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View Full Version : Using a bullet light like a well light


jnewton
03-04-2008, 12:16 PM
I ran across an interesting thing on the Atom Lighting web site. I was hoping to see what you guys thought of it. As you can see by the picture, Atom suggests that you can fully shroud an existing bullet light by putting it inside a well light enclosure and installing it below grade.

I know...what not just buy a well light if that's what you need? I agree, but what if (like me) you find yourself owning a whole bunch of bullet lights that you got an incrediblly great deal on and couldn't resist? These lights are very robust, but they could use a little more glare control. I can certainly buy a shroud that's designed to fit this fixture, but I am curious about the concept of using a bullet light in a well light enclosure.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. I'm a new guy, so please cut me a little slack if you think this is a bone-headed idea. I have to start somewhere. :)

irrig8r
03-04-2008, 12:55 PM
Before FX started making well lights they used to promote this idea, and still offer at as an accessory called a WL.

Comes with a 6160-T6 aluminum cover with slots (see photo) in six powder coat finishes for 31.50 list.

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


Similar to the LiteGuard™ but designed for installation in turf or gravel areas where a flush mounted uplight is required. This model is not recommended for use in areas that receive ground cover as it will obscure the optical opening after a short time.

http://www.fxl.com/products/documents/119637225323605525.pdf

David Gretzmier
03-12-2008, 01:34 AM
You could also take 6" Black ABS pipe ( not corrugated, looks like black pvc) ( runs about a dollar per foot at most irrigation supply stores ) and cut off a 12"-15" piece or so with a 14" chop saw at an angle. I've never done this, but hey, if you need a well light, and you got bullets, then for a buck fifty in materials, you can have it.

jnewton
03-12-2008, 03:05 PM
That could work Dave. Thanks. But just because you CAN do something doesn't always mean you SHOULD, if you know what I mean. :) In your opinion, is it bush-league to use a light in this way? If you came upon an installation and found bullet lights used like this, would you say to yourself, "What kind of idiot did this?" And do you see any service/technical issues down the road? Thanks.

John

JoeyD
03-12-2008, 05:09 PM
No metal does well when burried in the soil, thats all I can say here. We all know what happens to aluminum when underground (not sure what material light you were considering, I know Atom makes some nice composite stuff). Brass and copper will last but you just leave a yourself open for failure when recessing a light that was designed to be above ground.

For what its worth we do have and you can buy just the well light cans that are made of a hard composite, I think it is called PBT but I could be wrong. I need to look at my specs.

jnewton
03-12-2008, 05:27 PM
Hi Joey --

The lights are solid brass, and they are Atom's Nucleus fixture (unshrouded). They're built like a truck, but I don't want to stick them somewhere they're bound to fail. Do you think they would be problematic even if I filled the well light can with gravel? Which also brings up the question of whether they would stay aimed correctly if they are in gravel.

I lucked into a ton of these lights for very little investment, so there's not much at "stake" here, so to speak (sorry).

JoeyD
03-12-2008, 05:48 PM
I think they should hold up and I am not going to say they will be problematic becuase I am not sure they will be. Atom makes a good product so I am sure they will hold up.....BUT heres the but...anytime you burry a product that was not designed to be burried, gravel or not, you leave yourself open for potential problems. I think Atom may say the same thing.

Keeping aimed shouldnt be a big issue, servicing and re aiming may be a pain though.

Why not just use them elsewhere and eliminate the potential of a problem and just use a good solid well light for your recessed applications. Deal or not, no sense in wasting the light. Just something to think about.

jnewton
03-12-2008, 06:18 PM
I think you're probably right. I just had never seen this kind of application before, and wanted to talk it through with somebody who's been around the block a time or two. Thanks.

And Joey, I just picked up a Unique Demo Kit from a landscape contractor for about 20% of its original price. He said he had used it twice, but decided not to develop the lighting side of the business. I'm skeptical of the "twice" part (I only had two beers, occifer) but everything in it looks new and works right out of the case. It's still pretty cold here in Iowa, but I'm going to have a ton of fun in a few weeks when the snow melts.

JoeyD
03-12-2008, 06:21 PM
Alright!! Well let me know if you have any questions reagrding your new demo kit. It's the best kit available and can easily be added too!! Good luck and let me know if there is anything you need!

Joey D.

eagle irrigation
03-12-2008, 08:39 PM
Why turn a $70.00 bullet light into a $ 35.00 well light? Just wait until you need bullets and buy the shroud. I got a great deal on some cast bullets but I wouldn't use the as mallets when I get a bushel of crabs. MMMM crabs.

pete scalia
03-12-2008, 09:29 PM
That atom product looks heavy duty but I don't think they sell many of them. A few yrs ago there was a boat load of them selling for very cheap on ebay available from a liquidator in AZ. Isn't that where Atom is located AZ?
How would you like to have paid the rediculous price they want contractor direct for the product. sell it to your customer installed and even a more rediculous high price and then they see them on ebay for a fraction of what you even bought them for. Try explaining that to your customer while they demand a refund for the difference. Pretty poor business plan if you ask me.

Az Gardener
03-12-2008, 09:53 PM
7-8 years ago I used F/X bullets just as you are describing. They were in a lawn at the base of date palms. The palm roots encased the fixtures, they filled up with grass clippings and other misc debris. It got so bad I couldn't get the caps off to clean them and it turned them all into "frosted" lenses. So I would say it is high maintenance unless it is in un irrigated area. The fixtures had to be hacked free of the palm roots and they actually held up ok. The wires were pulled out while removing and the adjustment part of the fixture was corroded in a fixed position. F/X rep is coming out tomorrow to help me piece a few of them together to be re used as I am renovating the light system now. Thanks to the great info my guys got at the AOLP conference. This is becoming a great add on component to my gardening service.

JoeyD
03-13-2008, 10:32 AM
7-8 years ago I used F/X bullets just as you are describing. They were in a lawn at the base of date palms. The palm roots encased the fixtures, they filled up with grass clippings and other misc debris. It got so bad I couldn't get the caps off to clean them and it turned them all into "frosted" lenses. So I would say it is high maintenance unless it is in un irrigated area. The fixtures had to be hacked free of the palm roots and they actually held up ok. The wires were pulled out while removing and the adjustment part of the fixture was corroded in a fixed position. F/X rep is coming out tomorrow to help me piece a few of them together to be re used as I am renovating the light system now. Thanks to the great info my guys got at the AOLP conference. This is becoming a great add on component to my gardening service.

This solitifies my point. Another good quality product that out of its designed use becomes mediocre and fails. Although the "frosted" lens can be cleaned up with some elbow grease and a little CLR. Just be careful not to push the lens through the shroud. The silicone may have weakened over time.

irrig8r
03-13-2008, 11:29 AM
That atom product looks heavy duty but I don't think they sell many of them. A few yrs ago there was a boat load of them selling for very cheap on ebay available from a liquidator in AZ. Isn't that where Atom is located AZ?
How would you like to have paid the rediculous price they want contractor direct for the product. sell it to your customer installed and even a more rediculous high price and then they see them on ebay for a fraction of what you even bought them for. Try explaining that to your customer while they demand a refund for the difference. Pretty poor business plan if you ask me.


1. Why are your customers going to be looking up their already installed lighting fixtures on Ebay?

2. I believe Ewing, where I first saw Atom lighting products stopped carrying them last year... they were heavily discounting them a few months ago...

I got samples a few years back from them. I was actually pretty impressed with the quality, and their innovative bead blasted raw copper and brass finishes (designed to patina evenly as I recall.)

I talked to (one of?) the owner(s?) at the time. He was a landscape architect (as I recall.) They had used FX product but were doing a large volume and wanted additional fixture designs that FX wasn't interested in (I may have screwed up the story because it's been a few years.)

Anyway, their prices through Ewing seemed competitive enough. Their designs were modern looking. The fact that they were Chinese made turned me off though...

I have to say that they were the heaviest weight fixtures (for their size) I've ever handled (before DG.)