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Bunch of fixtures not working

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Zohan, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. Zohan

    Zohan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 136

    First time this has happened, and I dont think this is normal.
    Did a project last summer with 53 fixtures. 10 Path and 43 Bullets. Was there yesterday to add 2 bullet fixtures to highlight newly installed fence posts, and when turning on system to check discovered approx. 15 or so fixtures are not working. Some of those fixtures are 1 complete zone in backyard of 6 fixtures. At first I thought maybe a landscaper cut the wire to that zone, but then realized that wire runs alongside wires to other zones.
    Since i've never had this many fixtures out at once I have to ask is this common? Do you guys encounter this at all?
    Looks like I need a bunch of mr16 and t3's.
  2. GreenLight

    GreenLight LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 521

    One thing to be aware of that I discovered a few years ago after having some similar issues. Look very closely at the factory bulb you are receiving with your fixtures. Im going to go ahead and call out Hadco here. I appreciate a lot of things hadco does for me. They stand behind their product and never give me any grief about warranty issues or replacements and they are so tightly in bed with ewing that between the two of them they bend over backwards to please. That being said I have one major beef with them. They ship a 3000 Hour MR 16 with their standard bullet fixtures and a 2000 hour T3 with path lights. The T3 bulb they ship seems to vary, but for the most part it's pretty crappy. I have been in the process of raising cane to get them to upgrade to at least a 5000 hour MR16 and a 10000 T3 and I hope that it will be changed soon. I don't mind if they bump the price a few dollars, I just want better lamps in the fixtures.

    Sorry to go astray a moment, long story short, if you are getting starter bulbs from the factory it's very hard to distinguish unless you look at the fine print on the bulb (if it has it) or the bulb box. Those crappy bulbs were failing early and spiking voltage so much I was losing a lot during the first year. I finally sucked it up and started chunking the starter bulbs and installing really good lamps. It's made a lot of difference. I hate the wasteful aspect of it but I like doing business with Hadco aside from that one beef.
  3. Classic Lighting

    Classic Lighting LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 507

    Are these halogen or LED?
    Check all connections for continuity.
    Check voltage readings.
  4. Zohan

    Zohan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 136

    Halogen...I have since converted to all Kichler led fixtures....but have to take care of this situation..
  5. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,173

    If they are junk lamps, it could be you had a couple burn out which caused the rest on that circuit to spike causing premature burnout. It happens. It's either that or a cut wire, however I would lean toward it being a burnout. Easy to find out though.
  6. Zohan

    Zohan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 136

    The bulbs are the ones that come with the Vista fixtures.
    I ordered a bunch of replacement bulbs today, when they come in I will be going back to replace and will find out the scoop...
  7. S&MLL

    S&MLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 751

    Some t3 lamps are 2k hours. Some mr16s are 2.5k hours. We mostly install 5k hours mr16s and 10k hours t3,t5,921 lamps..... Reason being.... I hate mid season burnout on dusk till dawn clients
  8. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    a bulb that is rated at 5000 hours receives that UL rating thusly-feel free to look this up and check me-

    take 100 bulbs, set the lab thermostat at 68 degrees and put them at the rated voltage 24/7 and wait for 1/2 of them to burn out. at that moment, you are awarded a bulb life rating.

    and remember-no vibrations from lawn mowers, weed trimmers or hedge trimmers, blowers, no 100 degre temps or -5 degree temps. errant landscapers kicking the fixture is not allowed. this is a lab rating only.

    so, a few of those 50 bulbs out of 100 will burn out at 100 hours, some at 1000, some at 2500, and so on. the same is true of 10,000 hour bulbs. it is not a minimum rating, it is an average.

    so, we spot check any jobs we are near when installing at least every 3-4 months, and do a full bulb replacement every year. because if they burn them all night long, at 4400 hours of darkness here per year, even with 5000 hour bulbs, it would actually be normal for 16 out of 40 fixture job to be burned out in a year. we do volt to 10.5-11.5 and get a bit less burnout and do better than that, but still, bulbs do burn out.
  9. Zohan

    Zohan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 136

    good info, thx

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