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View Full Version : 24 v bulb prices -- ouch !!!


Mike M
04-26-2008, 06:44 PM
I hear 24 v bulbs are 3 X cost of 12 v ?? This will be painful for our clients on service calls. They will freak.

I need more info on this. A 20 fixture service to replace 20 bulbs would be very costly just for the bulbs. What would we charge, 30 bucks per mr 16? And then give them a free replacement if it fails prematurely? Lord knows the bulb manu's won't back bulbs with warranties.

I noticed in irrigation repairs that the prices for connectors, slip-fixes, pvc, drip lines, funny pipe, rotors, spray heads, and everything, literally, is dirt cheap. The profit margin for the call is very good, and it should be, for the time and digging effort.

24 v is in the right direction to significantly reduce a lot of expensive copper wire, but not if the bulbs go up proportionately. I hear the bulbs are not better or longer- lasting to compensate for price. ??

irrig8r
04-26-2008, 07:12 PM
I'll just throw out an opinion... and maybe some advice...

Some manufacturers are better than others at creating a buzz... Unique has always been kind of a maverick manu. (most would say for the better... though a few of their competitors might disagree.)

You may think that getting in on new technology or applications at the ground floor puts you at a great advantage... but only if you're also willing to take the risks...

For instance,will 24V be widely accepted by consumers?

Then, what about the NEC and electrical inspectors?

And what about availability of lamps down the line...?

Maybe a better way to stand out from your competition until you get a few years under your belt is in the level of service you provide, and the quality of your installation skills and techniques. (Note: that means no pierce point connectors, ever!!!)

Keep current with new technology, but don't jump into everything at once. Build your business and your client base. Become the "go-to guy" for lighting in your area.

Then play with new things as they come along, and adopt what fits.

Pro-Scapes
04-26-2008, 11:21 PM
There goes all that wire savings right down the tubes.

The Lighting Geek
04-27-2008, 12:26 AM
Well, I will just say it now: As of monday, we are switching to Intelli-System by Unique Lighting. After checking into it I believe this is the right choice for me. Here are some of the reasons:

Transformer runs more efficient. It can reduce your electricity use by 20%.
Wire is rated by amps, with a 24 volt system, you can use more bulbs on the wire while generating less amperage.
The window of Halogen regeneration cycle is longer. Twice as long from 1.2 volts to 2.4 volts.
Voltage drop with 24 volt system is half compared to 12 volt system.
You will be able to combine more bulbs on a run. Possibly eliminating some runs altogether, thereby saving wire.
Ability to use smaller wire: The use of 14/2 for home runs will cut wire cost between 35-40% on home runs.
The lumen output is more consistent with lower voltage loss between lamps.
The color rendition is more consistent with the disparity of voltage between lamps.
Homeowner will not have to access 24 volt bulbs, meaning they will be required to go back to the Contractor who sold the system for replacement bulbs.


I am ordering transformers on Monday and my bulb supplier is bringing in 24 volt bulbs for me. I believe there will be par36 bulb available in about 9-10 months. All of my inventory fixtures can be relamped. I am excited about this, let me tell you.

The Lighting Geek
04-27-2008, 01:05 AM
Then, what about the NEC and electrical inspectors?

And what about availability of lamps down the line...?


National Electrical Code Article 411-2 states: Lighting systems operation at 30 Volts or less. A lighting system consisting of an isolation power supply operation at 30 volts (42.2 Vpk) or less, under any load condition, with one or more secondary circuits, each limited to 25 amperes maximum, supply lighting fixtures and associated equipment identified for the use.

Lamps are readily available, I already checked. You may have to special order them. I have arranged to have them stocked at my bulb supplier for now. I may actually start getting them from Unique directly.

lowvolumejeff
04-27-2008, 01:33 AM
Hi from a newbee.

From reading the many posts, and my own sense, seems like LED's are the future. If so, seems like some of the advantages of 24 volt are mitigated by the LED's lower wattage requirements. Wow, justy think how many 5 watt LED's can hit off one run.

Just a thought, before you jump into 24 volt.

Jeff (AKA Garden curmudgeon = a crusty irascible cantankerous old person full of stubborn ideas )

My ideas are strictly my own, but I am teachable and particularly interested in Moonlighting with LED's.

The Lighting Geek
04-27-2008, 01:50 AM
I may actually start getting them from Unique directly.

oops, I meant through JDL, who gets them from Unique.

Mike M
04-27-2008, 10:21 AM
Only Billy got the point.

Gregg, 100% my position, of solidifying my ground-level quality installation and service, not over-doing novelties, just swinging a pick ax at the tree roots and pay my dues in the demo arena. I've chilled out on advertising gimmicks and will stick with nice images on post cards.

However; I am developing a specific biz strategy for the smaller-needs client, where I chisel unneccessary materials off the order and maintain the profit margin.

Typically, I had been planning a lot of "add-on" room with my selection of wires, number of hubs, and transformer size. Lots of 10 gauge cable, pigtails soldered at hubs, etc.

If I know darn well this person ain't gonna fork over any money for future add-ons, especially to the zone I am proposing, then I will do the following:

Reduce copper gauge as closely as possible to one at the max recommended amp load.
T's instead of hubs where applicable.
Smallest trans for the job (tightly under 80% max load).
Copper fixtures.

This enables me to offer a complete portrait for the mid-scale customer on a smaller job, who keeps trying to mastermind a small, fixed number of fixtures, like it's a lighting Haiku. I have one currently, where I was insisting on 10 fixtures or nothing, and they were creating dark holes by requesting I remove fixtures during my demo. My strategy here is not to save money, it's a plan to preserve complete portraits (or no installation).

The 24v system is competitive, until bulb prices.

irrig8r
04-27-2008, 12:56 PM
National Electrical Code Article 411-2 states: Lighting systems operation at 30 Volts or less. A lighting system consisting of an isolation power supply operation at 30 volts (42.2 Vpk) or less, under any load condition, with one or more secondary circuits, each limited to 25 amperes maximum, supply lighting fixtures and associated equipment identified for the use.

Lamps are readily available, I already checked. You may have to special order them. I have arranged to have them stocked at my bulb supplier for now. I may actually start getting them from Unique directly.

Isn't there a new NEC standard that essentially adopts UL 1838 effective sometime next year? Or was that just some rumor I heard...?

irrig8r
04-27-2008, 01:04 PM
...like it's a lighting Haiku.

I really like that explanation/ concept.

I am going to use it now when I talk to customers where it applies.

(Almost as good as Chiaroscuro.)

NightScenes
04-27-2008, 01:29 PM
Gregg, it could take years for the NEC to act on that, but we'll see.

I am leaning toward LEDs. I think that it is the future and it will set create the separation that I think Tommy is looking for. Just think about installing 50 fixtures on a 300 watt transformer and nothing but 14 and 12 guage wire.

Pro-Scapes
04-27-2008, 03:24 PM
I am definatly curious to see what lightfair has in store for us as far as LED's

I do see the advantages of 24v. I think one "advantge" we should forget about is the homewner havig to call you for the lamps. I think if your doing your job and remain in contact with them the first year and show them you service your systems then it should not be an issue with them calling you for service in the future provided you did your job.

I do like the ideas of a wider acceptable window for the halogen cycle but again if your buildng your 12v systems properly it shouldnt be an issue anyways.

The Lighting Geek
04-27-2008, 04:21 PM
the difference between LED and 24v is Led is still problematic and even though fixtures are just around the corner (led) they have a long ways to go and the cost is something to contend with as well. Whereas 24v is just an extension of 12v and available now. You never know, LEDs may available for 24v as well soon enough. I also just heard a rumor that the earth was flat....:)

Sorry, i couldn't help myself:waving:

Mike M
04-27-2008, 09:11 PM
Gregg, there is a "shady" character by the name Chiaroscuro in The Tale of Despereaux, a cool kids book by Katie DiCamillo.

We should put together a list of literary allusions, metaphors, anaolgies, and terms that we can use when going over designs and objectives with our clients.

I just got an email from a customer for whom I just finished an installation. Sure enough, now she realizes why she needs two more palms illuminated to finish her back yard portrait.

A case of "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts." Is there a more creative way of saying that?

Chris J
04-27-2008, 10:27 PM
A case of "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts." Is there a more creative way of saying that?

Yep. There sure is another way to say it. "Trust me, I'm a professional lighting designer." If you don't like it, I'll take it back and you owe me nothing. Haven't you heard me say this in another thread?

Eden Lights
04-27-2008, 11:13 PM
My vote is for LEDS for the future, but we (Eden Lights) will still be using 12V Halogen lamps for some time to come. I don't see 24V systems going anywhere, except for niche systems and those that buy into the marketing hype. JMHO

The Lighting Geek
04-28-2008, 01:27 PM
FYI: I just heard from my supplier of lamps and the 24v replacements are less than double. I expect to shave at least a day labor on larger jobs just from less wire to bury and I will also save in the amount of wire as you already know.

JoeyD
04-28-2008, 04:38 PM
There will always be those that choose to dwell and find negatives over admitting too or exploring the positives. There are some draw backs such as higher costs on lamps but the wiring flexability, wire cost savings, and system effeciency will and should far outweigh the few negatives.

We had the same sort of responses from nay sayers and competitors when releasing a multi tap beyond 15v and when bringing the Hub system to market for the first time. People can call it a marketing ploy, Kool Aid, a load of BS, or whatever else they want to call it. One thing remains the same and that is Unique Lighting Systems has not and does not bring a System, Product, or Wiring Method to market unless it has sense and purpose in this industry.

Sometimes it is tuff being a company that takes chances, you win some and you lose some but most of the time we win and our new premier products flourish and become strongholds over time in an industry of copy cats and followers. Again, we are not a pretty fixture manufacturer, we are a system manufacturer. We provide system solutions to this industry. Weather it be a Direct Burial System, 12v UL1838 compliant system, a Pool and Spa safe system, a professional Multi Tap system, or a simple 120v to 12v conversion system. The new Intelli System (24v) is just the newest addition to the long line of industry firsts from Unique Lighting.

I am sure that our pricing on lamps is a bit higher than say some specific lamp distributors. I would get quotes from multiple sources before coming to any conclusion on the 24v lamp costs. Maybe we are talking an extra $5 a lamp, I mean any increase adds up over the course of a job, especially when talking per fixture but if that means I have that much more flexabitlity in the system then maybe that $5 could be the best $5 you spend!

Mike M
04-28-2008, 09:14 PM
fyi,

LED's are made in 24v, too. Imagine the two concepts together. You can run a single little wire like an invisible dog fence and connect on that loop wherever you want.

Joey, 4 bucks extra per light no problem at install, but what about service? The customer is going to raise eyebrows at the combination of the high cost as well as the monopoly we will have with the 24v bulbs. I also hear there is no long-life 24v bulb either. How many hours are the ones you are quoting at 4 bucks more?

Won't the price decline with an increase in production?

Eden Lights
04-28-2008, 10:28 PM
Please post lamp specs and sheets for any 24V MR's? Any quality 20 watters?

http://www.gelighting.com/na/business_lighting/education_resources/literature_library/sell_sheets/downloads/halogen/89435_24v_lighting_system.pdf

Eden Lights
04-28-2008, 10:32 PM
Here is Ushio, but I hope they perform better than their 12V line?

http://www.ushio.com/files/specs/Eurostar24V.pdf

Mike M
04-29-2008, 12:40 AM
re: GE specs... I don't understand "thicker more rugged lamp filament," yet bulb life 4,000 for MR 16's.

Eddie, I imaging wire concealment and dimmable qualities would have to be a consideration.

JoeyD
04-29-2008, 11:37 AM
fyi,

LED's are made in 24v, too. Imagine the two concepts together. You can run a single little wire like an invisible dog fence and connect on that loop wherever you want.

Joey, 4 bucks extra per light no problem at install, but what about service? The customer is going to raise eyebrows at the combination of the high cost as well as the monopoly we will have with the 24v bulbs. I also hear there is no long-life 24v bulb either. How many hours are the ones you are quoting at 4 bucks more?

Won't the price decline with an increase in production?


Mike,

I dont think that a homeowner is going to bust your balls over lamp replacement costs. As always you should explain you use the highest quality lamps and in turn these lamps come at a premium. You explain color rendition and longevity. If properly volted you should get some decent life out of your lamps. And a properly laid out system should require less maintenance in terms of actual system integrity maintenance. You should be limited to replacing bulbs, adjusting timers, and maintaining fixtures. I do not see your maint. costs increasing all that much from a 12v system to a 24v system. You obviously will be better to inform me and we will learn what it takes over the course of the next few years as our customers start to purchase, install, and maintain their 24v systems.

As for long life 24v lamps I will be researching this and discussing this with Ushio hopefully today. But I am not too optimistic that Ushio will be able to provide us with a better lamp then the current 10K hr Ultra Line which I think we all have agreed does not last much longer than the standard 4K hr Euro's. The GE Constant Color MR lamps are probably going to be the absolute best lamp you can get but just like the 12v version they are more expensive. Ushio offers us the best quality lamp at a very competitve price. We are discussing offering both as an option. In all of our tests over the years on lamps we always have found that it is very hard to tell the difference between the Ushio and GE CC series of lamps. I know some here and in the industry have different views on this and would swear that the GE is by far the best lamp avialable and I would have a hard time arguing that.

But as you made mention too, as sales increase hopefully costs on 24v lamps will decrease. But only time will tell. Rarely is this the case.

I will obtain some spec sheets on the 24v lamps we will be stocking and carrying so all of you can look at all the facts and make the decision for yourself as to what lamp should be the best option for 24v lighting. ( Thanks for posting the GE and Ushios specs Eddie!)

Eden Lights
04-29-2008, 01:43 PM
Hey Joey, you used Long Life and Ushio in the same sentence?:laugh:

JoeyD
04-29-2008, 01:47 PM
Hey Joey, you used Long Life and Ushio in the same sentence?:laugh:

Ohh Eddie your such a comedian!! LMAO :clapping:

Eden Lights
04-29-2008, 01:51 PM
I sell GE CC Precise Lamps for $8.50, do you consider that expensive? The 24V models are sure to be more expensive, but still relative to others I am sure. I love the Phillips GBF lamp and it's more expensive, but it's hard to beat for smoothness, low lumen, size, and lamp life. As the Geek has said, we should be selling the effect and not the lamps.

JoeyD
04-29-2008, 01:58 PM
No I dont consider that expensive at all. For a qaulity lamp that is a fair price. Some that are used to buying cheap chinese made lamps may disagree but I am sure that anyone using a quality lamp would see that as a worth while price to pay for a quality lamp.

The 24v models are more expensive but it's all relative. Again the wire savings and power savings alone will easily eclipse those initial lamp costs. Maintenance may add up over time but again I think we are splitting hairs here when talking about the higher cost to maintaining a 24v system over a standard 12v system.