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Edgewater
09-06-2008, 02:32 PM
Hey everyone,

I am currently installing CAST fixtures. I am very happy with them, but the are on the high side dollar wise.

Can you guys suggest some good alternatives for jobs where the cost has to come down.

As you know, the CAST offering is basic. We mostly use the Path/area lights, bullets, tree mount down light, and the odd well-light.

What do you guys turn to???

thanks,

Adam

S&MLL
09-06-2008, 03:45 PM
Coppermoon has very similar fixtures to cast. Plus depending on your distributor a little bit easier on the invoice. Other then that if your looking for an aluminum fixture possibilities are endless. I like to use Kichler and Hadco. But there are a bunch of other companies out there.

Chris J
09-07-2008, 01:25 AM
Copper Moon sells direct. If your going through a disributor, you are getting ripped off.

steveparrott
09-08-2008, 03:58 PM
Hey everyone,

I am currently installing CAST fixtures. I am very happy with them, but the are on the high side dollar wise.

Can you guys suggest some good alternatives for jobs where the cost has to come down.

As you know, the CAST offering is basic. We mostly use the Path/area lights, bullets, tree mount down light, and the odd well-light.

What do you guys turn to???

thanks,

Adam

Adam,

Obviously it irks me to hear that pressures in the market are causing contractors to sacrifice quality to sell jobs. It not only hurts quality manufacturers like CAST, it hurts the industry as a whole, does a disservice to homeowners and diminishes contractors' profits.

There are a few jobs where price really needs to come down (mainly the smaller jobs), but there are many more jobs where the contractor can successfully counter price concerns with good solid sales skill.

Selling quality requires skills common to all great sales people:

Aim High: Never consider that a homeowner's starting budget (or competitor's bid) is fixed. Almost everyone will exceed their budget if given compelling reasons to do so.

Sell the Value: Know the added values of your quality products like the back of your hand. Be able to make convincing cases for every one of them (they're not just perks, they're practically necessities for the homeowner).

Seize the Opportunity: You're not just selling your products and services, you're selling homeowners the opportunity to employ you. You offer skill, experience and a design sense that no one else has. They should feel lucky that you are submitting a proposal - you don't just work for anyone, you pick and choose projects based on what interests and challenges you.

Close the Deal: After you make your case, act fast. Schedule a demo, write the proposal, schedule another meeting. Let them know that your schedule is tight, don't let their interest grow cool by letting days go by. They should know they have a tight window of opportunity. If you delay a few days you may lose them.

Finally, make sure the homeowner understands that a quality landscape lighting system is an investment that grows in value, that adds value to their home - value they will recoup if they sell their home. Lesser quality systems are like consumables, they depreciate in value, eventually lose value and will become a liability down the road.

S&MLL
09-08-2008, 06:21 PM
Steve I don't want you to think I'm by any meaning degrading you personally or cast as a whole. Ive seen and used your product. Its good stuff. Just is quite expensive. When the job calls for a certain fixture I do not compromise integrity by putting in an inferior fixture.

Edgewater
09-08-2008, 08:23 PM
Thans for thereplies so far.
I doagree that you should be able to usesalesmanship tosell your product of choice however, I was hoping for some specific model references. Aluminium is OKtoo.

I will take a look at coppermoon.

Lite4
09-08-2008, 08:26 PM
Vista has a very large line of aluminum products if you are so inclined, and they are priced pretty competively.

Chris J
09-08-2008, 10:19 PM
It may be because of my relationship with my distributor, but I get great pricing on Kichler materials. They have offerings of aluminum, brass, and antiqued brass but the BBR line is rather high IMO. I'm starting to use Unique more for brass installs, but I really don't like the xelogen lamps. I just got back from a nighttime adjustment, and the 35w xelogens were way to soft and amber for the wall washing. Going back tomorrow to switch them out for 20w halogens. However this was just this application. I'm sure I'll be using the xelogens when I need more of an understated effect.

JoeyD
09-09-2008, 11:42 AM
Remember Chris you can order fixtures from us W/O lamps as well so if you have specific lamps you like you can simply add them in w/o paying for the lamps from us.

As for inexpensive lines, like Steve said, you want to always try and sell quality and not sell on price but reality is guys are looking for alternatives. We created our Copper Knights line and our Brass Knights line for just this reason. Some on here already have fallen in love with certain Brass Knights fixtures and our Copper Knights line is growing faster and faster with the latest edition being the Oxford (copper version of the Big Bang).

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=244016


Click the attachment to view the current line up of Brass Knights fixtures. Almost 1/2 the price of our Odyssey Line and still include 25ft of wire, lamp, and mounting option (stake or bracket). 15yr warranty but we all know Brass and copper are for LIFE!!!

TXlights
09-09-2008, 03:39 PM
I am located in Texas, and have used ClaroLux products for years. They have always been very helpful, and the prices are good. They just came out with a brass bullet light that is similar to Casts. I have used it on 3 jobs and had no problems. I hope this helps. good luck!

TXNSLighting
09-09-2008, 04:16 PM
Hey txlights, where you from?

ZX12R
09-12-2008, 10:04 PM
I to have pretty much used Cast exclusively and have been happy with their product. Due to contractors in my area giving lower and lower prices because they want the work has forced me to look for other avenues as well. I just cannot compete with these contractors and the prices they are giving. On two occasions where I gave a proposal,others were almost half my price.One thing I like about Cast are their 25 foot leads.

That being said,I found another company that makes a brass product that will not turn white after installatoin and also carries a 25 foot lead. They are also less expensive than Cast by a decent margin.Fot those looking for other outlets,that company is Alliance.

Chris J
09-12-2008, 11:53 PM
Ha Ha! Here we go Joey. Alliance sent my enough product samples to illuminate my entire front yard. What did I do? Installed it! I'm going to give it some time and post the results. For the record, I would have illuminated my home with Unique if they had sent me enough samples, but that's just rude. I didn't ask for the samples, they just sent them. No hard feelings buddy?

Elite Outdoor
09-13-2008, 12:18 AM
Vista's a product that I use on a regular basis. Price is quite nice, and its been a quality product.

Chris J
09-13-2008, 12:31 AM
I dont' want to throw salt on your perception, but I've heard a lot of bad things in the past about Vista. I still use their MR16 well lights, but I have heard some scary stories about massive socket failures, etc. I like the company itself (great people), but the stories just keep coming and I'm now a bit leary. I know, I'm just being stupid.

Mark B
09-13-2008, 12:47 AM
I don't know why you so many different types of lights. I normally use the same fixture most of the time. I like to keep it KISS for the homeowner.

On a side note how many of you use those tags that are on the cast fixtures? I cut mine off and recycle that little piece of copper.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-14-2008, 10:08 AM
Sleepy: I have about 10 "go-to fixtures" that I use regularly, but each job seems to have a special need here or there where that requires a niche fixture to do it properly. (Like my post of under step fixtures) That is when having a good distributor(s) with broad lines comes in handy.

Elite Outdoor
09-14-2008, 12:51 PM
Chris, that's interesting what you said about Vista products. I have never heard that before. They have been a go-to fixture for me for a couple ofyears, and I have never had one problem with them. And your right they are great people to work with, and most importantly my distributor is great to work with.

irrig8r
09-14-2008, 02:10 PM
The problems I've had with Vista products are mainly to do with powdercoat finishes, both fading and peeling... Also frozen screws on some aluminum bodied well lights that prevented entry for relamping.

They have always been good at replacing the bad fixtures, but I'll never use one near overhead irrigation again.

Mike M
09-14-2008, 02:29 PM
What Gregg just said is something I see a lot of with the Vistas. Maybe it's the humid weather here, and coastal air.

Mike M
09-14-2008, 06:00 PM
I wanted to add this: For durable, long-lasting fixtures, I think that Cast is not very expensive at all. Same with Unique. It's not worth trying to save your client a few hundred bucks for some five-year fixtures when they are paying you thousands for the design and installation.

Chris J
09-14-2008, 06:12 PM
Elite (what's your name again?), I think Mike hit the nail on the head. There are a lot of other fixutures that have given me problems in the past, but doesn't seem to affect others to the North and Midwestern states. I think humidity and salt air are a key factor for premature failures for both finish as well as interior parts like sockets.
I say if it's been serving you well then keep on doing what you're doing.

ZX12R
09-14-2008, 10:03 PM
"Alliance sent my enough product samples to illuminate my entire front yard. What did I do? Installed it! I'm going to give it some time and post the results."


Hmmmm,I am going to contact them and ask for samples myself. So Chris,what did you think of the Alliance products? Pretty nice,right?

ZX12R
09-14-2008, 10:04 PM
"On a side note how many of you use those tags that are on the cast fixtures?"

I take them off and throw them away.:dizzy:

Elite Outdoor
09-14-2008, 10:27 PM
Chris my name is Destin. The weather is not much of a problem here. The heat can be pretty bad sometimes, but the winters are what I would consider mild.

Chris J
09-14-2008, 10:42 PM
"Alliance sent my enough product samples to illuminate my entire front yard. What did I do? Installed it! I'm going to give it some time and post the results."


Hmmmm,I am going to contact them and ask for samples myself. So Chris,what did you think of the Alliance products? Pretty nice,right?

To soon to say. I gotta give it a while before I post any specifics. They are simply Unique knock offs, so if you like Unique, you can't help but like them. But looks are one thing, and quality and longevity are another. If they hold up, then Unique has a big problem to deal with. I'm not making any claims one way or the other yet.

Dreams To Designs
09-15-2008, 10:34 AM
Chris, is Alliance only a Unique knockoff, or did they improve or fall short on anything. I know the color and finish are different than Unique and the price is a bit lower. But what about customer service and support? They are also a limited line with only one finish and a typical lineup of fixtures and 3 no frills transformers with fuse technology. I would like to try them myself and see how they measure up to the "standard" brands.

Kirk

Chris J
09-15-2008, 08:14 PM
Kirk, I just don't know. The only experience I have with them so far is the products that they sent me. I haven't even studied their catalog as I wan't to give the test ample time before I waste any effort on it. I'd find it hard to believe they improved anything as Unique seems to have done all the best research they can. I believe the owner of Alliance was once a Unique employee, and left the company with some great ideas. At a meeting I had with Chris from Alliance, he told me that Unique was at the top, there were the usual manus at the bottom and he felt his line was a happy medium (somewhere in the middle). I'd like to tell you more, but I just don't have enough data yet.

JoeyD
09-16-2008, 11:26 AM
AlLIEance.... what they did is no different then what CAST, Evening Lights, Lightcraft, BQL, and a host of many others did. Its just part of our busness to deal with guys who constantly want to steal from your hard work. That crap about there needing to be a middle of the road line is CRAP! They just cruise around, find a Unique or CAST customer. Tell them how great those companies are then say BUT how about a product that is just like them but CHEAPER! They dont care about innovation, support, education, etc...there is a reason they are cheaper and that is because they rely on us to do everything!

steveparrott
09-16-2008, 05:08 PM
Joey, I know you didn't mean to put CAST in that group of companies! We may not re-invent the wheel every time, but we always strive to make it better.

JoeyD
09-16-2008, 05:29 PM
Not from a quality stand point NO. CAST is far superior to those knockoff lines. But it is no secret that CAST was founded by the owner of Aquarious which was Unique's largest east coast distributor for many years. Then CAST's founders decided they could create a well light, a multi tap, a HUB aka Spider Splice, teach the same seminars, make the same VD charts, etc.....so I dont want to sugar coat the reality of how CAST came about atleast in our opinion. CAST is a spinoff of Unique as are those other companies.

But one thing we can appreciate and do appreciate is the fact that atleast CAST didnt directly copy product designs. Atleast CAST used their own brains to develop a style of fixture and product all their own. Your a person I respect Steve, so this is not a shot at you that I was trying to take.

This topic is a sensitive subject around here and rightfully so. When you go through all the hard work of teaching customers and distributors, filing for patents, putting togeather a winning sales staff, devloping innovative and usefull new products, and devloping marketing materials to help customers sell and distribute your product only to have people that are close to you steal and cheat you out of all that hard work it leaves a pretty bitter taste in your mouth.

irrig8r
09-16-2008, 06:36 PM
Joey, you sound awfully frustrated.

Aren't the Unique designs patented? Or is just too expensive to pursue patent violators? (If so then they're not worth much more than the paper they're written on.

Chris J
09-16-2008, 09:59 PM
I knew this post would rile Joey up and I'm sorry Joey.

JoeyD
09-17-2008, 10:32 AM
Sorry Guys, and I apologize to you too Steve I really didnt intend on dragging you or CAST into this like I did. Its been a busy and crazy week, throw in the Chargers getting ripped off on Sunday and I am a bit testy. LOL

Gregg, we have a bunch of patents, and we do enforce them and our lawyers are always hard at work sending letters and pursuing violators. On top of that we have also filed and obtained international patents to better protect us from off shore violators. What sucks though is a patent is only on the product you file for, so if a guy takes your light and changes the knuckle or shroud then he is not in violation. Just look at BQL. It is lame! I think Nate finally recieved his patent on the HUB as well so we will see what happens there. Its part of our buisness now, it almost makes you wish for the days when it was just the major manus running around drawing the line in the sand with Unique and we were the ony ones doing what we do. NOW everyone wants a piece of the Unique pie and we just have to continue to do what we do best and that is innovate and develop products that will always force the copy cats to play catch up.

irrig8r
09-17-2008, 11:46 AM
I never looked at BQL before, but it seems like some of their designs could just as easily have been "borrowed" from SPJ, Vista, Coppermoon or Kichler as Unique...same deal with Alliance... though in both cases it looks like Unique's styles make up most of their lines...

It must also be frustrating that they are not far from you... Temeculah, Calabasas... aren't you ever tempted to drop in and pay them a visit?

JoeyD
09-17-2008, 12:18 PM
I never looked at BQL before, but it seems like some of their designs could just as easily have been "borrowed" from SPJ, Vista, Coppermoon or Kichler as Unique...same deal with Alliance... though in both cases it looks like Unique's styles make up most of their lines...

It must also be frustrating that they are not far from you... Temeculah, Calabasas... aren't you ever tempted to drop in and pay them a visit?

yeah they "borrow" from a lot of other manus! However it is obvious what manu they borrow the most from in terms of finish and style.

As for dropping in and paying these guys a visit. It is something I am sure all buisnessmen faced with this type of situation think about. I think it is in our DNA to want to fight and defend what you feel is rightfully yours. But unfortunatley this isnt the old days when you could take matters into your own hands...........lol

Frog Lights, LLC
09-17-2008, 11:57 PM
Please try Frog Lights, LLC. Out new line is equal or better than all. Please contact us for more information. Our product line is now complete, spots, spreaders, wall and paver lighting fixtures, path, etc copper , stainless, brass, marine grade aluminum.

irrig8r
09-18-2008, 01:09 AM
Something tells me some of your photos have been "shopped"...

http://www.frog-lights.com/images/products/ds-2.jpg
http://www.frog-lights.com/images/products/d-2.jpg

steveparrott
09-18-2008, 06:11 PM
Joey, thanks for the kind words. The fallout between Aquarius and Unique is ancient history (before my time). Both our companies are now mutually respectful competitors and are fighting the other companies that damage the industry.

By the way, we're about to join the AOLP and look forward to working with you and other good mfgs. to advance our industry's concerns.

JoeyD
09-18-2008, 06:15 PM
Thats great Steve, welcome to the AOLP!! And like I said, I was a bit edgy earlier in the week and I do apologize for dragging you and CAST into this BS. The past is the past and is all water under the bridge. And like I said before, atleast CAST has the brains to develop and innovate their own products unlike some others.

Regards.

Mike M
09-18-2008, 07:28 PM
Gregg, lol. The second fixture is not even verticle. Noel, Steve P. offers photoshop services.

Frog Lights, LLC
09-18-2008, 10:45 PM
All the photos have to go ! Also we have a huge problem with the web that is hopefully, almost resolved. We have many great new products of very high quality and we need everything to be representative. I travel a great deal and we are short of qualified people at this time. All our new products are of original design and will be sold with lifetime warranty.
I know Steve is very talented in all that he does. Cast is very fortunate to have such a person.

Chris J
09-18-2008, 11:04 PM
Excuses, excuses, excuses. Is this the theme that will be played out when it comes to warranty replacement? You guys should concentrate on getting it right before you boast about it. Not trying to be mean, just offering some constructive criticism.