Anyone Using Volt Light Fixtures with LED Lamps?

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

  1. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Posts: 1,835

    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.
     
  2. klkanders

    klkanders LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 848

    Hi Bernie! Sounds like you have a good relationship with that distributor. That's great!
    It was good meeting you in AZ. Congrats again on your fine work and awards!
     
  3. indylights

    indylights LawnSite Member
    Posts: 167

    Good to know there are people on both sides of the arguement. I rarely have had to wait 2-3 weeks for product and certainly don't pay 2-3 times what contractors would consider fair price for high quality product. I do get value from the vendors I use because on the rare occasions I have had product issues, they have had replacements on the shelf, and usually would deliver the replacement to me that day. As for manu reps developing relationships with you, I have found that most contractors I know come in three categories (1) guys who never want to see the reps because they think they know more than him or don't want to be "sold" something (2) or guys who constantly have to have their hands held and butts kissed, and (3) guys who view them as tolerable. I don't have great personal relationships with any of the manufacturers reps for any of the stone, landscape, or lighting products I use but I guess I'm lucky in that I do have great relationships with the guys at the distributorships I buy from, and these guys I view as more important to me anyway. As far as seminars and new guys being trained, I am continually amazed as to why this upsets guys. Weren't we all new at one point, and didn't someone have to train us? Are we the only ones who are allowed to install pavers or lighting or whatever else we do? My son is 23 and wants to start a landscaping business in a different city. Is he not allowed to go to manufacturer training or receive education from vendors? He has learned a lot while working with me, but he wants to go a few different directions than what I specialize in. I just never understand why guys get so bent out of shape about that. And before I hear the response "these guys who go to a four hour class now think they're experts", I have had to repair and rip out work from supposed lighting, landscaping, and general contractind "professionals" who have been in business for many years, and still do things very poorly. So I guess in the end, I do find great value in my local distributors, some of you don't, and I don't think we're going to change each others minds.

    Scott Maloney
    Sunflower Landscapes
     
  4. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 381

    Bernie? You're bcg? Nice to be able to put a face to the name. Awesome job again on cleaning up in Arizona. Hope the weather is nice down there. 40 more inches of melting and I may be able to start doing something too.
     
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,835

    Just as there is plenty of room in our industry for both local and online vendors, there's also plenty of room in our industry for both seasoned vets and small time operators who are just being taught lighting. We should be glad they are being professionally trained. Every time someone goes to a lighting seminar or training class it raises the bar for professionalism. It makes it a more level playing field. The better they get at lighting and learning what's really needed to do a quality job, the better competition they are.

    When I'm competing against another company (whether it be in general, just because they work in the same area I do, or more specific like on a specific project) I always prefer to be bidding against a company who is well educated, knows what they are doing, will take their time to do it right, knows the difference between quality products and cheap stuff, etc. Because that guy and I are on a little more level playing field.

    What I don't like bidding against are Yahoos who really have little clue how to do stuff right, haven't ever had much training on anything, love to use cheap products, etc. Because that guy will undercut my bid every time. And although the homeowner almost deserves what he gets for hiring a Yahoo like that, it still ends up stealing business away from the rest of us who are doing it right and charging accordingly.

    It's easy to say, "Well it's our job to show the consumers the value or hiring an expert." I agree. The problem is; some of those Yahoos are also pretty convincing that they are experts. But their pricing is WAY lower. And only later does the homeowner realize maybe the job they had done wasn't quite up to par. But by that time it's too late. That company's already got a job that we probably could have gotten had we all been bidding properly.

    So I'm all for educating smaller, newer companies. There's room for us all. But the more those small guys get trained, the better it is for us all. It raises the bar for the whole industry.

    I do see a lot of value from local distributorships. In stocking, training, service, and as a technical resource. We do have some pretty good distributors here. One stocks a whole TON of Unique and FXL lighting. Everything I'd ever need is almost always in stock. Several of the other distributors have guys on staff that used to be lighting professionals and are very handy to call in a pinch or for advice. Even my local manuf. reps are valuable in many ways. So I see the value in all that. But just because I might be buying some stuff online doesn't mean any of those resources are going to disappear for me. I still have all the same resources. It's not like they're going anywhere. There will always be plenty of people buying from them. I just also see the value in saving $$ online, when possible.
     
  6. jkingrph

    jkingrph LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 807

    I just upgraded from an old Lowes pathway lighting system(junk) to Volt and am astonished at the difference in quality.

    I saw this thread and was interested in led emitters and sent illumicare an e mail about their emitters in the volt fixtures.

    I sent links to the volt fixture and the acutal halogen lamp used which Mr Higo at illumicaregroup says appears to be a G4 bipin. His concern is that their led G4 bipin emitter is 24mm in diameter, but in April they will have a G4 bipin unit that is only 19mm in diameter, which might work without removing the clips from the Volt fixture.

    This was all corresponcence on Sat afternoon, I was honestly surprised and pleased to get a reply on a weekend and that quickly.
     
  7. Alan B

    Alan B Sponsor
    Posts: 410

    JK thank you for purchasing Volt fixtures.
    When using a Tower style bi pin LED, we recommend you just bend the bulb clips on the fixture off, or (cut them off with your wire cutters) -- takes about 10 seconds. We are removing lamp clips from future production so they don't get in the way off LEDs.
     
  8. JoeinJasper

    JoeinJasper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 173

    I'm testing a Volt pathlight with the G5.3 mini LED. The G4 fits, but is lose, while the G5.3 is a tight fit. So far I like the look of this combination.

    Joe
     
  9. Many Landscape Lighting Fixture Manufacturers are using what they call a "universal bi-pin socket" or one that is designed to accept both G5.3 and G4 bi-pin lamps.

    In my experience, these universal sockets work better over time when you stick with the thicker pin G5.3 lamps. You will also find that once a G5.3 lamp has been installed in the universal sockets, that they will no longer tightly hold onto the smaller G4 lamps. This has to do with a 'memory' effect in the internal spring / paddle arrangement of these universal sockets.

    Other manufacturers make use of sockets that will only accept only one or the other Bi-pin lamp size.

    Illumicare offers both G4 and G5.3 Bi-pin base LED lamps for these reasons.
     
  10. RLDesign

    RLDesign LawnSite Member
    Posts: 145

    Jim,

    I read the posts from time to time. I am beginning to get very busy. As I read your post, it re-inforces what the AOLP is becoming for our industry. As of this year with the first graduating class of COLD (Certified Outdoor Lighting Designer), there now is a way to learn the right way. I found in the educational process at COLD that I learned so much. I cannot telll anyone how much I learned with words, but please let these pictures do the talking. I am creating a link to the snapfish photo gallery. For the rest of my career in lighting, I will always have an open mind to growing and learning. Like anything in life, there is always room for education and growth. Sometimes, it is a perceived risk...yet conference and membership has made our company money. The value of conference and my AOLP membership paid for itself 10 fold in the last 3 years. More so when I was personally involved in a committee. The best thing I retained from my COLD training and instruction is that the "right" light is subjective to your geographic area and lot type/house type. Once you learn the key components and structure of the electrical components/options and designs elements, the next step is to match what are the best key components that fits your situation. Best of luck to everyone this season. Check out the snapfish slideshow I will post right now on lawnsite.

    I compete against a variety of poor contractors who do not care about the lighting project or the client. In competing against poor quality, it makes our trade and work to have a poor reputation. If better lighting and relationships were established, there would be better work completed. It know I got started somewhere, but I think the educational outreach needs to go beyond the first step at the instructional level and into the classroom.

    Best, Tanek
    Reynolds Lighting


     

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