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View Full Version : What Do You Do With The Old Fixtures?


JimLewis
11-19-2012, 04:34 AM
So now that LED technology has come along so much, I'm starting to get a fair number of jobs where we're pulling out existing nice, commercial grade lighting systems. Like Kichler, Unique, Nightscaping, etc. jobs that were done maybe 5-10 years ago but I've convinced the client to ditch that one in lieu of a completely new integrated LED system. So I'm basically removing a few dozen fixtures that are still in pretty decent shape. Especially brands like Unique that are solid brass and have a lifetime warranty on them. I can't throw those away! Those are nice fixtures! But I also can't sell them. For one, it's a conflict of interest. I truly believe the light fixtures I am selling now are way better in a lot of ways than these. So why would I sell someone something I really don't believe in anymore when I know I've got something better? Second reason is they are used now. Sometimes they look like they're still in great shape. But I'm not typically in the business of installing used fixtures. Seems a little cheesy.

So that brings me to my point; what the heck do you do with perfectly good halogen bulb outdoor lighting fixtures after you've done a complete replacement?

I tried the local construction recycling places. Those places have more LV light fixtures than they know what to do with. They weren't interested in taking any more.

I guess I could polish them up and sell them on eBay....... Just wondering what the rest of you guys do in this case.

knox gsl
11-19-2012, 07:19 AM
Ebay, metal recycling or I can send you my address. I have a similar problem with plants, I hate to toss them but I get way more tear outs than I can store.
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Classic Lighting
11-19-2012, 07:31 AM
Make a demo kit, use them in a charity project, or at your residence.

bcg
11-19-2012, 08:14 AM
Jim, why aren't you dropping LED retrofits in those instead of replacing them? If something is already there and the bones/design are good, retrofits are a very cost-effective way to go to LED.

If you insist on tearing them out and don't have any use for them, brass brings good money at the scrap metal yard. I turned in a seasons worth of cracked ball valves from PVB repairs after our freeze a couple of years ago and got $600.00 for them. It's worth the effort to separate the brass, copper and other metals.

JimLewis
11-19-2012, 11:23 AM
Jim, why aren't you dropping LED retrofits in those instead of replacing them? If something is already there and the bones/design are good, retrofits are a very cost-effective way to go to LED.

There are a lot of reasons. First (most common reason) is sometimes the customer is just totally fed up with their old halogen system. The person who installed it over-volted it and they are changing bulbs every 3 months, etc. They hear that I have something available where they won't have to change a bulb for 15 years and they're sold. It's not a matter of money or being cost-effective for some people. It's a matter of convenience. So many people want the outdoor lighting system but hate the maintenance of having to replace bulbs. If I do a retrofit, I can't really guarantee them the lamps will last much longer than 3 years. Sure, the new LED MR-16s have good color temperature and a great heat sink. That's great for gettiing the heat away from the lamp - until you trap them in a fixture that doesn't release much heat. Then all bets are off. That's why companies like Unique and Brilliance aren't offering anything more than a 3-year warranty. They know this is a problem as well. You won't have to change lamps as often - but you're still going to need to after a few years.

Other times it's a matter of we're ripping out the entire [old] landscaping and installing everything new. And the old system had bad connections (old grease nuts that are out of grease and water is intruding into the wire), loose connections, wasn't installed correctly to begin with (daisy chained, when they should have used the hub system), too small of wire, etc. So it's just better to redo all the wiring. And as long as we're redoing all that and also installing a $20,000 landscape - why not just go for another couple thousand in new lighting? Then you're starting new with a new landscape and lighting system - one I can guarantee for a long time.

Other times it's just a matter of the [rich] customer is convinced that they need a new system. They've been hearing all the buzz about LED lighting from their friends at the golf club or Audobon society or yacht club and they start to think maybe they don't have the newest best thing. Same reason people upgrade the TV they just bought 5 years ago. Sometimes people just want the newest, best stuff.

I'm not saying I don't do retrofits, because we do a fair amount of those too. Especially for people who have a well installed system and are on a budget. But sometimes a full replacement is in order. And I'm not going to talk someone out of a full replacement if they're interested in it. I'm in business to make money, Honey!

Steve Atkinson
11-19-2012, 12:32 PM
Jim,

Regards your 3-year warranty comment, Brilliance now offers 5-year warranty on all of the low-voltage series. That includes the new 2w bi-pin I gave you to try.

5 years should be enough time to catch the bad units, those that are compromised during shipping/installation, or have weak parts or sub-assemblies.

That's what a warranty should cover, not the entire life of the product. Very few products that we all buy and/or sell offer full coverage. And companies that do so are rolling the dice on their financial future.

JimLewis
11-19-2012, 12:52 PM
Thanks Steve. That's good to hear. I've been pretty happy with the Brilliance stuff I've tried to date. I like the new 2w bi-pin ones you set me up with. And I like your warranty. 5 years is even better! On the few that I have had issues with, you guys were quick to replace those for us. Easy counter-swap warranty.

Looking forward to the class next week. I understand you know Paul Welty. I'm meeting with him for lunch the day after you do to discuss AOLP. I'm joining up and He and I are going to start an active chapter here in our area. Seems like a good guy.

Steve Atkinson
11-19-2012, 12:57 PM
Thanks Jim! Look forward to seeing you at the class on Nov 27.

I will have some practical applications for both the Brilliance LED products and the Simply Automated control system. Building on what we talked about when we last met.

whiffyspark
11-19-2012, 01:26 PM
I would toss some retrofits in and use them around my house and families. That way you can see first hand how long the retro fits last and can experiment with new lighting ideas.
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GreenI.A.
11-19-2012, 08:44 PM
When I pull out a fixture or full system of quality parts, I usually end up storing anything that could be of value. Every season I end up using a few risers, hoods and lense that I have slavaged. Now if it was from a Malibu system, that is different, that junk goes straight into the dumpster.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
11-20-2012, 12:41 PM
Why not just save them up and use them in the systems that you donate to charity, commmunity, friends, family and co-workers? No point scrapping totally fine, functioning componentry when there is ample opportunity to put it to good use for others in need.

Your comments on retrofit LED lamps are so very out of date, so 2008. You really should get up to speed on this stuff before you trash it out outright. I have been 100% LED lamps for both new installations and retrofits for over 4 Years now. Not by fluke either... I developed the line of LED lamps now branded as Illumicare and know a thing or 3 about this stuff.

JimLewis
11-20-2012, 03:44 PM
Your comments on retrofit LED lamps are so very out of date, so 2008. You really should get up to speed on this stuff before you trash it out outright. I have been 100% LED lamps for both new installations and retrofits for over 4 Years now. Not by fluke either... I developed the line of LED lamps now branded as Illumicare and know a thing or 3 about this stuff.

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. I've seen good evidence about how hot a LV light fixture can get inside with an LED lamp inside of it and how that drastically decreases the expected lifespan. Also, it's obvious when you look at the warranty given on different products as well. Many companies who sell fully integrated LED fixtures are able to offer a 10-year, 15-year or even in one case a lifetime warranty on their fixture and lamp. It makes sense that they are able to do this because they've designed the fixture around the lamp - to account for heat control, make sure the light fixture controls moisture and/or is waterproof, etc. They've been able to manufacture in controls that they know will keep the LED so protected that it will be able to get it's full lifespan.

But then you compare that to LED lamp manufacturers who are only willing to warranty their lamp for 1-3 years (or 5 years in one case) . It's not only easy to understand why (via testing & engineering) but also because they know that their LED lamp may not be going into a fixture that is able handle the heat dissipation, keep moisture out sufficiently for 10+ years, etc. The warranty these companies offer really confirms this.

If you're saying that dropping in an LED lamp into just some old landscape lighting fixture is just as good as installing an fixture that was totally engineered and designed around LEDs is the same thing - I'd have to say it is you who is a little out of touch. But maybe rather than fighting about that, it's just better to agree to disagree. :)

Steve Atkinson
11-20-2012, 10:59 PM
Jim,

Your warranty point is interesting because up to now we all assume that these either integrated LED fixtures or LED drop-in lamps are going to be used in the typical average 6 hours per day operation in someone's landscape or outdoor environment.


Everyone,

Let me introduce a very different viewpoint.

I have been working on project leads involving several major Las Vegas casinos where the Brilliance products are under review for usage. Some of the applications are indeed outdoor, running from dusk to dawn. But many are indoor location applications. We all know that casinos are typically dark places and require light 24/7, often running dimmed all the time.

In this type of use, do the math of always on and you will see that the LED lamps, 120v or low voltage, will burn through that magical 50,000hr life in less than 5 years. So when Brilliance puts a 5-year warranty on the product, they do so with the knowledge that they do not control the place of usage or run time. Once the product leaves the distributor's counter, the clock is ticking.

In a landscape lighting application of 6 hrs per night, your clients get approx 22 years of service. Combine a high quality LED with a 5-year warranty and great electrical energy savings. And a cost savings of 30-35% using a Brilliance LED lamp with standard fixtures over the integrated LED fixtures.

It's great if the client's budget allows taking out the old and putting in all new LED fixtures, but if that's not possible, the quality drop-ins are a solid choice for you and your client.

Sorry this was long.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
11-20-2012, 11:11 PM
Well stated Steve. Spot on information as far as I'm concerned.

JimLewis
11-21-2012, 04:37 AM
I agree with most everything Steve said as well. The only part I differ with is that a drop in LED would really really last 22 years in a fixture that wasn't really designed to dissipate heat very well and prevent water/moisture intrusion for 22 years. That's the only part I question.

I fully agree with you on this point:

It's great if the client's budget allows taking out the old and putting in all new LED fixtures, but if that's not possible, the quality drop-ins are a solid choice for you and your client.

I think there are two markets. One for brand new systems or total system replacements using integrated LED fixtures. And another market for people who don't want to replace their existing system. They're just getting tired of changing bulbs every 6 months and they don't want to spring for a whole new system. I serve both of those markets. We do a lot of new installs with integrated LED fixtures and we do a fair amount of retrofits with drop-in LED lamps as well. I don't see those two markets overlapping too much. So for the latter market, I really like products like those that Brilliance make. I'd probably like the illumicare stuff as well. But I've never seen that in any of the distributors in my area and haven't really needed to shop around too much anyway. Brilliance has met my needs for the most part there anyway.


.

Lite4
11-21-2012, 07:53 AM
Hi Jim,

If the equipment is in good shape, I usually will repair and re-task the lighting using either Halogen or LED drop ins. I can't in good conscience, and I believe it is a dis-service to my client to sell them something they don't really need when the drop in's work perfectly well and are far more economical to my clients than tearing everything out. (In fact, as of late, I use more and more of them, they are performing far better than I could have imagined.) I think my clients appreciate that I am not just looking to take a buck from them, but I am genuinely looking to give them the best options. Now, as for replacing solid brass Unique type fixtures with poorly made, cheap aluminum junk; that is a true dis-service. This is the truth; of all the worn out and tired looking fixtures I remove from landscapes it is easily 50% malibu type and 50% kichler fixtures that have failed. IMO, (and this is just my opinion of course) they produce a way overpriced, poor quality, light fixture. I am sure I will offend some blue blood kichler guys here, but the boxes full of removed, worn out and broken, kichler fixtures in my storage unit don't lie. I break them down and recycle them at the end of the year. Their LED fixtures (not necessarily the components) are no different in my opinion either. Just my .02

Lite4
11-21-2012, 07:58 AM
If you are sold on the integrated fixtures, CAST has a pretty amazing line of integrated with a variable light output switch on them. They are also very well built of course. I know I will never sway you from Kichler though, and that's fine. Whatever works for your business model is what you need to do.

Mike M
11-27-2012, 09:07 AM
Wow, nice website, Tim. Dang :)

Lite4
11-28-2012, 08:27 AM
Wow, nice website, Tim. Dang :)

Thanks, now if only I could make it so people could find it.

A special thanks to Jim Lewis for some SEO tips I am about to implement.

irrig8r
11-28-2012, 08:22 PM
Thanks, now if only I could make it so people could find it.

A special thanks to Jim Lewis for some SEO tips I am about to implement.

Tim,
I'm troubled when I see a photo of mine appear on someone else's website,
even when it's a crappy cell phone photo of broken fixtures from the days before smartphones.

You know which one I'm referring to, right?

To refresh your memory, it's the right half of this one.
I'm thinking I must have shared it on Lawnsite.

http://static.wix.com/media/2e1312_ea3d00563a1c6ad340f7ad5d16fb8417.jpg_srz_291_176_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz

It was taken at a customer's house in Saratoga, CA on ‎Saturday, ‎December ‎03, ‎2005, ‏‎5:35:19 PM. I still have the original in my files.

Lite4
11-28-2012, 09:17 PM
Tim,
I'm troubled when I see a photo of mine appear on someone else's website,
even when it's a crappy cell phone photo of broken fixtures from the days before smartphones.

You know which one I'm referring to, right?

To refresh your memory, it's the right half of this one.
I'm thinking I must have shared it on Lawnsite.

http://static.wix.com/media/2e1312_ea3d00563a1c6ad340f7ad5d16fb8417.jpg_srz_291_176_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz

It was taken at a customer's house in Saratoga, CA on ‎Saturday, ‎December ‎03, ‎2005, ‏‎5:35:19 PM. I still have the original in my files.


Hey, Thanks for letting me know. I wasn't sure exactly where that one came from or if it was anyone's in particular, I just saw it laying in one of my files. I have some other ones I took. I will pull it down right away. Sorry for using that, I truly did not know where I got it.

Lite4
11-28-2012, 10:15 PM
Irrig8r, Thanks for the heads up. It's been corrected on my site.

irrig8r
11-28-2012, 11:21 PM
Tim, no harm, no foul. I was just a little surprised to see it. And I do appreciate the speedy response. In hindsight, I probably should have just emailed you.
-Gregg
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