Vista path lights

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by mario491, May 2, 2010.

  1. mario491

    mario491 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    Any one having problems with Vista path light sockets. I seem to get
    calls from customers who try to change lightbulbs but they still do not work.
    Now for the real problem, when i show up the first thing i do is check to make sure i have voltage at fixture. The only way to make new bulb work is to wiggle the bulb into the socket, so that bulb is not square with fixture. These light systems are no more than a couple of years old, how can you explain to the customer you must wiggle the bulbs to get them to work. They spent $3000 on a hassle free lighting system, that lightbulbs must be cocked to make a connection. When i replace the socket, which is a major job in itself, everything works great, but for a system that is couple of years old it seems a little premature, especially when one of your selling points is fixtures come with 5 yr. warranty. I think its time to ditch Vista lights and try someone else.

    Mario
     
  2. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    are you 100% sure your using the right size pins on your lamps ? Not sure what the vistas take but make sure your using the correct size. There are g4...g5.3 etc. even if it calls for a small pin if someone had forced a larger pin in at one time it can cause this issue too
     
  3. mario491

    mario491 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    These vista path lights take t3 bi pin 20 watt, i know they are trying
    the right one because when i go to the house for service there is a new bulb
    that they tried to replace and it is the correct bulb, all i do is slightly wiggle bulb sideways and it works. Its hard to expect a customer to do the same thing.

    Thanks
    Mario
     
  4. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    Here is the fix:

    1: Take a sharp knife and peel off / remove the foil cover on the top of the socket.
    2: Use some small needle nose pliars to spread the G4 Lamp pins out by 1mm or so
    3: Use a small (tiny) jewelers flat head screwdriver to spread the socket contact and insert the lamp pin between the paddle and the flat side of the socket. Do not put the pin into the groove/slot. Repeat on the other side.

    Converting the lamps from the G4 Bi-Pin to G5.3 Bi-Pin should solve this but then you will not be able to go back to G4 pins again as the sockets tend to have a 'memory'.

    The search for the best bi-pin socket is still on. I like those that Hunza use but have never found the manufacturer of them.

    IMG_5834.jpg
     
  5. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,535

    I have had the same problem, and often times its customers using the wrong lamp and making the holes bigger.

    It's not just the Vista sockets. I've had the same issue with bi-pin sockets from Nightscaping and FX.

    Why is the foil/paper/mica(?) there in the first place? As an insulator?

    Won't you increase the chance of a short across the tabs by removing that layer?
     
  6. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,535

    What about the so called "copper beryllium" sockets that I've heard Unique uses? Any better?
     
  7. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    The problem is widespread just as Gregg suggests. The biggest issue seems to be with the 'universal' bi-pin sockets that are 'designed' to accept G4, G5.3 and G6.35 lamps. (CopperMoon, Hadco and others use a lot of these) Personally I think these are the worst sockets on the market. Once you install a larger pin lamp there is no going back and they are made from some pretty lousy materials. Often you will find bare leads out of the back of them too. (assembler's error?)

    Never seems to be an issue with G5.3 Sockets, just the universal ones.
     
  8. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    I haven't tried them yet. Are they a universal design or will they only accept a single pin size?
     
  9. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    Only time I have had an issue with unique sockets is when a nova flooded with water (isolated incident)

    Zero issues on the hundreds of tree lights I have installed. I dont think they are universal ones but then again I always use the proper lamp in my fixtures and dont use alot of Bi pins at all anymore.
     
  10. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,535

    I don't now.

    So are these an example of the "universal design"?

    http://www.1000bulbs.com/Halogen-Sockets/4567/

    The holes seem larger than the ones I normally get, but the ones with the smaller holes are the ones I seem to have the most problems with.
     

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