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View Full Version : Ever Installed LED System and Customer Rejected It?


JimLewis
02-22-2011, 07:45 PM
Have you ever sold the client on an LED system - installed it - and had them say they didn't really like the look of it and wanted you to remove it and install regular incandescent / halogen lighting instead? That ever happened to anyone?

bcg
02-22-2011, 08:06 PM
Now that the conference has passed, I can post this so, here it is. There is a mix of LED and Halogen in this photo, can anyone tell me what is what?

Note that not only is there LED and halogen mixed, there is also a mix of Kichler integrated LED fixtures and LED retrofit lamps in FX bullets.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-23-2011, 01:29 AM
Have you ever sold the client on an LED system - installed it - and had them say they didn't really like the look of it and wanted you to remove it and install regular incandescent / halogen lighting instead? That ever happened to anyone?

Not only has this never happened to me, I have never heard of it happening to anyone else.

Are you just asking the question Jim, or has this happened with one of your clients?

By understanding the critical factors of LED light, and by choosing your fixtures / lamps carefully this should not be a scenario that you run into. My clients can not tell the difference between the LED lamp and the halogen / xenon lamps. That being said, I am hyper-sensitive to colour temperature variations in any given system and make sure that everything installed on any given job falls within a couple of hundred degrees CCT variation max.

One of the reasons that I am not too fond of integrated LED fixtures is the apparent wide colour temperature variations that exist between different manufacturers. One manufacturers warm white can easily be 300 to 500 degrees K. different from another manufacturers version of warm white. And to suggest that you can find every type of fixture you need, for every application from one LED fixture manufacturer is simply not the case. Some make better bullets than paths, others make better niche type fixtures than bullets, and none seem to make a proper tree mounted downlight LED fixture that can be procured at a reasonable cost.

Hence my focus and reliance upon LED lamps. With LED lamps, I can choose all the quality fixtures that I know, love and understand the performance of, and simply install quality LED lamps inside.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-23-2011, 01:35 AM
Now that the conference has passed, I can post this so, here it is. There is a mix of LED and Halogen in this photo, can anyone tell me what is what?

Note that not only is there LED and halogen mixed, there is also a mix of Kichler integrated LED fixtures and LED retrofit lamps in FX bullets.

It is a great photo and a nice lighting design, no doubt of that. I cannot tell you exactly what lamp or fixture you have used where (and doubt anyone could accurately do so) however I can see variances in optical/beam performance and variations in colour temperature in that view. Specificically on the left side of the image, grazing the house. I find it a bit distracting to be honest, but I am super picky about colour temperatures. I am sure the client's are thrilled with it.

bcg
02-23-2011, 03:39 PM
I know you realize that the color difference you see, especially on the left side of the house, is from what's being lit, not what's lighting it. Light stucco is obviously going to show a different color than dark green foliage, just as concrete is going to show a different color than light stucco. I could move fixtures around there to change the light sources and it would look the same.

steveparrott
02-23-2011, 08:43 PM
Now that the conference has passed, I can post this so, here it is. There is a mix of LED and Halogen in this photo, can anyone tell me what is what?

Note that not only is there LED and halogen mixed, there is also a mix of Kichler integrated LED fixtures and LED retrofit lamps in FX bullets.

The real test will be to compare this photo with a photo with the same view in a few years. I guarantee the halogens will look the same - as for the LED's, all we can do is trust then verify.

Chris J
02-23-2011, 09:15 PM
It's a nice job.... I personally wouldn't get caught up with any negative comments. Are the clients happy? Are you happy with it? Pictures don't really show the true image anyway, so I really don't want to comment on the pic itself. If you feel good about it, and the client is satisfied, I'd start talking to the neighbors about it.

Mark B
02-23-2011, 09:26 PM
Wow look who came out of the brush pile.... Nice pic.
Posted via Mobile Device

worx
02-24-2011, 09:37 AM
It's a nice job.... I personally wouldn't get caught up with any negative comments. Are the clients happy? Are you happy with it? Pictures don't really show the true image anyway, so I really don't want to comment on the pic itself. If you feel good about it, and the client is satisfied, I'd start talking to the neighbors about it.

Soooo, the rumors are true, you are still alive

steveparrott
02-24-2011, 10:16 AM
By the way, I should have mentioned that the lighting is beautiful. It's great that you're getting recognition for your exceptional work!

JimLewis
02-24-2011, 05:12 PM
So anyway, back to the topic (Bernie, great work. But I already told you that before....)

The reason I ask is I did a demo. the other day - I'm still getting used to Kichler LED and LED in general. I'm real confident with what I used to sell (Unique, FXL mostly) but I was concerned about LED and whether people would like the "look" of it. Not the fixtures. Of the light. I don't care what anyone says, I can tell the difference. I don't think the light output from LED is bad. It's nice. The color temp. is very close. But it's just a little more white than traditional low voltage (halogen, xenon, or incandescent) lighting.

What got me more worried was when I presented the bid for this landscape and lighting job - the wife told me her husband was REALLY picky about lighting and didn't like LED at all. I said, "Well, that's probably because all he's ever seen in terms of LED is the cheesy stuff they sell at the box stores and costco. This is absolutely "nothing" like that. In fact, I even showed them the above photo of Bernie's work and said, "look how nice LED can look." She was fine with it. But the husband was still very skeptical. So we arranged to do a demo. (Kichler, by the way, has been absolutely great in hooking me up with demo lights, transformer, etc. Awesome service so far from them this year...)

We got the demo. lights hooked up and I hadn't had a chance to adjust any lights when the husband came out to take a look. So there were definitely several spots that were too "hot". But instantly he said, "Well, I'll tell you... most of this looks really good. The pathway light, I can't even tell that's LED. That looks great. The up lights on the trees - same thing. But these 3 up lights on the house - I can tell right away those are LED. I don't like those at all. They look too white."

So I said, "Well, realize - we haven't adjusted those yet. They're still a little too hot. And these are the 8.5w light fixtures too. For those narrow areas we may need to go down to a 4w fixture because I agree, it is a little hot in those 3 areas. But I don't know if it's the LED you're sensing or maybe just the fact that it's a little too bright in those areas. Let me adjust it and I'll call you back out here in a few minutes and we'll take another look"

So we adjusted the lights on the house and the others too. Dialed everything in much better. No more hot spots. And the light looked a little softer now. Not as much bright white and a softer yellow glow once we pulled the lights away from the house and pointed them more upward. But I also replaced this one area that was really hot with a Unique Bullet Light (not LED). And I went down to a 20w MR-16 instead of the 35w equivelent LED we had in there before.

Now he was really impressed when he came back out. I didn't tell him that we had removed the LED fixture and replaced it with a halogen. But that was the first thing he mentioned. He said, "Yah. See? Now that area over there where it used to be so bright doesn't look like LED anymore. It looks nice. I like it. I still think the other 2 on the house might need to be toned down a little more. But overall, I'm starting to like this."

So we decided that we'd probably change out the house fixtures to the 4w Kichler LED fixtures.

But anyway, this was sort of a hard sell. It took a lot of convincing to get him over the previous bad impressions he had with LED. I think he's mostly convinced now but this guy was really picky and noticing things that most homeowners I've met with never notice.

So that's why I asked. I was just wondering if the color temp. that these Kichler LEDs put out was something that a lot of people noticed - or was it just this guy? I don't want to get into an install and have someone say, "You know what? I really don't like the look of this. Can we have you return this and go with regular lighting?" That would really suck if that ever happened.

bcg
02-24-2011, 05:31 PM
Jim,

Paul Gosselin told me he ran into anti-LED customers when he first started installing them so he would tell them the he was going to put a couple in their existing lighting and see if they could tell him which ones they were. He'd leave them for a few weeks or more and then check back and none of them were able to do so, which was really the point of my posting the picture. You just can't tell unless you know in advance where the LED is, and then your mind will make you believe you can. Kind of like believing wine tastes better out of a $200 wine glass because everybody says it does even though blind scientific studies prove beyond all doubt that it doesn't.

The Lighting Geek
02-24-2011, 09:45 PM
I have never had a customer not like the look of LED. Customers like the one you described are problematic no matter what you use. They try to make you chase your tail and then they are telling you what to do. I set myself up as I speak to my clients in such a way they just don't go there. If they do, they are not my typical client, and I usually don't do the job. Life is too short to bang your head against the wall over people like that. Now, that being said, do I still do problem clients or jobs like that? We all do or did until we get into our groove and build our businesses to a point that we have the choice of whether or not to take on a problem client or not.

Be patient, choose your phrases to help you. 'I did that on purpose to show you how unadjusted fixtures take away from the end result' I adjust them and point out the difference. I might point out that they have most likely never seen properly installed lighting let alone LED. I'm saying that whether you are in control is up to you, the designer. I also know you are very experienced and not new to the landscape contracting world. Not telling you anything new, I'm just trying to help.

JimLewis
02-25-2011, 12:28 AM
Jim,

Paul Gosselin told me he ran into anti-LED customers when he first started installing them so he would tell them the he was going to put a couple in their existing lighting and see if they could tell him which ones they were. He'd leave them for a few weeks or more and then check back and none of them were able to do so, which was really the point of my posting the picture. You just can't tell unless you know in advance where the LED is, and then your mind will make you believe you can.

Yah, that might work for someone who has an existing lighting system. But most of my lighting installs - like this one - are for people who don't have one.

I think it also works well with uplighting and path lights. I really can't tell the difference in either of those, and neither could my client. But I definitely could tell the difference when it came to the structure of the house. It was just a little more pure white hue as opposed to the a little more golden/yellow hue I get from halogen. Once I switched that one fixture over to a Unique Xenon fixture, you could tell immediately. Now some of that is the positioning of the light. But some of that is just a little different color temperature too.

Not that I don't like the more white color temperature. I think it's nice. It's not too white - like some of the LED fixtures / lamps I've seen in the past. But there is a little difference. So I found I had to pull the light fixture away from the house and not point it at the house at all, but more just straight up and let the glow of the light splash onto the house - in order to get rid of that white splash I was getting.

Lite4
02-27-2011, 07:14 AM
ahhh, stucco houses....I miss them. They light so well.

Very nice job on the lighting and photography.

Regards

NightScenes
03-03-2011, 12:03 PM
I've never had it happen to me and I've been 100% LED for over 2 years now. I have had to make some adjustments to intensity and such but I have NEVER had a client ask me to replace their LED lighting.

David Gretzmier
03-07-2011, 10:12 AM
I have meen testing led fixtures and retrofit in my halogen systems here and there for the past 4-5 years, and some customers ( maybe 8 out of 50 ?) don't like the mix, mainly because the older ones were fairly blueish, and even the newer warm whites over the past 2 years have gotten a comment or two. Although I can ususally see the color difference, most are invisible and not noticed by the homeowner. For now, I am only using LED fixtures and retrofits in situations where the trans would need to be upgraded on add ons if done in halogen.