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Old 04-14-2012, 12:16 AM
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JimLewis JimLewis is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 6,809
No. But I may be considering some of the Hadco spot lights as an alternative. If I get a client who really likes us and our bid but just doesn't want to spend top dollar for the Kichlerr stuff, I may use Hadco as my backup. To mention to people if they just want something less expensive.

I just didn't know much about the brand at all. So before I considered using them at all, I wanted to hear from some who had. I got a chance to check them out at a distributor event recently for about an hour. I hadn't ever had a great impression of them before. But after checking them out, I was surprised about some of the stuff I learned. Some of their spot lights are very competitively priced, have really nice color temperature, and come with a lifetime warranty - both the fixture and the LED lamps are warrantied for lifetime - if you buy them through Ewing. It's all part of a deal they have going with Ewing. Counter swap if anything goes wrong.

I also liked the fact that their lights have the same light output at anywhere from 7.5w all the way up to 15+ watts - just like the Kichler lights. Many of the LED brands on the market don't do that. They begin to fade quite a bit as the voltage drops.

It could be a way to land some jobs that we are not landing now because all we are offering is the Kichler product, which is a little high end.

But the more I looked into it this week, I wasn't as impressed. They aren't integrated LEDs, which is one of the main reasons I like Kichler. And the selection isn't nearly as versatile. For instance, Hadco has a small and a medium spot light (20w & 35w equivalent) - both are 28 degree spread. So they basically just have 2 main LED spots. Whereas Kichler has 9 different kinds of spots. And I use them all for different purposes. The Kichler spots come in a small, medium and large (20w, 35w, and 50w equivalent). But in each of those categories, they offer 3 different beam spreads. 10 degree, 30 degree and 65 degree. So 9 spot lights total. You can just do so much more with all of these options. So for me to go back to using just the same beam spread on every lighting job - that wouldn't really work. It would be like taking a painter who paints with 10 brushes and taking 8 of them away and saying, "Now continue doing your beautiful artwork." It's hard to work when you don't have all the right tools you need.

The second thing I found out about Hadco is their pathway lights aren't really any cheaper than the Kichler ones I'm using and actually don't look anywhere NEAR as nice. I don't like most of the Hadco path lights at all. And the one or two I could see myself installing only come in one color. One comes in only copper and the other comes in only black. So I have absolutely no reason (other than the lifetime warranty) to want to use the Hadco path lights.

I was impressed that Hadco had a 300w transformer at a smokin' price! I would mention the price but the outdoor lighting police here in this forum don't like it when I do that. Just suffice it to say it's the best price I've ever heard of for a transformer of that size and quality. Toroidal core, multi-tap, the whole nine yards.

But after a fair amount of research, I've decided to just mostly stick to Kichler. We may use the Hadco on occasion for a customer who is just on a super tight budget. But I'm not as excited about their line as I was.

Hadco was just a diversion. Something I wanted to learn a little about. But I don't plan on switching, no. Stick with Kichler. They got this LED thing figured out better than anyone, IMO. The selection is amazing. The path lights are really nice (especially the 15810 - we've sold a crap load of those). The finishes are awesome (AZT and TZT are my favorite) and their customer service is about the best I've seen in the industry so far. The only thing about Kichler is the price point is rather high. But it's like anything. You get what you pay for.
Jim Lewis
Lewis Landscape Services - Oregon - Portland Oregon Landscaping Company

landscape design Portland Oregon
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