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First LED Lighting Job

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by JimLewis, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,830

    So I have been a pretty dedicated Unique Lighting guy. Sometimes FX Luminaire. Never been really sold on the LED lighting until recently. But a landscape contractor friend of mine in San Diego really raves about Kichler LED lighting and one of my suppliers has been bugging me to try it for a year or so too. So I finally took the plunge. Just finished our first LED install today using the Kichler LED light fixtures.

    I gotta say, I am pretty impressed with the light output and the way the light looks! If someone hadn't told me, I don't think I would have noticed that it was LED. It looks just a nice soft light to me. The light climbs up the trees like it's supposed to. The pathway lights light up for quite a ways out. I am liking this!

    Of course the best thing is the lower cost of installation (only a very small transformer is needed) and the fact that I can daisy-chain the light fixtures means installation labor is way down too.

    I wish I had some photos for you guys. But I don't today. The entire landscape job doesn't end until tomorrow night or Friday morning. And I'll try to get some decent photos at dusk. But experience shows I am pretty bad at taking outdoor lighting photos. So I can't guarantee the photos will do the job justice.

    Anyway, I am pretty impressed. This guy might be switching teams from here on out.
     
  2. S&MLL

    S&MLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 751

    Which pathlight did you use?
     
  3. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,206

    I've been installing the Kichler LED products for over a year now with GREAT success. Good luck and continued success to you.
     
  4. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,533

    Not a knock on Kichler at all, but yesterday I met with Sherman of DG Lights and the slick, well engineered, serviceable and compact designs and options (optical lenses, nice glare shields, etc.) knocked my socks off.

    Every design detail, component and accessory/ option are designed to work together.

    He's more of a tech guy than a sales guy... he's well informed and was able to answer every question I had, and the fixtures sell themselves.

    And as of last month, they are offering a 20 year warranty. Talk about raising the bar....
     
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,830

    That sounds good. Never heard of that brand though. Nobody around here is carrying them. So the lack of availability locally would be my problem. I'm sure I could order them online but I hate doing that with lighting because what usually happens during one of our lighting jobs is the client sees the lights the first night and instantly finds areas of the landscape where they want to have us install some more. And I want to be able to say, "Sure. Let me go get 4 more for you. I'll be back in 45 minutes" rather than, "Oh. Well, I ordered those online and so I'll have to order some more and I can be back in a week to install those for you." The problem with the latter is also I won't have time next week. I'm usually booked out 3-4 weeks in advance with jobs. So if someone wants more, I need to be able to pick them up locally from someone in town who has a good stock of them.

    But I will have to admit I really don't like the look of the Kichler spot lights. A lot of glare from the sides and the fixtures don't look anything at all like a regular bullet spot light. So it would be nice to have an LED fixture that looked a little more professional, like LV light fixtures look traditionally.

    When I said I was impressed with Kichler, I was mainly commenting on the light output and quality of the light. I honestly didn't expect it to be very nice. But the fixtures, they're hit and miss. The pathway lights were okay. But the spots are ugly.
     
  6. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,533

    I've been told by another contractor that it sometimes takes a long time to get orders filled from DG Jim... I'll have to ask about that.

    I was particularly impressed with a fixture called an XT, which is about the same size... maybe smaller diameter actually, as FX's Metallo Pesante or MP.

    Good for specimen maples, small statuary or similar. Changeable optical lenses, nice shroud, well-machined stem...

    Photometric charts show the 25 deg spread similar in output to a 30 deg. 20 W MR-11.

    They have other fixtures available too, which aren't yet shown on the website.

    http://dglights.com/products/index.html
     
  7. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    I have the XT spot here. It is very compact and a nice output. You can vary the optics to alter the spreads if I am not mistaken. Mock ups and demos should be a breeze with a 9v battery lighting this thing up full tilt.

    With that said I have had this a long long time. While I really do preffer it over the Kichler LED especially where the fixture would be seen (this thing is SMALL) I need a company with better support and turn around times. Maybe it is time I check Sherman out again. He really has had a great color and output for quite awhile now and I think it would be failry easy to change the LED chip in the field should need ever arrise.

    What would be really nice is if someone offered an LED fixture you could "lamp" in the field with the needed output and spread. Order the chipsets seperatly from the fixtures and have a few different fixtures with interchangeable chips.
     
  8. The Lighting Geek

    The Lighting Geek LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 875

    I agree with you Billy on this 100%. The inherent problem with LED fixtures is lack of adjustments (ie, beam spread) and the inability to change from a 20 watt equivalent to a 35 watt in the field. The retro fit market will be able to address this, but I think you are on to something.

    It would be great to have 10w, 20w, 30w, 40w, and 50w equivalents.
     
  9. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,533

    Tommy, if you haven't seen DG Light's stuff yet I urge you to take a look. You may be the Lighting Geek, but Sherman is the LED geek... as the technology improves I trust he will be among the first to offer it... so far he has.

    If you ask reps for other companies why this and how come that, they often don't have a clue. They are usually not involved in the design or manufacturing process, they usually don't know all the features or specs, and if you mention something like "junction temperature" they tend to look like a deer caught in the headlights, and are completely out of their comfort zone...

    If a smaller company like DG Lights could turn around orders as fast as say Vista, then they would no longer be a "smaller" company and probably corner the market...

    Oh, and as far as beam spread, all the uplights can be changed to 8, 25, 40, 70 and 90 degrees using the optical lenses and use 3.7 W Cree emitters: 1 each in the XT and P65 and three in the Tri-Palm.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
  10. The Lighting Geek

    The Lighting Geek LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 875

    I agree with you Billy on this 100%. The inherent problem with LED fixtures is lack of adjustments (ie, beam spread) and the inability to change from a 20 watt equivalent to a 35 watt in the field. The retro fit market will be able to address this, but I think you are on to something.

    It would be great to have 10w, 20w, 30w, 40w, and 50w equivalents.
     

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