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  #51  
Old 02-21-2011, 07:00 PM
ccfree ccfree is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonlighting View Post
i would rather see all of my lighting supplies come through a website. i suspect that the service might be better and stock would also be better. it would be cheaper as in the case with Volt, the fact that they sell to the public is a problem for sure. while i do like the relationship i have with my suppliers i dont like it to the tune of 20 to 30 %.

Pricing a lighting job is relevent to what you pay for the material. I can assure you that you are making more percentage than a distributor.
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  #52  
Old 02-21-2011, 07:02 PM
bcg bcg is online now
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Another thing to consider, my distibutors give me credit. It's hard to put a value on 30 days free money and a discount for paying on time.
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  #53  
Old 02-26-2011, 05:54 PM
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jkingrph jkingrph is offline
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No LED's yet , but got my Volt mushroom path lights installed. Installed 19 lights, did 4 runs to junction boxes. Shortest run is only about 3' so used a 12 ga lead. On others longest is about 65' shortest about 30 so used 10 ga

I only got a 300w transformer so I used 10w bulbs, which give plenty of light for my purpose. I have to leave very early and return late, in dark about 8 months of the year. I installed volt's electronic timer in conjunction with the photo cell so they do not stay on all night, off about 10pm and on again about 5:30 am.. I set an arbitrary off at 7am, and an on at 6pm and set everything central time and am not planning on any changes for daylight savings. Photo cell should handle that and keep it off when there is plenty of ambient light.

This is a quantum leap over the Lowe's system I had installed. There is nothing like quality.
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  #54  
Old 02-28-2011, 04:17 PM
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RLDesign RLDesign is offline
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Positive Distributor Relationships

Sounds much like my experiences with my distributor. I have also found that most distributors are not knowledgable enought to meet my standards in outdoor lighting... but we grow and learn together. They try to retain my business as much as possible. I find all my distributors to be helpful as much as they can and go out of their way to get me product. My reps, especially CAST, go the extra mile for our firm.

Talk soon. Tanek

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcg View Post
I guess I didn't realize how lucky I am to have a local distributor that will deliver to my shop or jobsite, stock what I tell them I plan to use, has good technical support if I need it and gives me no hassle warranty returns. I've run out of things on jobs before and they've been there within an hour most of the time with what I needed and have never charged for delivering anything.

They even have a key to my shop so they can drop stuff off if I'm not there. I know that's unusual but I kind of expected that there would be at least one distributor in every major market that would stock and deliver what you needed.
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  #55  
Old 02-28-2011, 04:52 PM
steveparrott steveparrott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanek Hood View Post
My reps, especially CAST, go the extra mile for our firm. Tanek
Thanks Tanek, it's a big investment to keep our guys in the field. It's good to hear that they're appreciated.
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  #56  
Old 02-28-2011, 05:28 PM
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RLDesign RLDesign is offline
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Jeff Hesser

Hello Steve,

Jeff is responsive, helpful and enthusiastic about the industry and my work. I would love to discuss the AOLP anytime you have a minute. Please email me at tanek@reynoldslbi.com to see when you have some phone time available. I would love to bring Dave B. back into the organization. His training materials and educational efforts provide one level of education that enligtens younger minds about the direciton of landscape lighting. Student membership at the AOLP is paramount to the bridge of the org.

CAST's print catalogs have been very helpful to me. CAST has one of the best industry print books demonstrating the materials, techniques, and types of lighting. Whatever company you choose, it is important to find your fit. That color book and the training manual has been a perfect fit in so many ways, for me and my crews.

Thanks again for your efforts and marketing materials. That support is not there in such a fashion with everyone in the industry. Please do check out CAST's website. My crews reference your training manual in our work trucks. We use the NS slider (only a few were ever made) and your training book. The book, pick up at Jeff's trianing session, showed me stuff I can do differently, but more so provided some technical data for my crew to have in the field. We do some things with CAST method, some a mix of what works for us. I look forward to using more of your product in the upcoming season. I see the value in buying local, and in your ability to be responsive. The telescopic stem is being installed on a job this week., 6 fixtures with 16" telescopic. I guess that can be custom ordered to height? Pricing is something I wish there was a way to get somewhat lower.... but the price is backed by a warranty and reputation that is cast in stone and your word. I look at the value in so many ways. I learned the value of that word when you backed some product this year that I did not install. Those gestures mean a lot and matter. Thank you. I know that the customer service is there from almost every manu., but that is only recently. Some companies see the value and others do not. My reps from FX, CAST, and NS all are great and helpful. If I did not have a rep from those companies, I would not have their input and help being a better designer. They all meet me in the field and give me new products and tips. There is another company that will be that level of CS, if the previous company is not, and so on and so on. Rambling at 5 p.m. I gotta go home.

Talk soon. Tanek
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  #57  
Old 02-28-2011, 07:54 PM
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Classic Lighting Classic Lighting is offline
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I agree with everything that Tanek posted above. Jeff is also my area rep and I appreciate his knowledge of the industry. I attended one of his training seminars several years ago and was hooked on lighting. I continue to attend his seminars because I learn some new tips and tricks every time. He also openly communicates with me about industry news and Cast updates.
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  #58  
Old 03-17-2011, 12:26 AM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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I have used LED's here and there in volt fixtures, but on paths you really need a 20 watt plus equivalent and I have not found that yet. Alan has a longer top dog in this week for the longer mr-16 retrofits that are floating around out there.

in defense of Volt-

I use my distributor for what I have to, and they do fulfil a need for me here and there, but I buy most of my fixtures from Volt. I love them, have never had any notable problems other than a shipping breakage now and again.

I am not certain what folks are looking for when they say "they were not too impressed with the quality".

quality should mean- It has a great effect, a fixture looks good enough but blends into a landscape, is heavy enough to handle being abused, kicked, stepped on, or run over, is water tight enough to handle near submersion, has an excellent bulb click and pregreased socket, comes pre-lubed on the o-rings, has an awesome wire pass through stake, great adjustable shroud, the spots don't hold water and the paths are impossible to to see the bulb, and overall when I put it in folks hands that have net worth that exceeds 7 figures they are impressed.

I know for a fact Volt fixtures feel vastly superior to the nightscaping and FX fixtures I was putting in 15 plus years ago.

If you guys wish, go ahead and continue to justify spending more money on your fixtures that provide the same effect for 2-3x the cost.
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  #59  
Old 03-17-2011, 12:39 AM
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JimLewis JimLewis is offline
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David (and those of you who use Volt a lot),

Do you specify the brand name in your bids? I'm really concerned about that. That if I specify Volt by name people are going to go online and see how cheap they are going for on Alan's site and then start to think my price for materials is way too much. Even if I don't itemize my bid out like I normally do, once they see how affordable you can get the light fixtures for, I'm afraid they're going to do a little math and figure that we are marking them up WAY too much.

Which, I guess, is everyone else's point. That does kinda mess things up. I wouldn't have ever thought it was an issue until recently when I had a customer find every freakin' fixture I had listed on his bid - online -for much cheaper than I was quoting it. It really pissed me off. I think we probably lost the bid, mostly because of that. And it was a very nice, big job. I'm learning to bid better and not itemize and sell our company and sell the lighting design that we are doing. So that should help. But still at some point you gotta list out some basic pricing for the customer, even if it's just a lump sum materials price. And it's at that point, when they see the word "Volt" and do a search online, where I am afraid we're going to start to have problems.

How have you guys overcome that? Do you just not mention the brand name?
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  #60  
Old 03-17-2011, 09:37 AM
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Classic Lighting Classic Lighting is offline
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While I have used Volt in the past, the bulk of my luminaires are Cast. A major advantage that companies like Cast, Unique, and FX have over Volt is that the customer cannot find prices on the www. Therefore, I don't have the worries that you expressed so I can give thorough expalnations of the products that I install IF the customer ask questions.
I try to keep luminaire specifics out of the bid because I focus on selling a design, not the materials that are used to accomplish the design. Does this sound familiar?
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