Aluminum=No Good for landscape lighting

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by pete scalia, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,533

    No problem Joey I know you wouldn't lie to me.
    But those were installed in a tidal marsh, right?

    Seriously though, were they in a wet area?
    Overhead irrigation or drip?
    Clay soil?
    And it seems obvious they were buried up top the adjustment screw on the knuckle.
    I think I even see some rust on that stainless screw though... what would that tell you?

    Oh, and if it was in a lawn all bets are off. :)
     
  2. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

    Yeah Gregg I am not sure what type of soil they were in but I did not clean the light. It is pretty clean other than the corrosion. Lens has some deposit on it/mineral coating but not to much. Even the corroded part is fairly clean so I dont think it was buried to far down past the stake. The screw has some surface rust but if it was buried that deep you would think it would have dirt in the phillips head. But Whatever, brass or copper would't do this even if you bury the knuckle. I see these all the time and have seen these for years. Maybe it's just San Diego dirt that causes that aerospace grade aluminum to corrode?
     
  3. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,533

    Or maybe it was hit with something like nylon string from a weedwhacker to cause the finish to flake? In any case, despite the the hassle of a return, I'll bet FX would cover and exchange it for a new one. It's not their first generation product.

    Is the guy that works for Ewing still reading this thread? Craig? What do you think of Joey's photos?
     
  4. ccfree

    ccfree LawnSite Member
    Posts: 100

    Couple of questions Joey...Was that the only RS fixture on this job site that corroded? Were anymore RS fixtures on the job? Okay, so we have an FX fixture that corroded. The interesting thing to me is this. The corrosion is at the bottom of the fixture, meaning it was installed fairly deeply. Greg could be right about weed eaters. I have seen this one time in my 10 year career selling FX. Of the two fixtures that corroded on this job, they were the only ones installed in turf. I did some extensive research at the job site. I concluded that the problem was man made in that the landscaper liquid fertilized the lawn 3 times a year in which it had a chemical reaction to the aluminum alloy which was chipped from weed eater lines. It was 2 powder coated path lights that corroded the riser in half at the base, and the plastic spike was 80% dissolved. Mother nature was not involved in my opinion for what its worth.
     
  5. ccfree

    ccfree LawnSite Member
    Posts: 100

    Let me make one correction from memory. The spike was not plastic, it was the old aluminum one FX used to ship with their fixtures.
     
  6. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 960

    Not at all. I'm just kidding with you
     
  7. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 960

    This is one of the worst attempts to explain away a problem that I've ever seen. I had a similar photo which was promptly deleted several weeks back. So Joey's case is not an isolated incident. Bottom line is if it was brass or copper this would not have happened. You can bury the thing as deep as you want and it won't corrode. Only those who are making blood money from aluminum fixtures would defend them. I have been told that profit margins for aluminum fixtures are higher for the manufacturer than brass or copper thus the continuance to put them out in the field only for them to fail over time.
     
  8. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

    With all do respect Craig the stake is plastic and there are quite a few more than just one that have this corrosion taking place. You have seen 1 in your 10 years and I would say that is an awesome tack record. But in my 10 year career I can tell you I have seen more than I can count on yours and my hands. Maybe all these guys bury them 3 inches in the dirt past the stake, maybe they all get smacked up with a metal weedwacker I dont know. Bottom line, that is corrosion and one corroded fixture is one too many. I have fixtures that may have a socket fail or maybe someone strips a screw out, those things can be fixed in the field fairly easy. But a corroded housing is dead and needs to be completely replaced. That is all I am saying. In Texas Aluminum will last a bunch longer I do understand that, but here in CA and in other coastal and humid climates this corrosion will happen to an exposed aluminum fixture in a matter of years for sure.
     
  9. ccfree

    ccfree LawnSite Member
    Posts: 100

    I am not defending FX Pete, I am just merely explaining my experience with FX powder coated fixtures. It is what it is. Since you have every aspect of lighting manufacturing figured out, why don't you enlighten me "oh great one" since my answer was the worst you ever heard.
     
  10. ccfree

    ccfree LawnSite Member
    Posts: 100

    I don't dispute that at all Joey. I totally understand where you are coming from. I am simply stating that under normal wear and tear conditions, a lighting manufacturer who has powder coating technology figured out, can have their product installed in coastal climates with no problem. It has been proved time and time again. I am all for copper, brass, and bronze fixtures. I would rather sell the quality of that material anyways.
     

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