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Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Eden Lights, Jan 31, 2008.
Do your designs and installs consist of one brand or are they a combination of several?
my first 3 installs were a single brand. Now usually only cookie cutter jobs are. The major draw back to this is repair parts. Sockets... orings... lenses all vary between lines and fixtures so much.
I am looking forward to our tenth year in business in 2009 and we have yet to really need any parts outside of sockets on our installs. Knock on wood! What are you having fail?
This is a tough one. I will usually try to use the best products for each situation, most often it is a matter of budget as to which line I will use for each project though. More often than not the lights will usually come from one at the most 2 manus to keep the ordering and shipping nightmare to a minimum.
Eddie, Is the primary line you use Vista? I noticed you use their long shroud bullet, but didn't know if you use any of their other line.
Well o rings can need replacing... what about small screws and stuff. Nothing major so far but its been under 3 years. I dont anticipate many failures if any outside the normal sockets and such.
We've primarily only used one manufacturer over the last few years. Unless it's a very complex, specific application that needs a certain specialty fixture I can't see why a company can't do business with one major manufacturer. If you have a good relationship with them, their fixtures are of high quality and they have enough of a selection to meet yours and your clients needs, I don't see the need to use many different brands. On top of that, how many different fixtures do you really use? I mean seriously, unless it's really a complex specialized project do you actually use so many different types of fixtures that one major quality manufacturer doesn't have enough diversity in their line that would work for you?
I'm trying to break out of the habit of using the same pathlight at every job, but uplights, and some downlights are usually hidden from sight, (or at least as close to hidden as I can make them) so I tend to stick to a few manufacturers for most applications. Most of my jobs are primarily FX, but a handful of others get some specialty fixtures for something high profile. James starting the manufacturers list has opened up a whole new world of lines to me.
I just finished a job in Manahttan Beach that I bid from a set of plans. I showed up to do the job, saw the neighbors house on the left and across the street had the exact same pathlight and uplights specified. I talked the client into letting me change the design and fixtures (for a nominal upcharge), and I have a unique project that stands out on the block. The hard part I find about not using cookie cutter is the lead time on ordering. But I guess if I just got organized, that wouldn't be a problem.
It really all depends on your business model. I do a lot of building and structure mounted lighting here. I rely on a wide variety of manufacturers to supply me with product, only selecting the best lines that each manufacturer builds and the best unit for the application. Certain homes and structures require different styles and forms.
The day that one manufacturer builds 100% of their products to be the industry best in each category is the day I will consider only using one line. I don't see that day coming any time soon.
Also, in using only one line, you can pigeon hole yourself and your design ability. My client's homes are not tract homes, they each have their own style, design and flair. As such I want their lighting systems to reflect this individuality. It would not be good for Mrs. Jones to notice that every one of her friends had the same elements, used in the same manner, on their properties.
How would using one manufacturer pigeon hole yourself and your designs? The only reason I could see having to use many different brands is for a specialty path light or maybe one or 2 other specialty fixtures that would be in plain view. My designs are not compromised because of fixtures. Different lenses, fixture placement, different lamp wattages, spreads etc are all part of the final design that makes each property unique when it's finished. That's just going back to seeing the effect and not the source.