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INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-12-2009, 03:56 PM
Here is a copy of a post from another thread. I think it is an excellent debate that deserves more attention and insight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyD
... 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 "then manu" 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.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-12-2009, 04:20 PM
The market for LED lamps in OEM and Retrofit applications is astounding. For the past few years, the major players in LED technology: Nichia, Seoul Semiconductor, Cree, Lumileds (Philips), GE, Lamina have been focused squarely on the development of LED components and technologies but they have not put a lot of energy into developing LED Lamp products suitable for general illumination applications. (This gap has largely been filled by "no-name" SE Asian manufacturers who have used the components developed by the above companies and combined them into lamp packages - mostly with questionable results.)

This trend is now starting to change. The "Big 5" are 'seeing the light' and developing lamp packages that are effective, efficient, properly engineered and worthy of their well respected brand names. See this very new product launch as evidence: http://www.lighting.philips.com/gl_en/global_sites/lighting/master_led/general_accent_lighting.php?main=gl_en_master_led&parent=0&id=&lang=en
Although only available in Europe for 240V applications, Phillips plans to introduce these same lamps here in N. America in "early 2009".

Cree has also recently introduced LED lamp packages to the market, and they are wildly successful! http://www.creelighting.com/LR4.htm (Not quite a traditional "light bulb" but do you have any idea how many 6" and 4" recessed pot lights are installed out there? These will slip right into the vast majority of A19 and BR incandescent housings! Simply Brilliant.)

In the MR16 Category, Manufacturers like Kumho and CRS are leading the way, building well researched & engineered lamps that truly outperform all of the others.

Even as I type this, there are engineers and factories working on a couple of different miniature 12V LED lamps that will replace G4 Bi-pin and soon T8 Wedge base lamps. These are feasible and effective with the newest technologies.

To the "LED Lamp Detractors" out there, I ask you... do you really think that companies like Philips, Cree, GE and the like would go to all the trouble and expense of developing LED lamps, building the production lines, launching and marketing the product, etc. if it did not work, if it will not last and perform as specified? I think not.

Integrated LED fixtures might have a place in the market, but the LED lamp is sure to trump them in almost every application. There is just so much more to be gained for a manufacturer to develop the Lamp business than there is for them to try to 'recreate the wheel' in the form of new light sources encapsulated inside of new fixtures. This doesn't only apply to landscape lighting, it applies to all categories. (To think that a commercial building owner would have to consider changing out all of their integrated LED fixtures after 15 years or so is not only wasteful, but borders on insane. Only in our 'throw away' society here in N. America would such an idea be conceived)

I look forward to hearing(reading) your opinions and insights into this topic.

Have a great day.

NightScenes
03-12-2009, 05:03 PM
The market for LED lamps in OEM and Retrofit applications is astounding. For the past few years, the major players in LED technology: Nichia, Seoul Semiconductor, Cree, Lumileds (Philips), GE, Lamina have been focused squarely on the development of LED components and technologies but they have not put a lot of energy into developing LED Lamp products suitable for general illumination applications. (This gap has largely been filled by "no-name" SE Asian manufacturers who have used the components developed by the above companies and combined them into lamp packages - mostly with questionable results.)

This trend is now starting to change. The "Big 5" are 'seeing the light' and developing lamp packages that are effective, efficient, properly engineered and worthy of their well respected brand names. See this very new product launch as evidence: http://www.lighting.philips.com/gl_en/global_sites/lighting/master_led/general_accent_lighting.php?main=gl_en_master_led&parent=0&id=&lang=en
Although only available in Europe for 240V applications, Phillips plans to introduce these same lamps here in N. America in "early 2009".

Cree has also recently introduced LED lamp packages to the market, and they are wildly successful! http://www.creelighting.com/LR4.htm (Not quite a traditional "light bulb" but do you have any idea how many 6" and 4" recessed pot lights are installed out there? These will slip right into the vast majority of A19 and BR incandescent housings! Simply Brilliant.)

In the MR16 Category, Manufacturers like Kumho and CRS are leading the way, building well researched & engineered lamps that truly outperform all of the others.

Even as I type this, there are engineers and factories working on a couple of different miniature 12V LED lamps that will replace G4 Bi-pin and soon T8 Wedge base lamps. These are feasible and effective with the newest technologies.

To the "LED Lamp Detractors" out there, I ask you... do you really think that companies like Philips, Cree, GE and the like would go to all the trouble and expense of developing LED lamps, building the production lines, launching and marketing the product, etc. if it did not work, if it will not last and perform as specified? I think not. They just might work well "as specified". The only problem with that is that they are NOT specified for outdoor use in landscape lighting fixtures. The current fixtures were designed FOR MR16 lamps and therefore work very well hand in hand. Not so true for the new LED products.

Integrated LED fixtures might have a place in the market, but the LED lamp is sure to trump them in almost every application. There is just so much more to be gained for a manufacturer to develop the Lamp business than there is for them to try to 'recreate the wheel' in the form of new light sources encapsulated inside of new fixtures. This doesn't only apply to landscape lighting, it applies to all categories. (To think that a commercial building owner would have to consider changing out all of their integrated LED fixtures after 15 years or so is not only wasteful, but borders on insane. Only in our 'throw away' society here in N. America would such an idea be conceived)

I look forward to hearing(reading) your opinions and insights into this topic.

Have a great day.

You bring up some good points James and I am sure that eventually either the lamp or the fixtures will come together to work as a retrofit. In the mean time, I still think that companies like BK and Kichler have the right idea when it comes to LED.

JoeyD
03-12-2009, 05:09 PM
Good stuff James!! Keep it coming!!

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-12-2009, 05:24 PM
You bring up some good points James and I am sure that eventually either the lamp or the fixtures will come together to work as a retrofit. In the mean time, I still think that companies like BK and Kichler have the right idea when it comes to LED.

I have to ask you Paul: When selling clients the integrated LED fixtures, how are you dealing with 'end of life' issues and questions? Do the clients know that when the light output eventually fades, shifts, or otherwise deteriorates (and it will) they will have to replace the entire fixture?

This has come up recently in LD&A, the IESNA's periodical, in terms of LED fixtures for commercial applications. It is a big issue that is not being talked about much.


Also: you say that the LED lamps are not specified for outdoor use in Landscape Lighting fixtures. I have to disagree with you there. There is no such 'disclaimer' on the lamps. There is a caution about using the lamps in moist or high humidity applications (due to the on board electronics which do not like getting moist) but if you are installing into quality, sealed fixtures, then this is not an issue. A sauna, steam room, shower, or bathroom application could be problematic.

Regards.

NightScenes
03-12-2009, 05:36 PM
I have indeed explained to my clients that the entire fixture will have to be replaced. I also only use the Kichler brass fixture and it comes with a full 15 year warranty on the whole fixture including the LED, driver, and housing. I explain that they will go through enough lamps and energy to more than make up the difference in the cost of the fixture. They would also end up with a brand new fixture and another 15 year warranty should anything go wrong. It sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-12-2009, 06:15 PM
(Smiling as I type this...) Does that 15 year warranty also cover the plastic knuckle/ball and stem assembly?

I have priced the Kichler Brass LED fixtures, and after you add in installation, labour, & profit margin (= the cost to the client) they are what I would call "insanely expensive" for what the client gets. To think what the per fixture cost is over 30 years on any given job... and I am talking more than 4 digits per installed location, I cannot imagine many people lining up to go with them.

Besides that, they are just plain ugly (again smiling, nothing personal)

NightScenes
03-12-2009, 06:22 PM
James, I don't know what kind of math you're using to come up with such silly and (smiling while I type this) stupid numbers.

David Gretzmier
03-12-2009, 06:57 PM
The LED news is definetely out there, my time spent with customers for Landscape lighting in discussions about LED runs two paths- #1, I have to steer folks away from the blue solar LED's that are so prevalent today. when many customers hear LED, that is what they think, as it is impossible to drive down a street without seeing them.

The second conversation that is common is are better LED's "ready". I am glad the "big 5" are looking into this in a big way, and hopefully the phosphors to achieve the warm white color will stand the test of time. I share with the customer that I have tested many mr-16's, including the cree and multi cree, the ones from SSC, mr-16's, even those with finned heatsinks, and they lose lumens and color, and eventually fail over a few months.

I do mention exactly what I know- That a collegue in Canada has had good results with one or two brands out of over 100 tested. That he is the only one I know of that has hundreds,maybe over 1000 out there for over a year, and things seem to be going well. but I cannot guarantee a 5 year life based on a one year outdoor test. Not one customer has then, after hearing all that, wanted LED's in the landscape. Not even with a 1 year guarantee on the system. They would rather pay the 10% rebulb. The same conversation takes pace in LED Christmas lights. Again, no takers. My customers do not want to test new technology for the most part, at the price point I am at, they want things that have stood the test of time.

The argument of what do you do when things grow has got to be answered by a replacable LED bulb or one that allows different lumens and throws at a similar color temperature. Or, perhaps, an adjustable driver brightness inside the light via a screwdriver or something. I know that the new multi die LED SSC P7's and cree MCE's have the ability to go from around 250 lumens to 7-800, based on voltage and amps to the LED.

It is also fairly common in the flashlight world to be able to use different reflectors in custom made 200 buck flashlights, allowing heavy flood ( the P7 is pretty floody anyway) from 60 degress, down to fairly narrow 5 degree throwers with the MCE. I would think it would not be too hard for a Manu to come up with a set of reflectors to switch out a flood for a mid to a narrow. if guys in thier garage can mill these lights out on a lathe, and they are consistanty relaiablem, Manu's should be able to do the same for landscape lights. Start with a 60 degree 20 watt equivalent, or maybe a bit floodier if possible, and sell modification reflectors from there.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-12-2009, 06:57 PM
James, I don't know what kind of math you're using to come up with such silly and (smiling while I type this) stupid numbers.

Okay, Paul has a bit of a point, I havent checked prices since these things first came out.

I just checked online (Retail) and the 15752 BBR is selling for $199 to $235 each depending on the site. ( I assume & hope you are getting retail prices for your components... if not you should be) Now add in the cost of installation labour, connections, wire, proportion of transformer, and marginal fixed costs of operations, etc... and you have a $400 to $500 fixture there.

So assuming the fixture lasts 15.1 years, and then another replaces it, you have a 30 year cost to the client of just under $1000. (assuming no increases in materials or labour costs.) So I was a only slightly off, and thus I offer you an apology for not being spot on accurate.

TXNSLighting
03-12-2009, 08:10 PM
:laugh::laugh::laugh:

NightScenes
03-12-2009, 10:17 PM
30 years, where the hell did that come from???? My clients are usually in their 60s and I'm pushing 50 so I don't think any of us are working on a 30 year window.

Next, you're charging around $200 a fixture for installation, wire, design and transformer? I would say that it's your clients that are getting totally screwed, shame on you.

I can install a full Kichler brass LED project for about 15-20% more than a regular incandescent project.

MAGLIGHTING
03-12-2009, 10:58 PM
30 years, where the hell did that come from???? My clients are usually in their 60s and I'm pushing 50 so I don't think any of us are working on a 30 year window.

Next, you're charging around $200 a fixture for installation, wire, design and transformer? I would say that it's your clients that are getting totally screwed, shame on you.
I can install a full Kichler brass LED project for about 15-20% more than a regular incandescent project.

What is it your business what he charges for his services in his market. You don't know what extra he may include with that or not. Why would you care? He's not competing with you. I think that's a very irresponsible statement to make on a public message bd as the Vice President of an association which is supposed to be out for the best interests of the contractor. Would you prefer that contractors work cheap. If you had any business sense you'd realize that The contractor deserves to be the highest margin player in the system. Nobody gets paid until a contractor makes a sale that includes manu, rep, distributor and contractor.

It is apparent that you are all for the manufacturer. Everyone of your posts and your messages re-inforces that. You act as though Jack Miller, who has never posted here, wasn't even a member till yesterday, just happened to come here on his own. Like you didn't e-mail him and tell him what was up. Do you think that went unnoticed?

Why don't you change the name from AOLP to the Kichler group. At least the organization would be more transparent as to where the interests of some bd members are.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-12-2009, 11:27 PM
30 years, where the hell did that come from???? My clients are usually in their 60s and I'm pushing 50 so I don't think any of us are working on a 30 year window. Ah, okay... so I guess things like lifetime warranties on transformers and such are meaningless? Certainly you and your clients expect their professionally installed lighting systems to last more than 15 years? I know I sure do.

Next, you're charging around $200 a fixture for installation, wire, design and transformer? I would say that it's your clients that are getting totally screwed, shame on you. No need to get rude, nasty and fling around accusations Paul, and besides, we were not discussing my sales or my clients. Try to keep things civil will you?

I can install a full Kichler brass LED project for about 15-20% more than a regular incandescent project. Congratulations, all the more power to you and best of luck with all that.

I am not trying to analyse or interpret the colour of your stripes Paul... I was simply trying to look at the nitty gritty of LED Integrated fixture systems. I don't give a rat's arse how much you pay, how much you charge, what your profit margins are or any of that. Nor should you care about mine. We work in different markets, in different Countries and provide our clients (who have much different properties) with different products and services. You might be more of a volume operation whereas I might be more of a custom & detail type operation, who cares? (for example... how often do you spend 1.5 to 2 hrs labour to mount a pathight into exposed granite bedrock, such that no wire is visible? Here I do that all the time. = different markets)

My point is that Integrated LED fixtures do have their drawbacks. They are laregely not field servicable, they are not dynamic (in that they don't accomodate changes in the lamp system or landscape) and many have placed function ahead of form and visual performance. They also come at a large price premium as the manufacturers try to 're-invent the wheel'.

David Gretzmier
03-13-2009, 02:19 AM
So the 30 year cost time frame of an LED fixture is 1000 bucks, including everything, give or take. assuming the board, phosphor, and led remain fine for 15 years. I'm also not sure if that number includes trimming back shrubs, cleaning trans and lenses, but let's see if that number makes sense compared to halogen.

Although we can argue ranges all day long, many folks on here have mentioned an installed price of anywhere from 180 to 250 and up for halogen. since I am looking at "most " fixtures, I'm going to look at the good old bullet with a 20 watt 60 degree halogen installed as an uplight. I use them more than anything else, and probably over half of those on the home itself. I'd say 220 average should be good for most, and go ahead and beat me up if you want. That price includes lights, everything, trans, wire, etc. most folks charge 10 % per year to rebulb and re-aim, lube o-rings, trim back plant groth and clean the lens and tranny. I include replacing the socket as needed with that as long as I replace all bulbs every year. so 22 bucks per year x 30 years is 660 bucks. added to 220, about 880 bucks, and maybe you need to replace that fixture after 30 years. at another 220, that puts you at 1100. so the customer would be out another 100 bucks in the halogen scenerio. also, the additional money for electricity.

maybe not though. I've got some really old 120 volt fixtures out there I maintain, and those are older than 30 years. I still just replace the bulbs every year. I've also got some nightscaping path lights that are fine at 20 plus years. but then the LED fixture may not need replacing at 30 years either.

The biggest deal is the unknown on new stuff. I know what the cost of halogen is. I'll feel a whole lot better when James has 5 plus years on these fixtures and bulbs out there.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-13-2009, 02:35 AM
David, I don't warranty the LED lamps, the manufacturer does. The Kumho product carries a two year warranty and the CRS product carries a 5 year warranty. It is very rare to find any type of warranty on items that are considered consumables.

Compare that to 'no warranty expressed or implied' for any Halogen lamp that I know of.

NiteTymeIlluminations
03-13-2009, 09:47 AM
Tough room. I'd say the jury is out. We have been using LED pool lights for quite some time. The retrofit LED lamps seem to be doing really well wile the whole led pool lights have shown to be failing and the mfr is giving us alot of grief about warrantying them. The retrofit LED lamps cost 1/3 and are lasting so James I have to agree with you. It's alot easier to change a lamp.
But poollights are different as they are constantly being cooled.
I'd really say it depends on what fixture you used the LED mr16 in.
I bet if I used one of your Kumho mr16s in a kichler 15384 in Jamaica it would fail within weeks dont you think? I'm asking so dont freak out on me and call me stupid as that word is being throw around on this thread already. So what fixtures are you using your Kumho in?
I'm on the fence so I am using both methods right now.
You know I'm having troubles using metal halide recessed cans in stores right now as I knows it the best for the application but jeez you are stuck in a situation where you can only use one lamp, change merchandise and you may need to change the fixture or ballast just to change a lamp.
You know when we are starting to see mfrs stop putting medium based sockets in fixtures things are changing rapidly. Don't give me a fixture with a 13 watt plug in fluoresent as my only option. It may or may not be bright enough. But that fixture has a ballast and a socket that will only hold a 13 watt plug in lamp. So again James is correct...buy a LED fixture and thats it, no flexiblity with it...12 watts thats it! Buy a fixture and use an led mr16 and you can change it to a spot or a flood or a higher or lower wattage.
Years ago plug in fluorescents were the rage in the hospitality fields until people realized tht there is no flexibilty. Now the states is tyring it. Oh my head is spinning.

:dizzy:

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-13-2009, 11:21 AM
The retrofit LED lamps cost 1/3 and are lasting so James I have to agree with you. It's alot easier to change a lamp.

I bet if I used one of your Kumho mr16s in a kichler 15384 in Jamaica it would fail within weeks dont you think? No, I really do not think the lamp would fail in an outdoor lighting application, even in the tropics. Look at your avg. daily low (nighttime) temperatures. http://jamaica-guide.info/weather/ At 72 to 78 deg F. I think the LED lamps will perform just fine. I know it gets HOT in the day but we are talking about after dark operation here. I wouldn't hesitate to try them out in the Islands. In my testing here, at an ambient temperature of 21 Deg C., while in small body sealed fixture, the Luxxo LED MR16 did not get above 50 Deg C. in any of my tests (Avg of all tests was 45 deg. C.) The Nichia chips it employs are rated to operate up to 65 deg. So, even if the lamp was operating in a 30 to 35 Deg. C. environment it should perform to specification. Of course, if it does not, It carries a full 2 year warranty from the manufacturer!

So what fixtures are you using your Kumho in? I have them installed in a large variety of outdoor fixtures. CM125, CCTL1C, JEMLiter, Guardian, Hunza DL, Hunza WS, Lumiere 203, BK Deltastar, Lipinsky, OKeefe, and on and on. I have not had one premature failure with the Luxxo MT WarmWhite LED MR16. The ones installed here at my home have been in for almost a year now, burning 8 hours per night avg, with no degradation of output or colour shift. Some here are even installed intentionally into "leaky" fixtures to see if that would be an issue. So far so good.

You know I'm having troubles using metal halide recessed cans in stores right now as I knows it the best for the application but jeez you are stuck in a situation where you can only use one lamp, change merchandise and you may need to change the fixture or ballast just to change a lamp. I have a suggestion for you to try. The New Philips MH PAR38 Integrated Ballast Lamp! I was just released last spring and the things are f-ing amazing! 24W Lamp providing 12,000 lumens, in three spreads. Real HID MH light from a PAR38 envelope. The ballasts are in the lamp base, so you can install them in any MED. Base lamp holder! Amazing for commercial and retail spaces. And they save 80% of the hydro that the equiv. Halogen lamp uses.

So again James is correct...buy a LED fixture and thats it, no flexiblity with it...12 watts thats it! Buy a fixture and use an led mr16 and you can change it to a spot or a flood or a higher or lower wattage.:dizzy:

I hope this helps you out some.

NightScenes
03-13-2009, 11:31 AM
David, I don't warranty the LED lamps, the manufacturer does. The Kumho product carries a two year warranty and the CRS product carries a 5 year warranty. It is very rare to find any type of warranty on items that are considered consumables.

Compare that to 'no warranty expressed or implied' for any Halogen lamp that I know of.

Let me start by saying I flew off a little earlier which is not my style. I do apologize to you James for that.

Now I wonder, a two to five year warranty on a $40 (wholesale) lamp that should last 15-25 years??? I wonder why they would do that??? At least the product that I mentioned carries a 15 year warranty on a product that should last for 15 years.

Lets see, If I have to replace those LED lamps at a 3.5 year rate over 30 years that's $342 (wholesale) in lamps per fixture. Now you have to add in all the rest of the expenses and....wow, that's a lot of money!!

By the way, I can easily get that same lifespan ( 2+ years) from a regular incandescent Ushio lamp. I don't see how using your LED lamps could possibly save my clients any money at all if they are only warrantied for 2 to 5 years.

By the way Mr. Gambino, if you noticed, I mentioned BK in my post and they are not nor ever have been members of the AOLP. They do however make a very good integrated LED product. I mention and use several products from manufacturers who are not AOLP members. I have used Nightscaping, FX, Focus, Vision3, etc. All of whom make some products that AOLP do not and therefor I turn to them. I always do however look to AOLP members first and have always recommended that other members do the same.

Those who have viewed my posts on these forums (for about 5 years now) know that I am honest and call em as I see em. I do openly promote the AOLP members and make no bones about it. They spend their money to the benefit of the industry in which I depend on to make my living and I for one am grateful to them for it. It's kinda like making purchases from companies in which you own stock, it only helps to increase the value of that stock and in such comes right back to you as a dividend.

Support those who support you, scratch my back and I'll scratch yours and so on. The old doing business with friends thing, you know (I think that was something that Mr. Locklin believed in). Good old fashioned smart business. Just like the good ol' days.

I'm off my soapbox now, have a great day everyone.

NiteTymeIlluminations
03-13-2009, 11:52 AM
James the Par38 fixtures sound nice and thanks for the input. But we stick in retail with 4" cans. I just dont like to see big huge par 38s around. We use alot of modular mr16s and then combine that with t6 35 watt MH. I think it would be cool if we could use ballast that you flip a switch and could go from 35w, to 70w, or bipass. then use a medium base and you could use a 35 mh, 70mh or a 35 halogen or 50 watt halogen or whatever...a univeral recessed can...oh i think I'm on to something!

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-13-2009, 11:53 AM
Let me start by saying I flew off a little earlier which is not my style. I do apologize to you James for that. Thank you Paul.

Now I wonder, a two to five year warranty on a $40 (wholesale) lamp that should last 15-25 years??? At an avg 6hrs per night, the 40,000 hr rating should get you 18 years. I wonder why they would do that? Again, the lamp is a consumable, not many consumable items in any industry carry a warranty.

Lets see, If I have to replace those LED lamps at a 3.5 year rate over 30 years that's $342 (wholesale) in lamps per fixture. Obviously if the lamp is a complete and utter failure after only 3.5 years... you would stop using them would you not? I know I would, but my commitment to the client would not waver and I would take care of them with suitable replacements, be they Halogen or other LED lamps that are sure to come along. The numbers in the sale of these lamps are there that will support this type of assurance. Also, you are not putting much consideration into the value that the manufacturer will have with the loyal contractor. I know that close, loyal relationships go a long way to sorting out any warranty issues. Surely you too have experienced this with your vendors and suppliers. There is another way too... but if you want to learn that, you would have to call me.

I don't see how using your LED lamps could possibly save my clients any money at all if they are only warrantied for 2 to 5 years. Auto manufacturers warranty their products for 3yrs, 60,000 miles (for instance) So does that mean that the product is going to be no good after that warranty period? No of course not. The market is filled with durable good products that carry warranties that do not come anywhere near the expected life of the product. If we were to worry about this concept in any other areas, then you probably would have to drop out of the consumer economy. Heck GE MR16s carry no warranty, and yet they are rated for 4-5K hours operation.... I guess since they dont have a warranty, we shouldnt use them at all... must be plain junk.


Hey Paul.... what is going to become of the mountains of worn out LED fixtures that are going to start accumulating after 10 -15 years time? Ever think about that? Who is going to break them down into component parts for recycling? Or do we just dump them in a landfill? Or perhaps, just ship them off to some poor SE Asian company for orphans to tear apart for scrap. Maybe dump them in the oceans? Ya Ya thats it!

Waste Not Want Not.

NightScenes
03-13-2009, 12:15 PM
James, are you really saying that a difference of 3 years of warranty is the same as 10-13 years??? A 15 year warranty on a product that should last for 18 years is much better than a 2-5 year warranty on a product that should last 18 years, don't you agree??? You can also bring up that the warranty is only good as long as the company is there to back it up and I'm sure that since Kichler has been around since 1938, they'll be around for quite some time to come. I don't know how long those companies that you mentioned have been in business but I would bet a very large sum that it hasn't been nearly as long. I don't see a good argument on your part here.

If you do have to replace those lamps that the manufacturer does not seem to believe in very much, you are the one putting in your time and labor to take care of your client and at 1000s of lamps, that will get very expensive to say the least. I now see why you have to charge so much up front when you install the system.

As for the recycle thing, we'll see where we are in 15 years. We may be able to disintegrate them by then, Poof, their gone.:laugh:

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-13-2009, 12:38 PM
James, are you really saying that a difference of 3 years of warranty is the same as 10-13 years??? A 15 year warranty on a product that should last for 18 years is much better than a 2-5 year warranty on a product that should last 18 years, don't you agree??? You can also bring up that the warranty is only good as long as the company is there to back it up and I'm sure that since Kichler has been around since 1938, they'll be around for quite some time to come. I don't know how long those companies that you mentioned have been in business but I would bet a very large sum that it hasn't been nearly as long. Kumho was founded on May 25, 1935 and has been in operation ever since. I don't see a good argument on your part here. Clearly you did not understand my point about warranties on consumables and durable goods. My point stands, that most products in the market do not carry a warranty that comes anywhere near the end life of the product. Warranties on consumables such as lamps are nearly non-existant... but we still use them without issue now don't we?

If you do have to replace those lamps that the manufacturer does not seem to believe in very much, What a pedestrian thing to say Paul. Come on man, you are smarter than that! you are the one putting in your time and labor to take care of your client and at 1000s of lamps, that will get very expensive to say the least. I now see why you have to charge so much up front when you install the system. Paul, you really need to back off this angle of yours that I am overcharging and ripping off my clients. It is just plain insulting and unacceptable. Are you jealous? Have you not figured out a way to charge appropriately for your unique artistic approach, your experience and the special services offered to your clients? You know those things that separate you from the rest of the bunch, the things that make your business remarkable, the things that take care of your clients year after year without bothering them with rinky-dink service invoices, the things that result in 95%+ of your new jobs being referrals, the things that provide you with 100% growth year after year after year? If not, then perhaps you would like to come on up here for a week long, hands on, intensive training session. I would be happy to oblige (for an appropriate fee) just ask.... friend.

As for the recycle thing, we'll see where we are in 15 years. We may be able to disintegrate them by then, Poof, their gone.:laugh:

Nice.... a lack of forward thinking such as you display there is exactly what has gotten us into many of the environmental messes we find ourselves in today. I'm sure your grandkids will thank you.

JoeyD
03-13-2009, 01:35 PM
old story but a good one.......

A lady goes into a square and sees Picasso painting a picture of a church. The Lady approaches him and says "wow, that is amazing. Would you mind painting my portrait?"

Picasso says "sure, sit down......"

10 minutes later.....

Picaso tells the lady he is complete, she is amazed at how good it looks..."How much do I owe you?" she asks

"$10,000.00" he says

"$10,000.00, but it only took you 10 minutes to do?" she replies

"No, see thats where your wrong, it took me my whole life!"


I love this story because it explains that different people have different levels of experience and should command more money for their work. Of course location and clientel play a huge role in this. An expert at any trade deserves to get paid what he feels his services are worth. Just because some dont sell at a higher level doesnt mean that those who do are doing their customers a diservice. If the customers are happy and that contractor supplied what he promised then more power to him/her. So many times I see contractors cut themselves short becuase they are afraid to sticker shock the client. Disregarding all their hard work and training for fear of rejection.

David Gretzmier
03-13-2009, 02:10 PM
The price one commands for what they do is directly related to whoever else is availabe to do the same thing. A great lawyer in a town can get great money, unless there are two great lawyers...

I warranty all bulbs I install out of my pocket, along with fixtures and sockets, whether the Manu is reimbursing me or not. Funny how this warranty thing is being thrown around here, and folks love the nightscaping lifetime warranty. what is that warranty worth now? If nightscaping does not resurface, it is worth nothing.

Probably 1/3 of my clients leave thier landscape lights on all night long, so at 12 hours a night average we are getting closer to 9 years of LED life on that page.

I cover all warranty costs ( burned out bulbs, o-rings, lenses, sockets) on halogen bulbs as long as I rebulb every year. while the Manu may not warranty them, I do. just like I feel I would need to stand behind the LED products, whether the Manu stands behind it or not.

James, I gotta tell you- calling the LED consumable if it is suppposed to last 9-18 years is like calling a car engine consumable. Gas and oil are consumables. The LED either lasts as long as you say it will or it won't. The whole point of LED's being 1000 percent more expensive is they are supposed to be WAY less consumable. How long does a product has to last to go out of the consumable category? Telling my client that a LED lamp that is supposed to last that long is a "consumable", and therefore only having a 2-5 year warranty will get me a stupid look from my client.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-13-2009, 02:53 PM
Ok, so using the term consumable is probably not the best phrasiology. I was trying to get across the concept that most products are not warrantied for their entire rated or expected lifetime. I think I have made that concept perfectly clear.

NightScenes
03-13-2009, 03:56 PM
James, I gotta tell you- calling the LED consumable if it is suppposed to last 9-18 years is like calling a car engine consumable. Gas and oil are consumables. The LED either lasts as long as you say it will or it won't. The whole point of LED's being 1000 percent more expensive is they are supposed to be WAY less consumable. How long does a product has to last to go out of the consumable category? Telling my client that a LED lamp that is supposed to last that long is a "consumable", and therefore only having a 2-5 year warranty will get me a stupid look from my client.


This is exactly my point. A 2000 hour lamp should last approximately 2000 hours. I know that manufacturers don't warranty it but it's a filament light and can burn out do to many variables which do NOT come into play with the LED. James, you know that the LED is supposed to be much more stable than a simple filament light bulb.

If a manufacturer is going to claim a lifespan of 40,000+ hours, they should warranty it for somewhere in that neighborhood wouldn't you think. How about even 30% of that. If they are going to charge around 15 times more for the product than it's halogen counterpart they should at least back it up some. Even car manufacturers are putting 100,000 mile warranties are their engines which is probably around 50% of their expected life. Your talking about getting about 5% on that lamp warranty. My post was this, why does that manufacturer feel that a 40,000 hour lamp should only be warrantied for around 2,000 hours? That sounds like a lack of confidence to me and that is strictly my opinion but I would also have to say that I think my clients would feel the same way.

Anyway we could beat this horse to death. Both options appear to have pros and cons in which case hopefully we look out for our clients and do what we feel is right.

It's always fun to have these very informative discussions even if we get a little wound up sometimes.

David Gretzmier
03-13-2009, 11:07 PM
This is the absolute heart of the LED matter. Manu's will not stand behind this product to the extent of it's published lifetime. So we have to stand behind it. and we don't know if it will last, and finacially and reputation wise it is a gigantic risk.

Already folks are daisy chaining these things together and leaving no bridge back to halogens if they fail like popcorn in a few years. I hope they don't. But if we are to learn anything from history, it is that it is often wise to be careful and go with what works, with a keen eye toward what is new that is working too.

Many Christmas Decor Franchises went "All LED" in 2008. all of thier Christmas lights were LED. gutsy move, and I picked up more than a few clients who still don't care for the newest and greatest warm white led's. but they are way better than just a few years ago. In time, Landscape lights will get there, but I don't want my clients to be the test subject.

David Gretzmier
03-13-2009, 11:09 PM
And James, I formally thank you for recognizing LED's are not "consumable".

MAGLIGHTING
03-13-2009, 11:28 PM
This is the absolute heart of the LED matter. Manu's will not stand behind this product to the extent of it's published lifetime. So we have to stand behind it. and we don't know if it will last, and finacially and reputation wise it is a gigantic risk.

Already folks are daisy chaining these things together and leaving no bridge back to halogens if they fail like popcorn in a few years. I hope they don't. But if we are to learn anything from history, it is that it is often wise to be careful and go with what works, with a keen eye toward what is new that is working too.

Many Christmas Decor Franchises went "All LED" in 2008. all of thier Christmas lights were LED. gutsy move, and I picked up more than a few clients who still don't care for the newest and greatest warm white led's. but they are way better than just a few years ago. In time, Landscape lights will get there, but I don't want my clients to be the test subject.

I think it was Joey who hit on a very important fact that this technology is in it's infancy. It will improve in short time and those who dive in now are going to find what they have obsolete. There are several players pushing real hard for LED's to succeed. Usually the big money is made by the player who arrives first and indeed has the better mouse trap. Then like everything else competition catches up and grabs market share especially with all the knockoff artists who thrive in this environment. Throw away fixtures just plain make no sense. Even more so the ones not made of materials that will last the long haul.

MR-16's will be around for a very long time, they are going nowhere soon. This country is in a funk right now and there is a huge push for energy conservation. Remember the 70's and 80's when car makers downsized their engines and the 90's and 2000's brought back the gas guzzlers. Now there is a trend to downsize again. It's cyclical. There has also been a big push for those horrible compact flourescents that give no quality light and are harmful to the environment when disposed of. You can coat a turd in chocolate and tell me it tastes good. Doesn't mean I have to eat it.

David Gretzmier
03-14-2009, 10:48 PM
it is my understanding that the traditional 120 volt 100 watt, 75 watt, and 50 watt bulbs that we all grew up with will no longer be legal to sell in the US in the next couple of years. ornamental and miniature bulbs are excluded, as are low voltage bulbs. So even though CFL's are not all that great, it will be all that is available and some LED bulbs, to try to save electricity.

MAGLIGHTING
03-14-2009, 11:02 PM
it is my understanding that the traditional 120 volt 100 watt, 75 watt, and 50 watt bulbs that we all grew up with will no longer be legal to sell in the US in the next couple of years. ornamental and miniature bulbs are excluded, as are low voltage bulbs. So even though CFL's are not all that great, it will be all that is available and some LED bulbs, to try to save electricity.

I've heard something like that too. So much for living with freedom of choice here in the USA. Real sad indeed. It's gotten so bad that I can't even read my morning newspaper anymore when I go to Starbucks or whatever coffee shop since the lighting is so insufficient. Is this the price we are all to pay to save a little electricity. If so then at what price? Going blind or diminished eyesight?

JoeyD
03-16-2009, 11:33 AM
I think it was Joey who hit on a very important fact that this technology is in it's infancy. It will improve in short time and those who dive in now are going to find what they have obsolete. There are several players pushing real hard for LED's to succeed. Usually the big money is made by the player who arrives first and indeed has the better mouse trap. Then like everything else competition catches up and grabs market share especially with all the knockoff artists who thrive in this environment. Throw away fixtures just plain make no sense. Even more so the ones not made of materials that will last the long haul.

MR-16's will be around for a very long time, they are going nowhere soon. This country is in a funk right now and there is a huge push for energy conservation. Remember the 70's and 80's when car makers downsized their engines and the 90's and 2000's brought back the gas guzzlers. Now there is a trend to downsize again. It's cyclical. There has also been a big push for those horrible compact flourescents that give no quality light and are harmful to the environment when disposed of. You can coat a turd in chocolate and tell me it tastes good. Doesn't mean I have to eat it.


HAHAHAHAH........Thats calssic Mike!!!!! I have heard the phrase so many different ways but that one is good!!! :laugh:

Pro-Scapes
03-18-2009, 12:11 AM
This is how I approach it when I am asked about them by savvy clients.

I inform them the technology is there but still quite expensive and unproven. There are a few pieces out there than do look nice (ushio synergy is shipping now!!!)

I let clients know that when I build a system I make it compatible with LED lamps. I maintain polarity everywhere and I have no doubts I will be able to quickly and easily retrofit my systems when the time is right. Sure they will have transformers larger than they will need but it will still reduce the power consumption. I think its a better way to conduct business vs doing small wire and small transformers then finding out there are issues with the LED and you now need to revert to halogens. I do have 1 client who is very interested in retrofitting to LED's but is still hessitant based on price.

Pro-Scapes
03-18-2009, 12:19 AM
I've heard something like that too. So much for living with freedom of choice here in the USA. Real sad indeed. It's gotten so bad that I can't even read my morning newspaper anymore when I go to Starbucks or whatever coffee shop since the lighting is so insufficient. Is this the price we are all to pay to save a little electricity. If so then at what price? Going blind or diminished eyesight?

Funny. We awere at dinner tonight and they had the corkscrew CFL lamps everywhere. By the time dinner was over my eyes were sore. Ashley looked right at me during dinner when we sat down and said dont even talk about the lame lighting in here.

On another note. We visited an upscale rest. for our anniversary last week. Amazing lighting. Very comfortable, very warm and very inviting. All done in good old fashioned MR16's in regressed cans and some cove lighting.

As our new bathroom progresses construction we will also be doing MR16 led's in some contrast lighting cans. Anyone see Pures new Aurora RGB ?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-18-2009, 12:30 AM
Billy,why are you such a champion of the Ushio Synergy Lamp? Last time I checked, it came at a significant price premium over the Kumho product, it runs significantly hotter than the Kumho product, uses a less efficient and effective linear driver unlike the Kumho product, and it has had quite some difficulty being brought into production. Is there something I am missing?

Perhaps the reason your clients are so hesitant to begin using the LED lamp technology, based on price, is because you are quoting them a more expensive lamp than is necessary? In the last two years, since I have been installing LED lamped systems, I have found that using the LED Lamps increases the system cost by about 8 to 10%, certainly nothing that is a deal breaker for the client.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-18-2009, 12:50 AM
I just checked the specifications on the Ushio Synergy LED MR16 Lamp. Curious that they provide no indication of the output of the lamp (lumens) nor do they indicate the efficiency of the lamp (lumens per watt). Rather than use the new L70 measure of life expectancy, they simply state that the "average rated life" is 50,000 hours. They also provide no information as to the acceptable temperature operating range of the lamp.

I wonder why Ushio, a major player in lamps, does not publish these critical specifications? You cannot begin to make proper comparisons without this information.

Pro-Scapes
03-18-2009, 09:15 AM
The prices I have been quoted are no higher than what you have offered the Kumhos at with shipping.

I think Doug at coppermoon either has them now or will shortly. Are yours also dimmable James ? Do they hold thier color when dimmed ?

Not sure if you saw the synergy at lightfair but when you dimmed it the thing held its color perfectly!

You stated before that LED is a $75.00 upcharge in your systems per fixture. If that is 10% that would mean your getting $750 per fixture or is it just too early in the morning for me ? We just completed a 10k system 44 fixtures 7 of which were reinstalled cast pathlights. 33 mr16 based fixtures. 4 are bi pin based. LED came out to be a 2k upgrade which the client can now do at a later date quickly and easily. All this I still could not place an LED in the pathlights or Sconces on the fence

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-18-2009, 10:03 AM
Billy, a few things:

1: The prices that I offer the Kumho Luxxo lamp for are in Canadian Dollars, giving you guys in the USA a nearly 25% advantage with the exchange rate.

2: Shipping charges are based on actual charges incurred, there is no premium or markup applied to shipping. Shipping is direct, by method of your choice, from a USA based warehouse. Nothing is free, one way or another the cost of moving product is included in prices, be it built in, or charged seperatey.

3: The Ushio Synergy is dimmable, because it uses a linear driver. Linear drivers are less efficient, and run the LED lamps at higher operating temperatures. We all know by now how important thermal management is with LED products. The Luxxo uses a different type of proprietary driver, which is more efficient and lowers the operating temp of the lamp. It is not dimmable, but how often do you use dimming in landscape lighting? (I am not talking about the UPB ramp up and fade down effect, I am talking about the need to dim and hold a reduced/dimmed setting)

4: I have no idea where you are pulling these numbers from. I have never stated a dollar amount upcharge for LEDs in my systems as I don't quote per fixture costs for systems. Never have, never will. My clients are told that the LED lamps cost them $55 each, this compared to Quality GE Halogens that cost them $9.50 each.

Billy, since you seem so taken with this lamp, I would assume you have the specs for it:
How many lumens does it produce?
How efficient is it? (Lumens per Watt)
What LED chips does it employ?
What is it's L70 rating?
and finally... what warranty is Ushio providing?

I see none of this critical information available on the website or specification sheets.

I took at really good look at the synergy lamp before I made my decision on which product to carry. I do like that it comes in a variety of optics, (Kumho is still working on that) but on every other front, the Kumho is superior.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-18-2009, 10:45 AM
My goodness! How interesting! A very knowledgable bird just landed on my shoulder and chirped in my ear. It would appear that the "Ushio" synergy is not a ushio product after all.

Stop the presses! Hear the news!

http://www.imslighting.com/

Have a great day.

NightScenes
03-18-2009, 11:24 AM
Did I miss something? It sure looks like the Ushio product but I don't see anything that says that it is, in fact the Ushio product. We all know how many products may look alike and act alike but are not actually the same product. They may have an extra fin for heat dissipation or something.

Is there another piece of information that I don't see?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-18-2009, 02:35 PM
Clearly the Ushio Synergy lamp is being built by IMS. It doesnt take much of a scientist to figure this out. The package is identical, the components are identical, the specifications are identical (those that you can compare given that Ushio does not publish full specs) and IMS provides a full battery of specifications on the lamp that it has developed and manufacturers. If that is not proof enough... check the pricing. Now we can understand why Ushio is charging so much for the lamp = they have to pay someone else to produce it, then apply their margin to sell it, essentially acting as a distributor of someone elses product.

IMS offers a 2 year warranty on their lamp, whereas Ushio offers no warranty when re-selling the IMS lamp.
IMS also publishes the Patent Number for this lamp, no such information forthcoming from Ushio.

This isnt anything new: happens all the time in our industry.

I just found it very interesting and rather telling.

JoeyD
03-18-2009, 02:39 PM
So after reviewing the specs James whats your take on the IMS lamps photometric and heat dissapation/sink data? Take your Kumho hat off when responding....LOL

NightScenes
03-18-2009, 03:12 PM
Here that Joey? According to what James is saying, it could mean that someone else is manufacturing those Unique fixtures since we see so many of them out there that don't have the Unique name on them. Hmmmm. Are you guys just distributors of somebody else's products???:laugh:

I'm just goofin'

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-18-2009, 04:25 PM
Paul... what don't you understand? Someone else IS manufacturing the Unique fixture line. Unique assembles its fixtures in CA. from components built offshore and procured from far and wide. No secret there.

Bottom line is that the Synergy lamp has been researched, developed, and manufactured by a 3rd party. Just as the Kichler line of transformers are really MDL units. No difference really.

If you really want to believe that Ushio is manufacturing the Synergy lamps then go ahead and fool yourself, but why not give Ushio a call and ask for their patent info, or their warranty info, or their photometrics... Let us all know how that turns out.

NightScenes
03-18-2009, 04:41 PM
James, what part of I'm just goofin do you not understand??? I even included a smiley face!!

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-18-2009, 04:44 PM
So after reviewing the specs James whats your take on the IMS lamps photometric and heat dissapation/sink data? Take your Kumho hat off when responding....LOL

Ok really quick, with what information I have to work with:

Comparing the Luxxo Warm White, 60 Deg. LED MR16 to the IMS Warm White, 50 Deg. LED MR16:

1: The Luxxo consumes 3.4Watts, the ISM consumes 4.2Watts

2: The Luxxo produces 216 Lumens, the ISM produces 178 Lumens

3: The efficiency of the Luxxo is approx 65 Lm/watt. The efficiency of the ISM is approx 42 Lm/Watt. (Ok so the ISM uses more juice to make less light... guess which lamp is going to run hotter?)

4: The ISM comes in 4 different beam spreads, the Luxxo is currently only available in wide flood, with the 38deg. still being worked on.

5: The ISM is dimmable, the Luxxo is not. This has to do with driver technology. Linear drivers are easy to dim, stepped drivers are not. The linear drivers result in higher heat signatures of the LED chips. I would prefer to use a LED lamp at 100% output and one that will operated below heat spec than one that is dimmable, but overdrives the chips and is more likely to overheat them resulting in premature failure. Given the light output of the ISM warm white unit being significantly below that of a 20W Halogen lamp, are you really going to want to dim the thing?

6: The Luxxo comes in two configurations, one for Mag. Transformers (MT) and One for Electronic Transformers (ET). This is a critical advancement as most LED Lamps on the market will not operate with electronic transformers. No indication is given on the ISM product as to if they will function with electronic transformers.

So much for a nutshell..

I am not saying that the ISM / Synergy lamp is a complete and utter failure. Because that is not the case at all... It is one of the better LED MR16s on the market, but it is not as good as the Luxxo.

Soon I hope to be introducing yet another amazingly well engineered and performing LED MR16. This one is pushing the envelope towards replacing 35W Halogens. A very well built and excellent performing LED Lamp.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-18-2009, 04:47 PM
James, what part of I'm just goofin do you not understand??? I even included a smiley face!!

Well look at that, even a :laugh: can be mis-interpreted! I took it as you were laughing AT me, not WITH me!
Let's just chalk it up to being passionate.

Oh well... onwards and upwards!

JoeyD
03-18-2009, 05:01 PM
James you crack me up!!! You and I are totally in the same boat sometimes!! Always feeling attacked!! LOL

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-18-2009, 05:14 PM
As the old saying goes: It is hard to soar with the eagles when you are surrounded by turkeys!

(no specific insults are implied or should be interpreted by the above statement)

:)

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-19-2009, 10:20 PM
Well it was confirmed to me today from two sources:

The VP sales and marketing at Illumination Management Solutions Inc. wrote me back with this: "Yes, we manufacture the Ushio Synergy lamp for Ushio."

I also spoke with the owner of an OEM who just got off the horn with Ushio, when he pressed them they admitted that the lamp was outsourced and said that they have a 1.5 year license with ISM to market the product, but not an exclusive license (who penned that deal? Silly of ushio if you ask me, putting all their eggs in that basket and yet not securing exclusive distribution rights?)

In any case, Cooper just acquired ISM, and there is no clear direction just yet how sales are going to be handled or via what network.

I would be very hesitant to specify and use the "ushio" synergy lamp at this point.. they very well might not have the ability to ship it in short order. After all, ushio launched "their" synergy lamp last May at Lightfair... that gives them only about 6 more months on the license as I understand it. I cannot imagine that Cooper will want to play the same games when it comes around to renewal time.

Regards.