I would like to throw in my input on this topic. While I am no fan of the Malibu stuff - cheap fixtures, pierce point connectors and crappy transformers. I disagree with you guys on blaming cheap outdoor lighting from big box stores as giving outdoor lighting a bad name. When I come in and show someone what REAL artistic outdoor lighting is all about. It distinguishes me as an expert, and my customers easily see the difference between professional outdoor lighting vs. cheap Home Depot stuff.
If someone thinks the runway effect with plastic path lights is attractive, who am I to be upset with what they have done. The bottom line is people know - "you get what you pay for." (When other professionals and people see what I do one of the first things they say is "WOW! I know this isn't cheap.) As outdoor professionals we need to inform high end home owners what quality outdoor lighting can do for them. Don't blame Malibu because high end home owners don't know about us. It is our job as "Specialist"/"Businessmen" to network with the high end contractors and etc to promote our craft in our area. (As far as I am concerned the cheap stuff has helped create a niche for quality outdoor lighting professionals. If the cheap stuff wasn't around there would probably be less demand for any kind of outdoor lighting)
Lets face it most of the people who buy the Home Depot stuff is "Do it Yourselfers" they aren't in our market anyway. I will admit that a lot of ignorant landscapers will buy the crap Malibu stuff, and I will also admit that doesn't help our cause much. But on the other hand, you all know when you see a Malibu system installed with a daisy chain that extends over 75ft on a single tap crap transformer. It isn't hard to impress your prospective client the advantages of using a professional.
Mike G said something to this nature ealier, "When someone is doing yard improvements they usually don't have much money left over for lighting. Let them get started with the cheap crap. Once they get fed up with it, they will be willing to pay a premium on quality outdoor lighting."
What if, who ever steps in and fills Malibu's void. Lets say they promote the hub system, multi tap transformers, water tight connectors and etc. And they become very successfull and all the hack landscapers now use the hub and multi tap transformers and etc. Will that improve the business or increase competition for professionals like use who specialize in outdoor lighting.
I have no BEEF with Malibu, in fact their product makes me look like a STAR! I appreciate Tom sharing that info with us, and best of luck to you Tom.