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  #21  
Old 06-04-2012, 05:48 PM
S&MLL S&MLL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starry night View Post
What's that ringing? I think it's the bell for Round 8 (?) of retrofit LEDs vs. integrated LED fixtures.

Counting New installs & Add on systems last year we installed 12 I repeat 12 fixtures that were not LED.

This year we are at 2.... yes 2 fixtures.

Now this doesn't count fixtures that are installed during a service call for repair or replacement. What does that tell you about round 8
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  #22  
Old 06-04-2012, 07:11 PM
indylights indylights is offline
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Why should they be "field replaceable"? LED technology is good enough right now that if it's done right, it shouldn't HAVE to be replaced - not for at least 15-20 years! The term "field replaceable" to me means they are building in failure. They know it's going to fail sooner than you'd consider reasonable, so they're going to give you an easy way to replace their failure. And then charge you for it! Wow! Really? No thanks! How about just making a fixture that will last a long time without failing and doesn't need to be replaced any time soon? What a novel concept!

Because if something does go wrong, you don't have to needlessly throw away an entire fixture. Even Kichler (and wow, it's obvious you just came from their warehouse) fixtures fail. Popping in a new element is a lot easier than scabbing in a new fixture, and you aren't needlessly adding to the incredible landfill problem this country already has. And just hope your 5 year warranty on the Kichler housing doesn't fail before the LED warranty (and again, that's what their written warranty states, it doesn't matter what any rep "tells" you they will do). And despite what the fine folks at Kichler obviously preached during your trip, there are more than two main components that make up LED "light". Do some independent research not promoted by a manufacturer. Other than that, it's sound like things are going well for you, so continued success.

Scott Maloney
Sunflower Landscapes
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  #23  
Old 06-04-2012, 07:23 PM
steveparrott steveparrott is offline
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On the fully-potted-fixtures-that-need-to-be-replaced-when-they-fail vs. integrated-fixtures-with-replaceable-components debate: a few points
  • Just because a driver is fully potted doesn't mean that its components are high quality - if they use electrolytic capacitors in the drive circuit, they can still fail pre-maturely
  • They may also be susceptable to voltage spikes and surges that can weaken components or cause catastrophic failure - not uncommon events with dirty currents going into the field
  • Lightning strikes are more common than you might imagine - especially in warmer states. A lightning strike can take out an entire LED system - and it's not covered by warranty.
  • Potting doesn't reduce electromagnetic interference - a problem with many popular LED's.
Also, when circuits are designed properly, and when thermal transfer is adequote, there's no reason why LED chips and drivers can't share the same board.

There's no reason why LED components can't be made replaceable (without discarding the entire fixture) - in fact, the IESNA considers replaceability and seviceability very important characteristics in a quality luminaire. Discarding entire fixtures when LED failures occur is wasteful and expensive.
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  #24  
Old 06-04-2012, 08:27 PM
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JimLewis JimLewis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indylights View Post
Because if something does go wrong, you don't have to needlessly throw away an entire fixture. Even Kichler fixtures fail.
An extremely low number of their LED Design Pro light fixtures have failed since they came out with them. I would disclose the % but I'm not sure whether that was privy information or not. Regardless, it's an extremely low percentage. Particularly considering the failure rate on everyone else's LEDs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by indylights View Post
Popping in a new element is a lot easier than scabbing in a new fixture
I'm not sure that's true. Assuming this element you speak of is something that's been protected pretty well, you're going to have to unseal the unit and take apart the thing to get to it. I bet I could switch out a fixture in about the same time it would take you to switch out this element you speak of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by indylights View Post
and you aren't needlessly adding to the incredible landfill problem this country already has.
Really? That's our biggest problem in our country is the landfills??? And this is going to be made so much worse because of outdoor lighting fixtures? Please. You gotta be kidding me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by indylights View Post
And just hope your 5 year warranty on the Kichler housing doesn't fail before the LED warranty (and again, that's what their written warranty states, it doesn't matter what any rep "tells" you they will do).
I'm sorry you don't believe it. But they are warrantied for a full 15 years. If the light stops working for ANY REASON for 15 years, it's replaced. No questions asked. This didn't just come from my rep. It came from my distributor, It came from the rep. for the entire West side of the U.S., and it came from the president of Kichler's landscape lighting division. I specifically asked them that question just a week and a half ago. Item number 1 on their warranty page that discusses the 15 year warranty on the Design Pro LED fixtures supersedes all of the other warranty stuff mentioned below that.

And it hasn't been a case of "just take my word on it." My experience has shown that they are more than willing to replace the fixture for any reason as well. I had one path light that the homeowner called me about. It didn't have any signs of damage. But he said he had seen the neighbor kids run into it with their bikes several times and now it wasn't working anymore. When we went to take it in, we were given a new fixture without even any question as to why it failed. They tested it. It didn't work. They handed us a new one. Simple as that. Didn't even ask when we purchased it or anything. Easy counter swap replacement.

Now if you want to stand up there and say, "Well, I still don't think they're going to warranty it." you're just spouting off conjecture. Because all evidence to the contrary. And my experience has been otherwise, too. I've found them to be good on their word with everything so far. And they certainly are offering a whole lot better warranty on LED stuff than anyone else I can find. You want to keep knocking them, fine. But I think you're just hating. The facts are they have a great warranty and they've backed it up.

The other nice part is other than that one, I have yet to have any fail at all. So we shouldn't even need their warranty too much. But if we ever do, it's nice to know I can just get a new unit and move on. I don't have to worry about what component went out, shelling out money for a replacement component or lamp, etc. I can just switch it out with no material cost to me whatsoever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by indylights View Post
And despite what the fine folks at Kichler obviously preached during your trip, there are more than two main components that make up LED "light". Do some independent research not promoted by a manufacturer.
Please enlighten me. I saw the components and the inside of the units myself. Was there another component they were hiding from me?
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  #25  
Old 06-04-2012, 09:23 PM
indylights indylights is offline
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Show me one word on their warranty page that says item number one supercedes all else. They are taking back all product from you now because it is well within 5 years, you just started using Kichler a year ago, so the debate on that really is mute for a couple more years for both of us. I just go by what I see in writing. Let me know what happens in 6 years when an aluminum fixture by the west coast rusts away and the LED is damaged because of that. Also just curious how you know everyone else's failure rate and who you define as everyone else. Some more "privy" info? Again, I don't care who you use, but your "privy" information you keep talking about isn't that "privy". That same "privy" info they give you they give to the next group that comes in, and the next, and the next, and all their reps, all their distributors, and anyone else who matters. If you don't think electronic waste contributes mightily to landfill problems domestically and internationally, you are dreaming. If you want to be enlightened on everything that makes up LED, please PM me, and I can send you reams of information, both independent and manufacturer based, on what makes quality LED components. And for the record, I don't use Kichler now and won't for my own reasons, have in the past, don't care who does, have a relative who's income is greatly affected by how much Kichler his irrigation distributorship sells, and therefore get a great deal of the same (and probably more) "privy" info as you, and use a mix of integrated, lamp, and replaceable module LED fixtures.

Scott Maloney
Sunflower Landscapes
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  #26  
Old 06-04-2012, 10:15 PM
bcg bcg is offline
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Scott, the 5 year warranty on the Aluminum fixtures is only for the coating, the rest of the fixture is covered by the 15 year warranty. So if the coating peels 6 years in, that isn't a warranty issue, but if the LED fails it is. My experience with Kichler leads me to believe that if you bring an Aluminum fixture back 14 years later with both coating issues and failed LED, they're going to replace it.

If you're using the BBR fixtures, which I have on the installs I've used Kichler on, then the point is moot as those are covered by the 15 year warranty on both the LED and the housing.

That said, I'm really beginning to have concerns about integrated fixtures that must be completely replaced. I worry about how I'm going to deal with the 100+ fixture jobs down in 15+ years as things start to wear out. Since some of those jobs were ripping out 15+ year old systems and redoing them, I think the customers will be OK but then again, it's hard to predict the future.
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  #27  
Old 06-04-2012, 11:38 PM
indylights indylights is offline
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I promise last time beating this horse, but the 5 years on an aluminum fixture is for the housing and finish, not just the finish. Plain as day, item #3 on their warranty page. If they honor them later than that, that's great for the guys who use them. Just know they don't have to.

Scott Maloney
Sunflower Landscapes
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  #28  
Old 06-05-2012, 06:19 PM
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Lite4 Lite4 is offline
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My biggest issue with Kichler is (really Kichler?!? can't you make a 100 dollar fixture with a better engineered knuckle than simply some silly little plastic ball with a screw set driven into it?!?) Very chincy....You would think with all the $ they are making off their products they could invest a little into designing a more robust fixture...I'm just sayin.
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  #29  
Old 06-05-2012, 07:08 PM
bcg bcg is offline
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I agree with that, I've had several fixtures break at that plastic knuckle from very little force. So far, Kichler has warranted them but still, it's a PITA to have to replace a fixture over something that could be so easily fixed.
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  #30  
Old 06-05-2012, 10:28 PM
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Lite4 Lite4 is offline
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Sure they will warrant the fixture, (whooptydoo) but they won't reimburse me for my time to drive over during a busy day to rip out their plastic imposter, or my fuel to drive it across town, flop it down on the counter and drive back with a new piece of plastic. Silly little fixtures. I will take a robust brass fixture with an Illumicare drop in LED anyday over a Kichler. But that's just me, I am not going to limit myself to one fixture to try to light everything. Ok, Kichler guys, commence with the bashing. I can take it. :-)
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