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LightYourNight
03-09-2009, 10:23 PM
The 2009 catalog is here. Really cool LED pathway lights coming out this summer. I'm excited to start selling these.

http://virtual2.stivesonline.com/publication/?i=13058

NightScenes
03-10-2009, 04:55 PM
Me too, I'm trying to switch my focus to mostly LED in 2009.

Lite4
03-10-2009, 07:26 PM
I finished my first 100% LED fixture job just before I left and got here in Indy. I have to say, I was incredibly impressed with the output and color but the housings leave a great deal to be desired. Hopefully their engineer will listen to input from contractors and modify them a bit. I am really waiting for the day when we have a direct LED replacement for the MRs with the right color and lifespan. That will truly be revolutionary.

bmwsmity
03-11-2009, 03:50 PM
I agree the housings still need some help (at least they make a long cowl for them now)...the biggest PITA about them is how hard it is to loosen the set screw to adjust the angle in the dark.

I'm really stoked about finally having LED path lights - I had totally stopped selling Kichler paths because so many used the crappy wedge bulbs.

The new LED well lights probably fix the aforementioned issues...so I'm interested to see them!

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-11-2009, 07:03 PM
And how about how that metal set screw manages to gouge the nylon ball'n'socket do-dad that is supposed to pass for a decent mount? How is that fixture supposed to maintain its aim when installed in the real world? The stake/ball mount assembly is competely lame.

Then there is the glare, my g-d the glare! That little accessory shroud barely makes a dent in cutting the angle between source and viewer.

Then there are those silly remotely driven 'deck lights'. Is there a more ugly fixture on earth? Do they really expect that people will want that mess of black fixture and wire hanging from beneath the rail of a deck? Not on my home, and not on any home of any of my clients.

Those K-ler LED fixtures need a full re-work in my opinion. The designer/engineers on that project have put function over form. The light output is good but the form, fit & finish of those fixtures is atrocious.

Just my .02 - don't be too harsh on me.

JoeyD
03-11-2009, 07:08 PM
Thats the difference between Fixture manufacturers and System Manufacturers with real field testing and R&D!!

NightScenes
03-11-2009, 07:31 PM
It sure is interesting how some manufacturers and distributors of other products don't mind talking negatively about other manufacturers in a public forum but heaven forbid a manufacturer talk about another manufacturer to their own distributors in private.

I guess it's all in the way you look at it, huh??? You have a replacement LED lamp that you want to sell so why not slam an LED fixture made by a company that is in competition. Create a V "system" to compete with LED and then speak poorly about a manufacturer who takes a different approach to LED.

Just an observation :confused:

JoeyD
03-11-2009, 07:48 PM
No one spoke negatively, just made a general comment regarding Fixture manufacturers and System manufacturers which appears to be very true. Dont sugar coat what they did and make it seem as if Kichler only said something in private to a Distributor. Dont forget that their mass produced letter slandering our 24v system was delivered to me by a Contractor!

As for our own LED, yes we have one and it works pretty good for being a replacement MR16. But I will be the first to tell you that it doesnt even come close when put side by side with a halogen MR16. Halogen is still far superior when it comes to output and lighting design. The Kichler LED is the best on the market when it comes to LED fixtures, make no mistake about it! But there are obvious flaws with the product as James has pointed out, not us or me!

If your comments were directed to James then I apologize for the rebbutal Paul.....

MAGLIGHTING
03-11-2009, 09:22 PM
No one spoke negatively, just made a general comment regarding Fixture manufacturers and System manufacturers which appears to be very true. Dont sugar coat what they did and make it seem as if Kichler only said something in private to a Distributor. Dont forget that their mass produced letter slandering our 24v system was delivered to me by a Contractor!

As for our own LED, yes we have one and it works pretty good for being a replacement MR16. But I will be the first to tell you that it doesnt even come close when put side by side with a halogen MR16. Halogen is still far superior when it comes to output and lighting design. The Kichler LED is the best on the market when it comes to LED fixtures, make no mistake about it! But there are obvious flaws with the product as James has pointed out, not us or me!

If your comments were directed to James then I apologize for the rebbutal Paul.....

"Halogen is still far superior when it comes to output and lighting design"- Indeed, And this is from a major manufacturer. :clapping:

MAGLIGHTING
03-11-2009, 09:26 PM
It sure is interesting how some manufacturers and distributors of other products don't mind talking negatively about other manufacturers in a public forum but heaven forbid a manufacturer talk about another manufacturer to their own distributors in private.

I guess it's all in the way you look at it, huh??? You have a replacement LED lamp that you want to sell so why not slam an LED fixture made by a company that is in competition. Create a V "system" to compete with LED and then speak poorly about a manufacturer who takes a different approach to LED.

Just an observation :confused:

And some have other quirks like they won't recommend or use products unless the manufacturer is in the same trade association that they are in.

We still are in the US where we have the right to an opinion and free speech. So what's your point? :dizzy:

NightScenes
03-11-2009, 09:36 PM
And some have other quirks like they won't recommend or use products unless the manufacturer is in the same trade association that they are in.

We still are in the US where we have the right to an opinion and free speech. So what's your point? :dizzy:


First of all I use several products from manufactureres who are not members of the AOLP but I do look to members first.

My point is that some people tend to talk of of both sides of their mouths, not that they don't have the right to.

MAGLIGHTING
03-11-2009, 09:52 PM
huh? :dizzy: Are you saying that Unique has spoken badly about Kichler too behind their backs?

jmiller@kichler.com
03-11-2009, 11:32 PM
Joey

Next time you are in Cleveland please stop by the Kichler facility with your best 50 watt MR16 lamp and fixture. I will glady put one of our 12.4 watt LED accent lights up against your MR16.

We will get some independent viewers to see if they can tell a difference. If they pick your 50 watt MR 16 over our 12.4 watt LED fixture I'll buy you the biggest steak you ever had.

I'm sure your 50 watt MR16 fixture is an excellent fixture. I just think you are underestimating Kichler's LED.

And as far as our slamming your 24 volt system, as you say, "our mass produced letter slandering our 24 volt system", that is a bit misleading.

Your company makes very good product and markets it quite well. We did what any competitor would do. We sent a letter to our reps comparing our systme to yours. Obviously we think we have a better mouse trap. That is not slander.

Sincerely

Jack Miller

NightScenes
03-11-2009, 11:44 PM
It's good to see you here Jack.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-11-2009, 11:49 PM
Hello Jack. Perhaps an introduction is in order?

jmiller@kichler.com
03-11-2009, 11:54 PM
Hello James,

My name is Jack Miller and I work for Kichler Lighting. Right now it is past my bed time and I will be out of the country for the next two weeks. Perhaps we can talk when I return.

Regards,

Jack

MAGLIGHTING
03-12-2009, 12:04 AM
And how about how that metal set screw manages to gouge the nylon ball'n'socket do-dad that is supposed to pass for a decent mount? How is that fixture supposed to maintain its aim when installed in the real world? The stake/ball mount assembly is competely lame.

Then there is the glare, my g-d the glare! That little accessory shroud barely makes a dent in cutting the angle between source and viewer.

Then there are those silly remotely driven 'deck lights'. Is there a more ugly fixture on earth? Do they really expect that people will want that mess of black fixture and wire hanging from beneath the rail of a deck? Not on my home, and not on any home of any of my clients.

Those K-ler LED fixtures need a full re-work in my opinion. The designer/engineers on that project have put function over form. The light output is good but the form, fit & finish of those fixtures is atrocious.

Just my .02 - don't be too harsh on me.


I have to agree with my Nightscaping brother from a different mother (To borrow a lame phrase used by a lame member here). James Solecki arguably one of the finest (if not the finest lighting designer) that canada has ever seen. Forget about Frank Dimarco, Sandy Illiopulus and the Hordek brothers:canadaflag:

These fixture designs set the industry back 50 years and people knocked Locklin's (May he rest in peace) juice cans. Those juice cans aren't looking so bad right now. At least they had some semblance of shielding.

What good is a lamp that lasts for 400 years when the fixture has broken or rusted after 3 months. And that is what's going to be compared to Uniques brass and Copper. Hey I'm dumb but I ain't stupid. ;)

jmiller@kichler.com
03-12-2009, 12:09 AM
Always a pleasure talking to you Mike.

Regards,

Jack

MAGLIGHTING
03-12-2009, 12:12 AM
Always a pleasure talking to you Mike.

Regards,

Jack

You as well Jack.

Sleep tight.

bmwsmity
03-12-2009, 10:58 AM
How is that fixture supposed to maintain its aim when installed in the real world? The stake/ball mount assembly is competely lame.


Then there are those silly remotely driven 'deck lights'.

Well, once the aim is adjusted and the screw tightened, it is actually difficult to get it back out of its position, so the adjustment stays well....

The assembly is lame though...

And the deck lights are actually very nice. Installed them for one of my best clients and they love them...they are not remotely driven, btw... just regular wires...and at 1.9w, you can use small gauge wire that hides more easily in a deck application.

Just wanted to point those items out :drinkup:

NightScenes
03-12-2009, 11:07 AM
So far I have had GREAT results using the Kichler LED products and will really start promoting them this year.

JoeyD
03-12-2009, 11:08 AM
Thanks for the challenge Jack but I don't think I will be leaving sunny California anytime soon. If I was to do a comparison it would be on 20w and 35w halogen lamps vs. your LED and it wouldn't just be in a room or in a controlled environment but it would be on a real job with real lighting situations including tall architectural highlights, full mature trees, and low lying foliage and paths. Next thing to do would be to leave those lights up for 2 years and then come back and asses them. See who's weathered better and see who's STILL HAD better light output. See who's still were easily adjusted and see who's could adapt other lamps for a changing landscape and environment.

See the problem with the challenge you laid out is it really says nothing about landscape lighting. So what if the LED looks like it has good intensity and color today. We all know that you guys are producing a solid LED with great initial performance. But its that LED system that will hinder the true designer and contractor in the long haul. If and when your LED's fail then a contractor is replacing entire fixtures..but it has a warranty..not a big deal unless that contractor has to make multiple trips to perform the work and is forced to make multiple splices in performing the replacement of the faulty fixture. What if the tree this contractor lights is only 10ft tall today but then grows to 20ft in 24months? Do you just tell him to replace the light with a more powerful LED fixture when the time comes or do you tell him to over power the tree with a higher wattage LED for 2 years? Does your warranty on limited output cover plant growth?

There's more to it then my light output is as good as yours. It really comes down to who can deliver the whole package and consumers know that Unique is always thinking of the contractor first. What makes the installer happy and what can we do to insure the installer has minimal call backs over the life of the system.

My last question is when will the technology catch up with the hype and will there be a better LED technology next year and the year after that? Something tells me there will be and those installing LED units today will soon find in 1-2 years all those units on all those homes are now obsolete.

Now as for my exaggerated comment in regards to your letter. If it wasn't slander then why did you only choose to really point out energy savings on LED vs halogen which we know is a no brainer and why did you feel the need to mention UL/ANSI compliant before the name Kichler every time? Are you implying we are not UL/ETL/ANSI tested and compliant? That sure is how it reads. You never once mention our UL/ETL/ANSI listings, instead you decide to instill in this letter that we are dangerous and unlisted which is not true at all. When breaking down your installation vs. our system install you also forgot to mention that your system requires 2 connections for every fixture.....you certainly did not forget to mention our Hub connections. And lastly if it was just a fair comparison then why did Mr. Dross finish the piece off with this....

"Often times, the value of a new idea is over hyped and then under performs. It is likely that, after the smoke clears, the 24v concept will disappear."

Thanks for the fair debate here! We should do it more often!! Good luck in 09 and I mean that with all sincerity.

NightScenes
03-12-2009, 11:19 AM
Just out of curiosity Joey, are your fixtures tested and listed for 24 volt use???? What standard are your fixtures tested to? You mention ETL listing but what standard are those listings tested to?

Just wondering out loud :confused:

JoeyD
03-12-2009, 11:22 AM
All 24v units are approved by ETL to UL1598 Standards.

I still think its funny how our 24v systems got painted as being so dangerous in that letter when Kichler sells 120v as if its safer? LOL

NightScenes
03-12-2009, 11:35 AM
This was a thread about Kichler's new catalog until some decided to start taking some shots. Here's something that fits into the threads new direction. It makes perfect sense if you understand electrical theory.

JoeyD
03-12-2009, 12:00 PM
Funny.......Alliance and Aquarius produced the same exact letter with the same exact verbiage in the same exact format. One with an Alliance Logo and another with an Aquarius logo! ..........Too funny!!!


here is our response...and the beat goes on...........:hammerhead:


1. Watts = Watts

Aquarius/Alliance is correct in this statement. What they neglect to discuss is that the watts you start with are not the watts your energy bill is based on.

See Total Lamp Watts at the bottom of the comparison page (CHART1 ATTACHEMNT). The watts that energy consumption is based on are the Total Watts. The difference between 12 V and 24 V is 38 watts.

The difference of 38 watts will save the home owner approximately $8.52 a year. Imagine the difference for larger jobs? Commercial applications?


2. Energy Loss and Cost Savings in Wire

Aquarius/Alliance must be charging their customers too much for 14/2 wire.

We purchase 14/2 for .07 cheaper A FOOT than we do 12/2. We are confident that Aquarius’/Alliance purchases must be similar in cost.

Cost basis alone shows that a 1000 foot reel is $70 cheaper than a reel of 12/2.

3. Don’t Be Fooled by Amps (Amps=Watt/Volts)

Exactly!!! They are right in everything they say here.

But 120 and up voltage requires the services of an electrician. It requires conduit and burying the wire deeper. Different permits, etc.

4. Future of the Industry

We do not believe that the industry is driven by lamp manufacturers. 24 Volts has been in existence for many years. GE made the 24 V Par 36 because we ASKED them to.

If Aquarius/Alliance want to let another industry determine what types of systems and fixtures they design, that is their prerogative.

In addition, we do not believe that LED is where it needs to be to base an entire system on. The lamps prices are currently too high. The fixtures that contain a ballast (instead of the lamp and ballast combined) have limited life spans. The rated life span of the lamps have not yet stood the test of time. Someday? Possibly. Today, when we need to save our contractors and our environments resources, 24V is doing that.

Regarding their comment on homeowners replacing lamps, we should be teaching our contractors to be more pro-active by using proper documentation (lamp replacement charts, etc.) Also, homeowners replace 12 volt lamps with wrong 12 volt lamps everyday, wrong wattage, wrong beam spread, incandescent for halogen…….While the result MAY not be instant blowing of the lamp, similar types of problems do occur. System over-volted and transformer fuse blows, etc.)

5. Higher Material Costs and & Higher Lamp Replacement Costs

Yes, at present 24 V Lamps are higher in price than 12 V Lamps. This is less due to the technology than it is to our quantity based discounts on lamps. The more 24 Volt lamps we sell, the better we will be able to purchase them for.

Below is a listing of our best selling lamps and the differences in price.

(see attached CHART)


Please refer to your Intelli Book for other job comparisons, etc.

JoeyD
03-12-2009, 12:16 PM
I am curious if Alliance's letter still makes perfect electrical theory sense??

NightScenes
03-12-2009, 12:27 PM
Yes it does actually.

irrig8r
03-12-2009, 12:38 PM
Thank you both for presenting the different sides of the issue in an easy to grasp format.

NightScenes
03-12-2009, 12:50 PM
Happy to Gregg.

JoeyD
03-12-2009, 12:50 PM
Does it make sense outside of electrical theory?

Do you believe that a distributor and or manufacturer get charged more for smaller guage wire?

Do you believe that the industry is controlled by LAMP manufacturers and not by Product Manufacturers, Distributors, and Contractors (not in that order)?

Do you believe that a 12v system is as or more efficent than 24v?

Do you believe their spin that 120v lighting is 10 times better low voltage 24v?

All I know as long as these letters keep coming it just means we are doing something right!!! Someone feels threatened. If LED's were so great they wouldnt need to attack us right????

NightScenes
03-12-2009, 01:05 PM
Joey, this is where you just don't get it. These are not attacks by any of the manufacturers, they are simply comparing their mouse trap to yours. They feel that they have a better product or a better system and choose to show the differences and flaws. Are you trying to tell me that Unique has never compared their product to others??? Has Unique never tried to compare their brass fixtures to another manufacturers cheaper counter part to show it's superior??? It's called competition, not attacks.

JoeyD
03-12-2009, 01:25 PM
Your correct Paul, I tend to get easily defensive. I guess since we are usually the only ones making the systems that seem to be "compared" to it is easy for me to view it as an attack. It is also how they are written. Us comparing Brass or Copper to Aluminum is a GENERAL comparison. Us comparing 24v to 12v is a GENERAL comparison. We are not singling anyone out. It is rare and I mean R A R E that we will ever go on an offensive at any one manufacturer (copy cat knockoffs are usually the target if and when we do and that is for obvious reasons).

But going to back to how they are written. As I mentioned in the Kichler letter, it is easy to pass the letter off as just a comparison. But where it becomes an attack in my opinion is when they choose to ignore us being ETL approved and before the name Kichler they drop "UL/ANSI Approved" in front of it almost EVERY TIME. Leads the reader to believe we are not approved and therefore are not safe. They knew exactly what they were doing in writing it that way. And then topped it off with hat closing statement that our system is nothing more than smoke in mirrors. Call it what you want but at that point they are essentially calling us liars.

In that letter by Alliance/Aquarius above it makes it seem as if we are ling to everyone, that 14/2 is more expensive or is the same price as 12/2? As for watts/watts argument that is just there lack of knowledge when it comes to energy consumption. But you see it easy for a reader to see that letter and take it all at face value and next thing you now we are painted exactly how they wanted to have us painted when writing that piece. Heck, you are an electrician and you see it as making perfect sense, what do you think a non electrician is going to think if that's the only thing they have to go by when it comes to 24v.

We would much rather promote our NEW and EXCITING products then sit here on Lawnsite or at a customers place of business and constantly defend our self and our systems. But these "comparisons" force us to do so, then when we do guys try and paint us as bad guys failing to acknowledge who started the battle in the first place. Are we aggressive? Of course! But don't think for one minute that battling these guys system to system is how we want to spend our day. If they just would just send out letters promoting their systems and leave us out then there would be no issues and no hi jacked threads!!! LOL

Maybe I don't get it, but one of these days maybe our competition that loves to go to battle with us will learn that when you name drip us and our system and paint it to be what it is not to benefit yourself that it will only hurt you more because we will always come with the facts.

JoeyD
03-12-2009, 01:42 PM
I meant name drop* above, not drip! LOL That last sentance is a run on but when read slowly it makes sense!! LOL

Sorry for the hi jack guys. You know I am only hear to participate and help when I can. I hate when a thread turns to this.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-12-2009, 03:22 PM
Well, once the aim is adjusted and the screw tightened, it is actually difficult to get it back out of its position, so the adjustment stays well.... Until there is an impact...from a gardener (shovel, rake etc) or a shovel or a foot. Then the impact causes the fixture head to want to move, the set screw gouges into the nylon ball knuckle and well you get the idea. Beat one of these things on your shop bench. I did at a trade show. Oh well. I just cannot see how plastic/nylon/composite has any place being used on such and expensive fixture.

The assembly is lame though... Yes... agreed.

And the deck lights are actually very nice. Installed them for one of my best clients and they love them...they are not remotely driven, btw... just regular wires...and at 1.9w, you can use small gauge wire that hides more easily in a deck application. I was referring specifically to the 15710BK units, which do require a remote driver and are ugly as "HE-double hockey sticks". As for fitting LEDs into the existing line of post light products, well there are serious limitations to that idea. Again, this is where LED LAMPS make more sense... I like to tailor the light output of niche fixtures such as post lights to the application. I do this by switching out lamps. With integrated LED fixtures, you do not have this flexibility. What do you do if you install 12 LED post light fixtures and then find out the client would prefer things just a bit less bright? Screwed by the "system". LED lamps offer greater design flexibility and will allow for "on-the-fly" changes as necessary.
Just wanted to point those items out :drinkup:

There is a market for integrated LED fixtures, but I am not buying until the manufacturers start putting more effort into the form these fixtures take, and until they build them so that they can be effectively serviced in the field.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-12-2009, 03:38 PM
... See who's still were easily adjusted and see who's could adapt other lamps for a changing landscape and environment.

See the problem with the challenge you laid out is it really says nothing about landscape lighting. So what if the LED looks like it has good intensity and color today. We all know that you guys are producing a solid LED with great initial performance. But its that LED system that will hinder the true designer and contractor in the long haul. If and when your LED's fail then a contractor is replacing entire fixtures.. A very wasteful process! and then what does Kichler do with these? Toss them out or 're-manufacture' them? but it has a warranty..not a big deal unless that contractor has to make multiple trips to perform the work and is forced to make multiple splices in performing the replacement of the faulty fixture. What if the tree this contractor lights is only 10ft tall today but then grows to 20ft in 24months? Do you just tell him to replace the light with a more powerful LED fixture when the time comes or do you tell him to over power the tree with a higher wattage LED for 2 years? Joey makes an excellent point here. How does the contractor adjust for changes in the landscape over time with integrated LED fixtures? Toss out the whole fixture and pick something different? Then what? Sell that old fixture on another job as used goods? I really think that fixture manufactures should focus on building the best fixtures possible, leave the lamp manufacturers to build the lamps/light sources. Trying to do it all, and have it all, seldom works out.

My last question is when will the technology catch up with the hype and will there be a better LED technology next year and the year after that? Something tells me there will be and those installing LED units today will soon find in 1-2 years all those units on all those homes are now obsolete. Another excellent point and another reason why using new lamp technology trumps using new fixture technology. As the technology advances and improves, you can always return to update the lamps! We already have near perfect fixtures that have been developed over decades at our disposal. Why try to re-invent all those wheels?
.

LED lamp technology is advancing and improving very quickly. New LEDs with outputs above 100 Lm/watt are being implemented, new heat sink technologies are being employed, and more and more beam spreads, intensities and formats are being made available. In another post I will show you what a MAJOR lamp manufacturer has recently released in Europe. The market for LED lamps is so much more massive than the market for integrated LED fixtures, just in retrofits alone is is a multi-billion dollar industry already. We are on the precipice of a major wholesale change in lamps, mark my words.