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Will it last?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Squirter, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. Squirter

    Squirter LawnSite Member
    from Zone 5
    Posts: 172

    I'm beginning to get quotes from contractors for low-voltage landscape lighting. This is NOT going to be a big project, just a simple/basic design that calls for a dozen (give or take) fixtures. Before I get too far down the road, I was wanting to get some opinions on Kichler fixtures and transformers. I live in central Indiana where we have 4 distinctly different seasons. Summers are hot and humid (this year, we've had about 30 days over 90 degrees), Winters can bring a fair amount of snow, Spring is lots of rain, and Fall....is Fall.

    So, if my lighting plan calls for Kichler 15384, 15310, 15065, and a Multi-Tap 300watt transformer w/analog timer....(what about a photo-cell???) is this stuff going to last, and last, and last....or am I better off using different stuff for just a few bucks more??? Any thoughts/suggestions? I really don't want to replace or work on/service this stuff unless ABSOLUTELY necessary.
  2. klkanders

    klkanders LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 848

    Well I have only been installing around a year or so. I have used alot of the Kichler Stainless Steel Muti-Tap transformers and 15384's and 15310's. I like them alot and think they will last awhile with care. How long is the question that depends on factors which will be different for everyone. Internal components, inspecting and how they age are very important also. Then use a good wire, a tight connection which will not loosen (im now using copper crimps), and a waterproof DBR or similar. Maybe skip the basic timer and photocell and use a digital timer with the same results, similar cost and battery backup.

    Some of the others hopefully can tell us how these fixtures have held up and for how long?
  3. varybarry

    varybarry LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    I've been using Kichler transformers for about a year now and they seem to be pretty durable. I wish I had more advice for you, but I too just got into landscape lighting.
  4. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 6,462

    i would concider a bigger transformer, atleast 600...
  5. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    I agree. It should last fine but with the possibility of salt contact especially on walkway lighting I would be sure the fixtures are brass/copper/bronze

    Thats if you salt your walks.

    Proper care is a must especially with your winters. The system should be checked regulalrly for corrosion or any kind of issues that need attention

    I also agree I would go with a little larger trans. Even a dozen lights at 20w is 240 lamp load which in my opinion is pretty close to full.. I wouldnt add more than 1 light to that.

    People ALWAYS expand. I have had 1... count it 1 client not wish to add lights yet. leave yourself the room for flexability.
  6. Indiana Outdoor Lighting

    Indiana Outdoor Lighting LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    I would specify the 600 transformer as well. The Kichler transformer should br fine and may even carry a lifetime warranty. Will the Kichler fixtures last and last? Forget it. There is a very good reason the Kichler fixtures carry only a 5 yr warranty. The paint may even fall off inside of 5 years.

    By the way, we are located in central Indiana and would be very pleased to meet you on site to review the project. www.indianaoutdoorlighting.com
  7. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

    You can look at a Warranty as a death certificate!
  8. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    You know that's bs Joey. Any warranty is only as good as the company that honors it. Anyone can put any length of time they want on a warranty. I have seen plenty of lifetime warranties out there that aren't worth the paper that they are written on. I have been installing Kichler for a long time and have had very few problems, and when I did have an issue it was resolved immediately.
  9. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,830

    Going on 8 years now installing Kichler products and have had no issues. Anytime I need something replaced, it is honored without question. Stainless steel transformers carrry a lifetime warranty.
    As far as I'm concerned, any manufacturers powder-coat fixtures will last a reasonable amount of time but none of them will last for ever. Likewise, the same manufacturer's fixtures in brass, bronze or copper will last a lot longer but now we are only talking about the finish (the outside of the fixture). The inside of these fixtures are the same, whether it is brass or aluminum, and requires periodic maintenance to keep it working at 100% efficency and prevent corrosion. You will not find a product on the market that you can simply install in your landscape and forget about it forever.
  10. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

    You are absolutly right, and most companies will warranty products after the warranty has expired. The point I was trying to make though is that when you see a warranty for as little as 5 years it bassicly says in 5 years if the light falls apart dont call and complain. A 5 year warranty to me is not what I want to see when I am installing a product on someones home. On the other end a life time warranty isnt worth a darn if you have to constantly warranty the product. I know int he short period of time I sold Kichler I never had a problem with warranty so i wasnt trying to put them out there as much as I was being general with the idea of a warranty.

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