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Alan B
07-02-2009, 07:43 PM
We have some new products we are working on and wanted some forum feedback on some specific features. Believe me your feedback and input affects what and how we make things (The Volt Top Dog was literally a direct compliation of many things that contractors were wishing for, and some of the Top Dogs features came from input in this forum).

1. Regarding Hub ready fixtures, 25' (16 g) lead wire is the common standard. Would you like to see longer 30' lead wire or does 25' take care of the majority of the needs?
2. Which do you prefer domed lens or flat glass lens on bullets? Domed lenses are good in that they prevent water from collecting on the lens. Down side is the curved glass causes very minor striations at the very edges of the beam spread (only notice if your looking for it and its projected onto a flat wall). Flat lens don't have that issue, plus they can be made of higher quality (tempered glass) -- but you get water staining.
3. Tinned copper wiring in the fixtures. Volt currently uses tinned copper wiring throughout but does pay about a double premium in price for it. Not a big deal now, but as we move to 25'-30' lead wire it makes a slight difference cost wise. Is tinned wirting important to you?
4. I prefer brass significantly over aluminum for obvious reasons. The only thing aluminum has over brass is that it is a better conducter of heat. We are considering adding heat dissapating fins to the knuckle area for our brass fixtures (bullets and floods only). Do you care about heat build-up from brass fixtures? We haven't had any issues with it, but its obvious that the cooler the better.
5. Migrating towards all brass fixtures (phasing out our aluminum products), and offerring predominately brass with bronze finishes only (some items like china hats and paths also availble in copper). Thoughts?
6. Is adjustable height important to you for path/area lights like china hats? We can add them, but you can make a stem more robust if its one solid piece and feel the slight adjustment is rarely used on adjustable height models. Your thoughts?
7. Custom stakes (i.e. having brass spikes, larger spikes and "3-prong" metal spikes) as options over the standard PVC spike.
8. Underwater/pond lights -- prefer stainless steel/brass or synthetic?

Please give a vote in the poll.

Thanks for your input. You will help us... and our goal is to produce what you want which will hopefully help you.



Sincerely,

Alan

emby
07-02-2009, 08:32 PM
We have some new products we are working on and wanted some forum feedback on some specific features. Believe me your feedback and input affects what and how we make things (The Volt Top Dog was literally a direct compliation of many things that contractors were wishing for, and some of the Top Dogs features came from input in this forum).

1. Regarding Hub ready fixtures, 25' (16 g) lead wire is the common standard. Would you like to see longer 30' lead wire or does 25' take care of the majority of the needs?
2. Which do you prefer domed lens or flat glass lens on bullets? Domed lenses are good in that they prevent water from collecting on the lens. Down side is the curved glass causes very minor striations at the very edges of the beam spread (only notice if your looking for it and its projected onto a flat wall). Flat lens don't have that issue, plus they can be made of higher quality (tempered glass) -- but you get water staining.
3. Tinned copper wiring in the fixtures. Volt currently uses tinned copper wiring throughout but does pay about a double premium in price for it. Not a big deal now, but as we move to 25'-30' lead wire it makes a slight difference cost wise. Is tinned wirting important to you?
4. I prefer brass significantly over aluminum for obvious reasons. The only thing aluminum has over brass is that it is a better conducter of heat. We are considering adding heat dissapating fins to the knuckle area for our brass fixtures (bullets and floods only). Do you care about heat build-up from brass fixtures? We haven't had any issues with it, but its obvious that the cooler the better.
5. Migrating towards all brass fixtures (phasing out our aluminum products), and offerring predominately brass with bronze finishes only (some items like china hats and paths also availble in copper). Thoughts?
6. Is adjustable height important to you for path/area lights like china hats? We can add them, but you can make a stem more robust if its one solid piece and feel the slight adjustment is rarely used on adjustable height models. Your thoughts?
7. Custom stakes (i.e. having brass spikes, larger spikes and "3-prong" metal spikes) as options over the standard PVC spike.
8. Underwater/pond lights -- prefer stainless steel/brass or synthetic?

Please give a vote in the poll.

Thanks for your input. You will help us... and our goal is to produce what you want which will hopefully help you.



Sincerely,

Alan

1. 3 ft is just fine. I can add my own wire for the required application. Reduce the price of the fixture for not including the wire.

2. Definitely flat lense. Let the bulbs do what they are designed to do. Add a notch at the bottom of the shroud for water escape. Ensure that the shroud is wide enough not to intrude on the bulbs degree output.

3. Tinned would be ideal at 3 ft only.

4. Definitely brass. Ensure that the internal wiring is rated for and above the operating temperature while bulb is on. This includes the bulb holder which in my opinion is the most important thing next to the bulb. Seal out moisture and internal parts should be made of SS.

5. I love copper path lights but to become number one make them out of thicker copper. Ensure the bulb is sealed from bugs and irriagation.

6. I personally like a 20 to 24 inch pathlight up here where we get snow. Don't really care about the small adjustment for the top hat but offer 6,9, and 12 inch top hats to accomadate design issues for light ranges.

7.PVC stakes are just as good as brass stakes. If your going to take them out the PVC is going to break and the brass is going to bend. Both are useless after the damage and will need to be replaced. Having an option for the standard stake and an extended stake would be great for some soil conditions.

8. Pond lights, Brass or stainless with a nice big lense surface. Must have a grill but make it small in diameter to allow the bulb to do its job. I mean really how many people have hammer head sharks in the pond? Why do they put the grills on these anyways?
Stainless hardware, very long lead wires, adjustable up and down, and a heavy base. Sealed so that water will never ever get into any part of the fixture.

Thats my 2 cents I hope that it will be helpful and I look forward to seeing your products.

Ken

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-02-2009, 09:03 PM
1. Regarding Hub ready fixtures, 25' (16 g) lead wire is the common standard. Would you like to see longer 30' lead wire or does 25' take care of the majority of the needs? Working on huge lots means I don't use a lot of hubs. 3' of wire lead is plenty for me.

2. Which do you prefer domed lens or flat glass lens on bullets? I would prefer a domed (convex) lens on a bullet fixture as it sheds rain and irrigation water that tend to collect on flat lenes and evaporate leaving lime and deposits. Good quality convex lenses are shatter resistant and should not impact the optics of the lamp. An MR16 lamp does not develop its focal pattern (beam spread) until some 1.5 to 2" out from the lamp face, so any clear lens in that area should not impact optics noticably. Tempered would be best.

3. Tinned copper wiring in the fixtures. Volt currently uses tinned copper wiring throughout but does pay about a double premium in price for it. Not a big deal now, but as we move to 25'-30' lead wire it makes a slight difference cost wise. Is tinned wirting important to you? No not really. If your connection is sound then there is no need to worry about moisture ingress. Save the $.

4. I prefer brass significantly over aluminum for obvious reasons. The only thing aluminum has over brass is that it is a better conducter of heat. I have never had issues with brass fixtures and heat. I also never use any lamp over 35W and rarely use those.

5. Migrating towards all brass fixtures (phasing out our aluminum products), and offerring predominately brass with bronze finishes only (some items like china hats and paths also availble in copper). Most of the product I install is raw copper and brass. I still prefer a natural patina to any applied finish but I must say the Unique and Vista BSO finishes are very nice. I would consider a change to a bronze finish on brass / copper if it did not come with a massive price increase attached.

6. Is adjustable height important to you for path/area lights like china hats? We can add them, but you can make a stem more robust if its one solid piece and feel the slight adjustment is rarely used on adjustable height models. Pathlight stem height adjustability is VERY important when working on properties with changes in elevations. It is possible to make a robust and attactive adjustable knuckle (a major manu. is about to launch one that is awesome) Adjustability is key when working on elevations where the fixture is viewable from below.

7. Custom stakes (i.e. having brass spikes, larger spikes and "3-prong" metal spikes) as options over the standard PVC spike. PVC stakes are the worst. I wish all manu's had a stock brass stake in 8" and 14" versions. The 3 prong "Trident" spike, a-la Jan Moyer, HK Lighting, Auroralight is fantastic when working in nice, clean, deep soils, but is almost useless in rugged terrain.

8. Underwater/pond lights -- prefer stainless steel/brass or synthetic? Brass works fine. The upcharge for stainless on a sumbersed fixture is rarely appreciated. Just make sure the darned things are IP68 rated or equivalent!

David Gretzmier
07-03-2009, 12:51 AM
1- 10 feet is fine for me, but I do need the occaisional 25-30 feet for tree moonlighting.
2- convex is ok. I don't like the effect, prefer flat, but hate to clean lens.
3- regular wire is fine. everyone here values a good connection.
4- brass is my choice, but your top dog aluminum is a good value, and lighter weight when mounting spots on stems makes for less top heavyness.
5. aluminum actually feels hotter to me than thick brass
6- how adjustable? I like an adjustable shroud to maximize circle but also minimize glare when neccessary, and adjustable height can make one light fit more applications.
7 Fx's PVC stakes can handle the abuse being hammered into hard rocky soil, and then has the cool slot to thread wire and screw in fixture, no need to hammer the wire. Brass stakes are nice, but consumers rarely see them unless you show them.
8- a good aquatic light is hidden behind water or stone anyway. plastic is fine ,it should be stone or bronze colored and waterproof even after 5-10 bulb changes.

Lite4
07-03-2009, 10:51 AM
1. I like having a 25' lead. One less connection and less time on the job.
2. Convex is fine, just make sure there is enough room to slip a flat lense or honeycomb louver between the lamp and the convex lense for customization.
3. Tinned wire is a gimmick for those who don't know how to make a proper connection! Save the money on the wire and sell good connectors like ACE or any heat shrink product.
4. I don't touch aluminum, only brass and copper. I would not want to see aluminum fins on a brass fixture either. I have never had a problem with heat and brass fixtures. They all get hot, it's the nature of the beast. I dont' burn much over 20 watts in an MR style fixture anyway.
5. I get some call for copper but I am 95% + aged brass for installs.
6. I have looked into adjustable height risers for many of my projects. Often times I am installing in hedges that tend to grow 5-6" in a growing season and can swallow your lights if you don't get there and trim the plants. It would be nice to raise and lower the lights as needed on the regular service calls instead of hacking away at plants. It would have to be clean looking and quite robust though. But I would definitely buy them!
7. I will only use PVC stakes. PVC stakes (like sprinkler pipe) are inert in the soil and will not wick corrosion up into the fixture body like metal stakes will do. I like to keep all metal out of the ground if possible. I use a lot of Unique products and the only thing about their stakes I dont' like is if a stake breaks you have to cut the wire to replace it. Kichler got it right with the notch in the top of the stake. Not only do you not have to cut the wire but you can also pound in the stake with a mallet in hard ground then attach your fixture and not have to worry about pounded wire. I am surprised no other manus have picked up this feature. I have to say that is about the only thing I like about Kichler though is their stakes.
8. I don't mind the polycarbonate fixtures for in the water as long as the seal is very good. Poly is another material that is inert (just like poly sprinkler pipe). Poly is bad above ground in the sun where it gets brittle, but in the water hidden under ledges or pond plants I think you will be ok and can be produced and sold at a more competitive price. I also am at a loss for the reasoning behind all the grates. Here the main problem with a lot of these underwater fixtures though, they are too large. I would love to see someone make one in an MR-11 or t-3 variant with the GE precise lamps for longevity or some LED direct replacement lamps. As these are in water I would imagine they would dissipate heat for the LED much more efficiently than above ground and the replacement cycle would be greatly diminished.

Just my .02

Pro-Scapes
07-03-2009, 11:22 AM
7.PVC stakes are just as good as brass stakes. If your going to take them out the PVC is going to break and the brass is going to bend. Both are useless after the damage and will need to be replaced. Having an option for the standard stake and an extended stake would be great for some soil conditions.


Ken


This is where I must disagree. I am having a huge issue with PVC stakes on some jobs right now and will no longer install them. Granted some are better than others and I have a crapload of PVC stakes out there with no problem but if you have ever installed a nice beefy brass stake and compacted the area around it you will know you have a rock solid mount. Perma posts or the unique zero G post work great in sand and are pvc and work well but where I have the most problem with regular pvc stakes is the threaded areas.

The tridents are nice I have a few out there that came with some HK stuff I put in but al a carte they can be more expensive than some fixtures.

Coppermoon now has some beefy brass stakes and all the gambino fixtures have them. Really makes a diff. Im not saying a pvc stake wont hold a fixture in the ground for quite some time but brass is king especially where there is a higher risk of the fixture being disturbed (ie behind bushes where landscapers will be pruning...along walkways or in other high maint areas.

Lite4
07-03-2009, 11:47 AM
Salts in the soil are going to eat away at the brass though. However, being brass you and I may be dead before it becomes an issue so perhaps I should look at brass stakes again. Has anyone seen the condition of these brass stakes after 5-7 years in poor soils? Just looking for some feedback as I am open to the best option.

S&MLL
07-03-2009, 06:20 PM
Love the coppermoon product... Hate the pvc stake. 80 percent of time I have to put a layer of ducttape on the threads to get it to catch. Kichler is very easy to work with.

David Gretzmier
07-03-2009, 10:05 PM
I removed a brass stake on an older nightscaping fixture some time back. i'm pretty sure the fixture was 20 plus years old, and the brass stake looked fine.

Lite4
07-03-2009, 11:55 PM
I removed a brass stake on an older nightscaping fixture some time back. i'm pretty sure the fixture was 20 plus years old, and the brass stake looked fine.

Good to know, thanks David.

Pro-Scapes
07-04-2009, 12:08 PM
Love the coppermoon product... Hate the pvc stake. 80 percent of time I have to put a layer of ducttape on the threads to get it to catch. Kichler is very easy to work with.

You must have gotten the old stakes like me. Give Doug a shout on your next order and make sure its the new stakes. He should also have the 10 inch monster brass ones in stock now too.

Alluminum stakes are worse than PVC. I replaced what i think was the remnants of vista fixtures (at least the transformers were vista) that had alluminum stakes around a saltwater pool... 4 years old... corroded right thru the stakes. Have brass stakes on the gambino paths around the pool deck now and all they have done is slightly greened a year later.

Alan B
07-07-2009, 09:17 AM
THANK YOU for the feedback thus far. Based on your input the next production will have:
-25' lead wire
-stakes that can be hammered in first then fixture attached after
-Convex lens
-brass only fixtures in bronze finish, except area lights will also come in copper finish.
-brass but not add brass heat dissipating fins
-we will offer brass stakes as an option for those who like them
-underwater lights will be smaller so they are less noticeable (water will dissipate the heat of the smaller fixture and made of brass

COUPLE NEW ITEMS QUESTIONS, seeking feedback:

1a. Currently the shades on the path and area lights are spun brass. There is only so thick you can go when using spun components over cast. Our current shades are thick for being spun and will not bend. We are considering adding cast brass shades. There is little tangible benefit other than heavy weight perception to the customer. There is no doubt that a cast shade will be heavier/more robust and will enable a customer to see these are no ordinary fixtures. They will cost about $5-$10 more and have little practical effect other than being heavier, however with all the other great components/solid construction I think it will be one more differentiator to show the quality. Your thoughts on spun vs cast shades on area lights?

1. All of our PRO grade brass/cooper path/area lights are technically "area lights" and not dedicated "path lights" (i.e. they have straight stems like a China Hat and not an L stem for a dedicated path lights). I prefer area lights to path lights as the path light will draw attention to hardscape walkway whereas area lights will illuminate both the walkway and the landscape adjacent to the path. Do you think Volt should incorporate some dedicated path lights (L stems) into our product mix. Personally I think it would be good to have 1 or 2 but do not think they are in as big demand as the area lights.

2. If we made 1 or 2 path lights they would be more ornamental/decorative (add some copper scroll/detail) for the customers that are looking for something more decorative given our area lights focus is currently about being robust, utilitarian first then decorative second. Would you like to see a mix of materials (brass body with copper accents) for decorative path/area lights?

3. We will add a brass grate to our PAR36 well lights for the more robust appearance and as a quality debris cover. We are considering adding an MR-16 well light similar to the Atom Lighting/Gambino Lighting style (sealed and adjustable MR-16 well light) however I am not sure of the demand (see below regarding current demand for our PAR36 well light). Currently only David G has expressed an interest in the MR16 well light--any others use them?

3a. Do you prefer an open well light PVC tube, or sealed canister well light

4. Copper can not be cast molded and is softer/less durable than brass. Accordingly you will see that solid copper items tend to be copper pipes with spun copper when there is a "shaped" component (i.e. a china hat will have a copper pipe stem with a spun copper top). Where as with brass you can cast components and make then both thicker and molded to any shape. We have opted to cast solid brass then plate it in copper for those who want a copper finish. It is heavier, stronger and will patina to the same finish as it ages. Do you prefer solid copper and be limited to spun components and more rudimentary designs or solid brass with copper finish?

5. Most fixtures are void of any markings of the manufacturer brand name. I personally feel this is because manu's don't want people to know due to warranty issues, calls from consumers, and possibly a general lack of faith of how their fixtures hold up over time being in/on the ground. Would you like to see brand names (very small discreet markings) on the fixtures or prefer anonymous?




New things we are working on:
-There is a lack of innovation, design and selection in the wallwash/flood fixtures out there in general. We are working on some new fixture designs from scratch that will address this.
-New deck, step and underwater lights are in the works.
-All our risers 6", 12", 24" will be made of solid brass (1" diameter) to match the stems of path area lights. This makes for a better riser than the typical aluminum 3/4", plus enables path/area lights to be made higher for that unique need.
-adding new brass spot similar to Top Dog, but in a wider body and wider glass lens (not as extreme as a Kim KLV205) whose purpose is to be a bigger fixture, wider glass lens, more air space and heat sinking for flood applications and higher wattage's for up lighting larger tree canopies.
-refinements to the Top Dog fixture: shorten body 1/4" to get MR-16 just below convex lens (leaving just enough space for accessory lens to be added). Currently lamp sits 3/8" below lens. Add a second glare guard adjustment screw so adjustable glare guard can be lower all the way. Add female nipple molded to glare guard so adjustment screw does not fall out when over loosened. Reducing angle of glare guard from 55 degrees to 45 degrees. All of these are to enable full beam spreads on 60 degree bulbs.

Thanks for your input.

Sincerely,

Alan

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-07-2009, 08:35 PM
COUPLE NEW ITEMS QUESTIONS:

1a. Currently the shades on the path and area lights are spun brass. There is only so thick you can go when using spun components over cast. There is little tangible benefit other than heavy weight perception to the customer. There is no doubt that a cast shade will be heavier/more robust and will enable a customer to see these are no ordinary fixtures. Your thoughts on spun vs cast shades on area lights? Do not make them too heavy! The problem with cast brass and other heavy cast fixtures is that they do not stay standing up straight for very long! Nothing looks worse than a bunch of crooked fixtures! I do not use products like the CAST line of path (area) lights as they simply are too top heavy to stay upright in anything less than perfectly optimal soils. Hadco has some top heavy cast brass mushroom shape path lights that suffer the same problems. Making a fixture heavy simply to provide a perception of quality is un necessary. The fixture is but the tool (paint brush) that a lighting designer uses to create the effect.


1. All of our PRO grade brass/cooper path/area lights are technically "area lights" and not dedicated "path lights" (i.e. they have straight stems like a China Hat and not an L stem for a dedicated path lights). Do you think Volt should incorporate some dedicated path lights (L stems) into our product mix. Personally I think it would be good to have 1 or 2 but do not think they are in as big demand as the area lights. I have never used one. I prefer Area lights over directional bullets on stems.

2. If we made 1 or 2 path lights they would be more ornamental/decorative (add some copper scroll/detail) for the customers that are looking for something more decorative given our area lights focus is currently about being robust, utilitarian first then decorative second. Would you like to see a mix of materials (brass body with copper accents) for decorative path/area lights? Don't get too decorative! Nice clean simple shapes and forms win the day. If you want decorative you can always go to Kichler! They have the market cornered on 'decorative' styled fixtures. Flowers, Ivy, Frogs, Birds, border line racist human figurines, etc.... not my cup of tea. Why hasnt anyone made garden gnomes into fixtures?

3. Currently only David G has expressed an interest in the MR16 well light--any others use them? Add'l I am surprised by the lower demand of our existing PAR36 well light (Volt Ground Hog). Personally I am not a fan of well lights, but they are a staple item. Any thoughts on why we are not seeing it as a major item? I don' use a lot of PAR36 anything. However there is a strong demand for solid cast brass, sealed, in-grade, MR16 "well lights". My favourite was the NS Vermeer. The new Coppermoon product is pretty good but doesnt have the same cache'.


5. Most fixtures are void of any markings of the manufacturer brand name. I personally feel this is because manu's don't want people to know due to warranty issues, calls from consumers, and possibly a general lack of faith of how their fixtures hold up over time being in/on the ground. Would you like to see brand names (very small discreet markings) on the fixtures or prefer anonymous? I prefer annonymous unless you are talking about making things "private label"! :) It really annoys me to see the Hunza engraving in the body of every Hunza fixture I install... and it leads to all sorts of local 'copy cats' who see your work and then try to emulate it for others.



Any chance we are going to see the VOLT line with appropriate ULc, cETL, or CSA listings for use here in Canada anytime soon?

Alan B
07-07-2009, 11:03 PM
James,

Thank you for the input.

[QUOTE=INTEGRA Works Lighting;3081753]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gr1ffin
COUPLE NEW ITEMS QUESTIONS:

1a. Currently the shades on the path and area lights are spun brass. There is only so thick you can go when using spun components over cast. There is little tangible benefit other than heavy weight perception to the customer. There is no doubt that a cast shade will be heavier/more robust and will enable a customer to see these are no ordinary fixtures. Your thoughts on spun vs cast shades on area lights? Do not make them too heavy! The problem with cast brass and other heavy cast fixtures is that they do not stay standing up straight for very long! Nothing looks worse than a bunch of crooked fixtures! I do not use products like the CAST line of path (area) lights as they simply are too top heavy to stay upright in anything less than perfectly optimal soils. Hadco has some top heavy cast brass mushroom shape path lights that suffer the same problems. Making a fixture heavy simply to provide a perception of quality is un necessary. The fixture is but the tool (paint brush) that a lighting designer uses to create the effect. Understood. (I really try not self promote here as this should be the contractors forum and I don't like when manufacturers invade). However i must explain. I agree with everything you said, but as a newer manufacturer it is important for Volt to show that we are not another "cheap knock-off import" and that we have better custom components than mainstream large manufacturers (and for half the price), so for us we have to demonstrate some of the things on the outside for those unaware of how our products are made on the inside. That was the rational behind the cast shades. Also it opens up more design possibilities. If we incoprorate some cast designs, we will keep them light in weight to avoid being top heavy.


2. If we made 1 or 2 path lights they would be more ornamental/decorative (add some copper scroll/detail) for the customers that are looking for something more decorative given our area lights focus is currently about being robust, utilitarian first then decorative second. Would you like to see a mix of materials (brass body with copper accents) for decorative path/area lights? Don't get too decorative! Nice clean simple shapes and forms win the day. If you want decorative you can always go to Kichler! They have the market cornered on 'decorative' styled fixtures. Flowers, Ivy, Frogs, Birds, border line racist human figurines, etc.... not my cup of tea. Why hasnt anyone made garden gnomes into fixtures? Agree, subtle decorative is what I was referring to.

3. Currently only David G has expressed an interest in the MR16 well light--any others use them? Add'l I am surprised by the lower demand of our existing PAR36 well light (Volt Ground Hog). Personally I am not a fan of well lights, but they are a staple item. Any thoughts on why we are not seeing it as a major item? I don' use a lot of PAR36 anything. However there is a strong demand for solid cast brass, sealed, in-grade, MR16 "well lights". My favourite was the NS Vermeer. The new Coppermoon product is pretty good but doesnt have the same cache'. I don't understand the rational behind a cast brass caseing for a well light. I would think PVC casing with brass above ground trimming would be superior. Please explain the preference for sealed brass vs seal PVC with brass top in case to help me understand why that would be an advantage.

5. Most fixtures are void of any markings of the manufacturer brand name. I personally feel this is because manu's don't want people to know due to warranty issues, calls from consumers, and possibly a general lack of faith of how their fixtures hold up over time being in/on the ground. Would you like to see brand names (very small discreet markings) on the fixtures or prefer anonymous? I prefer annonymous unless you are talking about making things "private label"! It really annoys me to see the Hunza engraving in the body of every Hunza fixture I install... and it leads to all sorts of local 'copy cats' who see your work and then try to emulate it for others. Ok makes sense. We were going to add the Volt name so that it was evident we make our own molds and are a manufacturer not an importer, but based on your input we will consider leaving it off.


Any chance we are going to see the VOLT line with appropriate ULc, cETL, or CSA listings for use here in Canada anytime soon? Yes, but it won't be until Fall. The UL listings were unbelievably high (think $15,000 per fixture!), so we will instead be doing UTL (equal approval but less expensive and bundling in our new fixtures together to get the approvals in bulk). We will include the C listing.
QUOTE]

eskerlite
07-08-2009, 08:11 PM
1. Regarding Hub ready fixtures, 25' (16 g) lead wire is the common standard. Would you like to see longer 30' lead wire or does 25' take care of the majority of the needs?
Answer. 30 ft for tree lights, 25' for pathlights for the hub guys, 4' for flushmount fixtures on deck posts ect. and 3' for the spots and paths for non hub users.
2. Which do you prefer domed lens or flat glass lens on bullets? Domed lenses are good in that they prevent water from collecting on the lens. Down side is the curved glass causes very minor striations at the very edges of the beam spread (only notice if your looking for it and its projected onto a flat wall). Flat lens don't have that issue, plus they can be made of higher quality (tempered glass) -- but you get water staining.
Ans. Flat lenses i prefer as long as the angle is going to let the water run off the bottom.
3. Tinned copper wiring in the fixtures. Volt currently uses tinned copper wiring throughout but does pay about a double premium in price for it. Not a big deal now, but as we move to 25'-30' lead wire it makes a slight difference cost wise. Is tinned wirting important to you?
Ans. No regular wire.
4. I prefer brass significantly over aluminum for obvious reasons. The only thing aluminum has over brass is that it is a better conducter of heat. We are considering adding heat dissapating fins to the knuckle area for our brass fixtures (bullets and floods only). Do you care about heat build-up from brass fixtures? We haven't had any issues with it, but its obvious that the cooler the better.
Ans.NO ALUMINIUM it has no place in the outdoors!
5. Migrating towards all brass fixtures (phasing out our aluminum products), and offerring predominately brass with bronze finishes only (some items like china hats and paths also availble in copper). Thoughts?Ans. Copper very good and brass very good. Get rid of the aluminum.
6. Is adjustable height important to you for path/area lights like china hats? We can add them, but you can make a stem more robust if its one solid piece and feel the slight adjustment is rarely used on adjustable height models. Your thoughts? I think the stem height should be adjustable. My clients dont like to see a tall fixture with small immature plant material. They like the option of raising the fixtures with the growth of the plant material. Make 3 different stem sizes as an option for a stronger stem.
7. Custom stakes (i.e. having brass spikes, larger spikes and "3-prong" metal spikes) as options over the standard PVC spike. Yes. different soils call for different spikes as well as the height of the fixtures dictate a larger more stable spike.
8. Underwater/pond lights -- prefer stainless steel/brass or synthetic?Brass.
My 2 cents.
Sean Curran
Donald B. Curran Inc. dbcurraninc.com
Past President of AOLP aolponline.org

Chris J
07-08-2009, 10:48 PM
Just a quick thought: I believe to make every fixture with an adjustable stem would be cost prohibitive. Instead, why not have available various length extensions which would accomodate every situation that the adjustable stem would? In other words, I don't want to pay more for every fixture just because it has the adjustable stem. I'd rather pay less and keep the option to modify it to suit my needs, if necessary. My .0001364875 cents.

Alan B
07-09-2009, 07:00 AM
Just a quick thought: I believe to make every fixture with an adjustable stem would be cost prohibitive. Instead, why not have available various length extensions which would accommodate every situation that the adjustable stem would? In other words, I don't want to pay more for every fixture just because it has the adjustable stem. I'd rather pay less and keep the option to modify it to suit my needs, if necessary. My .0001364875 cents.

Sean and Chris, thank you for your input.
I didn't communicate very well, so let me clarify...
-By adjustable, I am only referring to the shade relative to the bulb (i.e. a 1" adjustment to compensate for elevation changes (to hide lamp glare when area light is installed on a higher grade and visible from below). Also enables micro adjustment of illumination area (from a 5' diameter to about 15' diameter if you raise or lower the shade section only). This is a feature we will likely incorporate in our next production.
-Regarding the stems, we are changing our risers (6", 12", 24") to be 1" solid brass in the same finish options) so that you can raise area lights (and all lights) with a stem that is an exact match and blends in seamlessly. We will definitely incorporate these changes in our next production run. Our current risers are 3/4" aluminum and were only intended for raising spots- we will discontinue those.
-We will go with the 25' leads on all fixtures.

Unresolved questions:
-2 new well lights are in the works. PAR36 and MR-16. Both will have brass grates, adjustable gimble and be sealed canisters (no more open wells). The big question is, we are planning on using a PVC sealed canister for the below ground portion and brass for the above ground finishing. The goal is to make a sealed, quality well light at a very affordable price. However I have heard input from high end contractors that love the Nightscaping Vermeer (which has an all cast brass canister). It is unlikely we would use a brass canister as the weight makes shipping, manufacturing and cost very high for what may be negligible function and quality improvement. However I maybe completely wrong, please fill me in if/why a cast brass canister would be worth the significant increase in price? The PVC may actually outperform brass (less internal condensation, better seal, no metal underground).
-I personally dislike having multiple screws on the face of a brass well lights (makes a great seal however time consuming to change bulbs/install) and even when pregreased, the is the chance of screws freezing/stripping into fixture body. I prefer tooless if it can be made solid and water tight. I would like to make a thick PVC sealed canister with a brass grate that screws onto the canister and is sealed with a thick O-ring. Tool-less, faster, cleaner presentation, no metal on metal corrosion, tight seal. Your thoughts? (we will have screws for underwater lights however).

Thanks again for helping us understand what you want.

Sincerely,

Alan

Alan B
07-09-2009, 11:07 AM
I prefer tooless if it can be made solid and water tight. I would like to make a thick PVC sealed canister with a brass grate that screws onto the canister and is sealed with a thick O-ring. Tool-less, faster, cleaner presentation, no metal on metal corrosion, tight seal. Your thoughts? (we will have screws for underwater lights however).

Thanks again for helping us understand what you want.

Sincerely,

Alan


By tool-less I meant the entire brass grate is threaded and your twist the brass grate to screw it down into the pvc canister (no individual screws).

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-10-2009, 01:58 AM
I really doubt you can make a tool-less ingrade well light that is also water tight. It might keep out moisture for a little while, but eventually it will leak.

Even some of the mid grade product that uses 4 or more screws tends to leak over time. Oh to have the NS Vermeer available again!

I would recommend to any manufacturer that they do some research into IP ratings and then start to build and test to IP65 or better. Keeping dust, moisture, etc out of fixtures is a sure fire way to ensure long lamp and socket life.

Regards.

David Gretzmier
07-10-2009, 09:37 AM
Although I would love a tool free well, i am with James on this one, I don't think it can be done. It must be essentially waterproof. I hate taking off 4, 6 or 8 screws to change or aim a bulb, but if it means the fixture lasts 20 years, so be it. If your going to try a no screw, the reason the brass would work far better than plastic is the structure of the brass will be less likely to "shift" in the ground. you put plastic in the ground, and over a period of several frost/heave, root sqeeze years, when you unscrew the lid to change a bulb, the plastic structure may very well "unround" itself and the lid may not screw back on. Brass won't do that.

a nice feature would be to use standard phillips screws so you always have the bit needed for your drill. what is up with Manu's using hex, square or star drives? maybe they think they are cool, maybe they strip out less, but it really just serves to frustrate me when I go to change a bulb. Although I try to keep 2-3 of every bit out there, I always seem to lose the one I need.

JoeyD
07-10-2009, 10:17 AM
Phillips head screws strip much easier than an alan head.........

Alan B
07-10-2009, 12:22 PM
I really doubt you can make a tool-less ingrade well light that is also water tight. It might keep out moisture for a little while, but eventually it will leak.

Even some of the mid grade product that uses 4 or more screws tends to leak over time. Oh to have the NS Vermeer available again!


Regards.

Interesting (all brass). I'll look into it. PM me what you would pay for it, how many you would use in a year, and what price range would make it a no brainer to buy them all from one source (etl listed, and of the quality you expect and pre test).

I also think there might be a way to design it so that it will not leak without screws -- brass grate screws onto the outside of the casing (outside diameter), not threading inside the casing (inside diameter), plus adding thick industrial pregreased double orings. This way water would have to leak under the brass lip up the seam between the grate and the ourside of canister, over the top lip on the canister and back down inside the fixture. Could still leak from water pressure and would require testing but may be able to be done. I'll look into both.

Alan B
07-10-2009, 12:31 PM
Phillips head screws strip much easier than an alan head.........

Agree.

I do not know if this occurs with high end brass well lights with hex screws, but I have seen where the hex screws freeze in the fixture and break off (this experience was from an aluminum spotlight that uses 4 hex screws from a well known manu). I think this is due to the fixture being aluminum (corrosion and not being pregreased). Can this be an issue with the brass on brass screws/hexs on quality well lights or does the brass on brass eliminate that prob?

JoeyD
07-10-2009, 12:46 PM
ALuminum is the worst as we all know when it comes to seizing scres and knuckles. Some anti sieze on all screws is a good idea especially on products going in the soil...

Pro-Scapes
07-10-2009, 03:24 PM
With that said the Kim mini vault is about the hardest ingrade I have in the field to change lamps on but.... It is always spotless inside and the lamps really do last. They also stay in place where I set them because the gimbal set up requires a small flathead to loosen the adjustment. 5 allen head screws just to take the cover off. A lamp change takes at least 10 min to remove...clean...relamp and reinstall the cover on. I dont even recall ever finding a bug in one. They come at a price tho.

I use ingrades but not traditional well lights basically due to the amount of pinestraw we accumulate here. If I was going to need a traditional type well light I would use Mike Gambinos unit as the lamp and socket are fully encapsulated.