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JimLewis
12-08-2010, 08:10 PM
Well, I was pretty impressed with the LED lighting demo. that I saw at the I.A. show in Phoenix earlier this week.

Also, I wasn't aware that the upper end transformers made by Kichler had a toroidal core in them. So that was cool to learn.

Anyway, the LED light demo. went like this; They had installed 3 LED spot lights about 12" in front of a wall, all about 12" apart from one another. All 3 lights were powered from the same wire, all on full power. The first light fixture was an FXL LED, the second was a Kichler LED and the third was a Vista Pro LED. I didn't note anything at this point other than the FXL one was noticeably more of a bright white light rather than a soft yellow glow like most halogen lights. But then the turned down the voltage with a dial. Once they reached about 10v, the two FXL and Vista Pro lights began to fade. You could see the circle of light on the wall start to get smaller and a little less bright. But the Kichler one remained just as strong and beam spread just as wide.

Once they reached 9v, you could see an even more pronounced difference. The FXL and Vista Pro units were barely on but the Kichler unit was still exactly the same. At right about 8v, both the FXL and Vista Pro light fixtures went completely out. Kichler really didn't even start to dim until almost 6v. Then it pretty much just went totally off really quickly right around the lower end of the 6v range or maybe just below.

Point is; the Kichler unit stayed pretty much totally bright, kept it's beam spread, and kept functioning just fine at anywhere from 7v-15v, while the others didn't have nearly that much range.

Which is pretty cool. Because that means you could install quite a few of these on a daisy chain set up on a little smaller gauge wire (e.g. 12g) before you're voltage would ever get low enough for them to not perform properly.

Anyway, I was pretty impressed. I'm thinking twice about delving into the LED market. I've still been sticking with mostly Unique Lighting fixtures with Xenon lamps. Just your regular LV lighting. But I'm seriously thinking that going Kichler LED could really start to lower my bids and get me more jobs. No more hubs, smaller wire, a return to the daisy-chain method (as much as I hate to say that), and much smaller transformers.

I was also impressed with their 15 year warranty. I wondered if the lights might start to dim half way through their lifetime. They said if I ever [within the first 15 years] felt one of their fixtures was dimming even a little bit I could take it right back to my distributor and get a new one, no questions asked. I like that kind of warranty.

The only thing I wasn't impressed with is the look of their spot light fixtures. I've never liked the look of them. When you compare it to the Unique Lighting 'Pulsar' spot that I'm used to using, they don't look anywhere NEAR as nice. Even the brass LED spot didn't look that nice. But I guess the focus shouldn't be on the fixture anyway, right? Focus should be on the effect. So maybe I need to quit worrying about how the fixture looks.

Illumicare
12-08-2010, 09:50 PM
Hi Jim. Did you happen to drop by the Illumicare booth at the IA show?

If you adopt the use of LED lamps instead of fixtures then you will be able to use all of the tried and tested fixtures you have come to rely upon, you will be able to effectively and efficiently upgrade all of your existing customers to LED systems, and you will be able to easily adjust the output and look of the system as the landscape changes over time.

These LED lamp advantages are not easily matched by sealed LED fixtures like the ones you were looking at. There are a number of other disadvantages to non-serviceable LED fixtures too. For instance, what happens at the fixture's end of life? Will your clients be ready to do a complete system replacement after 12-15 years? What happens to all of those fixtures? Do you just toss them out at the end of their lifespan? Seems incredibly short sighted and wasteful to me.

As for the voltage dip test you saw... I don't know what real world application such an example has. If you build your systems properly, and you are using LED, I cannot imagine a situation when you would have less than 10Volts on any given circuit, even in a daisy chain scenario.

A lot of people talk of the savings of being able to use smaller gauge wire with LED systems. It is a nice idea, but you will find that 12Ga. wire is so plentiful and so commonly used in the market that its price is still lower than sourcing 14 or 16Ga wire in volume. This may change over time, but I don't think it will anytime soon.

Being able to use fewer and smaller output transformers is a reality and a place where there is significant savings to the client. I think you will see a number of new, smaller 60, 100 and 150 watt transformers coming to market in the near future to support the prevalence of LED systems.

Don't dismiss the use of LED lamps... We have come a long way in a short period of time. Illumicare LED lamps are optimized for use in LV outdoor lighting systems, we have a large variety of outputs, optics and sizes, and with our new line of Miniature LED lamps, we have a solution for most landscape lighting fixtures.

Regards

bcg
12-08-2010, 10:50 PM
Jim, the pictures I showed you of my large job at dinner were about 80% Kichler fixtures. I've been really happy with their output and, as you saw, it's really difficult to distinguish between them and halogen when mixed together.

Kichler is releasing a Gen2 LED fixture in the next few months that is supposed to be more attractive and have integrated cowls. I haven't seen them yet but honestly, you should only be able to see about 10% of the fixtures in a good install, I think, and if you have a really picky customer on the aesthetics of those, there's no reason you can't mix some traditional MR-16 fixtures in with either halogen or LED retrofit lamps.

bcg
12-08-2010, 10:53 PM
I did look at the Illumicare products at the show. My biggest complaint about LED retrofit lamps right now is that they're only available in a 20W equivalent. This is where the integrated fixtures like Kichler offers really outperform because they offer both multiple intensities and multiple beams. The question about what happens down the road is a fair one but we have to remember that LED lamps don't burn out and the 40k hour rating means the lamp is only 70% as bright as it used to be. That may still be acceptable, or it may not. I think most systems are going to need a major rework within 15 years anyway. I know I haven't seen any that were more than 10 years old with fixtures that were still in good shape, especially installs using powder coated aluminum fixtures.

Illumicare
12-08-2010, 11:27 PM
I did look at the Illumicare products at the show. My biggest complaint about LED retrofit lamps right now is that they're only available in a 20W equivalent. This is where the integrated fixtures like Kichler offers really outperform because they offer both multiple intensities and multiple beams. The question about what happens down the road is a fair one but we have to remember that LED lamps don't burn out and the 40k hour rating means the lamp is only 70% as bright as it used to be. That may still be acceptable, or it may not. I think most systems are going to need a major rework within 15 years anyway. I know I haven't seen any that were more than 10 years old with fixtures that were still in good shape, especially installs using powder coated aluminum fixtures.

Hello BCG. Not sure if you were told or not, but we are on the precipice of putting our new, brighter ("35W equivalent") LED MR16 into production. It will also come in multiple beam spreads as does our current line of very warm white, warm white and cool white ("20W equivalent") MR16 LEDs.

As for end of life, yes there will come a time when the LED lamp needs to be replaced, but it is a whole lot less material and cost to replace only the lamp then it is to replace an entire fixture.

Even when using field serviceable LED fixtures like the Vista and others, there is a significant inconvenience and cost associated with stocking different optical units in order to provide you with the flexibility you have come to require in the field. LED lamps don't have the same hurdles...AND you can use them to easily update your existing client's systems, instantly increasing both your sales and profits.

Elegant Outdoor Lighting
12-08-2010, 11:33 PM
I was also impressed with their 15 year warranty. I wondered if the lights might start to dim half way through their lifetime. They said if I ever [within the first 15 years] felt one of their fixtures was dimming even a little bit I could take it right back to my distributor and get a new one, no questions asked. I like that kind of warranty.



Great info Jim. I usually use Unique too, but use these Kichler when LED is requested. They say at the trade show to just bring it back if it get dim. Would love to see this in writing. Also, I have talked to folks at the factory and it turns out the 15 year warranty is for the LED, but 5 year warranty on the housing! (AZT architectural bronze-read aluminum). Their BBR (brass) line of these fixtures have a 15 year warranty on the LED AND fixture. Kind of confusing.

If Kichler made their written warranty more clear, I know I would feel much more comfortable using them.

JimLewis
12-09-2010, 01:13 AM
Hi Jim. Did you happen to drop by the Illumicare booth at the IA show?

I did! Well, I think I did. You guys were the one at the end of the last isle, right? The same isle that Savio was on, but on the opposite end?

Yah, I came by and talked with you guys for like 20 minutes on Sunday right before closing. I had you turn the lights on and off for me and we talked about lifespan of the lamps, and I had asked how you know they last so many hours. I must say I definitely was really really impressed with your lamps. I'm just not sure what to do with your lamps.

I figure there are two choices.

1) Retrofit existing lighting systems. But with the limited variety I saw I am not sure how useful that would be. I'll use my own from yard as an example. I have a good 30 light fixtures in my front yard. Many of them are 35w, and currently you don't have any of those available. One of my fixtures (for the flagpole) is a 50w MR16, with a very narrow beam and I doubt anything LED would replace that. I still have some older Unique can lights with PAR35 lamps in them and I don't think there is a LED fixture to replace those. I have some fixtures with MR11s and no current option for those. That leaves only my pathway lights that could currently be replaced with your LED path lights. Once you have 35w equivalent MR16s, I could use about 12 of those. But half of my yard would still be halogen. This is similar to many jobs I've done. So a true, full retrofit is not really possible in most cases - limited by the current availability of lamps.

2) Use your LED lamps in new fixtures (e.g. unique, cast). There are several problems here too. First, all the problems above still apply. If my job included anything other than 20w spots and pathway lights, I'd be out of luck. Even once you did have your 35w spots available, I'd still not be able to do any fixtures that use a PR35, and nothing bigger than a 35w lamp (I often use 50w spots to climb big 100' fir trees we have here in Oregon). Also wouldn't be able to use anything that employs an MR11 (like the FXL MP20, that I use a lot of).

Plus, there's the bigger problem of cost. It already costs a fortune for a Unique spot light (list price = $165. Price I sell to my customer = not much less than that.) So now I am going to add $35 to each fixture??? That's quite a lot more. And I'm aiming to go the other direction with my prices. I know using LED means I'd need a smaller controller and less wire and no hubs. But still, the expense of $35 per fixture I don't think is offset by these things.

So I'm left wondering exactly how to implement your lamps effectively.

The alternative seems more appealing. Just use Kichler spot lights (which are already less list price than the unique fixtures I am usually installing). So then I actually save money on fixtures. Plus, then I can also save money on less wire, no hubs, and smaller controller. So overall, this means I can bid systems at considerably less than I have been.

Illumicare
12-09-2010, 10:08 AM
Hi Jim and thanks for visiting our booth. I was not personally at the IA Show, so we did not have the opportunity to meet.

We have worked very hard (and continue to!) to build and offer the LV Outdoor Lighting Industry with a broad range of LED lamps products. Obviously we have to start with those lamps that are the most popular and will satisfy the majority of the market. As our business continues to grow, you can expect to see more options, types and categories being introduced. It is pretty hard to break out of the box with a product to satisfy every need for every customer!

Please keep checking back with us, as our product line continues to develop. There is a lot more coming down the pipe in the near future.

Regards

bcg
12-09-2010, 10:19 AM
LED Par36 Lamp - http://dabmar.re-invent.net/ProductView.aspx?ItemID=754

I have no experience with this, only came across this company because I'm making some repairs on a system that uses their fixtures and I need to replace a couple of them.

Illumicare
12-09-2010, 11:32 AM
Hello BCG. By all means you can try one of those lamps, but I am quite certain you will be unimpressed by it. That lamp used indicator style LEDs, clustered together to create a 'blob' of light. The LEDs it uses were not developed or intended for use in general illumination applications. They are not HB (High Brightness) LEDs and typically have very low output, very low CRI, and are not all that efficient.

If an LED lamp/fixture does not have full specifications, photometrics and spectra-analysis data available, there is no way for you to know or understand the type of light it will produce.

Alan B
12-09-2010, 03:53 PM
Jim,

Very good observation and post (that different LEDs have different operating voltage parameters). Some can operate properly from 6-30v and others 10-15 etc. It's yet another factor to consider with LED's.

In there are some nice MR16's we are testing with CREE XPE and XPC chips and noticed they have a 10v-15v which was narrower than I'd prefer. I would love to know how important that spec is to contractors.

In one way the actual output (lumens, color temp, CRI, operating temp, beam angle, warranty, price should be paramount) but voltage range can be a consideration for all the reasons you mention (enables wider gamut of voltage drop, daisy chaining, thinner wire, etc).

Another way to look at it, if you are retrofitting an existing system, it shouldn't matter since you'll be above 10v anyways. If its a new system, I would think all new LED installs will start at a 15v tap so shouldn't matter there either. But in the end big volt operating range would be preferred -- no doubt. However at this stage of the game (still early for LEDs) I would put it lower on requirement list well behind lumens, price, color temp, warranty, beam spread, CRI, and reliability.

Also I would put Vistas serviceability of the LED module up very high as an excellent feature to consider-- helps take the all or nothing issue away from the intergrate LED fixtures (i.e. you can change/service without throwing out the entire fixture, plus update as technology improves in many years)

Contractors I'd like to hear your thoughts... how important is the wider voltage range to you?

James I'd like to hear from you on what aspect in the LED determines the voltage operating range?

Sincerely,

Alan

irrig8r
12-09-2010, 05:25 PM
....Anyway, the LED light demo. went like this; They had installed 3 LED spot lights about 12" in front of a wall, all about 12" apart from one another. All 3 lights were powered from the same wire, all on full power. The first light fixture was an FXL LED, the second was a Kichler LED and the third was a Vista Pro LED. I didn't note anything at this point other than the FXL one was noticeably more of a bright white light rather than a soft yellow glow like most halogen lights. But then the turned down the voltage with a dial. Once they reached about 10v, the two FXL and Vista Pro lights began to fade. You could see the circle of light on the wall start to get smaller and a little less bright. But the Kichler one remained just as strong and beam spread just as wide.

Once they reached 9v, you could see an even more pronounced difference. The FXL and Vista Pro units were barely on but the Kichler unit was still exactly the same. At right about 8v, both the FXL and Vista Pro light fixtures went completely out. Kichler really didn't even start to dim until almost 6v. Then it pretty much just went totally off really quickly right around the lower end of the 6v range or maybe just below.

Interesting demo, but how many jobs are you going to install with less than 10 V running to the fixtures?

I had a similar reault when demoing the Vista s and the Kichlers with a client. My mistake for no checking the specs ahead of time. I just thought it would be convenient to show him quickly on some stonework outside the entry what how they compared by taping the leads to a 9V alkaline battery... quick and easy, right?

Well the Kichler did fine, but the Vista barely lit up. What a disaster... nded up installing a half dozen of the Kichler, brass with the ugly flat "bronze" finish.

Point is; the Kichler unit stayed pretty much totally bright, kept it's beam spread, and kept functioning just fine at anywhere from 7v-15v, while the others didn't have nearly that much range.

Which is pretty cool. Because that means you could install quite a few of these on a daisy chain set up on a little smaller gauge wire (e.g. 12g) before you're voltage would ever get low enough for them to not perform properly.

Anyway, I was pretty impressed. I'm thinking twice about delving into the LED market. I've still been sticking with mostly Unique Lighting fixtures with Xenon lamps. Just your regular LV lighting. But I'm seriously thinking that going Kichler LED could really start to lower my bids and get me more jobs. No more hubs, smaller wire, a return to the daisy-chain method (as much as I hate to say that), and much smaller transformers.

I was also impressed with their 15 year warranty. I wondered if the lights might start to dim half way through their lifetime. They said if I ever [within the first 15 years] felt one of their fixtures was dimming even a little bit I could take it right back to my distributor and get a new one, no questions asked. I like that kind of warranty.

Daisy chaining is for hacks. Period.

The way I hear it, the distributor has to destroy the fixture, i.e. not field serviceable. Wouldn't it be easier to replace a driver or LED array in the field than have to remove the whole fixture and replace?

The only thing I wasn't impressed with is the look of their spot light fixtures. I've never liked the look of them. When you compare it to the Unique Lighting 'Pulsar' spot that I'm used to using, they don't look anywhere NEAR as nice. Even the brass LED spot didn't look that nice. But I guess the focus shouldn't be on the fixture anyway, right? Focus should be on the effect. So maybe I need to quit worrying about how the fixture looks.

Yeah, "see the light not the source".... but despite the looks of the Kichler spot, the adjustability is nice, and the stakes and knuckle adjustment are well designed.

The first thing that bothers me most about the Kichlers is that they are made offshore, where the Vistas are made right there in Simi Valley, California. I really want the Vistas to be better, but so far, the Kichlers have better output and adjustability.

The other Kichler flaw, IMO, is how the one that looks like brass is really a powder coat finish on aluminum, and they finish the real brass with brownish tones. Just weird.

irrig8r
12-09-2010, 05:30 PM
...what happens at the fixture's end of life? Will your clients be ready to do a complete system replacement after 12-15 years? What happens to all of those fixtures? Do you just toss them out at the end of their lifespan? Seems incredibly short sighted and wasteful to me....

Maybe they have a recycling plan in place like BMW does?

irrig8r
12-09-2010, 05:31 PM
...I would put Vistas serviceability of the LED module up very high as an excellent feature to consider-- helps take the all or nothing issue away from the integrate LED fixtures (i.e. you can change/service without throwing out the entire fixture, plus update as technology improves in many years)...

That's pretty much the way I see it.

S&MLL
12-09-2010, 07:10 PM
I guess Kichlers warranty all depends on your distributor. To my knowable the 15 year warranty is on the finish as well. Other things to remember Kichler is field destroy with their distributors. (well at least the high volume ones). Im pretty sure they want a happy client. So if your distributor gives you problems on warranty issues I suggest finding a new one.

My main problem is the threads on the fixture. They only fit in Kichler stakes. No mounts no risers no couplings. The flare doesn’t allow to thread. So I always end up having to cut chunks out of the mounts to give it room to thread. Not a huge deal but a pita when having to slice wedges out of brake mounts. I was told that Kichler fixed this issue. Guess we will have to wait and see.

irrig8r
12-09-2010, 07:53 PM
I was contacted by someone you all know off this forum about my comment about daisy chaining....

Now maybe he and I have different definitions of the term, but I thought daisy-chaining was wiring in series rather than in parallel, used commonly in line voltage wiring but (as far as I know) not in LV.

Am I off track? Seems to me a guy from Vista showed a diagram on either a Power Point slide or a flip chart showing "daisy-chaining" LEDs in series at a seminar I attended. The advantage claimed is using less wire.

Not for me. Would seem more difficult to troubleshoot among other things.

JimLewis
12-09-2010, 08:24 PM
Interesting demo, but how many jobs are you going to install with less than 10 V running to the fixtures?

Well, maybe a lot. If I start on a 12v tap and run 500' of 12/2 wire I may easily get down to under 10v after a few hundred ft. It's nice to have the option. At least this way if I ever get to the end of a long run I can depend on the fixture still performing well.

Daisy chaining is for hacks. Period.

Well, in the past I would have said I agree. But I am not so convinced it is anymore. The whole reason that we don't daisy chain (according to every class I've ever attending by any number of lighting manufacturers) is because if you daisy chain, your lights get weaker and weaker as your voltage goes down. So in an effort to counter that, you equalize the voltage by using a hub method or something similar. But if the lights don't get weaker as your voltage goes down, then your whole reason for not using the daisy chain method is gone.

Now you can make up some other reason for not wanting to daisy chain, if you want. But to me, that's just being stubborn. I really see no reason why I wouldn't. It's not very often that I have to come back and troubleshoot anyway. And if needed, I can troubleshoot a problem in a like with a wire tracker, if I have to. But at least now there's just one line to deal with. And installs go maybe 2x as fast now. Parts go down. Labor goes down. I can't see why I wouldn't want to take advantage of that.

I think daisy chaining USED to be for hacks. Not so much anymore, if you do it right.

JimLewis
12-09-2010, 08:28 PM
I was contacted by someone you all know off this forum about my comment about daisy chaining....

Now maybe he and I have different definitions of the term, but I thought daisy-chaining was wiring in series rather than in parallel, used commonly in line voltage wiring but (as far as I know) not in LV.

Am I off track?

This site explains the daisy chain method pretty well, I think;

http://www.greenacressprinkler.com/blog/2010/04/01/wiring-connections-hub-vs-daisy-chaining/






.

irrig8r
12-09-2010, 08:37 PM
I think we have a problem of definitions, what you are calling "daisy chaining" is not the same as what I am.

But I could swear somebody at a Vista seminar I attended showed LED wiring in series (like Christmas lights, where the issue would be that when one fails they all fail)... so either I misunderstood or he was talking out of his @$$.

http://www.helium.com/items/394851-what-does-daisy-chain-refer-to-in-electrical-wiring

bcg
12-09-2010, 08:43 PM
I like that the Kichler fixtures work well from 9v to 15v, it makes it really helpful when you're a crummy install that still has good wiring. Even with LED, if I'm starting from scratch, I like to make 1 12/2 main run and then use 25' 16/2 leads to the fixtures that terminate at multiple hubs along that 12/2 run. This way I can keep the primary splices in a box and it's easier to troubleshoot later.

JimLewis
12-09-2010, 09:17 PM
I think we have a problem of definitions, what you are calling "daisy chaining" is not the same as what I am.

But I could swear somebody at a Vista seminar I attended showed LED wiring in series (like Christmas lights, where the issue would be that when one fails they all fail)... so either I misunderstood or he was talking out of his @$$.

http://www.helium.com/items/394851-what-does-daisy-chain-refer-to-in-electrical-wiring

What you are referring to would be screwy, yes. I hate that method of wiring. I ditched all my Christmas lights that had that years ago and swore I'd never buy anything wired like that again.

But I've always understood the daisy chain method to be as outlined in that website I linked to above. I think that's the common definition among LV lighting guys.


.

irrig8r
12-10-2010, 12:41 AM
What you are referring to would be screwy, yes. I hate that method of wiring. I ditched all my Christmas lights that had that years ago and swore I'd never buy anything wired like that again.

But I've always understood the daisy chain method to be as outlined in that website I linked to above. I think that's the common definition among LV lighting guys.


.

Then as far as I'm concerned it's a misleading misnomer :-)

Pro-Scapes
12-10-2010, 09:05 AM
If one blows and they all go out your wired in series not a daisy chain.

Series you would be cutting into only 1 conductor on your main cable and splicing your fixture into the 2 loose ends esentially driving all the current thru the fixture (your fixture or lamp becomes like a fuse)

Daisy chaining your cutting each fixture into both conductors. If one goes out the remaining fixtures will stay lit however voltage can increase causing failure of other lamps depending on the voltage just like with any system

Pro-Scapes
12-10-2010, 09:12 AM
Jim,


In there are some nice MR16's we are testing with CREE XPE and XPC chips and noticed they have a 10v-15v which was narrower than I'd prefer. I would love to know how important that spec is to contractors.



Contractors I'd like to hear your thoughts... how important is the wider voltage range to you?

Sincerely,

Alan

Alan,

how can you consider 10-15v a narrow target ? I mean especially with LED and the low draw they have. If you can't hit a 5v target (Thats huge when your talking 12v systems!!!) then you probably should not be even hooking up a single wire.

I came across a Kichler LED system the other day. Client liked it but wasnt thrilled with it. I was contracted to light the pool area that was unlit and when I finished the client asked me if I can redo the front with my halogen lighting.

While the kichlers looked ok on some of the trees they looked awful on the white pillars of the home. I came to find out they were installed by a contractor I know and they used them because they could reuse the existing wire from a previous system and just put in a new trans and fixtures (read as 30 lights in 3 hours) While they all worked I did notice the wire was oxidized bad and the quick disc style connector should only make that worse.

irrig8r
12-10-2010, 12:05 PM
I was contacted by someone about my comments regarding the brass vs. aluminum Kichler fixtures.

When I said the brass look or finish (can't remember my exact words) was fake I was actually referring to a paint finish they call "Textured Architectural Bronze."

In the photos it looks like aged or oiled brass, but is obviously not if you look at the specs (unless they made a mistake.)

http://www.landscapelighting.com/portal/products/detail/15742AZT

Meanwhile the one they call "Bronzed Brass" is a brass fixture with a flat brown paint or powdercoat. Weird.


Oh, and the first thing I do when I open up a Kichler box is to throw away the disc connector.

irrig8r
12-10-2010, 12:10 PM
If one blows and they all go out your wired in series not a daisy chain.

Series you would be cutting into only 1 conductor on your main cable and splicing your fixture into the 2 loose ends esentially driving all the current thru the fixture (your fixture or lamp becomes like a fuse)

Daisy chaining your cutting each fixture into both conductors. If one goes out the remaining fixtures will stay lit however voltage can increase causing failure of other lamps depending on the voltage just like with any system

Except that in some circles (including electricians I've talked to) series wiring is also called daisy chaining, thus the confusion.

But I swear, the guy from Vista was touting wiring LEDs in series.... or at least that's how he explained his diagram.

JimLewis
12-10-2010, 12:43 PM
I came across a Kichler LED system the other day. Client liked it but wasnt thrilled with it. I was contracted to light the pool area that was unlit and when I finished the client asked me if I can redo the front with my halogen lighting.

While the kichlers looked ok on some of the trees they looked awful on the white pillars of the home.

Maybe they just weren't using strong enough spot lights or the right spread. I know Kichler makes at least 3 different spots. One that's more like a 20w halogen, one that's comparable to a 35w and another that's more like a 50w. And I thought they came in different beam spreads too. But that may be another manufacturer that I'm thinking of.

I know BCG has done some really impressive architectural lighting work with Kichler lights. So from what I've seen (of his work), they look pretty freakin' nice on columns.

BCG, you mind posting one or two of those photos you showed me?

Alan B
12-10-2010, 01:20 PM
Alan,

how can you consider 10-15v a narrow target ?

Billy,

I'm glad for the feedback, thank you. Pieces of feedback like that help us make our decisions.

I want to note, I said the "10-15v was narrower than I prefer" because there are LEDs that can operate at an even lower voltage which means even more flexibility-- and if we are going to carry/sell LED's we'd rather have more flexibility vs less. I agree with you that 5 volts is a wide range. However if a customer has a 300' driveway and wants a light on their mailbox I can see why having a lower than 10v operating range would be beneficial (especially when adding on to an existing system). That being said personally I do not find it to be one of the major factors in choosing and LED (but who knows I could be wrong -- maybe its important to contractors as shown by the OP's original post)

Our focus has been on #1: lumens and price, followed by quality manufacturing, reliability and warranty. Before we even consider the aforementioned its a given that they must be the proper color temp 2700-3100K, quality CRI 80+, and proper beam spread/optics (these last factors have now become easy to find).

On a separate note, I think future transformers will have mainly 1 tap-- a 15v tap.

Cheers!

Alan

irrig8r
12-10-2010, 01:35 PM
....On a separate note, I think future transformers will have mainly 1 tap-- a 15v tap.


Now that's interesting, and a direction I hadn't even considered.

bcg
12-10-2010, 04:25 PM
I know BCG has done some really impressive architectural lighting work with Kichler lights. So from what I've seen (of his work), they look pretty freakin' nice on columns.

BCG, you mind posting one or two of those photos you showed me?

I can say that in my mixed LED/halogen installations, no one has been able to tell me what was halogen and what was LED.

The project I showed you, which best represents that because I've mixed a fair amount there, is one I've entered into AOLP so I don't think I'm supposed to publish any of those photos until after the conference in Feb. Otherwise, I definitely would, I'm super proud of the job and would love to share it with a wider audience that will really appreciate it.

Tim R.
12-10-2010, 05:42 PM
I have been experimenting with the Halco's and have noticed significant dimming of the diodes on lower voltage ranges. I still target all LED ranges around or as close to 12 or above as possible. Just an interesting observation.

MBurk
12-10-2010, 05:58 PM
Dear Jim,

Thank you for your insights! Kichlerís new Technology Center in our IA booth was designed to do exactly what you found it to do Ė define the ďso whatĒ factor around LED. All LEDís are NOT created equal and, as you know, there are significant benefits to using more fixtures per wire run, directly related to voltage drop efficiencies.

We are always interested in providing the best product, the right information and the confidence in a leading warranty that ensures our product will last 40,000 hours or we replace it. For particulars on our warranty, visit http://www.landscapelighting.com

Using Kichler, in the off-chance you would happen to discover a defect, or if the lights donít illuminate or you snip the cable, we will replace the fixture. We do not feel there is an advantage in using LED lamps in retrofit applications. In fact, a design that is not fully sealed and potted like the Design Pro LED products from Kichler risks moisture exposure, dirt and other contaminants that are the enemy of solid state electronics. At Kichler, we believe the fixture should be as long lasting as the LED chip, and we believe that the technology should be optimized in voltage drop for the best possible installation and design.

If you havenít already, check out what other contractors and professionals are saying about our LED products by visiting the following links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWNtg3tBx1Q

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sru6CfVYbxU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAkWe6KN41o

Thank you again for your feedback. Insights from professionals are very important to our product development.

M.Burk
Marketing Manager, Landscape
Kichler Lighting

indylights
12-10-2010, 08:03 PM
I don't care one way or the other, just a curiousity question. With all the sniping that goes on about promoting products on here, is Kichler a paying sponsor of this site? If not, I'm sure James will chime in shortly.

Scott Maloney
Sunflower Landscapes

irrig8r
12-10-2010, 08:53 PM
I don't care one way or the other, just a curiousity question. With all the sniping that goes on about promoting products on here, is Kichler a paying sponsor of this site? If not, I'm sure James will chime in shortly.

Scott Maloney
Sunflower Landscapes


I was wondering the same thing :-)

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-11-2010, 07:58 AM
As far as I know, Kichler is not a sponsor here, but that is fine. I think that when a company and their products are discussed at length, that they should be given a bit of leeway in regards to participation. A chance to answer questions, explain their position or even defend themselves, on an occasional basis, shouldn't be a problem. Now if the Company or its representative start to use this forum as a sounding board for their operations, or if they "ride the board" have have a regular contributor... then that should be looked at as it liquidates the value and investment that the paid sponsors have here.

We all have a voice, no matter if we are designer, specifier, contractor, distributor, or manufacturer. We all have something to contribute. Tolerating a bit of "competition" here on the Forum is fine in my opinion. Others may not share my opinion, and choose to take a more intolerant position... I know I have certainly been on the receiving end of that in the past.

There are lots of options out there. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. We are lucky that we participate in an industry that continues to develop, evolve, expand and grow, AND that we have the opportunity to explore, discuss, debate and discover amongst ourselves. A bit of tolerance for different ideas, directions and opinions is a good thing. It all goes back to a life lesson that I learned in 1986, thanks to the Sigma Chi Fraternity... T.T.C. = we all have different Temperaments, Talents and Convictions. Understand that, respect that, embrace that and we will all be better off for it.

Oh, and BTW.... Some will sing the praises of sealed, integrated LED fixtures all day and night, but I am not a fan. They are, for the most part, unattractive, they are not very well conceived, they are not flexible, they make use of a horrible stem system, they have limited glare protection (avail. as an accessory) they are incredibly wasteful (end of life issues) and they are not dynamic ( you have to change the fixture out to change the effect/output etc... then what do you do with the old one and how do you charge the client for that?) Not to mention how you are going to explain to your valued, loyal clients that in 15 years time they are going to have to replace all of the fixtures in their system! (if you are in this business for the right reasons, and doing a good job, you will be dealing with this issue. INTEGRA turns 13 in 2011, and some of our best clients lately have been loyal clients from our first years in business... Now imagine me having to tell them that I have to replace all the fixtures in their system in the next year or so.... That would not go over well!)

The Lighting Geek
12-11-2010, 10:06 AM
We have been using Kichler LED fixtures for a few years now with great success. Having been 100% LED for some time, my clients love the savings and quality of light. They tell me that they always thought you had to sacrifice the quality of light to use LED and are surprised by the end results. I held out using LED in the beginning, wanting to give my customers a better warranty. I met my Kichler Rep on a flight to Light Fair a couple of years ago quite by accident. I found out about the 15 year warranty and started using LEDs as soon as I got home. They have been great at Kichler and I really like the fact they listen to contractors and are stand behind their products 100%. I had a chance to visit Kichler in Cleveland and get a glimpse of how they operate. I was impressed with their commitment to quality control and how they are always looking for a better way to help the contractors in the field.

irrig8r
12-11-2010, 12:51 PM
James, I don't have the energy right now to counter you point by point, but I actually like the locking stem and stake system Kichler came up with for their LED spots. Basically a ball joint with a set screw. Very adjustable. The optional shroud works well too.

If they came up with and talked about their recycling plan they would go further in promoting a green image.

I don't like the fact that they aren't field serviceable. One advantage Vista has with theirs is the ability to upgrade as technology advances. They must be listening to contractors too because they now have a longer shroud available.

One thing I like about DG Lights designs (not mentioned here enough) is the ability to change the optics as well as the driver and the array.

I see room in the marketplace for both integrated fixtures and retrofits, with advantages and disadvantages to each. Time will tell if one prevails or they will continue to coexist. I think the weak link with retrofits is sockets. Come up with a socket-less connection (remember Bill's experiment's with this?) to go with your drop-in LEDs and you will expand your market share.

JimLewis
12-11-2010, 02:22 PM
Maria,

Welcome to the largest landscape / outdoor lighting forum on the internet! Thanks for your contribution to this thread. I have to admit I haven't been a big fan of Kichler's but as I said before in this thread, that's starting to change. I was really impressed with everything I saw at the Kichler booth at the I.A. show compared to what I saw and heard at all the other lighting booths I went to.

Anyway, welcome to the forum. Feel free to come in and contribute any time. I think it's nice when manfacturers reps come in and take time to contribute or give us some insight on their product.

-Jim Lewis

Dear Jim,

Thank you for your insights! Kichlerís new Technology Center in our IA booth was designed to do exactly what you found it to do Ė define the ďso whatĒ factor around LED. All LEDís are NOT created equal and, as you know, there are significant benefits to using more fixtures per wire run, directly related to voltage drop efficiencies.

We are always interested in providing the best product, the right information and the confidence in a leading warranty that ensures our product will last 40,000 hours or we replace it. For particulars on our warranty, visit http://www.landscapelighting.com

Using Kichler, in the off-chance you would happen to discover a defect, or if the lights donít illuminate or you snip the cable, we will replace the fixture. We do not feel there is an advantage in using LED lamps in retrofit applications. In fact, a design that is not fully sealed and potted like the Design Pro LED products from Kichler risks moisture exposure, dirt and other contaminants that are the enemy of solid state electronics. At Kichler, we believe the fixture should be as long lasting as the LED chip, and we believe that the technology should be optimized in voltage drop for the best possible installation and design.

If you havenít already, check out what other contractors and professionals are saying about our LED products by visiting the following links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWNtg3tBx1Q

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sru6CfVYbxU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAkWe6KN41o

Thank you again for your feedback. Insights from professionals are very important to our product development.

M.Burk
Marketing Manager, Landscape
Kichler Lighting

Let There Be Light
12-12-2010, 03:06 PM
LED Par36 Lamp - http://dabmar.re-invent.net/ProductView.aspx?ItemID=754

I have no experience with this, only came across this company because I'm making some repairs on a system that uses their fixtures and I need to replace a couple of them.

Hello BCG, One of the other LED site sponsors has a very nice PAR 36

http://www.brillianceled.com/PAR36.html

This may be of help to you

steve

bcg
12-12-2010, 03:16 PM
I actually only posted that PAR lamp because Jim was mentioning that he had some PAR fixtures that he couldn't retrofit. I personally am not a big fan of PAR fixtures or lamps, I think they're too hot and really don't allow the same flexibility of design as the MR-16 fixtures, and their LED equivalents.

Thanks, though. It's nice to know that there are PAR LED lamps available.

Let There Be Light
12-12-2010, 03:25 PM
I actually only posted that PAR lamp because Jim was mentioning that he had some PAR fixtures that he couldn't retrofit. I personally am not a big fan of PAR fixtures or lamps, I think they're too hot and really don't allow the same flexibility of design as the MR-16 fixtures, and their LED equivalents.

Thanks, though. It's nice to know that there are PAR LED lamps available.
,

Your Welcome BCG, we use them for very large specimens where lots of punch is needed. There's actually some very nice par fixtures out there with glass tops and powdercoat options. Good luck

steve

Pro-Scapes
12-12-2010, 09:30 PM
Oh, and BTW.... Some will sing the praises of sealed, integrated LED fixtures all day and night, but I am not a fan. They are, for the most part, unattractive, they are not very well conceived, they are not flexible, they make use of a horrible stem system, they have limited glare protection (avail. as an accessory) they are incredibly wasteful (end of life issues) and they are not dynamic ( you have to change the fixture out to change the effect/output etc... then what do you do with the old one and how do you charge the client for that?) Not to mention how you are going to explain to your valued, loyal clients that in 15 years time they are going to have to replace all of the fixtures in their system! (if you are in this business for the right reasons, and doing a good job, you will be dealing with this issue. INTEGRA turns 13 in 2011, and some of our best clients lately have been loyal clients from our first years in business... Now imagine me having to tell them that I have to replace all the fixtures in their system in the next year or so.... That would not go over well!)

Im floored actually... Something James and I agree whole heartedly on. I will admit that most integrated fixtures on the market offer an output not seen in alot of retrofits the drawbacks and too far and wide to offer full scale deployment at this stage in the game.

Gregg. DG does have some nice output. unfortunatly the communication and or lack of a true 35w replacment has left it out of my bag of tricks. I have not looked at them in over a year or so.. Sherman did have some nice enginering and what seemed like something ahead of its time when I first saw it about 3 years ago.

Chrysalis
12-13-2010, 03:21 AM
Maybe they just weren't using strong enough spot lights or the right spread. I know Kichler makes at least 3 different spots. One that's more like a 20w halogen, one that's comparable to a 35w and another that's more like a 50w. And I thought they came in different beam spreads too. But that may be another manufacturer that I'm thinking of.

No your right that is the Kichler line you are thinking of.

There is 3 different beam spreads and 3 different wattage's to choose from for every different application you might run into. The 4.5 (20W equivalent), 8.5 (35W), and 12.4 (50W). They come in 10, 35, and 60 degree beam spreads.

Those come in 2 different finishes, AZT (Powder coated aluminum) and BBR (Bronzed Brass)

The AZT is the much lighter one with the 15 yr optics / 5 year finish warranty that irrigatr was speaking of. The bronze brass fixtures are much more substantial and generally only run 15 - $20 more per fixture which is very will worth is in my opinion.

Between these fixtures and retro fitted I don't think there is any debate that the factory sealed 15 yr warranty of the Kichlers win out over time. I have been using them for years and in all honesty i don't think the quality of light of the retro fits comes close. And moisture is the absolute enemy of retrofit led lights and tell me you haven't seen moisture in even your Unique Pulsars on an instance.

Now that's not to say that I have never had a problem with Kichlers LED fixtures. Over the years I have had to exchange 2 fixtures for moisture inside and 1 fixture for looking like it had been left in saltwater for some time, but the exchange was as easy as calling my Florida distributor, receiving the fixture in the mail the next day shipping free of charge, snipping wire / replace and done. I don't think i would ever want to open a Vista fixture and try changing the driver myself.

irrig8r
12-13-2010, 12:10 PM
I don't think I would ever want to open a Vista fixture and try changing the driver myself.

Actually looks pretty easy to do. White plastic (nylon? delrin?) plug-in M/F connectors. Don't know how they will hold up to heat, but they seem to be engineered with a lot of careful thinking.

I think they have already changed their source of LED chips from Cree to Seoul.

JimLewis
12-13-2010, 12:20 PM
Totally Off-Topic. But Irrig8r, I sort of stole your ID. Do I owe you a royalty or anything???

.

irrig8r
12-13-2010, 01:18 PM
Totally Off-Topic. But Irrig8r, I sort of stole your ID. Do I owe you a royalty or anything???



Well Jim, I'll leave it up to you :)

:drinkup:

JimLewis
12-13-2010, 03:31 PM
Well Jim, I'll leave it up to you :)

:drinkup:

Just tell me where to send the check and who to make it out to. That's all I do anymore anyway is sign checks and send them out in the mail. :cry::cry::cry:

Or maybe if I make it down to next year's I.A. show in San Diego I could pay you off with a few rounds of drinks. :)

irrig8r
12-14-2010, 01:39 AM
Or maybe if I make it down to next year's I.A. show in San Diego I could pay you off with a few rounds of drinks. :)

Sounds like a good plan to me.

Tim R.
12-14-2010, 02:50 PM
Im floored actually... Something James and I agree whole heartedly on. I will admit that most integrated fixtures on the market offer an output not seen in alot of retrofits the drawbacks and too far and wide to offer full scale deployment at this stage in the game.

Gregg. DG does have some nice output. unfortunatly the communication and or lack of a true 35w replacment has left it out of my bag of tricks. I have not looked at them in over a year or so.. Sherman did have some nice enginering and what seemed like something ahead of its time when I first saw it about 3 years ago.

Billy, I have a couple of DG's Tri-palms. They are darn near if not equivelant to a 35. Mucho Brighto Amigo

Tim R.
12-14-2010, 02:52 PM
Actually looks pretty easy to do. White plastic (nylon? delrin?) plug-in M/F connectors. Don't know how they will hold up to heat, but they seem to be engineered with a lot of careful thinking.

I think they have already changed their source of LED chips from Cree to Seoul.

DG has replaceable diodes for their fixtures. Very easy to swap too. About like a lamp swap.

irrig8r
12-14-2010, 05:16 PM
DG has replaceable diodes for their fixtures. Very easy to swap too. About like a lamp swap.

I like the DG products. Sherman seems like a really smart guy and LEDS seem to be his passion.

Some communication and distribution problems have been cited by other who have dealt with DG.

Of course (and unfortunately) these are not uncommon issues when dealing with a relatively small company.

Pro-Scapes
12-15-2010, 12:32 AM
I like the DG products. Sherman seems like a really smart guy and LEDS seem to be his passion.

Some communication and distribution problems have been cited by other who have dealt with DG.

Of course (and unfortunately) these are not uncommon issues when dealing with a relatively small company.

Why should that be ? Im small and still make sure I am on top of client communications. Heck and I am hearing impaired on top of it!

Tim I would be interested in seeing a tri palm. I have a real small fixture from Sherman that had swapable optics. Really a nice little package but im worried about the seal on it and the high humidity here.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-15-2010, 05:12 AM
For those of you interested in products like the DG Lights offerings, you might like to have a look at the Auroralight line. http://www.auroralight.com/catalog/index.php

I am not sure if they are working in conjunction with one another, but the product line up looks virtually identical. Auroralight is a top notch, award winning manufacturer that has inventory ready to go and they have always been very responsive to any of my inquiries. I have not used their LED fixtures, but the rest of their products are absolutely top tier.

irrig8r
12-15-2010, 10:53 AM
The way it was explained to me, they had some kind of joint venture a couple of years ago, but no longer.

sprinklerchris
12-19-2010, 11:41 AM
Jim,



Contractors I'd like to hear your thoughts... how important is the wider voltage range to you?

Sincerely,

Alan

I wouldn't anticipate ever designing a system where there would be that much voltage drop (8 volts vs. 10 volts). I prefer not to operate on the hairy edge of the specs. So I don't find the Kichler demo particularly valid or compelling.

JimLewis
12-20-2010, 02:29 PM
I wouldn't anticipate ever designing a system where there would be that much voltage drop (8 volts vs. 10 volts). I prefer not to operate on the hairy edge of the specs. So I don't find the Kichler demo particularly valid or compelling.

Ok. I don't think anyone is saying to design lighting to where you end up with 8v at the end. That would be pressing it. But I think you're missing the point.

The point is, if 8v is your low limit and 15v is your high limit, then you can STRETCH the area that you're usually comfortable working in.

If you normally design everything to stay within the 10.5-12.5v range, now with this kind of LED lighting, you could now stretch that out to 9.5-14v - or more if you wanted. That's over 200% of the range that you used to be operating in! You're not the least bit interested in being able to design systems using a much wider range??? :dizzy:

You're an irrigator, right? What you're saying about lighting would be like saying you don't see any value in the MP Rotator because you always design your sprinkler systems so that you always have plenty of operating pressure and flow to use spray or rotor heads. Or it would be like saying you don't care for modular controllers that allow you to have a lot more zones than you have been able to in the past because all your systems you install are less than 8 zones anyway - so a ESP-8 TM is just fine with you and you don't see any reason for anything more. Or like saying you see no value in pressure regulated rotors because you always make sure your laterals have around 45 psi anyway.

It's like a photographer saying he's not at all interested in the newer DSLR cameras that come with 41x optical zoom and autofocus because he is happy with his old 35mm and always just focuses in manually and just uses his different lens attachments to get the zoom he needs.

I mean, fine. Whatever. If you're stuck doing things old school, fine. But it just doesn't make sense to me why having more options with newer technology wouldn't be valuable. To me, it's exciting. And it means that much more room for error when my employees are out installing a lighting system. Means less worry about lamps going out or being under-volted. It means I can use smaller wire and not worry if the voltage drops a little. There's a lot to get excited about.

irrig8r
12-20-2010, 02:39 PM
Jim, you made some good analogies.

sprinklerchris
12-20-2010, 05:47 PM
Jim: No need to sell me on LED. We use it.

My point is fixture operation below 10 volts is completely irrelevant and unimportant to me.

While Kichler seems to think that operating at 8 or 9 volts is important (and is doing side-by-side demos on that point), I don't think their demo is helpful. Sorry.

JimLewis
12-20-2010, 06:18 PM
I'm not trying to sell you on LED in general. Just saying that having a fixture that operates perfectly with a lower end of 8v is just as helpful in terms of giving you more options as an MP Rotator is in low pressure and/or low flow situations.

Having that ability to go that low with voltage means you can use smaller wire, use longer runs of wire, and just worry less in terms of how much voltage you have left than you would have to otherwise. It just makes everything easier in terms of both design and install. You don't have work in such tight parameters.

Tomwilllight
12-20-2010, 08:29 PM
Wow, You guys do heat up when I go away for a while.

1st Daisy Chaining: I will not do if because it is sloppy, shortsighted installation. The basic reason to daisy chain has always been to use as little wire as possible; far less than a hub/spider feed requires. The problem is if you make a mistake in your placement of a fixture in any position other than the LAST one in the chain, you will have great difficulty relocating the fixture. I've been doing this for a while and I think I usually do a pretty good job of siting my fixtures. But... I have never focused with out having to move several fixtures for better focus. Daisy chain and focus can become a nightmare.

Now, I will consider using a daisy chain to light pathways - which don't move around much or grow. Maybe even statuary and fountains provided I'm not sacrificing the quality of the delivered light in these situations where such degradation will be obvious.

2nd Powering LEDs with a wide range of voltages: Do they FLICKER when you drop the voltage? DO THEY FLICKER EVEN AT FULL VOLTAGE? If they do, you may have a problem. Many people are sensitive to flicker and they find it disconcerting, unpleasant or may even trigger headaches for some sensitive individuals. It was a major problem for fluorescent lighting in the days of magnetic ballasts. Modern electronic ballasts solved that problem. I worry what flicker can do to my clients in a setting lighted entirely with flickering LEDs.

Tom

bcg
12-20-2010, 09:16 PM
The Kichler LED's do not flicker, at all. When they no longer have enough voltage, they turn off. The drawback of this, of course, is that they aren't dimmable...

JimLewis
12-21-2010, 03:53 PM
1st Daisy Chaining: I will not do if because it is sloppy, shortsighted installation. The basic reason to daisy chain has always been to use as little wire as possible; far less than a hub/spider feed requires. The problem is if you make a mistake in your placement of a fixture in any position other than the LAST one in the chain, you will have great difficulty relocating the fixture.

I respectfully disagree. First, I think of it not in terms of "why" we would want to daisy chain. I think of it in terms of "why we wouldn't" want to. And in the past, the main argument for not wanting to daisy chain was the loss of voltage and how that affected the performance of the light output as you got down the chain. Unique, FXL, and all the others have been pointing to this in all their literature, training classes, etc. for years. Nobody ever mentioned another reason. I've always been taught that this was the reason we don't daisy chain. Well, now that reason is gone. So you have to ask yourself, "Why don't we return to that method?" Because there are certainly some huge advantages.

I don't buy the fixture placement argument. Because I look at daisy-chaining lighting like I look at installing a sprinkler system. I run a PVC lateral line around the yard so that pipe is going to most areas of the yard. The pipe is always within 10' of where I would need a head. Then we install funny pipe off of this PVC lateral line over to wherever we need a head. And then if I ever need to move this head or add another head, I just extend the funny pipe or tap into the main lateral line and add another connection and some more funny pipe.

Same thing with daisy chain method with LED lights. You install one main run of lighting wire throughout the yard. Maybe 10g or 12g wire. Then you can either tap right into that main wire or make a connection and run another 10' of 12g or 14g wire out to another area for your light. It's easy! If I ever want to add another fixture or move a fixture, it's simple! Just go back to the main wire and make another connection.

niteliters
12-23-2010, 03:37 PM
Hello BCG, One of the other LED site sponsors has a very nice PAR 36

http://www.brillianceled.com/PAR36.html

This may be of help to you

steve

Brilliance LED is signed up as an exhibitor at the AOLP conference in Phoenix along with other fine LED fixture and lamp manufacturers. be a great time to see them all. Are you coming to that conference Steve since you're close?

Chris J
01-05-2011, 10:41 PM
I haven't taken the time to read this entire thread, but I did notice one thing that I'd like to comment on about the battle between integrated vs. LED replacement: Someone said that it would be a lot less expensive to replace a lamp rather than a whole fixture....Really? At 40,000 hours of life for an integrated fixture, that equates to almost 22 years @ 5 hours per night. I'm nobody, but I doubt there is a standard landscape lighting fixture out there (brass, aluminum, copper or kryptonite for that matter) that the socket is going to last that long. Therefore, are we really comparing apples to apples here? I'm not bias because I'm still in this learning curve also, but does it really make sense to use a replacement lamp versus an integrated fixture with a 15 year warranty? Just curious also: What are the warranties on these replacement lamps that everyone keeps bragging about? I'm looking for some options.

Chris J
01-05-2011, 11:02 PM
Except that in some circles (including electricians I've talked to) series wiring is also called daisy chaining, thus the confusion.

But I swear, the guy from Vista was touting wiring LEDs in series.... or at least that's how he explained his diagram.

No one said that Greg, you're just plain stupid.......

LOL! Just kidding man. Don't go getting all pimped out!!!! :weightlifter:

Chris J
01-05-2011, 11:13 PM
Not to mention how you are going to explain to your valued, loyal clients that in 15 years time they are going to have to replace all of the fixtures in their system! (if you are in this business for the right reasons, and doing a good job, you will be dealing with this issue. INTEGRA turns 13 in 2011, and some of our best clients lately have been loyal clients from our first years in business... Now imagine me having to tell them that I have to replace all the fixtures in their system in the next year or so.... That would not go over well!)

Imagine being a salesman for Mercedes Benz and addressing a client who's 15 year old car doesn't drive, smell, look, perform as it did when he bought it new. Come on James, what we do lives outside in the rain/sleet/snow/humidity/sun. Do we really expect to have lighting systems that last forever? Do we even want them to?
Just food for thought. Happy New Year!

RICHLONGHORN
01-05-2011, 11:33 PM
Good to see you here Chris J!

Chris J
01-06-2011, 02:51 PM
Hi Rich! Just popping in to stir the pot a little...you know me ;) I can't let these guys get too boring!!

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-06-2011, 08:28 PM
Do we really expect to have lighting systems that last forever? Do we even want them to?
Just food for thought. Happy New Year!,

No, of course a lighting system will not last forever, but I sure as heck do not want to be the guy who has to tell a client that all their fixtures will have to be disposed of and replaced 12 to 15 years after installation! At least with traditional fixtures using LED lamps we are able to easily repair the fixture (if necessary) and replace the lamp, all at a reasonable cost to the client.

Then there are fixture disposal issues. There really should be some program in place where the fixture manufacturer takes the product back for proper recycling.

Chris J
01-08-2011, 10:35 AM
I don't believe anyone ever answered my warranty question. What is the warranty on these replacement lamps that a few are touting? At 35-40$ each, I'm wondering how many times it will take replacing these lamps to justify a whole, brand new fixture?

Chris J
01-08-2011, 10:36 AM
Considering time, effort and materials I'm guessing that it won't be worth it after the second service call to replace.

Illumicare
01-09-2011, 08:16 PM
I don't believe anyone ever answered my warranty question. What is the warranty on these replacement lamps that a few are touting? At 35-40$ each, I'm wondering how many times it will take replacing these lamps to justify a whole, brand new fixture?

All Illumicare LED lamps carry a 3 year warranty from time of purchase. If you sign up as a contractor at our website you will get your contractor direct pricing which, for the MR16 line, is less that you have stated above. Our LED miniature lamps are significantly less money than you state here and significantly less than much poorer performing mini LED lamps on the market.

I personally have a few thousand of the LED MR16 lamps installed and have had no issues with them. They are very well designed and built lamps. The cost of a top quality fixture and Illumicare LED lamp is still significantly less than any of the integrated LED fixtures I have priced... AND... you can easily update your existing systems to LED with the use of lamps, no so with LED fixtures.

Thanks for your interest, we look forward to showing you the product line first hand in the near future. Will you be attending the AOLP conference and expo this February?

Chris J
01-11-2011, 09:20 AM
James,
I won't be going to the conference, but I have a large project coming up that will require retro-fitting several existing fixtures with LED. I may give your lamps a fair shot and place an order. What is shipping time to Florida?

Illumicare
01-11-2011, 08:48 PM
Chris. You can pick your shipping, either FedEx ground (4 to 5 days) or express (usually overnight). To be sure, give our customer care people a call to ensure that your order is filled immediately and shipped the way you want. 1-866-277-2934 (Toll Free)

Regards