Friends, After many years with the forum, I've finally taken the plunge and become a sponsor (you'll see our little button above and a banner to the left). This gives us the privileges that other sponsors share - mainly being able to boast about our company, promote our products, and request nasty messages to be removed. I'll tell you now, however, that I'll keep the above to a minimum and continue to post as I have in the past. I visit this forum because I enjoy the dialog and I believe that the community we've built is of great benefit to us all. I look forward to the interactions and will contribute whatever value I may offer. Ok, I'll put in a little plug about CAST. But not purely for promotion; it's really about the integrity of our industry. This economic downturn has hit everyone pretty hard and everyone down the line has taken a hit - manufacturers, distributors, contractors, and homeowners. I guarantee that every manufacturer has had held high-level meetings deciding how to proceed, what and who to cut back, changes to product lines, and so on. In fact, we just heard that a very reputable manufacturer has decided to introduce a low quality line to compete with another mfg' low quality line. We at CAST believe this is absolutely the wrong direction. It is a race to the bottom. It threatens to usher in another era (like the 1980's) where homeowners find themselves staring at broken and bent fixtures; an era where landscape lighting gets a bad name; an era where the artistry of landscape lighting remains an untold story. Many have told CAST that if we only had a lower quality line, we would sell a lot more fixtures. We considered it briefly, but decided that while others race to the bottom, we will continue to climb to the top. Now that our new foundry is fully operational, we are focusing on new products - primarily LED's. CAST LED fixtures, like all our products, will be rugged, durable and reliable. A personal plea - please don't join the race to the bottom, purchase fixtures of the highest quality (CAST or another mfg), learn how to sell the value, build your reputation, build your business - don't go backwards. This brings the promotional part of the post to an end. I promise not to bend your ear in such a self-indulgent way in the future and welcome your responses.