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mario491
05-02-2010, 10:08 AM
Any one having problems with Vista path light sockets. I seem to get
calls from customers who try to change lightbulbs but they still do not work.
Now for the real problem, when i show up the first thing i do is check to make sure i have voltage at fixture. The only way to make new bulb work is to wiggle the bulb into the socket, so that bulb is not square with fixture. These light systems are no more than a couple of years old, how can you explain to the customer you must wiggle the bulbs to get them to work. They spent $3000 on a hassle free lighting system, that lightbulbs must be cocked to make a connection. When i replace the socket, which is a major job in itself, everything works great, but for a system that is couple of years old it seems a little premature, especially when one of your selling points is fixtures come with 5 yr. warranty. I think its time to ditch Vista lights and try someone else.

Mario

Pro-Scapes
05-02-2010, 10:30 AM
are you 100% sure your using the right size pins on your lamps ? Not sure what the vistas take but make sure your using the correct size. There are g4...g5.3 etc. even if it calls for a small pin if someone had forced a larger pin in at one time it can cause this issue too

mario491
05-02-2010, 11:09 AM
These vista path lights take t3 bi pin 20 watt, i know they are trying
the right one because when i go to the house for service there is a new bulb
that they tried to replace and it is the correct bulb, all i do is slightly wiggle bulb sideways and it works. Its hard to expect a customer to do the same thing.

Thanks
Mario

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-02-2010, 11:33 AM
Here is the fix:

1: Take a sharp knife and peel off / remove the foil cover on the top of the socket.
2: Use some small needle nose pliars to spread the G4 Lamp pins out by 1mm or so
3: Use a small (tiny) jewelers flat head screwdriver to spread the socket contact and insert the lamp pin between the paddle and the flat side of the socket. Do not put the pin into the groove/slot. Repeat on the other side.

Converting the lamps from the G4 Bi-Pin to G5.3 Bi-Pin should solve this but then you will not be able to go back to G4 pins again as the sockets tend to have a 'memory'.

The search for the best bi-pin socket is still on. I like those that Hunza use but have never found the manufacturer of them.

irrig8r
05-02-2010, 12:40 PM
I have had the same problem, and often times its customers using the wrong lamp and making the holes bigger.

It's not just the Vista sockets. I've had the same issue with bi-pin sockets from Nightscaping and FX.

Why is the foil/paper/mica(?) there in the first place? As an insulator?

Won't you increase the chance of a short across the tabs by removing that layer?

irrig8r
05-02-2010, 12:45 PM
What about the so called "copper beryllium" sockets that I've heard Unique uses? Any better?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-02-2010, 12:46 PM
The problem is widespread just as Gregg suggests. The biggest issue seems to be with the 'universal' bi-pin sockets that are 'designed' to accept G4, G5.3 and G6.35 lamps. (CopperMoon, Hadco and others use a lot of these) Personally I think these are the worst sockets on the market. Once you install a larger pin lamp there is no going back and they are made from some pretty lousy materials. Often you will find bare leads out of the back of them too. (assembler's error?)

Never seems to be an issue with G5.3 Sockets, just the universal ones.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-02-2010, 12:48 PM
What about the so called "copper beryllium" sockets that I've heard Unique uses? Any better?

I haven't tried them yet. Are they a universal design or will they only accept a single pin size?

Pro-Scapes
05-02-2010, 12:53 PM
Only time I have had an issue with unique sockets is when a nova flooded with water (isolated incident)

Zero issues on the hundreds of tree lights I have installed. I dont think they are universal ones but then again I always use the proper lamp in my fixtures and dont use alot of Bi pins at all anymore.

irrig8r
05-02-2010, 12:54 PM
I haven't tried them yet. Are they a universal design or will they only accept a single pin size?

I don't now.

So are these an example of the "universal design"?

http://www.1000bulbs.com/Halogen-Sockets/4567/

The holes seem larger than the ones I normally get, but the ones with the smaller holes are the ones I seem to have the most problems with.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-02-2010, 01:02 PM
Those are definitely universal bi-pin sockets Gregg. There are a bunch of manufacturers of sockets so it is hard to know exactly which ones you have problems with. I am keeping my eyes out for new product and hopefully will find something worthwhile in the next few months. There is a lot of european product that we don't get to see here.

irrig8r
05-02-2010, 01:04 PM
Only time I have had an issue with unique sockets is when a nova flooded with water (isolated incident)

Zero issues on the hundreds of tree lights I have installed. I dont think they are universal ones but then again I always use the proper lamp in my fixtures and dont use alot of Bi pins at all anymore.

Have you gone to mostly MR16s now from using Mike's pathlight?

irrig8r
05-02-2010, 01:27 PM
Anyone ever seen a "socket" like this one?

Reminds me a little of Bill Locklin's idea of a socket-less connection a couple of years before his passing.


http://www.harringtonlights.com/images/528.jpg

Description: HALOGEN SOCKET, G4 BASE, LCP BODY (240C), 6A 12V MAX, 6" 180C LEADS (SILICON INSULATOR), NICKEL PLATED PHOSPHOR BRONZE CONTACTS; BODY 8mm DIAMETER, LIP 8.8mm

The source where I found this wants a little over $5 each for these.


When you look at fixture costs, sockets are cheap, but kind of the weak link.

Maybe a molded heat-resistant silicone rubber boot would be better than ceramic. Get away from the smaller pin lamps and go for fatter pins and a more solid connection, especially when you consider long life lamps like LEDs.

Pro-Scapes
05-02-2010, 03:20 PM
Have you gone to mostly MR16s now from using Mike's pathlight?

Funny you say that. I have been in and out today putting together 20 Gambino paths and doing a patina on them for the job I am doing this week. Unfortunatly mother nature is not co-operating with me and so far I have a nice shade of bronze on them. It should darken considerably when they dry (liver of sulfur)

Mostly I have gone to the MR16's but I have said it before I am a huge fan of the CAST deck light. If I could change 1 single thing about that fixture it would be to make it about a half inch smaller so it fit perfect on a nominal 4x4 post without the slight overhang.

I know alot of guys do not like the SCB lamps but I have found them to last an acceptable amount of time when powered at no more than 11.5v. They lock in tight and wont wiggle loose if bumped.

Other than that I do still use some T3 lamps and MR11...ar11...mr8...and wedge lamps when needed.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-02-2010, 03:40 PM
I find round post / deck lights to be totally and completely over done and boring. :sleeping:

Is there any other fixture form that has been copied as much as the round post / deck light? I don't think so. They just seem to not blend into the architecture very well and many cause glare with their exposed horizontal frosted lenses.

The simplest, cleanest, nicest post light I have ever used (and used thousands of them) is the good old truncated cone, made out of copper sheet, known as the Postliter. WM-3535-CU. Pure, clean, simple, fades into the structure, doesn't try to be anything more than it is and has excellent glare control. Using a T5 wedge lamp allows it to be an open fixture so bugs do not accumulate and offers the most variety in lamping options on the market. 4W 7W 11W 13W and 18W lamps are all available allowing you to tailor the output to the application.

In the near future you will see an updated version of this good old standard. A unique two piece design, with limited to no back plate penetrations that allow light to escape around the edges, and IP65 or better to keep the bugs out and allow for the use of miniature LED lamps.

mario491
05-02-2010, 03:51 PM
I have had no problems with spotlights using MR16 bulbs, just pathlights using small
T3 bi pins. If this was an issue after warranty period that would be great, it would give
me additional revenue, but this is happening early on.

Mario

Pro-Scapes
05-02-2010, 03:54 PM
I have had no problems with spotlights using MR16 bulbs, just pathlights using small
T3 bi pins. If this was an issue after warranty period that would be great, it would give
me additional revenue, but this is happening early on.

Mario

Maybe its time to go to an MR16 powered pathlight :)

mario491
05-02-2010, 03:57 PM
That may be the answer

Pro-Scapes
05-02-2010, 04:01 PM
That may be the answer

It has been for me. Reduced glare when mounted off grade...wider photo metrics...no more glass lenses supporting a top to break or come loose.. Not to mention better lamp life...beefier fixture... 10 inch brass stake and clean lines that are unmatched by anything I have seen or used.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-02-2010, 04:06 PM
When you do choose to go down the MR16 Path route (pun intended) just be sure to choose fixtures that carry the appropriate electrical and safety listings. One of the reasons that these types of fixtures are so rare is that it is difficult to regulate what type of lamp is installed. What happens to the fixture temperature if after installation someone inadvertently installs a 35w or 50W halogen MR16. The fixture must be designed in such a way that is can accommodate these hot running lamps and not allow its outer body to reach a temperature that would cause a burn to somone touching it.

I am not saying it cannot be done. But there are products being sold out there that do not have any electrical listing what so ever. Read the code and your local ordinance and you will find that it is not permissable to install any electrical components that are not approved for their intended application. To do so increases your exposure to liability.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-02-2010, 04:10 PM
It has been for me. Reduced glare when mounted off grade...wider photo metrics...no more glass lenses supporting a top to break or come loose.. Not to mention better lamp life...beefier fixture... 10 inch brass stake and clean lines that are unmatched by anything I have seen or used.

You certainly are a strong proponent of those fixtures Billy, and you know, I heard it on the grapevine that you have even been involved in the sale and distribution of those fixtures to others. Sounds to me like you might want to become a sponsor of this forum if you are going to continue to promote them in this manner. :rolleyes:

David Gretzmier
05-02-2010, 04:17 PM
I know that alan is running copper berrylium sockets, and I have not had any problems with the limited number of them I have out there over last year and this year. the g5.3-g.6 sockets do seem to hold up far better than the g4 or "universal" sockets. whenever I replace sockets I go that route.

great tutorial james on how to fix a socket james.

does anyone have photo's or actual diameter measurements of a wider spread of light using mr-16's in paths as opposed to bi-pins? I have never used mr-16's in paths and have no experience on the effect.

socket replacement is something that comes with the terrain in this biz. whether your own or repairing another system, you get used to it.

Pro-Scapes
05-02-2010, 04:19 PM
You certainly are a strong proponent of those fixtures Billy, and you know, I heard it on the grapevine that you have even been involved in the sale and distribution of those fixtures to others. Sounds to me like you might want to become a sponsor of this forum if you are going to continue to promote them in this manner. :rolleyes:

James thats funny. There is a difference between what I do and what you do. You engage in your promotions leading would be readers to your website where you will sell your LED at a profit. I speak good things about these fixtures because of how I feel about them, not for finacial gain. Now if I had an online store and was luring other memebers to that store and trying to make money off of them I would be happy to pony up the money to sponsor this forum.

Nice try. Really. It was a good laugh :rolleyes:

Pro-Scapes
05-02-2010, 04:24 PM
I know that alan is running copper berrylium sockets, and I have not had any problems with the limited number of them I have out there over last year and this year. the g5.3-g.6 sockets do seem to hold up far better than the g4 or "universal" sockets. whenever I replace sockets I go that route.

great tutorial james on how to fix a socket james.

does anyone have photo's or actual diameter measurements of a wider spread of light using mr-16's in paths as opposed to bi-pins? I have never used mr-16's in paths and have no experience on the effect.

socket replacement is something that comes with the terrain in this biz. whether your own or repairing another system, you get used to it.

I have posted photos before. It depends on the fixture top... lamp chosen and finished installation hieght. I am sure you can get a nice wide photometeric with a bi pin but it has its drawbacks. You may be exposing the lamp and this will cause glare off grade. Decreased lamp life. Inability to tint the light if desired or choose between clear and frosted colorings. Since I started using the MR16 pathlights it has been so much nicer and cleaner looking that I have standardized my installations to use them.

David Gretzmier
05-02-2010, 04:35 PM
billy- would you say the lit ring diameter on an mr-16 path is more than or less than a bi-pin? I know the lid will be different, but on the same path, do you get more light spread from reflecting off the top rather than sending it out the side of a lens?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-02-2010, 04:37 PM
James thats funny. There is a difference between what I do and what you do. You engage in your promotions leading would be readers to your website where you will sell your LED at a profit. I speak good things about these fixtures because of how I feel about them, not for finacial gain. Now if I had an online store and was luring other memebers to that store and trying to make money off of them I would be happy to pony up the money to sponsor this forum.

Nice try. Really. It was a good laugh :rolleyes:

You make some unfounded accusations there Billy. I make fewer direct references the to LED lamps that I manufacture and sell than you do when you mention MG fixtures here. I do not engage in any form of "luring" at all, nor is my company name listed or directly promoted here (yet). Just as smart people who want to know more about MG fixtures and transformers would be "lured" to contact you via PM or email, they might also send me a message or use google to find some lamps. The only real difference as I see it is that I am open about my business, products, and service to anyone who takes the time to ask. Are you suggesting that the transformers and fixtures that you sell to other contractors is done at cost, with no profit whatsoever going to you? That is rather upstanding of you Billy... perhaps there is a position for you in a more charitable calling, other than private enterprize. :dizzy:

I am glad you found the humour in my post... that was why I put it up there in the first place.

Peace.

Pro-Scapes
05-02-2010, 07:34 PM
billy- would you say the lit ring diameter on an mr-16 path is more than or less than a bi-pin? I know the lid will be different, but on the same path, do you get more light spread from reflecting off the top rather than sending it out the side of a lens?

Now thats hard to say David with so many variables. What I will say is I am quite content with the MR16 path to be able to provide the coverage and intensity it does. I will also say the MR16 pathlights I have been using produce a larger diameter of useable light than other pathlights I have used in the past.

When I get a moment to spare (In june I have booked a week off to recoup and prep ground for the new shop) I just might have to do some side by side comparisons with some popular pathlights. I have also noticed I have used fewer pathlights on my projects because I am able to space them further apart. I have the ones at my house running Cree LED lamps with pretty good color and output too. Little bit softer than a quality BAB would be but still pleasing.

James, again. you are hysterical.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-02-2010, 08:08 PM
...Word...

S&MLL
05-02-2010, 08:25 PM
Good talk guys

S&MLL
05-02-2010, 08:26 PM
Billy I would like to see the mr16 pathlight.... Can you adjust the angle? Send picture please... Or just post

extlights
05-02-2010, 08:47 PM
We've never had problems with any of our sockets, but we just replaced a ton of them that were in some Kichler bullet fixtures. Usually if you just spread the pins apart a bit you'll get a good contact....we just replace them all together though to avoid headaches down the road.

Pro-Scapes
05-02-2010, 09:00 PM
Billy I would like to see the mr16 pathlight.... Can you adjust the angle? Send picture please... Or just post

Adjust the angle ? I think your missing the concept here. It has been posted in many threads. Try searching for it. The mr16 fires directly up into a canopy that in turn reflects the light down at the ground. It is not a bullet on a stick type pathlight that would need an angle adjustment.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=290991

mario491
05-02-2010, 09:10 PM
EXTLIGHTS you cannot expect a customer who paid you good money to install a quality
lighting to just go ahead spread the pins apart to get a good connection. I understand
your point, but most of my customers can't turn a screwdriver let alone explain to them
why they can't just push the bulb in to get light to come on.

extlights
05-02-2010, 09:19 PM
EXTLIGHTS you cannot expect a customer who paid you good money to install a quality
lighting to just go ahead spread the pins apart to get a good connection. I understand
your point, but most of my customers can't turn a screwdriver let alone explain to them
why they can't just push the bulb in to get light to come on.


That's why I said that we just change out all the sockets to avoid headaches down the road. Again, we really have never had a problem with this on our systems, but when this issue comes up when servicing other systems we just replace the sockets. I don't expect our customers to ever have to touch their systems. If they have to for some reason, then we aren't properly doing our job.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-02-2010, 09:22 PM
Mario, short of replacing all the lamps with G5.3 BiPin units, or replacing all of the sockets, you will find that my 'fix' will work for you and the lamps will stay lit until the end of their life.

As for future installations, just order replacement G5.3 BiPin Lamps and switch out the factory G4 lamps right away.

S&MLL
05-03-2010, 01:24 PM
What is on the canopy. Some kind of reflective coating

irrig8r
05-03-2010, 07:15 PM
Billy has posted good pics of Mike's lpathlight in the past. I don't what thee threads were called though.

Meanwhile try doing a Google search and find the MR16 pathlights from Winona Lighting and Sundown Designs. I installed some provided by a customer from Troy-CSL, but wasn't all that impressed. They have a white powder coated interior with kind of a domed reflector in the center. But the hat attaches via three screws through a thick acrylic lens... not sure if a greenish hue was from the lens or the mfr. provided LED MR16s.

irrig8r
05-03-2010, 07:29 PM
In a hurry to do some other things around here... scuse my fumble finger typos... wish they'd extend the 10 minute edit limit to 30 min or something though...

*pathlight* not lpathlight

*the* not thee

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-03-2010, 07:30 PM
Billy has posted good pics of Mike's lpathlight in the past. I don't what thee threads were called though.

Meanwhile try doing a Google search and find the MR16 pathlights from Winona Lighting and Sundown Designs. I installed some provided by a customer from Troy-CSL, but wasn't all that impressed. They have a white powder coated interior with kind of a domed reflector in the center. But the hat attaches via three screws through a thick acrylic lens... not sure if a greenish hue was from the lens or the mfr. provided LED MR16s.

I too have a sample MR16 Pathlight fixture from Troy CSL. The build quality is just not there. I wouldn't install it for a paid client. The greenish hue was from the supplied MR16 LED lamp Gregg.