulch or line needles, or it will catch on fire. I have had 2 service calls to where the mulch has caught on fire, due to who installed the mulch.

When installing a well light or any other inground fixture I would advise you to connect a thermal breaker to the lead wires and place it under or directly beside the fixture. This will cut the power to the fixture if it rises above the threshold temperature of the breaker.

Nightscaping offers these as a stand alone part upon request. Catalog number is LO-78-40-TB.

Have a great day.

Chris J
12-17-2007, 11:18 PM
On that note. I do tell my customers DO NOT cover the fixture with mulch or line needles, or it will catch on fire. I have had 2 service calls to where the mulch has caught on fire, due to who installed the mulch.

You tell your customers that the fixtures may catch fire? And you still install them anyway? WOW!!!!!!! :hammerhead:

Lite4
12-18-2007, 12:29 AM
I use them a lot on walls and uplighting large trees. I like the spread of the light a little better than the MRs in certain applications, just my opinion. I have had wells full of leaves and have not caught on fire yet, however I do recognise this as a true danger. I give my customers a choice for a debris guard on the wells if they are willing to pay the extra. If not I advise them to just check them from time to time to ensure they are cleaned out.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-18-2007, 12:32 AM
Tim, try those thermal breakers I spoke of a few posts up the thread. They will help you sleep soundly at night. For a couple of bucks each they are cheap insurance.

Have a great day.

pete scalia
12-18-2007, 12:37 AM
I use them a lot on walls and uplighting large trees. I like the spread of the light a little better than the MRs in certain applications, just my opinion. I have had wells full of leaves and have not caught on fire yet, however I do recognise this as a true danger. I give my customers a choice for a debris guard on the wells if they are willing to pay the extra. If not I advise them to just check them from time to time to ensure they are cleaned out.

Me too Tim, I find the PAR halogen flood is wider and softer and more diffuse than the widest available MR. I find the PAR lasts longer too.

Lite4
12-18-2007, 12:54 AM
I use only the GE pars. I have had some mixed results with longevity. I have a stretch of road in a development that has around 175 of em. It is interesting to watch the different life spans of the bulbs under nearly identical conditions.

Mark B
12-18-2007, 09:45 AM
I tell them to keep them clean, and keep an eye on them. When the beds remulched/pine needle make sure the fixtures are clean. I do not bury them in the bed either, just to keep them up higher then the bed.


Are you saying that you do not use well lights at all. Or you just use the covers.

irrig8r
12-18-2007, 10:57 AM
Thanks, that makes sense about the condensation. Chris, Unique has a debris grate that fits over the slanted side. I'd like to try some of those.


FX has a fairly new one with a grate at a slant too. Haven't tried it yet, but it looks like it might work. Comes with an 8,000 hr. rated xenon PAR 36 in 20W or 35W.

http://www.fxl.com/products/product.htm?id=90

http://www.fxl.com/products/images/products/images/11569774763066267.jpg

JoeyD
12-18-2007, 04:58 PM
http://www.uniquelighting.com/product_pages/well_lights.htm

We make a host of different wells with different options. We too had a thermal breaker but like the NS product they tend to fail before ever detecting the heat they should be protecting against. We loved this concept though. If they can get them to last they are very handy little devices for preventing flare ups.

Bottom line is that if you install a well it needs to be maintained and kept clear of debris. Grate or not depending on whats piling up and what wattage lamp is in the light it will smolder and could ignite. I prefer a completely sealed well light like our Apollo or Apollo Star. The Apollo Star being the best. Our Apollo series well lights cpme with lens options to soften, spread, or Narrow the beam as well as a Hex louver to diffuse glare.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-18-2007, 10:16 PM
I have been using Nightscaping Vermeer fixtures for inground applications for a few years now. ( I have a few Intense Lighting fixures in too) and have been very happy with their thermal management. They are a sealed, cast brass fixture that uses MR16 Lamps (not PARs).

In many jobs I have installed these in pine needle laden forest floors with no issues at all. (tinder dry in the summer)

I have used the Nightscaping thermal breakers on a few occassions and have never yet had one fail.

Have a great day.

NightLightingFX
12-18-2007, 10:26 PM
I agree with Tim and Pete. That is exactually where I use Pars. And it seems to me they last longer also. I only us GE.
~Ned

JoeyD
12-18-2007, 10:43 PM
Ge Only.....

Mark B
12-18-2007, 11:11 PM
Ok I will bite.... Why only GE?

JoeyD
12-18-2007, 11:18 PM
Flame sealed, water proofed, stronger contacts that dont snap off, better availability, more options in terms of wattage and beam spreads.

We have tested, Ushio, Sylvania, and a host of chinese made brands all of which could not compare to the GE, not even close.

extlights
12-19-2007, 12:28 AM
I agree, we only use GE also. Now those thermal breakers are just plain junk in my opinion. We used to use them, but had so many problems with them that they just cost us too much money on service calls. Maybe it's our climate area? We do use a lot of well lights, but never had any problems with fires or anything else. If you know when and where to use them, you should be good. I'm one of the few firm believers of PAR's on this board....I love that lamp.

pete scalia
12-19-2007, 12:42 AM
I agree, we only use GE also. Now those thermal breakers are just plain junk in my opinion. We used to use them, but had so many problems with them that they just cost us too much money on service calls. Maybe it's our climate area? We do use a lot of well lights, but never had any problems with fires or anything else. If you know when and where to use them, you should be good. I'm one of the few firm believers of PAR's on this board....I love that lamp.

Hmmn somebody here keeps claiming they have never had 1 problem with a certain transformer failing or a Wellight thermal breaker going bad. Although many others have and have posted photos (transformer) for proof. Though I guess the chances are low when you've installed just 10 transformers and 50 fixtures over your career.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-19-2007, 12:49 AM
Doubt me if you will but I have never ever had a Nightscaping Powercenter fail me. Not one, ever. Ask my distributor JohnH who is on this forum. I did have one sustain a direct lighting strike... it ceased working and was replaced with a new unit.

Lite4
12-19-2007, 01:57 AM
Sorry,
I guess I don't see the point in comparing one company to another. We are all in our own foot race here. Everybody has their own lane to run in so to speak. What is right for me and my companys goals is probably not right for someone elses. So what, and who really cares. All that matters to me is that my family has food on the table at the end of the day, and I feel good about what I have accomplished.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-19-2007, 02:16 AM
Hear Hear!

I am in complete agreement with you Tim.

Mike M
12-19-2007, 08:55 AM
Back on track with PAR/well experience:

Only Joey has mentioned contacts at this point, does anyone grease up contacts or use a hardening medium?

Also, I'd like to address sealed vs. open a little more. The higher-end sealed sounds best, but a big leap in cost for multiple fixtures. Should it come down to heavily mulched areas vs. protected areas? A bid I am doing now based on my demo calls for PAR's at the building structure, away from pine mulch, but gradual year-round leave litter will occur. Many of the wells will be tucked behind plant material, so landscapers may miss them. I could probably just clean off once or twice a year within a service contract.

Are the debris shields helpful? Are the GE PAR 36 50 watters as reliable as their 35's?

More feedback and tips on wells from experienced well users greatly appreciated. Everyone is bringing up great info! Thanks.

Mike M

Lite4
12-19-2007, 10:50 AM
Mike,
My recent experiment with pars is in the same development with around 250 total or so. What I have done with those is to encase all of the metal on the backside with a semi hardening silicone caulk with an exterior waterproof grading. Seems to work very well. The bulbs that I have had to replace so far were no problem working around the silicone, it just pulls off with a little tug and then I reapply with the new bulb. I am sure grease would work ok too. I don't know which brand to use though. I have some GB antiox compound/grease I use on connections but it doesn't seem as durable as the silicone for the large size of the par contacts.

I usually have always used the open pars. I like the idea of the debris guard; I am just not sure how much it will change the photometrics or if it will leave shadowing.

I need to look at the 50 watters. I typically have never used more than a 35 because I have not needed that much punch. I do have a house coming up that has a very tall brick face, around 25-30' tall. I demod the 35's and the brick seemed to suck up just a little too much light. I don't know how much better the photometrics are on a 50. In the MRs the difference between a 36 degree 35 watt and a 50 watt are not enough to bother with.

Mike M
12-19-2007, 11:55 AM
Tim, I wish I took pics. The demo I did a few nights back was on a tall, wide house, the GE 38 degree 50's made it work!! The wife wasn't happy with the upper reaches and trim highlights with the 35's, so I swapped them the next night. Looked great. I am wondering about longevity/reliabilty with the 50's, wanted to know if they were as good as the 35's. I know the 20 watters fail.

I like the idea of the outdoor silicone caulk, I hate grease, especially the no-ox.

I want to try debris covers on the shield's, if anyone has additional info on those I'd appreciate it.

Thanks!!!

Mike M.

JoeyD
12-19-2007, 12:14 PM
Mike,

First let me say that our feedback from guys using the 20w Halogen Par36 GE lamp is very good. I do not hear this stuff about them failing prematurley. I think a lot of guys are fooled and are actually using the 25w incandescent version which fail at an alarming rate. As for the 50 watters we have some on our building here that we have been testing in various fixtures. They have been in for atleast the last 8 months and have been burning nearly around the clock since we installed them. (we do not run them to waste electricity, we run them around the clock for months on end to expose problems and to test.) we have not had any of them burn out to my knowledge as of yet and they do produce a very bright nice light.

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

The Eucalyptus trees on the right have the 50w lamps. Our lighting gets messed with everyday so placement isnt always the best so save the placement critiquing for another day, we know there is hot spots and it can always be better! You dang designers are so picky.....LOL

Joey D.

JoeyD
12-19-2007, 12:49 PM
Oh I for got to address the grease situation. We used to use a Spray on White Lithium grease for our connectors and it worked OK. We found that NO-OX or OX-Guard seems to harden over time causing poor conduction. We went away from this a few years ago and adopted a new compound called NovaGard. NovaGard G661 is a Dielectric Compound with temp ratings from -40deg farenheit to 400deg farenheit. It works also as a lubricant as well as a corrosion protectant. We use this on everything now from our sockets to our connectors. If you want more info on where to purchase it you can call NovaGard Solutions @ 1-800-380-0138.

pete scalia
12-19-2007, 08:59 PM
Mike,

First let me say that our feedback from guys using the 20w Halogen Par36 GE lamp is very good. I do not hear this stuff about them failing prematurley. I think a lot of guys are fooled and are actually using the 25w incandescent version which fail at an alarming rate. As for the 50 watters we have some on our building here that we have been testing in various fixtures. They have been in for atleast the last 8 months and have been burning nearly around the clock since we installed them. (we do not run them to waste electricity, we run them around the clock for months on end to expose problems and to test.) we have not had any of them burn out to my knowledge as of yet and they do produce a very bright nice light.

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

The Eucalyptus trees on the right have the 50w lamps. Our lighting gets messed with everyday so placement isnt always the best so save the placement critiquing for another day, we know there is hot spots and it can always be better! You dang designers are so picky.....LOL

Joey D.

Not for nothin but you guys can do better than that. The leaves of the large trees are all dark. get them laced out at least so you can get some light through the canopy and use some narrow beams to get some light up in there. Some of those palms don't even have their tops lit which isn't much of a challenge considering their size. Those bold leaved tropicals against the wall would look better silhouetted and not front lit. The American flag seems way underlit. You should have the granola peddler out to light your sign this way half of it would be dark. Sorry but I'm upset over the whole thing.

JoeyD
12-19-2007, 09:06 PM
LOL........your a funny man Pete!!

Mike M
12-19-2007, 09:10 PM
NovaGard G661 is a Dielectric Compound with temp ratings from -40deg farenheit to 400deg farenheit. It works also as a lubricant as well as a corrosion protectant.

As long as it's not yucky like the no-ox. Sounds great as an all-round material for o-rings and contacts.

JoeyD
12-20-2007, 11:26 AM
NovaGard G661 is a Dielectric Compound with temp ratings from -40deg farenheit to 400deg farenheit. It works also as a lubricant as well as a corrosion protectant.

As long as it's not yucky like the no-ox. Sounds great as an all-round material for o-rings and contacts.


The NovaGard is clear unlike the no-ox which I still have stained jeans from. The NovaGard can be just as messy though, although it wont stain everything dont get it on leather it will leave a smudge for ever.

irrig8r
12-20-2007, 12:14 PM
http://www.novagard.com/compounds/pl.html

http://www.novagard.net/images/techspec/03g661.pdf