Aluminum=No Good for landscape lighting

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by pete scalia, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    That is a pretty broad statement. I sold FX for 2 years and I sold those products here in southern california and I have seen RS bullet lights with corrosion issues starting right at the knuckle for years. So maybe the reason they have not recived any fixtures on warranty due to corrosion is becuase the one's that corroded were wired to Unique transformers which voids the fixture warranty?
  2. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Kingsland, Texas
    Messages: 2,214

    I've worked on many F/X systems around here and corrosion has never been an issue with the fixtures. I think that when you start talking about quality manufactures, you find that they make the effort to insure that their products will last. I use Kichler aluminum fixtures every day and have yet to have any corrosion issues.

    To make a blanket statement that all aluminum fixtures are no good is irresponsible at best.
  3. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    Doing a Google search on "6061-T6, lighting fixtures" returned a couple of links referencing BK and Lumiere. Any idea what Kichler uses? Couldn't find anything on their site about it.

    Another architectural grade lighting manufacturer, who I saw at an ASLA show a few years ago that uses 6061-T6 is Vision3.
  4. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Kingsland, Texas
    Messages: 2,214

    I have no idea what type of aluminum Kichler uses but maybe I can find out.
  5. Frog Lights  LLC

    Frog Lights LLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 191

    We found out early on that unless you watch the manufacturing process carefully cheaper grades of aluminum will be use. We only use the highest grade, at this time, so the spike and bodies will not rot. Powder spray is another problem overseas that needs to be improved. There are also different grades of stainless that also must be addressed.
  6. sprinkler guy

    sprinkler guy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 223

    Are you referencing the picture above, or do you have a specific manufacturer in mind? Your post comes right after mine, so it looks like you are referencing to FX, but all of their product is made in the US, including molding the metals.
  7. ccfree

    ccfree LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    Come on now Joey. I have been selling FX fixtures for over 10 years and they have a solid powder coat system that does not corrode. It does hold up to the coast climates. I have never seen corrosion at the knuckle on the RS bullet. You might argue this, but in my experience, I have not encountered this problem.
  8. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    I never questioned their quality, and anyone who has had discussion with me regarding FX would know that I always have stated that they are a quality company with quality products. but it simply is not true that they have never had a product corrode. I am not making this up Craig, maybe you have the same luck as a lot of others have. But I can tell you right now I have RS BULLETS in my possesion with corrosion issues at the knuckle and at the knuckle adjustment screw. No product is so perfect that they can make aluminum and never have a corrosion issue!!

    This comment I made was not to say that FX is not quality. I know they are, this comment was regading a blanket statement that bassicly says they have never had a fixture corrode. To me it is either a lie or they just have never had a customer ask to return one.

    I refuse to go after my competition, I will go after a knockoff but I will not post a photo of these lights. But if it is possible please undertsand and trust that I sold FX for 2 years but I have been involved lighting in San Diego for 12 years. They will corrode at some point and they do corrode at some point. The aluminum is only as good as it's powdercoat. Once the powdercoat gets a chip or an imperfection water will bubble it and then it is only a matter of time before the aluminum begins to corrode. I dont care if this aluminum comes from another galaxy, it will corrode at some point.
  9. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    I don't want to beat a dead horse Joey, but I still have fixtures in the ground from back when FX first came out and was using bare aluminum stakes. They're stilll standing and working. (Granted, they're mostly not exposed to overhead irrigation.)

    I think we can agree on a handful of conclusions:
    1. Some grades of aluminum are more corrosion resistant than others.
    2. A good quality powdercoat process increases that resistance.
    3. Some environments (soil type, moisture, salt air) are harsher on aluminum than others.
    4. Nothing lasts forever.

    Beyond that, everyone has their own experiences that lead them to their preferences as to what fixture materials to favor in what situation, and which manufacturers will give them the best warranty service when equipment doesn't meet expectations for durability and longevity in the field.

    So, to go back and address Pete's original contention, aluminum will continue to have a place in landscape lighting, but one must be careful about where to use it, and some will not use it at all.

    It's nice to have choices.
  10. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    Very well put Gregg!!

    I am not denying that ok a MOAJORITY of the lights last a very long time. But it is an outlandish statement to say that none have ever failed on a corrosion issue. You cant tell me in 15 yrs or more of buisness that they have never had one of their aluminum products fail. Thats all I am saying. Again there are some very good quality aluminum products? Yes. But out of all of those good quality aluminum products there will be some that corrode. Maybe the lights I am seeing corroded because of installer error or bad luck with a weed wacker, but whatever the case they corroded.

    I shall let it go now!! LOL

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