Constructive Criticism

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by wyrenutz, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. wyrenutz

    wyrenutz LawnSite Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 80

    I’d thought it might be a good idea to begin a thread that would allow people to express and share their ideas or changes that they might feel would make those components better for all of us end users. I think this is healthy for our industry to communicate positive feedback to all the great manufacturers out there.
    This might offend some or simply think it’s a bad idea but hopefully some will contribute.
    This also might be hard to do without using any manufacturers names but let’s see if we can do this and I guess I’ll start:

    1. When it comes to a typical stake mounted bullet type fixture, I have always had issues here in my area of the world with those styles that only rely on o rings to secure the glare shield/bezel to the body or lamp compartment. I always find that it lifts and eventual water enters or condensation forms because it’s not completely sealed. Maybe a small set screw or threaded bezel and glare shield?

    2.Since most are using LED Lamps in these types of fixtures would it not make sense to just epoxy or seal under the socket base to completely stop any water wicking up from the base of the fixture. LEDs are not operating at or near the temperatures that a 35w halogen lamp did which ultimately destroyed most sockets over time. A re-enterable gel or epoxy could be used just in case.
    3.Why continue to use such thick pieces of glass for these fixture types? It just blocks more light exiting because of the thickness. Some are still using the same thickness as they were using with halogens.
  2. mitchgo

    mitchgo LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,491

    Man.. I need to hop on the lighting threads more often.

    I'll reply to your thoughts, I'm not here to attack- just to provide possible helpful suggestions

    1) What fixture make/models are you using? What you are referring to is the ' Shroud'.... the top of the fixture. In my experience, yes! I Design, Install and service existing systems. Most.. If not all , however the fixture may be … eventually gets condensation build up inside the fixture, regardless if a set screw or a threaded shroud are installed or an entirely built in one unit ( ALL ARE OUT THERE AS OPPOSED TO A SIMPLE ORING) Maybe this is from initial installation, bulb replacement or the fixture itself failing. In particular to fixtures constantly subject to standing water on the unit due to irrigation systems. ….

    Halogen operates on a different principle then LED and thus can withstand this, until the socket that the bulb is plugged into fails. LED itself most bulbs also state the bulb itself is water resistant. So potentially, if the fixtures has some condensation inside then the bulb is fine possibly as it also has it's own protection.

    My take on this is this: The fixture itself always 'promotes' water resistance in which its obviously failing.... LED bulbs are circuit boards- something that doesn't like water. So more then likely if the LED bulbs fails it's due to water residue.. Or cheap electrical components .. Utilizing the warranty process is very important- remember you are selling your design- not necessarily the product . You don't make the product, you buy it and install it. If you really want to help- providing information of your in field experience as a professional contractor to the brand product you are using is very helpful for them.

    2) With time, failure and experience you will find the fixtures that best suit your needs. Some are of course much better then others, along with Pricing and warranties. Integrated LEDS - stick to the big brands and use the warranty process. Stand alone LED bulbs - Corrosive Resistant- Electrical conductive gel on the socket pins will help out . More importantly its the product you are installing the LED bulb into.

    3) While the glass absorbs some light, its a mute point as any refracted light just gets re-sent back out. Instead of blaming the bulb or fixture- lets focus on the design aspect to maximize the light efficiency in distribution to what you are intending on illuminating. Position, angle and placement with factors of your focal point , intention and end user preference are a must .
  3. OP

    wyrenutz LawnSite Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 80

    Thanks for your thoughts!!!

    I found this website to be most helpful in determining my suggestions regarding the type of glass on the shroud or bezel.
    There are three parts explaining exactly how light sources are effected by passing through various kinds of glass.

    In regards to the typical stake mounted up light fixture and it’s shroud or bezel... from my experiences and what others have taught me is that the condensation and water intrusion is being created by thermal temperature differences that occur in every landscape lighting fixture. Just to clarify I am not referring to an integrated LED type fixture and only referring to a fixture with a socket to house a LED lamp.
    To reduce the siphoning effect that is created when the fixture cools down, I suggested trying to limit the ways that moisture is being drawn into the lamp compartment. This moisture can be drawn in from many areas on most fixtures. The bottom of the fixture where the stake threads on, the knuckle area, and then all of that moisture, humidity, ground moisture eventually is drawn up into the lamp compartment under the socket space. Other fixtures that I have used in the past present another weakness during this same cooling/ siphoning process and that is the shroud or bezel. Because of the pressure being created by the heating and cooling the shroud or bezel is only relying on one or two o-rings securing the shroud or bezel to the body of the fixture. I’ve noticed on many older installed fixtures every season when performing maintenance that the shroud or bezel has actually been pushed up from this thermal activity. That now presents a larger area of weakness. A set screw would eliminate the shroud from lifting or move.
    As far as water sitting on top of the glass lense I no longer use products that allow that to occur no matter what position or angle the fixture is aimed. There are spaces all around the glass area to allow water to run off.
    No more scrubbing calcium deposits during maintenance.
    I just thought it would be a good idea in sharing some of my years of frustrations and experiences that ultimately increased my time and business costs.
    Choosing the proper tool for a certain application is crucial and I’m just trying to help others not make the poor decisions that I have made in the past.
    Hope that helps.
    Night Owl likes this.
  4. OP

    wyrenutz LawnSite Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 80

    Most importantly I forgot to mention that I am also sharing my experiences to the manufactures that build these types of fixtures. And yes I have already shared my thoughts and suggestions and some have thanked and made changes and others not so much.
    As I stated in my first post I would not like to mention any manufacturers names or products.
    Just wanted to provide feedback as I know many who lurk.
    Night Owl and hort101 like this.
  5. Night Owl

    Night Owl LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    I agree on pressure fit o-ring style sealed fixtures - the heating and cooling cycle tends to force the shroud up over time, creating a weaker seal. And with pathlights, a crooked top. Annual maintenance seems to get ahead of that, and some fixtures like this do better than others. Set screws are nice to lock em' down. Threaded shrouds with fully rotatable glare shields and thumb screws are nice because the seal is better on the body, and the independent glare shield allows just enough space between shield and shroud for moisture to drain - even while extending the shield well above flush.

    I have noticed that just like a house, fixtures need to breathe just a bit to prevent condensation. Integrated fixtures are typically sealed up much better because the circuitry is more exposed inside. But moisture always gets in as the temperature and pressures inside fluctuate, and now it has no way out. I very often see significant condensation (ticking time bomb) in integrated "fully sealed" units, and almost never in the less-well-sealed LED lamp compatible fixtures. And I have not seen any moisture make its way into the LED lamps I have used... yet.
  6. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Silver Member
    from usa
    Messages: 2,037

    Crazy how we (me) still use replaceable lamps for path lights and worry about seals and contacts with sockets. In theory, everything is sealed so much better with integrated LED's, plus there is the issue of better heat dissipation/management.

    I was about to start a new post on this topic, but I saw this one.

    Up until now, and still now maybe, I just haven't trusted the manufacturers, or the technology, to install permanently integrated LED's or expensive modules. However, maybe I need to compare longevity issues. I find myself replacing LED bi-pins often. I, too, thought about adhering them to the sockets. But why not let the manufacturer do that, and just start using integrated path lights? Does anyone have some numbers or feedback to compare fixture replacements of integrated v. retrofit bi-pin replacements?

    Yes, dealing with the warranty process is a pain, but I wouldn't mind doing one per year v. replacing LED bi-pins on a much more frequent basis. I just want to know which manufacturer has the most success in the field.

    Thanks for posting this topic.

Share This Page