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INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-15-2009, 05:28 PM
I have been looking more at the Vista catalog lately and they seem to have some very nice, upper middle level, copper and brass fixtures.

They also seem to be underrepresented by contractors here.

1: Why is that?
2: Do you use Vista as a go-to manufacturer?
3: What is your opinion of them, good or bad?

Regards.

David Gretzmier
03-15-2009, 05:55 PM
I have two distributors in my area and neither carry vista. I'm not opposed to them, but when I need to buy something, I go with what is available.

Go Halogen
03-15-2009, 06:47 PM
I have been involved in LV Lighting for more than 13 years now. I have used a lot of different product in my years. Vista has always been pretty good to me. Not saying that things never go wrong, but when they do I get good assistance from them. I do not like being left holding the bag and I will say that some other lines have done that to me. My Kichler rep has made me a liar a few times over the years. My Vista rep has done more for me than most.

As for their product? They fit most aspects of what we do very well. Their brass and copper fixtures are better than most.

What I like about them most is that they do custom work to fit my needs. I have come up with some crazy requests in the past and they come through.

I do use other brands at times, but only when the client requests something really fancy or if Vista does not have anything close. Vista is not a middle line manufacturer by any means. I would not be using them anymore if I had repeated problems.

They have a huge line, but I mostly use the same 10-12 fixtures to suit my needs.

- Andy

Mr. Quik electric
03-15-2009, 07:30 PM
I actually use Vista a lot. I don't touch their aluminum line, (I don't use anyones aluminum for that matter). James the new brass bullet they have is very substantial. It outweighs any other brass bullet light I have handled. I don't use them much for the brass though, although I probably should. I have always turned to Unique for the brass, now their copper line is my number one go to line for anything copper. I just have not seen anything else in copper that is as clean, durable and as has been said, "modifyable" as what vista puts out. I still use Uniques transformers though regardless of fixture choice although I am giving Gambinos tranny a hard look at the moment for our mainstay also. I just like all the extra room in the cabinet for controls.

irrig8r
03-15-2009, 10:33 PM
I have had problems with their aluminum line with some finishes fading/ quickly oxidizing and substantial corrosion in wet locations.

They have covered the corrosion under warranty, but it really shouldn't have occurred in the fist place.

In fact, the only aluminum alloy fixtures I've installed without ever encountering a finish issue are FX. (DG Lights uses the same 6061-T6 alloy but I haven't installed any to date.)

I've never had issues with Vista copper fixtures.

NightScenes
03-16-2009, 08:03 AM
I use a boat load of their MR16 well lights (5270 and variations of it) and absolutely think they are great. I also do not like the finishes of their aluminum fixtures and won't use them but most of their product line is quite good.

I figure that a lot of Nightscaping people will be moving to Vista.

NiteTymeIlluminations
03-16-2009, 08:35 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong but Vista has traditionally marketed toward the irrigation industry. James, thats why you may not hear too much of it. they don't market toward spec business, EC, etc...they have really concentrated their efforts.

irrig8r
03-16-2009, 11:28 AM
True. I think in one of their basic seminars I went to a while back tried to find analogies for people who know water and pipe.

Most of the folks I know who do lighting have fit it into their landscape related businesses.


Here's part of an article from Irrigation and Green Industry from a while back...

"....An analogy is irrigation. Each sprinkler (fixture) has an application rate (wattage). The size of the pipe (gauge) restricts the amount of water (wattage) available to the sprinklers (lamps). If too many heads (fixtures) are in a zone, the application rate (wattage) will be below design specifications and the coverage will be poor. Extremely long lengths of pipe (wire) also result in a loss of pressure because of the friction (resistance) of the inside pipe wall (wire) to the water flow (electricity). Leaks also reduce the performance of an irrigation (lighting) system..."

And this Fall 2007 Ewing newsletter has an article about Sir Oliver Lodge, and the Hydraulic-Electrical Analogy.

http://www.ewing1.com/_media/ews_nws_limelight.pdf

To fine tune the analogy, the fixtures are like sprinklers. The lamp is like a sprinkler nozzle. It determines the spread (spray pattern), the intensity (GPM) and is a replaceable part that usually fails before the rest.

Pro-Scapes
03-16-2009, 07:46 PM
I have removed more vista than I have installed. Mainly due to poor installations or alluminum fixtures corroding. I have pulled out 3 systems now that were less than 5 years old.

We did see and really like the copper vista fixtures at lightfair 08 but I do not have a good source for vista and more importantly I am happy with what I am using. I have not been overly thrilled with the Vista transformers either altho I do have 1 running my house that I removed from a job. I also have about 6 I have removed that were melted down because thoes awful tiny taps they used in the past. I do have a pile of the MR16 well lights here paul is speaking of that I removed from a job. Full of water but it is due to installer error.

Tim. When it comes to saving time on a job and a product you can count on to deliver as it should I dont think you will go wrong with the Gambino trans. Maybe with more guys using them we can get a 900w model made. Plenty of room inside thats for sure.

Go Halogen
03-16-2009, 08:15 PM
I have had some previous powder coating issues, mainly around the shore.
I quickly learned not to install Aluminum fixture in saline environments. Copper, brass, stainless and composite are all that I offer in these situations.

Andy

MAGLIGHTING
03-16-2009, 09:11 PM
I'm not going to make a comment on the products. But I can tell you that the people I know there are first class gentleman from the top down. Dan Cunado, Cruze Perez, Rick Baird, Brian Peace top of the line individuals.

Pro-Scapes
03-16-2009, 09:40 PM
Most of the issues I have seen seem to be related to alluminum or installer error. This more than likley comes from pushing the line to the water boys. Each and every system I have come across with vista components was installed by the landscape and irrigation contractor.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-16-2009, 11:59 PM
I have known Rick Baird since back in his Nightscaping days, and he is a really great guy. Just had a phone call today from my area Vista Rep and shared a good chat, also a nice guy.

I have used several of the Vista fixtures since day one mostly the copper and brass series... and they do have some decent quality product. I haven't tried out their customization service (yet). I am lucky that my local JDL has a great Manager there who I have dealt with for a long time.

I agree that their transformers leave a lot to be desired. I generally pull them out of properties when I encounter them. (they make good freebies to staff and friends!) I have also had to pull out a couple of 2-5 year old Vista Aluminum & Composite systems too. That is always a shame because I hate seeing people's money used and wasted like that.

Thanks for all the input guys.

Pro-Scapes
03-17-2009, 07:55 AM
I have also had to pull out a couple of 2-5 year old Vista Aluminum & Composite systems too. That is always a shame because I hate seeing people's money used and wasted like that.

Thanks for all the input guys.

Ueah its a shame. Alot of people hessitate because of it. It took me 3 weeks to convince one client my system would not fall apart like the alluminum did. It just gives low voltage a bad name.

Rememeber most the guys who install stuff like that do it and they are gone. never to return for service or adjustments. I also come across 50w lamps stuffed in everything. The clients asked the installer for something brighter so they put larger lamps. I know just about everyone here has come across the 50w@6v syndrom.

irrig8r
03-17-2009, 11:26 AM
I know just about everyone here has come across the 50w@6v syndrom.

So true.

So are you saying that irrigation and landscape folks should stay out of lighting, or that they just need better training?

Mr. Quik electric
03-17-2009, 02:12 PM
I also come across 50w lamps stuffed in everything. The clients asked the installer for something brighter so they put larger lamps. I know just about everyone here has come across the 50w@6v syndrom.

:laugh: Thanks Billy, You just brought back a lot of funny, shake your head memories.

The Lighting Geek
03-17-2009, 09:01 PM
I once found a 250 watt mr16 in an aluminum fixture and the customer could not figure out why it kept blowing fuses....sigh. I asked him if he thought that fixture should be smoking like that.....it baked the powder coating right off.

Mr. Quik electric
03-17-2009, 10:19 PM
now thats some funny stuff right there!

Pro-Scapes
03-17-2009, 10:50 PM
Well Greg. You tell me. Its no secret I do other things besides lighting but these past few years I like to consider myself a lighting guy who does other things vs the other way around.

Alot of guys are "wired" to get in and get out when it comes to getting the Job done. You just cant do that with lighting if you are going to be serious about it. I do think there needs to be better training. I mean if someone messes up or puts too many heads (load) on an irri line things just dont work right. If they do it with lighting it becomes a saftey issue. I cant tell you how many well lights I have yanked out of dry pine straw beds or how many 99 cent 50w lamps I have replaced in fixtures rated for 20 or 35w.

Imagine. A 50w lamp in one of thoes little bekket plastic pond lights. Now imagine it if the guy actually got anywhere near 12v to it.

Sounds a bit worse than a few extra heads causing low flow on a irri zone doesnt it. I also feel that a low paid laborer will not take nearly as much pride and time in ensuring all is well in the system as a contractor who cares and does the work himself. Nothing wrong with having laborers to bury wire etc but when it comes to laying out and hooking up the system there should be a qualified individual at the helm.

Best one I have heard yet.... if they light up its good to go or "it seems bright enough" while a guy is looking at it in the day time.

sprinklerchris
03-18-2009, 04:07 PM
I have been looking more at the Vista catalog lately and they seem to have some very nice, upper middle level, copper and brass fixtures.

They also seem to be underrepresented by contractors here.

1: Why is that?
2: Do you use Vista as a go-to manufacturer?
3: What is your opinion of them, good or bad?

Regards.

We're impressed by their new brass fixtures, particularly the 2350 bullet which is very well-made. The new olde brass finish is attractive.

We've had good results with their product overall.

They also have done a nice job of creating a metal system to retain the tops on their brass and copper path fixtures. The weak link on other lines is the rounded lens which melts, cracks, breaks or whatever. Many manufacturers continue to experiment with new designs, but the metal-to-metal connection seems to make the most durable end result.

Go Halogen
03-18-2009, 04:21 PM
Interesting.....I did not know that Vista had an Antiqued Brass finish? It looks like pretty rich. Has anyone seen this in person? I have handled the natural brass bullets by them and found it to be as sturdy/heavy as a CAST bullet. I will have to check out pricing. Being made in the U.S. will probably add a few bucks to it.

SprinklerChris.....thanks for the heads up.

Vista has come a long way. They are a good bunch of people to deal with.
My rep in the Mid Atlantic was a student of mine while at the University of Delaware. I actually got him started with lighting while taking a landscape design course.

Vista deserves many props. They are not all about aluminum anymore.

-Andy

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-18-2009, 04:34 PM
The Antique Brass Finish is relatively new for Vista, they rolled it out late last year. I have seen it and it is very nice. I would compare it very closely to the finish on the Top Line Unique product, one of the nicest finishes in the industry in my opinion.

As for the new Vista brass bullet... it too is very nice and yes as sturdy and heavy as the CAST bullet, only better because it doesnt rely on a silly O-Ring pressure fit at the knuckle. That CAST bullet has been an aiming disaster around here, It simply will not hold its position over time, no matter how hard you reef that knuckle down. Then there is the issue of the CAST bullet lenses cracking... uggh what a pain. I know they are warrantied, but what a huge hassle. It is just easier to find a better product and use it.

Pro-Scapes
03-19-2009, 07:11 AM
We're impressed by their new brass fixtures, particularly the 2350 bullet which is very well-made. The new olde brass finish is attractive.

We've had good results with their product overall.

They also have done a nice job of creating a metal system to retain the tops on their brass and copper path fixtures. The weak link on other lines is the rounded lens which melts, cracks, breaks or whatever. Many manufacturers continue to experiment with new designs, but the metal-to-metal connection seems to make the most durable end result.

This is true. There are so many path lights out there in which the hat is supported by the glass/lexan/plastic lens. After using a path supported by metal it is VERY hard to go back to ones like this. I went to visit a job for maint and found 3 of the 8 pathlights had lost thier hats do to the dogs tail wagging. A good multipoint metal to metal connection is definatly unbeatable.

irrig8r
03-19-2009, 10:16 PM
They also have done a nice job of creating a metal system to retain the tops on their brass and copper path fixtures. The weak link on other lines is the rounded lens which melts, cracks, breaks or whatever. Many manufacturers continue to experiment with new designs, but the metal-to-metal connection seems to make the most durable end result.

I handled one about an hour ago, and it was well though out and well made. Internal SS bracket and 3 screws hold the hat to the brass base. Base twist-locks into place onto brass stem adapter and socket. Socket is replaceable from below with two SS screws. Heavy duty stem too... Brass uplight is also nice. Convex lens and large drain hole are good. Noticed red (heat resistant?) silicone where lens meets shroud. Shroud was not a perfect fit... took a little finagling... Overall I like them both.