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View Full Version : Last Years Dead LED Stuff From NE


PlantscapeSolutions
10-30-2012, 03:26 PM
I was just wondering what all other people had die last year. I lost Candy Cane LL's and a LED Nativity Scene. My LED M6 light sets and LED Candy Canes were OK.

CleanCut1
10-30-2012, 11:01 PM
Ice Flurry LL; Large Poinsettia; 24" Starburst; MN Garland.

greenbaylawns
10-31-2012, 12:36 AM
Lost 24 Ice Flurry, 30 Blizzard and 16 Stocking, I got the new replacements for them. The new caps and lights they have should work. BUT What A pain in the azz.. The Blizzards were a Pain to string at first, I think I got it down to 10 min a link now.

David Gretzmier
11-02-2012, 12:48 AM
we have not been reccomending LED for 8 years now. I have never really been a fan. but don't worry guys, I am sure the NEW leds are so much more highly advanced than last years. And I have to admit, The few LED C-9's from 3 years ago are still holding up decent. Of course, 4 years ago, not so much.

addictedtolandscaping
11-02-2012, 03:58 AM
Speaking of which, has anyone looked at the new warranty policy out there? 90 days from the shipping date!! I almost fell over when i read that!!

PlantscapeSolutions
11-02-2012, 07:25 AM
Speaking of which, has anyone looked at the new warranty policy out there? 90 days from the shipping date!! I almost fell over when i read that!!

It looks likes what they are saying is the frames and mounting hardware are covered but if the lights crap out your SOL. They are saying the warranty only covers seasonal use of 90 days or less. It kind of looks like overall they are saying the hell with any issues like last year and they will foot the bill no longer.
User beware from now on and buy at your own risk.

addictedtolandscaping
11-02-2012, 05:57 PM
I actually talked to Mike about it, and apparently there were some that were renting out product, then would monkey with it and return it.


Either way,it explains to me to drop in price. It concerns me, I use their (I will call them sculptures). I have an order I have to put in for gift boxes and snow flakes, but no way will I do anything with LED.

addictedtolandscaping
11-02-2012, 05:59 PM
Truth be told, if it wasn;t for Mike, I wouldn't do anything there any longer.

PlantscapeSolutions
11-02-2012, 08:01 PM
Truth be told, if it wasn;t for Mike, I wouldn't do anything there any longer.

I didn't realize until now that the convenient split of the company allowed them to dump a lot of warranty responsibility. I'm sure others lost a lot more then I did but to see some of my product that died in 2011 (and not be replaced due to being out of stock) being refurbished at my expense doesn't make me a happy camper. Especially knowing the new company is profiting at my expense.

All I'm going to be considering buying going forward is mostly LL's if needed and possibly garland. Everything else you can pretty much buy for less else where. This is my first year pushing garland/wreaths and I want to see if the HD quality is noticeably better then CDI.

PlantscapeSolutions
11-02-2012, 08:14 PM
I actually talked to Mike about it, and apparently there were some that were renting out product, then would monkey with it and return it.


Either way,it explains to me to drop in price. It concerns me, I use their (I will call them sculptures). I have an order I have to put in for gift boxes and snow flakes, but no way will I do anything with LED.

The shipping rates from HBL were kind of high and the return rates a consumer would pay are even higher. Between the shipping both ways and the PIA of going to a shipping place it would be a lot of work to rent stuff this way. Plus in no time at all the pattern of people returning items would become apparent. Not saying it wouldn't happen but there's no way it could be a problem on much of a scale.

I'm staying 100% LED so hopefully things will be better. I hope the LL's go to sealed bulbs like the other light sets since it seems to be better quality. I didn't lose a single stand of the sealed strings HBL sent me last year but the non sealed units continue to fail at high rates.

addictedtolandscaping
11-03-2012, 04:43 AM
CDI meaning Christmas Decor or Christmas Designers?

I have done some business with Christmas Designers and I like the product, I like the customer service and I especially like the shipping program. I got a case of catalogs earlier in the year as I was in discussion of buying another company, and the shipping was more than the catalogs.

I told Mike point blank the other day, if it weren't for him, the LL and the MN I wouldn't have any interest at all. What the original deciding factor for me was was the warranty.

Send me a pm, I would like to talk with you a bit more about things, but not in public forum. I did alot of digging this year and found out alot of information.

PlantscapeSolutions
11-04-2012, 09:01 AM
CDI meaning Christmas Decor or Christmas Designers?

I have done some business with Christmas Designers and I like the product, I like the customer service and I especially like the shipping program. I got a case of catalogs earlier in the year as I was in discussion of buying another company, and the shipping was more than the catalogs.

I told Mike point blank the other day, if it weren't for him, the LL and the MN I wouldn't have any interest at all. What the original deciding factor for me was was the warranty.

Send me a pm, I would like to talk with you a bit more about things, but not in public forum. I did alot of digging this year and found out alot of information.

I'm talking about Christmas Designers. I have one 5' wreath from HD and a tree that was even better quality greenery. The HD garland online looks nice with the pine cones. I'm hoping the Designers material doesn't just look like a giant pipe cleaner with lights in it.

PlantscapeSolutions
11-04-2012, 09:21 AM
Were any of your guys aware HBL was being sued for patent infringement? Here is a link http://news.priorsmart.com/marvellous-day-electric-v-holiday-bright-lights-l4Wa/. It sounds like the case may not have gone to court yet. It had to do with the "Always Lit" technology. I wonder if that had anything to do with the companies name and leadership changes. Hmmm.

addictedtolandscaping
11-05-2012, 05:58 AM
I didn't do anything last year as far as purchases, each time I did, I would confirm the availability prior to ordering, then within 12-24 hours order the product and bam all gone. The only reason I am even dealing with them at all is due to Mike.

I wasn't aware of the "always Lit" LED, just the incandescent.

addictedtolandscaping
11-05-2012, 06:00 AM
The mixed noble foliage is beautiful, no doubt about it. Pice cones come off fairly easy, but it is beautiful. I haven;t had any greenery from CDI as of yet so I can;t seak abou thtat.

PlantscapeSolutions
11-05-2012, 08:09 AM
I didn't do anything last year as far as purchases, each time I did, I would confirm the availability prior to ordering, then within 12-24 hours order the product and bam all gone. The only reason I am even dealing with them at all is due to Mike.

I wasn't aware of the "always Lit" LED, just the incandescent.

Last year was a real joke on inventory. I think it would be interesting to see how the year over year growth was leading up to last year versus how much they increased their inventory. I thought buying in for $1500 would have given me a reliable supplier where I wouldn't have been expected to pre-buy a bunch of stuff myself and assume a bunch of risk.

CleanCut1
11-05-2012, 10:08 AM
IMO, HD's Mixed Noble foliage is the best out there. But, it only comes in one color of lights and it doesn't really match anything else. I have one case of garland and a couple 36" wreaths left. When I sell that, I likely won't be purchasing anything else from HD. If they offered more color options, HD would be the only place to buy greenery.

I tried to sample Christmas Designer's greenery last year, but they were sold out. I can say their Bows and 5mm mini's are top quality. Their bows made the whole season with no fading. HD's bows were faded to pink in three weeks.

I signed on with Brite Ideas this year with no membership fee, only a deposit toward the first purchase. We'll see how it goes. So far, very good. Their Sierra garland and wreaths are not nearly as nice as HD's, but it comes in every color and several combinations of color. I've already sold some angels, a star and a nativity scene and the quality of the those products are better than HD's lighted displays.

Birchwood
11-05-2012, 06:41 PM
I buy from Village lighting company very nice greenery, but I allways place a good order in the spring to asure we have what we need and sell around it. They have helped us find product in the past if some wholesalers had extra they would connect us with them.

addictedtolandscaping
11-06-2012, 05:03 AM
Sine you are a Village lighting guy, how in the hell are they runing c-7 and c-7 through the same base?? Please explain if possible. I almost bought another company this yea, but that was what she was using was Village stuff, and then she wanted $25k for something with what appeared to be a lesser product (she also ran to Home Depot for closeouts) and had nothing in writing for contracts.

TexasFire221
11-06-2012, 08:52 AM
Sore subject. Have one home that has LED light links and it just happens to have 70 of them. 10 went out last season and already have them going out this season. Will not push LED light links this year.

PlantscapeSolutions
11-06-2012, 09:06 AM
Sore subject. Have one home that has LED light links and it just happens to have 70 of them. 10 went out last season and already have them going out this season. Will not push LED light links this year.

I think you had said it was a customers second vacation home last year? I had four links from previous years that should have been warranty but because of the split in the HBL I got left with nothing. Eight more links from 2009 have died over the winter months. I think you had better always plan on the lifespan of the LED LL's to be 2.5-3 years unless they improve them.

I was hoping the new links would have sealed bulbs but I think it's just like before.

TexasFire221
11-06-2012, 09:14 AM
Yes it is their weekend home. They aren't very happy with me but what can you do.
Posted via Mobile Device

TexasFire221
11-06-2012, 09:17 AM
But so far minus the pine comes falling off the mixed noble garland like crazy I am happy with everything else they have to offer. I'm sure they will get the LED stuff hammered out in the years to come.
Posted via Mobile Device

PlantscapeSolutions
11-06-2012, 10:07 AM
But so far minus the pine comes falling off the mixed noble garland like crazy I am happy with everything else they have to offer. I'm sure they will get the LED stuff hammered out in the years to come.
Posted via Mobile Device

I'm doing an order right now. Are you saying your would not order the garland again because of the cones not lasting?

TexasFire221
11-06-2012, 10:10 AM
No I'm not saying that at all. The garland is nice the pine comes just do not stay on. We have a job that has 22 section of mixed noble garland and when we finish and clean up we always pick up 8-10 pine cones off the drive way.
Posted via Mobile Device

Birchwood
11-06-2012, 02:22 PM
Sine you are a Village lighting guy, how in the hell are they runing c-7 and c-7 through the same base?? Please explain if possible. I almost bought another company this yea, but that was what she was using was Village stuff, and then she wanted $25k for something with what appeared to be a lesser product (she also ran to Home Depot for closeouts) and had nothing in writing for contracts.

They use the same base for the bulb with both c-7 and c-9, I think there product is great the stringers are nice and the super mini lights are way better than HD's lights and better prices. We are on our 8th season on some of our lights. The garland and wreaths are great.

addictedtolandscaping
11-07-2012, 06:34 AM
That's what I can't understand. How can they run both types of bulbs with the same base. I assume the c-7 are three and the 9 are 5 diodes right?

The supers looked pretty intense when I was trying to find out more about them (Village Lighting) on line, couldn't get any one to ever call me back. Compare to HD, if you have read my previous posts, that's a waste of time. Totally disgusted with them. I have a set of M5 conical in my shop that I plugged in back in February, actually on the 26th. Still no issues, and it is pretty dusty in there, gets real hot in the summer, (metal building, metal roof, insulated).

What really takes me back with them now, perfect example, they resell Minleon bulbs. Minleon puts a 1 year warranty on them (C-9). When you buy them from HD, you get a warranty now that is 90 days from the date of shipping if I understand the warranty post on the website correct.

addictedtolandscaping
11-07-2012, 06:35 AM
I actually took a good look at the price list with HD this year the other day, the alteration in the pricing on the LL, now you buy a case of 2 instead of 6, so you get wacked even more so on the shipping.

PlantscapeSolutions
11-07-2012, 07:22 AM
I actually took a good look at the price list with HD this year the other day, the alteration in the pricing on the LL, now you buy a case of 2 instead of 6, so you get wacked even more so on the shipping.

I bought some LL's yesterday and it's still six per case. They planned for two but Mike said for shipping reasons it didn't work out. I suspect the folks in China got things crossed up and just used the same boxes they had been.

The only way I knew it was two per case instead of six was my order total was 300% more then it should have been when I viewed the cart. I did the math and then called Mike to verify my suspicion.

CleanCut1
11-08-2012, 09:32 PM
Four dead Starbursts on my re-install today.

PlantscapeSolutions
11-08-2012, 11:37 PM
Four dead Starbursts on my re-install today.

Were they new from last year? I don't think anything is much more expensive then my 2011 Nativity Scene that takes $150 worth of replacement lights that I'm stuck with. 550 fun lights to replace. I have 12 warranty,8 non-warraty, and four useless HBL warranty LL's I'm re-stringing right now.

I use a paint brush and some soapy water to help the clips slide on more easily. I'd hate to be the person in China that has to assemble a semi load of Links just to make a buck (Yen).

addictedtolandscaping
11-09-2012, 05:17 AM
There are definitely some issues out there.

I placed an order on Monday, and as of right now, still do not have any information on the shipping. I called yesterday and whomever Amanda is, was not very pleasant at all.

When I called yesterday to verify it, Marylin could see the order, but had to transfer me to "Amanda" to verify it has shipped. She told me it had, and I would have an email shortly with the tracking info. 18 hours later and still nothing. She told me it was comping UPS Ground and should have been here yesterday. MY experience with US is less than desirable, so I am giving it to the end of today and then I block the charge.

Mike if you see this, please give me a call.

PlantscapeSolutions
11-09-2012, 08:52 AM
I haven't had an issues with the folks in NE not being polite. On that front everything has been smooth for me. The online shipping calculator did goof up and charge me about $175 to mail a small box of 10 lbs. at most. I pointed out the mistake and they quickly issues a credit.

Hopefully for next year they can improve the online ordering since it's a bit unrefined. It looks like they got it up and running with some do-it-yourself software at the absolute last second possible.

CleanCut1
11-09-2012, 01:04 PM
Were they new from last year? I don't think anything is much more expensive then my 2011 Nativity Scene that takes $150 worth of replacement lights that I'm stuck with. 550 fun lights to replace. I have 12 warranty,8 non-warraty, and four useless HBL warranty LL's I'm re-stringing right now.

I use a paint brush and some soapy water to help the clips slide on more easily. I'd hate to be the person in China that has to assemble a semi load of Links just to make a buck (Yen).

Yes, new from last year. Last year was my first season, so everything I have is 2011.

Hopefully BI products will be better. If not, I may just go C9's only after this.

On a good note, I am so busy I can barely keep up. Sold job number 5 this morning, have all the re-installs on the schedule and almost half done and picked up my first commercial job doing some 7ft wreaths and a 14ft tree at a hospital. I can't imagine what it's going to be like later next week when the calls really start coming.

TimNNJ
11-10-2012, 08:23 AM
Nice good for you..I think we are going to have a bum rush of work in the weeks ahead
Yes, new from last year. Last year was my first season, so everything I have is 2011.

Hopefully BI products will be better. If not, I may just go C9's only after this.

On a good note, I am so busy I can barely keep up. Sold job number 5 this morning, have all the re-installs on the schedule and almost half done and picked up my first commercial job doing some 7ft wreaths and a 14ft tree at a hospital. I can't imagine what it's going to be like later next week when the calls really start coming.

CleanCut1
11-10-2012, 08:27 PM
Today: four sticks of MN Garland and a 36" wreath dead (half lights up, half out).

PlantscapeSolutions
11-10-2012, 09:02 PM
Today: four sticks of MN Garland and a 36" wreath dead (half lights up, half out).

LED I'm assuming since it sounds like you lost a rectifier.

CleanCut1
11-10-2012, 10:26 PM
LED I'm assuming since it sounds like you lost a rectifier.

Yep, all LED.

addictedtolandscaping
11-11-2012, 05:08 AM
I was really taken back to say the least. The pieces did arrive as she said they would, but I still do not have and invoice or shiiping notification. They will be going up next week end now as the customer requested we delay it a little bit.

I am struggling with the idea of opening it up and checking it, but I won't go anywhere near the LED from them especially with the so called new warranty, not to mention my previous experience. It appears as though Scott better get his head screwed on straight and change factories over the in China, or stop charging top dollar for bottom $0.50 material.

There are some really great people out there, it is sad to think how frustrated they must be with the issues that are occurring and continue to do so.

For example, I did the direct mail program with them again for this year, and will not ever do it again. I finally got a call on it yesterday, "My daughter hasn't lived here in 3 years, she moved to and has lived in Colorado. Please take her off the mailing list." Pretty good, $3500 and this is the only call that I have gotten. It's better than last year I guess, $3500 and not even a take us off your list call. Imagine how completely disgusted I am. Atleast if it was issues with product I could change around who I got it from, but hell I can;t even get product on the street.

PlantscapeSolutions
11-11-2012, 08:58 AM
I was really taken back to say the least. The pieces did arrive as she said they would, but I still do not have and invoice or shiiping notification. They will be going up next week end now as the customer requested we delay it a little bit.

I am struggling with the idea of opening it up and checking it, but I won't go anywhere near the LED from them especially with the so called new warranty, not to mention my previous experience. It appears as though Scott better get his head screwed on straight and change factories over the in China, or stop charging top dollar for bottom $0.50 material.

There are some really great people out there, it is sad to think how frustrated they must be with the issues that are occurring and continue to do so.

For example, I did the direct mail program with them again for this year, and will not ever do it again. I finally got a call on it yesterday, "My daughter hasn't lived here in 3 years, she moved to and has lived in Colorado. Please take her off the mailing list." Pretty good, $3500 and this is the only call that I have gotten. It's better than last year I guess, $3500 and not even a take us off your list call. Imagine how completely disgusted I am. Atleast if it was issues with product I could change around who I got it from, but hell I can;t even get product on the street.

I got a call from a guy who said his dead wife's name was on the direct mail and she had been dead for ten years. I get a few calls like this every now and then with my own mailing list from Info Source which is a great filtered list. It's just a part of doing business.

The only thing I did request one or two times (never got it) is a copy of the list so I could sample it. I like to Google some of the address's and make sure they fit the demographics. This is how I found out one of my prior list from a different company was horrible.

The company HD used is a top company like Info Source so I think the list should be solid. With postcards the person's name has zero value and I think they should just put "Current Resident". With stuffed envelopes is where the value of having the person's name has value because the envelope is a big obstacle in getting the person to even look at your ad before it heads to the landfill.

I was kind of freaking that I also had few calls for the money but I just got another and I think things will pick up now that Halloween is over and turkey day is coming. I PM'd David G on the date when the return on direct mail falls off a cliff and he put my nerves at ease.

addictedtolandscaping
11-12-2012, 04:20 AM
O actually lean towards the idea that this region I am in just doesn't respond to direct mail. I have a close friend who thinks the demographics are aimed way to high. I don;t know what to believe anymore.

I also have requested the list time and again for the same reason. Pretty good, shell out that kind of cash, I have only ever seen 1 of the postcards as one of my clients showed me the first one he ever got, interesting enough, he has never gotten one since. You know the old adage, smells like ---- usually is. 2 years, 7k and only 1 call. Something is definitely wrong with this picture. I know that the MN foliage is going to be available at Brite Ideas next year, and the "freestyle" linkable now, sounds like things are not getting any better, but other options are coming to light. Between the product issues, the lack of follow through with some of the new staff - order arrived the other day, still no invoice or shipping info - shipping charges, I have no reason to stay.

This is going to be the decision year I believe. I still have some lawn signs left from last year, they will be going out, and I have a meeting with one of my clients marketing rep tomorrow. Will see where that goes. She doesn't understand what the issue is either, she looked at pictures of projects I have completed and is scratching her head. I think it is the damn light links on the post cards all the time. It may not be the entire issue, but they don't sell here, and well, I guess I could go on and on, but it won't do anything but aggravate me further, so I am gonna shut up now.

CleanCut1
11-12-2012, 12:24 PM
O actually lean towards the idea that this region I am in just doesn't respond to direct mail. I have a close friend who thinks the demographics are aimed way to high. I don;t know what to believe anymore.

I also have requested the list time and again for the same reason. Pretty good, shell out that kind of cash, I have only ever seen 1 of the postcards as one of my clients showed me the first one he ever got, interesting enough, he has never gotten one since. You know the old adage, smells like ---- usually is. 2 years, 7k and only 1 call. Something is definitely wrong with this picture. I know that the MN foliage is going to be available at Brite Ideas next year, and the "freestyle" linkable now, sounds like things are not getting any better, but other options are coming to light. Between the product issues, the lack of follow through with some of the new staff - order arrived the other day, still no invoice or shipping info - shipping charges, I have no reason to stay.

This is going to be the decision year I believe. I still have some lawn signs left from last year, they will be going out, and I have a meeting with one of my clients marketing rep tomorrow. Will see where that goes. She doesn't understand what the issue is either, she looked at pictures of projects I have completed and is scratching her head. I think it is the damn light links on the post cards all the time. It may not be the entire issue, but they don't sell here, and well, I guess I could go on and on, but it won't do anything but aggravate me further, so I am gonna shut up now.

What you said about your target demographics being too high might be the root of the issue. I think for the LL products, the target customer is the top 1% incomes, but for C9 jobs with a wreath or garland, there is a big target in the upper middle class bracket, at least in my area. The money is still good (avg. 1300 per sale) and they appreciate the full service model.

addictedtolandscaping
11-12-2012, 07:50 PM
THats the odd part, we are shooting $250k and up, with several in one area over $1000000

Birchwood
11-12-2012, 09:56 PM
THats the odd part, we are shooting $250k and up, with several in one area over $1000000

I think 250k is a little low, I aim for 400k to 2mil only c-7, min, and greenery, I keep the LL in my back pocket. But have never sold any even on the few I have offered it on.

I have great luck with signs and postcards delivered to the door or mailed by myself to neighborhoods that lights are hot in.

I had really good luck with home improvement add-magazines 2 years ago, lot of calls and a lot of new jobs.

We are at 70 rehangs right now, hope to add around 10 new customers this year and I think we are full, any more and I need to split the crew and I am not ready for that yet.

addictedtolandscaping
11-12-2012, 10:22 PM
I wish Scott I got to tell ya.

We aimed primarily at 750 and up, but back filled down to 250 for numbers.

Either way, nothing materialized yet. Meeting tomorrow with a marketing rep, and she is leaning really hard towards more internet presence.

TexasFire221
12-16-2012, 10:17 PM
Never again will I but another LED light link!!!!!!!
Posted via Mobile Device

PlantscapeSolutions
12-17-2012, 11:55 PM
We got the first rain of the holiday season and the one LL job I did has lost one rectifier. The other two bad links I had at this job were bad out of the box. The bad news is it's a two man job to set up the 32' ladder required to get to the bad LL.

PlantscapeSolutions
01-18-2013, 12:56 PM
Out of the 20 links this year I had two dead out of the box and one died on the house. The older links and I think all of the older LED products had the "always lit technology". This allowed you to lose multiple bulbs but your light string would still work. This is likely the same technology you find in many box store lights. It's not earth shattering technology.

The new LED lighting products do not use this technology. Instead of being able to replace bulbs at your convenience when a few go out unnoticed by customers you will now have half of your light strings die when one tiny bulb stops functioning. If even one of those notorious tiny copper legs breaks off from a light bulb it will cause a failure and a preventable site visit.

I only did one house with 2012 LL's this year but I'm worried. This year I only had one failure on the house but there were two in box failures. This house requires two guys and a 32' ladder to get to any of the links. When I can do quick fixes myself it's not a big deal but when one bulbs replacement requires two guys, and a trailer hooked up to haul the ladder it's a big deal. Plus the ladder is on a roof rack so we have to spend time using a second ladder to take down and put back the cumbersome ladder.

If I had to pay two guys to go replace one tiny bulb it could cost me $100 round trip. Mike has a good Youtube video that shows how to use the light tester on LED lights but we'd still have to remove the lights to easily use the tester. I had two other pieces of new yard art die this year that were a pain to restring. I hate to say it but I think silently killing off the "always lit technology" was a huge step backwards that may be the next fiasco they have to deal with as members get over run with "I have a bad LL or yard art" type calls.

Moving forward I am going to be even more reluctant to push anything LED by HD unless it had sealed bulbs like 5mm conicals. My HBL sealed M6 LED lights from last year seem to be improved and I wish they could find a way to uses the better sealed units on the LL's as well. The colored caps on the LL's seem to trap moisture over time and cause corrosion instead of protecting against it. I find by season number 3 or 4 a lot of the sockets are ruined by moisture and you can't replace your bad light bulbs.

Also with prior LL's you could see the bulbs that were out and easily replace them. Now you will have to buy a $100 (Lite Source) tester and waste time looking for the bad bulb that caused the link to fail. Clearly not a step in the right direction in my opinion.