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View Poll Results: Dream fixture lead wire length
25' - the standard for Hub ready fixtures 9 45.00%
30' - longer the better, sometimes 25' isn't long enough 2 10.00%
10' - don't use or care for hubs but extra length is handy 5 25.00%
36" - the short leads most manu's use are just fine 4 20.00%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 07-02-2009, 06:43 PM
Alan B Alan B is offline
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Seeking contractor input for new fixture line

We have some new products we are working on and wanted some forum feedback on some specific features. Believe me your feedback and input affects what and how we make things (The Volt Top Dog was literally a direct compliation of many things that contractors were wishing for, and some of the Top Dogs features came from input in this forum).

1. Regarding Hub ready fixtures, 25' (16 g) lead wire is the common standard. Would you like to see longer 30' lead wire or does 25' take care of the majority of the needs?
2. Which do you prefer domed lens or flat glass lens on bullets? Domed lenses are good in that they prevent water from collecting on the lens. Down side is the curved glass causes very minor striations at the very edges of the beam spread (only notice if your looking for it and its projected onto a flat wall). Flat lens don't have that issue, plus they can be made of higher quality (tempered glass) -- but you get water staining.
3. Tinned copper wiring in the fixtures. Volt currently uses tinned copper wiring throughout but does pay about a double premium in price for it. Not a big deal now, but as we move to 25'-30' lead wire it makes a slight difference cost wise. Is tinned wirting important to you?
4. I prefer brass significantly over aluminum for obvious reasons. The only thing aluminum has over brass is that it is a better conducter of heat. We are considering adding heat dissapating fins to the knuckle area for our brass fixtures (bullets and floods only). Do you care about heat build-up from brass fixtures? We haven't had any issues with it, but its obvious that the cooler the better.
5. Migrating towards all brass fixtures (phasing out our aluminum products), and offerring predominately brass with bronze finishes only (some items like china hats and paths also availble in copper). Thoughts?
6. Is adjustable height important to you for path/area lights like china hats? We can add them, but you can make a stem more robust if its one solid piece and feel the slight adjustment is rarely used on adjustable height models. Your thoughts?
7. Custom stakes (i.e. having brass spikes, larger spikes and "3-prong" metal spikes) as options over the standard PVC spike.
8. Underwater/pond lights -- prefer stainless steel/brass or synthetic?

Please give a vote in the poll.

Thanks for your input. You will help us... and our goal is to produce what you want which will hopefully help you.



Sincerely,

Alan
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Last edited by Alan B; 07-02-2009 at 06:48 PM. Reason: added a poll
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  #2  
Old 07-02-2009, 07:32 PM
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emby emby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gr1ffin View Post
We have some new products we are working on and wanted some forum feedback on some specific features. Believe me your feedback and input affects what and how we make things (The Volt Top Dog was literally a direct compliation of many things that contractors were wishing for, and some of the Top Dogs features came from input in this forum).

1. Regarding Hub ready fixtures, 25' (16 g) lead wire is the common standard. Would you like to see longer 30' lead wire or does 25' take care of the majority of the needs?
2. Which do you prefer domed lens or flat glass lens on bullets? Domed lenses are good in that they prevent water from collecting on the lens. Down side is the curved glass causes very minor striations at the very edges of the beam spread (only notice if your looking for it and its projected onto a flat wall). Flat lens don't have that issue, plus they can be made of higher quality (tempered glass) -- but you get water staining.
3. Tinned copper wiring in the fixtures. Volt currently uses tinned copper wiring throughout but does pay about a double premium in price for it. Not a big deal now, but as we move to 25'-30' lead wire it makes a slight difference cost wise. Is tinned wirting important to you?
4. I prefer brass significantly over aluminum for obvious reasons. The only thing aluminum has over brass is that it is a better conducter of heat. We are considering adding heat dissapating fins to the knuckle area for our brass fixtures (bullets and floods only). Do you care about heat build-up from brass fixtures? We haven't had any issues with it, but its obvious that the cooler the better.
5. Migrating towards all brass fixtures (phasing out our aluminum products), and offerring predominately brass with bronze finishes only (some items like china hats and paths also availble in copper). Thoughts?
6. Is adjustable height important to you for path/area lights like china hats? We can add them, but you can make a stem more robust if its one solid piece and feel the slight adjustment is rarely used on adjustable height models. Your thoughts?
7. Custom stakes (i.e. having brass spikes, larger spikes and "3-prong" metal spikes) as options over the standard PVC spike.
8. Underwater/pond lights -- prefer stainless steel/brass or synthetic?

Please give a vote in the poll.

Thanks for your input. You will help us... and our goal is to produce what you want which will hopefully help you.



Sincerely,

Alan
1. 3 ft is just fine. I can add my own wire for the required application. Reduce the price of the fixture for not including the wire.

2. Definitely flat lense. Let the bulbs do what they are designed to do. Add a notch at the bottom of the shroud for water escape. Ensure that the shroud is wide enough not to intrude on the bulbs degree output.

3. Tinned would be ideal at 3 ft only.

4. Definitely brass. Ensure that the internal wiring is rated for and above the operating temperature while bulb is on. This includes the bulb holder which in my opinion is the most important thing next to the bulb. Seal out moisture and internal parts should be made of SS.

5. I love copper path lights but to become number one make them out of thicker copper. Ensure the bulb is sealed from bugs and irriagation.

6. I personally like a 20 to 24 inch pathlight up here where we get snow. Don't really care about the small adjustment for the top hat but offer 6,9, and 12 inch top hats to accomadate design issues for light ranges.

7.PVC stakes are just as good as brass stakes. If your going to take them out the PVC is going to break and the brass is going to bend. Both are useless after the damage and will need to be replaced. Having an option for the standard stake and an extended stake would be great for some soil conditions.

8. Pond lights, Brass or stainless with a nice big lense surface. Must have a grill but make it small in diameter to allow the bulb to do its job. I mean really how many people have hammer head sharks in the pond? Why do they put the grills on these anyways?
Stainless hardware, very long lead wires, adjustable up and down, and a heavy base. Sealed so that water will never ever get into any part of the fixture.

Thats my 2 cents I hope that it will be helpful and I look forward to seeing your products.

Ken
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  #3  
Old 07-02-2009, 08:03 PM
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INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting is offline
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1. Regarding Hub ready fixtures, 25' (16 g) lead wire is the common standard. Would you like to see longer 30' lead wire or does 25' take care of the majority of the needs? Working on huge lots means I don't use a lot of hubs. 3' of wire lead is plenty for me.

2. Which do you prefer domed lens or flat glass lens on bullets? I would prefer a domed (convex) lens on a bullet fixture as it sheds rain and irrigation water that tend to collect on flat lenes and evaporate leaving lime and deposits. Good quality convex lenses are shatter resistant and should not impact the optics of the lamp. An MR16 lamp does not develop its focal pattern (beam spread) until some 1.5 to 2" out from the lamp face, so any clear lens in that area should not impact optics noticably. Tempered would be best.

3. Tinned copper wiring in the fixtures. Volt currently uses tinned copper wiring throughout but does pay about a double premium in price for it. Not a big deal now, but as we move to 25'-30' lead wire it makes a slight difference cost wise. Is tinned wirting important to you? No not really. If your connection is sound then there is no need to worry about moisture ingress. Save the $.

4. I prefer brass significantly over aluminum for obvious reasons. The only thing aluminum has over brass is that it is a better conducter of heat. I have never had issues with brass fixtures and heat. I also never use any lamp over 35W and rarely use those.

5. Migrating towards all brass fixtures (phasing out our aluminum products), and offerring predominately brass with bronze finishes only (some items like china hats and paths also availble in copper). Most of the product I install is raw copper and brass. I still prefer a natural patina to any applied finish but I must say the Unique and Vista BSO finishes are very nice. I would consider a change to a bronze finish on brass / copper if it did not come with a massive price increase attached.

6. Is adjustable height important to you for path/area lights like china hats? We can add them, but you can make a stem more robust if its one solid piece and feel the slight adjustment is rarely used on adjustable height models. Pathlight stem height adjustability is VERY important when working on properties with changes in elevations. It is possible to make a robust and attactive adjustable knuckle (a major manu. is about to launch one that is awesome) Adjustability is key when working on elevations where the fixture is viewable from below.

7. Custom stakes (i.e. having brass spikes, larger spikes and "3-prong" metal spikes) as options over the standard PVC spike. PVC stakes are the worst. I wish all manu's had a stock brass stake in 8" and 14" versions. The 3 prong "Trident" spike, a-la Jan Moyer, HK Lighting, Auroralight is fantastic when working in nice, clean, deep soils, but is almost useless in rugged terrain.

8. Underwater/pond lights -- prefer stainless steel/brass or synthetic? Brass works fine. The upcharge for stainless on a sumbersed fixture is rarely appreciated. Just make sure the darned things are IP68 rated or equivalent!
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  #4  
Old 07-02-2009, 11:51 PM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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1- 10 feet is fine for me, but I do need the occaisional 25-30 feet for tree moonlighting.
2- convex is ok. I don't like the effect, prefer flat, but hate to clean lens.
3- regular wire is fine. everyone here values a good connection.
4- brass is my choice, but your top dog aluminum is a good value, and lighter weight when mounting spots on stems makes for less top heavyness.
5. aluminum actually feels hotter to me than thick brass
6- how adjustable? I like an adjustable shroud to maximize circle but also minimize glare when neccessary, and adjustable height can make one light fit more applications.
7 Fx's PVC stakes can handle the abuse being hammered into hard rocky soil, and then has the cool slot to thread wire and screw in fixture, no need to hammer the wire. Brass stakes are nice, but consumers rarely see them unless you show them.
8- a good aquatic light is hidden behind water or stone anyway. plastic is fine ,it should be stone or bronze colored and waterproof even after 5-10 bulb changes.
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Old 07-03-2009, 09:51 AM
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Lite4 Lite4 is online now
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1. I like having a 25' lead. One less connection and less time on the job.
2. Convex is fine, just make sure there is enough room to slip a flat lense or honeycomb louver between the lamp and the convex lense for customization.
3. Tinned wire is a gimmick for those who don't know how to make a proper connection! Save the money on the wire and sell good connectors like ACE or any heat shrink product.
4. I don't touch aluminum, only brass and copper. I would not want to see aluminum fins on a brass fixture either. I have never had a problem with heat and brass fixtures. They all get hot, it's the nature of the beast. I dont' burn much over 20 watts in an MR style fixture anyway.
5. I get some call for copper but I am 95% + aged brass for installs.
6. I have looked into adjustable height risers for many of my projects. Often times I am installing in hedges that tend to grow 5-6" in a growing season and can swallow your lights if you don't get there and trim the plants. It would be nice to raise and lower the lights as needed on the regular service calls instead of hacking away at plants. It would have to be clean looking and quite robust though. But I would definitely buy them!
7. I will only use PVC stakes. PVC stakes (like sprinkler pipe) are inert in the soil and will not wick corrosion up into the fixture body like metal stakes will do. I like to keep all metal out of the ground if possible. I use a lot of Unique products and the only thing about their stakes I dont' like is if a stake breaks you have to cut the wire to replace it. Kichler got it right with the notch in the top of the stake. Not only do you not have to cut the wire but you can also pound in the stake with a mallet in hard ground then attach your fixture and not have to worry about pounded wire. I am surprised no other manus have picked up this feature. I have to say that is about the only thing I like about Kichler though is their stakes.
8. I don't mind the polycarbonate fixtures for in the water as long as the seal is very good. Poly is another material that is inert (just like poly sprinkler pipe). Poly is bad above ground in the sun where it gets brittle, but in the water hidden under ledges or pond plants I think you will be ok and can be produced and sold at a more competitive price. I also am at a loss for the reasoning behind all the grates. Here the main problem with a lot of these underwater fixtures though, they are too large. I would love to see someone make one in an MR-11 or t-3 variant with the GE precise lamps for longevity or some LED direct replacement lamps. As these are in water I would imagine they would dissipate heat for the LED much more efficiently than above ground and the replacement cycle would be greatly diminished.

Just my .02
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  #6  
Old 07-03-2009, 10:22 AM
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Pro-Scapes Pro-Scapes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emby View Post
7.PVC stakes are just as good as brass stakes. If your going to take them out the PVC is going to break and the brass is going to bend. Both are useless after the damage and will need to be replaced. Having an option for the standard stake and an extended stake would be great for some soil conditions.


Ken

This is where I must disagree. I am having a huge issue with PVC stakes on some jobs right now and will no longer install them. Granted some are better than others and I have a crapload of PVC stakes out there with no problem but if you have ever installed a nice beefy brass stake and compacted the area around it you will know you have a rock solid mount. Perma posts or the unique zero G post work great in sand and are pvc and work well but where I have the most problem with regular pvc stakes is the threaded areas.

The tridents are nice I have a few out there that came with some HK stuff I put in but al a carte they can be more expensive than some fixtures.

Coppermoon now has some beefy brass stakes and all the gambino fixtures have them. Really makes a diff. Im not saying a pvc stake wont hold a fixture in the ground for quite some time but brass is king especially where there is a higher risk of the fixture being disturbed (ie behind bushes where landscapers will be pruning...along walkways or in other high maint areas.
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Old 07-03-2009, 10:47 AM
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Lite4 Lite4 is online now
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Salts in the soil are going to eat away at the brass though. However, being brass you and I may be dead before it becomes an issue so perhaps I should look at brass stakes again. Has anyone seen the condition of these brass stakes after 5-7 years in poor soils? Just looking for some feedback as I am open to the best option.
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Old 07-03-2009, 05:20 PM
S&MLL S&MLL is offline
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Love the coppermoon product... Hate the pvc stake. 80 percent of time I have to put a layer of ducttape on the threads to get it to catch. Kichler is very easy to work with.
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Old 07-03-2009, 09:05 PM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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I removed a brass stake on an older nightscaping fixture some time back. i'm pretty sure the fixture was 20 plus years old, and the brass stake looked fine.
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Old 07-03-2009, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by David Gretzmier View Post
I removed a brass stake on an older nightscaping fixture some time back. i'm pretty sure the fixture was 20 plus years old, and the brass stake looked fine.
Good to know, thanks David.
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