Anyone Using Volt Light Fixtures with LED Lamps?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by JimLewis, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,830

    Ok. Fine. So let's assume that the looks of the fixture doesn't matter at all. I'm not there yet, but whatever....

    Then wouldn't it be smart to go with the best, most reliable product you can get for the best price? If brand doesn't matter. If looks don't matter. What else is there to judge the different manufacturers on other than

    1) Warranty
    2) Quality
    3) Price

    So let's ask sort of the same question I asked at the beginning of this thread then, why wouldn't I just go with Volt fixtures then? They seem to be good quality. They got Tommy the Lighting Geek in videos on their site raving about how great the quality is. And I have immense respect for him. What he shows in those videos seems to be a real quality product. I've read other reviews here in this forum speaking positively about Volt products as well. So quality seems to be high.

    Warranty seems to be about the best there is. Lifetime warranty is pretty damn good, I'd say. And I know from personal experience that they honor that warranty with no questions asked.

    So that leaves us with Price. As near as I can tell, there isn't a better price to be had for such a quality product. They're selling at almost half of what many other fixtures from comparable manufacturers are selling for.

    So why wouldn't I just go use the Volt fixtures, then? Why even bother with Kichler or Unique or FXL or any of those guys?

    I'm just thinking out loud here. Help me think this through. Am I missing something here???
     
  2. fxcraig

    fxcraig LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Jim, I have found that creating that doctor patient relationship is best for my business. Concentrating on the design and what effect the light will produce to enhance their beautiful property year after year is what sells an average 5k job, not a $145 fixture or whatever list is...i don't even know what list is..because in the grand scheme of things its not that important in my opinion. Like I mentioned, I show them some options and discuss strengths/weaknesses from 3 to 4 mfg's (they all have them) and assure them that regardless of what we go with they are getting a great warranty..that I have done my home work...I will make suggestions based on where I want to go with the design...I do not sell fixtures.

    Craig Smith
    www.fxdesignlighting.com
    Dallas Fort Worth Landscape Lighting
     
  3. moonlighting

    moonlighting LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    Jim, i agree with you. I think that as long as the fixture is made well enough to house a good quality LED lamp then it makes perfect sense to use it over a Kichler or other fixture. i have been waiting for volt to get their CSA ratings so i can use them up here in Ontario. i think you will also find that there will be a lot more companies bringing in fixtures from overseas and offering them at lower prices, the US manufacturers will have real problems competing as more of this happens.
    you are on the right track in my mind!
     
  4. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,533

    I still have some issues with a "manufacturer" bringing stuff in from overseas and undercutting the market.

    What LLW and Volt seems to do is cut out the middleman by selling direct... but they also sell direct to the DIY, who can see what you pay online... doesn't that bother anyone?

    I know old business models are dying as the economy has shifted and both "cheaper" and less expensive (I make a distinction) products flood the market.

    As lighting products become ubiquitous commodities it becomes a race to the bottom (price wise), and that can't help your bottom line.... can it?


    Over in the irrigation world, companies like Irrigation Direct do the same thing. I've had mixed results with their products (though mostly good, and I must say their service has always been good).
     
  5. fxcraig

    fxcraig LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    jim..im sure volt is a good product..im going to check it out..suppliers here in dfw?
     
  6. moonlighting

    moonlighting LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    you might be missing his point. if you area able to give a customer the best led lighting system components at a pricepoint that is less then half of your competitors while still maintaing your profit margin why would you not do it?
    i am also not a fixture salesman, always sell the design.



     
  7. moonlighting

    moonlighting LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26


    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 %.
     
  8. indylights

    indylights LawnSite Member
    Posts: 166

    I do not use online suppliers, so I am just asking the question. What do they offer in terms of design, troubleshooting, or field support if you actually need someone in the field with you? Do they offer ongoing, hands-on training in your area? If you have a warranty issue, how long does it take to get replacements? Outside of giving you a cheaper product, what value do they offer? Again, not talking down about them, just trying to see what they bring to the table outside of a cheaper product. Because if all you care about is a cheaper product, which is fine, there will always be someone cheaper in a few months. Manufacturers who base their sales model that way will quickly find out that the Chinese have absolutely no loyalty when it comes to who they sell their molds, designs, etc to and guess what, sooner or later they will just eliminate the middle man all together and you'll be buying directly from China. I'm not saying you have to buy the most expensive product out there, but if your attitude towards the fixture is the same as the customers attitude towards the installer, you're all in for a serious pay cut. There are many reasons why we each choose to buy from who we buy from, but some things are worth an additional 5-10% in my opinion. I'm off my soap box now.

    Scott Maloney
    Sunflower Landscapes
     
  9. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Posts: 1,836

    Jim, just something to think about, and this debate rages on but, we all agree that heat and moisture are the enemy of LED light sources. Given that, do you think you will have better longevity from an integrated fixture that seals the entire driver and lamp assembly from the elements and uses the entire fixture as a heat sink with direct access to outside air or from a retrofit lamp that still has to make an electrical connection to the lamp socket, which is prone to corrosion, and is enclosed in a fixture significantly reducing it's ability to cool itself? There is a time to use retrofit lamps but my opinion is that it's when you're dealing with a system that already has fixtures in place, not when you're starting from scratch.

    Also, while the fixture cost is higher for an integrated LED fixture, when you compare the cost of the complete install against that of a simular halogen system, you will often find that the cost savings from being able to use a smaller transformer and less and smaller gauge wire will make the overall cost of the LED system the same or less than that of the halogen system, despite the higher LED fixture cost.
     
  10. JoeinJasper

    JoeinJasper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 173

    I just received my sample order of LEDs from Illumicare and my selection of fixtures from Volt. I'm very impressed with the Volt fixtures, they all are solid construction and the bronze finish is attractive and durable.

    The LEDs from illumicare are also impressive. The mr16s warm white were a good match to the halogen lamps that I already have. And the miniature lamps were a match to the halogen pathlights. It would take a good eye to tell the difference in a real world setting.

    The Volt fixtures that I sampled are:
    Top Dog (long body for LEDs) MR16
    Gentle Splash takes g4 or g5.3 mini LED (the g4 is a little lose in the socket)
    Max Spread Area Light takes g4 or g5.3 mini LED (the g4 is a little lose in the socket)

    The only problem that I see is that the Max Spread has a set of clips that hold the halogen lamp in place. These clips prevent the mini LED from fully contacting the socket and will need to be removed.

    While I haven't installed these yet, my first impression is very favorable and I look forward to installing them on my next job.

    Joe
     

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