Cast Lighting opinions

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Stuttering Stan, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. Stuttering Stan

    Stuttering Stan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    Today I attended a workshop that was sponsored by Cast. It was basically just learning the basics of lighting. We did a hands on install of about 20 fixtures in a back yard. Of course, the Cast rep went on an on about how his product was the best on the market.
    So I come to my fellow LS compadres with a simple question. What is the general opinion about how Cast compares others like Unique, Kichler, etc?
  2. Mr. Quik electric

    Mr. Quik electric LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    Limited product line. Sloppy fitting fixtures (Notice the large oversized O-rings). The tin coated wire is unnecessary and overated. Still, your system is only as good as your installer.
  3. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    One of the best Tree Mounted Downlights in the business. Not a bad transformer either, it is a CAST specification built by MDL. The rest of the line does not impress me much at all. Some of the pathlights are atrociously top heavy. That little deck light looks like a bronze dog turd. The bullet I used for a couple of seasons and will not again unless they drastically improve it.

  4. Mr. Quik electric

    Mr. Quik electric LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    I have one of the CAST transformers from a demo kit. It is a pain in the butt to wire. Tiny little lugs, pushed way down into the bottom of the cabinet. Impossible to wire. It is very heavy, Hmmmm... perhaps a boat anchor.
  5. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Tim, the case on the CAST Journeyman is sorta lame I will admit... I am really really stuck as to what transformer to use now.... More like screwed to be honest.

    I looked at the new Vista's.... wasnt impressed with them either.

    Unique is not really an option for us here in Ontario as they only have one 300w unit that will meet our regulations.

    FX is not listed for use in Canada.

    I am running out of alternatives fast... will probably be going with the CAST units until a viable alternative becomes available.

  6. Mr. Quik electric

    Mr. Quik electric LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    Wow, that sucks. I am surprised there aren't more transformers out there with a Canadian listing. I have never used the Qtran. Is that a possibility?
  7. Cassius

    Cassius LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I must respectfully disagree with some of the above comments concerning Cast lighting. The fixtures are built to last. for real. Here on cape cod the tin coated wire is an absolute must unless you really like redoing wire runs that have corroded. They offer great technical and logistical support, and the limited fixture line is really about function as much as aesthetic. the o rings i've seen aren't over sized to the point of being an issue. It depends on if you want to sell pretty lights or pretty lighting designs i guess. I have background in theater and concert lighting so for me the fixture doesn't matter as much as the performance of the fixture. Use the Cast install method and you're set forever. factor in the lifetime fixture warranty and the wire quality and their training and tech support and you've got a great company with a great product. The journeyman transformers are a bit cramped, but with 20 fixtures, just jump up to the master series and you'll be happier I think.
  8. GreenerGrass9

    GreenerGrass9 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    I think Kichler has the best lighting option's and there warranty is also to. Now for transformers i would go with Vista but we don't have codes here for that knid of stuff.
  9. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    Ok lets take this from the start.

    I have hundreds of cast fixtures out there. No fixture failures but more than a few socket failures in both the bullets and the paths. My first year and a half installing I used them exclusivly.

    The pathlights are structurally one of the beefiest paths you will see. Top heavy ? Sure but it takes a car running over them to break em. The fall back is the open lamp design. Seems to attract insects and irrigation spray.

    the main issue I have with the bullets is the casting is a bit too small and lamps become wedged down in there. I will admit cast is one of the very fastest systems to install. You can yank the bullets right out of the box and stick them in the ground. No prep work besides cutting off the tag (does anyone use these ???)

    Never had a cast trans issue with anything 900w or less. The 1200 and 1500 gave me inrush issues and a relay issue. Not all MDL transformers are the same but again I have not been thrilled with what I have seen from MDL latley.

    I disagree with James. The deck light has a timeless good look and is just about the only decklight I use. I also use enough of the niche lights to keep a few in stock. When I use em I remove the silver reflector and sometimes even spray some patina inside to cut down on the hotspot and output.

    The tin wire works well but. It gets real hard in the cold. I used to use it without exception and I used to solder every connection. I still do solder quite a few of my connections and I am convinced it is the tightest connection avalible. However I have do not use the dryconns anymore and instead use grease tubes. In place of spider splices I opt for a small irrigation valve box.
  10. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Cassius. If you make a good connection there will never be an issue with corroded cable. The fixture line is much too small to achieve many of the designs that we come up with and the fixtures are much to 'coarse' to impress many of our rather choosy clients. Those big O-rings become a real issue when it comes to holding the bullet fixture's aim. I know several contactors that have stopped using the bullets for this very reason. Also, the bullets lens will and often does crack in the winter months.

    The "Cast install method" does not work in every application. It rarely works for us here. Yes they are a good company and yes they have some good products. But in the long run you will learn as other have to not put all your eggs in one basket.

    As for the master series of transformers... they are not approved for use here in Ontario.

    (Billy: I should have been more specific... it is the Savannah Deck Light that I find rather un-appealing. As for the round deck light, well it is fine I guess, but I don't 'do' round deck lights much... later)

    Be safe, be compliant of your local codes and ordinances, and have a great day!
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2009

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