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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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  #11  
Old 07-04-2009, 11:08 AM
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Pro-Scapes Pro-Scapes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S&MLL View Post
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.
You must have gotten the old stakes like me. Give Doug a shout on your next order and make sure its the new stakes. He should also have the 10 inch monster brass ones in stock now too.

Alluminum stakes are worse than PVC. I replaced what i think was the remnants of vista fixtures (at least the transformers were vista) that had alluminum stakes around a saltwater pool... 4 years old... corroded right thru the stakes. Have brass stakes on the gambino paths around the pool deck now and all they have done is slightly greened a year later.
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  #12  
Old 07-07-2009, 08:17 AM
Alan B Alan B is offline
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THANK YOU for the feedback thus far. Based on your input the next production will have:
-25' lead wire
-stakes that can be hammered in first then fixture attached after
-Convex lens
-brass only fixtures in bronze finish, except area lights will also come in copper finish.
-brass but not add brass heat dissipating fins
-we will offer brass stakes as an option for those who like them
-underwater lights will be smaller so they are less noticeable (water will dissipate the heat of the smaller fixture and made of brass

COUPLE NEW ITEMS QUESTIONS, seeking feedback:

1a. Currently the shades on the path and area lights are spun brass. There is only so thick you can go when using spun components over cast. Our current shades are thick for being spun and will not bend. We are considering adding cast brass shades. There is little tangible benefit other than heavy weight perception to the customer. There is no doubt that a cast shade will be heavier/more robust and will enable a customer to see these are no ordinary fixtures. They will cost about $5-$10 more and have little practical effect other than being heavier, however with all the other great components/solid construction I think it will be one more differentiator to show the quality. Your thoughts on spun vs cast shades on area lights?

1. All of our PRO grade brass/cooper path/area lights are technically "area lights" and not dedicated "path lights" (i.e. they have straight stems like a China Hat and not an L stem for a dedicated path lights). I prefer area lights to path lights as the path light will draw attention to hardscape walkway whereas area lights will illuminate both the walkway and the landscape adjacent to the path. Do you think Volt should incorporate some dedicated path lights (L stems) into our product mix. Personally I think it would be good to have 1 or 2 but do not think they are in as big demand as the area lights.

2. If we made 1 or 2 path lights they would be more ornamental/decorative (add some copper scroll/detail) for the customers that are looking for something more decorative given our area lights focus is currently about being robust, utilitarian first then decorative second. Would you like to see a mix of materials (brass body with copper accents) for decorative path/area lights?

3. We will add a brass grate to our PAR36 well lights for the more robust appearance and as a quality debris cover. We are considering adding an MR-16 well light similar to the Atom Lighting/Gambino Lighting style (sealed and adjustable MR-16 well light) however I am not sure of the demand (see below regarding current demand for our PAR36 well light). Currently only David G has expressed an interest in the MR16 well light--any others use them?

3a. Do you prefer an open well light PVC tube, or sealed canister well light

4. Copper can not be cast molded and is softer/less durable than brass. Accordingly you will see that solid copper items tend to be copper pipes with spun copper when there is a "shaped" component (i.e. a china hat will have a copper pipe stem with a spun copper top). Where as with brass you can cast components and make then both thicker and molded to any shape. We have opted to cast solid brass then plate it in copper for those who want a copper finish. It is heavier, stronger and will patina to the same finish as it ages. Do you prefer solid copper and be limited to spun components and more rudimentary designs or solid brass with copper finish?

5. Most fixtures are void of any markings of the manufacturer brand name. I personally feel this is because manu's don't want people to know due to warranty issues, calls from consumers, and possibly a general lack of faith of how their fixtures hold up over time being in/on the ground. Would you like to see brand names (very small discreet markings) on the fixtures or prefer anonymous?




New things we are working on:
-There is a lack of innovation, design and selection in the wallwash/flood fixtures out there in general. We are working on some new fixture designs from scratch that will address this.
-New deck, step and underwater lights are in the works.
-All our risers 6", 12", 24" will be made of solid brass (1" diameter) to match the stems of path area lights. This makes for a better riser than the typical aluminum 3/4", plus enables path/area lights to be made higher for that unique need.
-adding new brass spot similar to Top Dog, but in a wider body and wider glass lens (not as extreme as a Kim KLV205) whose purpose is to be a bigger fixture, wider glass lens, more air space and heat sinking for flood applications and higher wattage's for up lighting larger tree canopies.
-refinements to the Top Dog fixture: shorten body 1/4" to get MR-16 just below convex lens (leaving just enough space for accessory lens to be added). Currently lamp sits 3/8" below lens. Add a second glare guard adjustment screw so adjustable glare guard can be lower all the way. Add female nipple molded to glare guard so adjustment screw does not fall out when over loosened. Reducing angle of glare guard from 55 degrees to 45 degrees. All of these are to enable full beam spreads on 60 degree bulbs.

Thanks for your input.

Sincerely,

Alan
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VOLT® Lighting
(813) 978-3700
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  #13  
Old 07-07-2009, 07:35 PM
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INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gr1ffin View Post
COUPLE NEW ITEMS QUESTIONS:

1a. Currently the shades on the path and area lights are spun brass. There is only so thick you can go when using spun components over cast. There is little tangible benefit other than heavy weight perception to the customer. There is no doubt that a cast shade will be heavier/more robust and will enable a customer to see these are no ordinary fixtures. Your thoughts on spun vs cast shades on area lights? Do not make them too heavy! The problem with cast brass and other heavy cast fixtures is that they do not stay standing up straight for very long! Nothing looks worse than a bunch of crooked fixtures! I do not use products like the CAST line of path (area) lights as they simply are too top heavy to stay upright in anything less than perfectly optimal soils. Hadco has some top heavy cast brass mushroom shape path lights that suffer the same problems. Making a fixture heavy simply to provide a perception of quality is un necessary. The fixture is but the tool (paint brush) that a lighting designer uses to create the effect.


1. All of our PRO grade brass/cooper path/area lights are technically "area lights" and not dedicated "path lights" (i.e. they have straight stems like a China Hat and not an L stem for a dedicated path lights). Do you think Volt should incorporate some dedicated path lights (L stems) into our product mix. Personally I think it would be good to have 1 or 2 but do not think they are in as big demand as the area lights. I have never used one. I prefer Area lights over directional bullets on stems.

2. If we made 1 or 2 path lights they would be more ornamental/decorative (add some copper scroll/detail) for the customers that are looking for something more decorative given our area lights focus is currently about being robust, utilitarian first then decorative second. Would you like to see a mix of materials (brass body with copper accents) for decorative path/area lights? Don't get too decorative! Nice clean simple shapes and forms win the day. If you want decorative you can always go to Kichler! They have the market cornered on 'decorative' styled fixtures. Flowers, Ivy, Frogs, Birds, border line racist human figurines, etc.... not my cup of tea. Why hasnt anyone made garden gnomes into fixtures?

3. Currently only David G has expressed an interest in the MR16 well light--any others use them? Add'l I am surprised by the lower demand of our existing PAR36 well light (Volt Ground Hog). Personally I am not a fan of well lights, but they are a staple item. Any thoughts on why we are not seeing it as a major item? I don' use a lot of PAR36 anything. However there is a strong demand for solid cast brass, sealed, in-grade, MR16 "well lights". My favourite was the NS Vermeer. The new Coppermoon product is pretty good but doesnt have the same cache'.


5. Most fixtures are void of any markings of the manufacturer brand name. I personally feel this is because manu's don't want people to know due to warranty issues, calls from consumers, and possibly a general lack of faith of how their fixtures hold up over time being in/on the ground. Would you like to see brand names (very small discreet markings) on the fixtures or prefer anonymous? I prefer annonymous unless you are talking about making things "private label"! It really annoys me to see the Hunza engraving in the body of every Hunza fixture I install... and it leads to all sorts of local 'copy cats' who see your work and then try to emulate it for others.
Any chance we are going to see the VOLT line with appropriate ULc, cETL, or CSA listings for use here in Canada anytime soon?
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  #14  
Old 07-07-2009, 10:03 PM
Alan B Alan B is offline
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James,

Thank you for the input.

[QUOTE=INTEGRA Works Lighting;3081753]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gr1ffin
COUPLE NEW ITEMS QUESTIONS:

1a. Currently the shades on the path and area lights are spun brass. There is only so thick you can go when using spun components over cast. There is little tangible benefit other than heavy weight perception to the customer. There is no doubt that a cast shade will be heavier/more robust and will enable a customer to see these are no ordinary fixtures. Your thoughts on spun vs cast shades on area lights? Do not make them too heavy! The problem with cast brass and other heavy cast fixtures is that they do not stay standing up straight for very long! Nothing looks worse than a bunch of crooked fixtures! I do not use products like the CAST line of path (area) lights as they simply are too top heavy to stay upright in anything less than perfectly optimal soils. Hadco has some top heavy cast brass mushroom shape path lights that suffer the same problems. Making a fixture heavy simply to provide a perception of quality is un necessary. The fixture is but the tool (paint brush) that a lighting designer uses to create the effect. Understood. (I really try not self promote here as this should be the contractors forum and I don't like when manufacturers invade). However i must explain. I agree with everything you said, but as a newer manufacturer it is important for Volt to show that we are not another "cheap knock-off import" and that we have better custom components than mainstream large manufacturers (and for half the price), so for us we have to demonstrate some of the things on the outside for those unaware of how our products are made on the inside. That was the rational behind the cast shades. Also it opens up more design possibilities. If we incoprorate some cast designs, we will keep them light in weight to avoid being top heavy.


2. If we made 1 or 2 path lights they would be more ornamental/decorative (add some copper scroll/detail) for the customers that are looking for something more decorative given our area lights focus is currently about being robust, utilitarian first then decorative second. Would you like to see a mix of materials (brass body with copper accents) for decorative path/area lights? Don't get too decorative! Nice clean simple shapes and forms win the day. If you want decorative you can always go to Kichler! They have the market cornered on 'decorative' styled fixtures. Flowers, Ivy, Frogs, Birds, border line racist human figurines, etc.... not my cup of tea. Why hasnt anyone made garden gnomes into fixtures? Agree, subtle decorative is what I was referring to.

3. Currently only David G has expressed an interest in the MR16 well light--any others use them? Add'l I am surprised by the lower demand of our existing PAR36 well light (Volt Ground Hog). Personally I am not a fan of well lights, but they are a staple item. Any thoughts on why we are not seeing it as a major item? I don' use a lot of PAR36 anything. However there is a strong demand for solid cast brass, sealed, in-grade, MR16 "well lights". My favourite was the NS Vermeer. The new Coppermoon product is pretty good but doesnt have the same cache'. I don't understand the rational behind a cast brass caseing for a well light. I would think PVC casing with brass above ground trimming would be superior. Please explain the preference for sealed brass vs seal PVC with brass top in case to help me understand why that would be an advantage.

5. Most fixtures are void of any markings of the manufacturer brand name. I personally feel this is because manu's don't want people to know due to warranty issues, calls from consumers, and possibly a general lack of faith of how their fixtures hold up over time being in/on the ground. Would you like to see brand names (very small discreet markings) on the fixtures or prefer anonymous? I prefer annonymous unless you are talking about making things "private label"! It really annoys me to see the Hunza engraving in the body of every Hunza fixture I install... and it leads to all sorts of local 'copy cats' who see your work and then try to emulate it for others. Ok makes sense. We were going to add the Volt name so that it was evident we make our own molds and are a manufacturer not an importer, but based on your input we will consider leaving it off.


Any chance we are going to see the VOLT line with appropriate ULc, cETL, or CSA listings for use here in Canada anytime soon? Yes, but it won't be until Fall. The UL listings were unbelievably high (think $15,000 per fixture!), so we will instead be doing UTL (equal approval but less expensive and bundling in our new fixtures together to get the approvals in bulk). We will include the C listing.
QUOTE]
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www.voltlighting.com


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  #15  
Old 07-08-2009, 07:11 PM
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eskerlite eskerlite 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?
Answer. 30 ft for tree lights, 25' for pathlights for the hub guys, 4' for flushmount fixtures on deck posts ect. and 3' for the spots and paths for non hub users.
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.
Ans. Flat lenses i prefer as long as the angle is going to let the water run off the bottom.
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?
Ans. No regular wire.
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.
Ans.NO ALUMINIUM it has no place in the outdoors!
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?Ans. Copper very good and brass very good. Get rid of the aluminum.
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? I think the stem height should be adjustable. My clients dont like to see a tall fixture with small immature plant material. They like the option of raising the fixtures with the growth of the plant material. Make 3 different stem sizes as an option for a stronger stem.
7. Custom stakes (i.e. having brass spikes, larger spikes and "3-prong" metal spikes) as options over the standard PVC spike. Yes. different soils call for different spikes as well as the height of the fixtures dictate a larger more stable spike.
8. Underwater/pond lights -- prefer stainless steel/brass or synthetic?Brass.
My 2 cents.
Sean Curran
Donald B. Curran Inc. dbcurraninc.com
Past President of AOLP aolponline.org
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  #16  
Old 07-08-2009, 09:48 PM
Chris J Chris J is offline
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Just a quick thought: I believe to make every fixture with an adjustable stem would be cost prohibitive. Instead, why not have available various length extensions which would accomodate every situation that the adjustable stem would? In other words, I don't want to pay more for every fixture just because it has the adjustable stem. I'd rather pay less and keep the option to modify it to suit my needs, if necessary. My .0001364875 cents.
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  #17  
Old 07-09-2009, 06:00 AM
Alan B Alan B is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post
Just a quick thought: I believe to make every fixture with an adjustable stem would be cost prohibitive. Instead, why not have available various length extensions which would accommodate every situation that the adjustable stem would? In other words, I don't want to pay more for every fixture just because it has the adjustable stem. I'd rather pay less and keep the option to modify it to suit my needs, if necessary. My .0001364875 cents.
Sean and Chris, thank you for your input.
I didn't communicate very well, so let me clarify...
-By adjustable, I am only referring to the shade relative to the bulb (i.e. a 1" adjustment to compensate for elevation changes (to hide lamp glare when area light is installed on a higher grade and visible from below). Also enables micro adjustment of illumination area (from a 5' diameter to about 15' diameter if you raise or lower the shade section only). This is a feature we will likely incorporate in our next production.
-Regarding the stems, we are changing our risers (6", 12", 24") to be 1" solid brass in the same finish options) so that you can raise area lights (and all lights) with a stem that is an exact match and blends in seamlessly. We will definitely incorporate these changes in our next production run. Our current risers are 3/4" aluminum and were only intended for raising spots- we will discontinue those.
-We will go with the 25' leads on all fixtures.

Unresolved questions:
-2 new well lights are in the works. PAR36 and MR-16. Both will have brass grates, adjustable gimble and be sealed canisters (no more open wells). The big question is, we are planning on using a PVC sealed canister for the below ground portion and brass for the above ground finishing. The goal is to make a sealed, quality well light at a very affordable price. However I have heard input from high end contractors that love the Nightscaping Vermeer (which has an all cast brass canister). It is unlikely we would use a brass canister as the weight makes shipping, manufacturing and cost very high for what may be negligible function and quality improvement. However I maybe completely wrong, please fill me in if/why a cast brass canister would be worth the significant increase in price? The PVC may actually outperform brass (less internal condensation, better seal, no metal underground).
-I personally dislike having multiple screws on the face of a brass well lights (makes a great seal however time consuming to change bulbs/install) and even when pregreased, the is the chance of screws freezing/stripping into fixture body. I prefer tooless if it can be made solid and water tight. I would like to make a thick PVC sealed canister with a brass grate that screws onto the canister and is sealed with a thick O-ring. Tool-less, faster, cleaner presentation, no metal on metal corrosion, tight seal. Your thoughts? (we will have screws for underwater lights however).

Thanks again for helping us understand what you want.

Sincerely,

Alan
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VOLT® Lighting
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  #18  
Old 07-09-2009, 10:07 AM
Alan B Alan B is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gr1ffin View Post
I prefer tooless if it can be made solid and water tight. I would like to make a thick PVC sealed canister with a brass grate that screws onto the canister and is sealed with a thick O-ring. Tool-less, faster, cleaner presentation, no metal on metal corrosion, tight seal. Your thoughts? (we will have screws for underwater lights however).

Thanks again for helping us understand what you want.

Sincerely,

Alan

By tool-less I meant the entire brass grate is threaded and your twist the brass grate to screw it down into the pvc canister (no individual screws).
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  #19  
Old 07-10-2009, 12:58 AM
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INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting is online now
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I really doubt you can make a tool-less ingrade well light that is also water tight. It might keep out moisture for a little while, but eventually it will leak.

Even some of the mid grade product that uses 4 or more screws tends to leak over time. Oh to have the NS Vermeer available again!

I would recommend to any manufacturer that they do some research into IP ratings and then start to build and test to IP65 or better. Keeping dust, moisture, etc out of fixtures is a sure fire way to ensure long lamp and socket life.

Regards.
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  #20  
Old 07-10-2009, 08:37 AM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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Talking

Although I would love a tool free well, i am with James on this one, I don't think it can be done. It must be essentially waterproof. I hate taking off 4, 6 or 8 screws to change or aim a bulb, but if it means the fixture lasts 20 years, so be it. If your going to try a no screw, the reason the brass would work far better than plastic is the structure of the brass will be less likely to "shift" in the ground. you put plastic in the ground, and over a period of several frost/heave, root sqeeze years, when you unscrew the lid to change a bulb, the plastic structure may very well "unround" itself and the lid may not screw back on. Brass won't do that.

a nice feature would be to use standard phillips screws so you always have the bit needed for your drill. what is up with Manu's using hex, square or star drives? maybe they think they are cool, maybe they strip out less, but it really just serves to frustrate me when I go to change a bulb. Although I try to keep 2-3 of every bit out there, I always seem to lose the one I need.
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