I cannot believe my eyes

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Mike M, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    Now that I had to pay my gate fees to get into some upscale areas, I cannot believe my eyes. I mean, I knew there were lots of bad DIY lighting and pathetic lighting jobs around, but...

    Yesterday I went to demo for an unsatisfied homeowner. The focal point of his existing lighting was from the porch only, with only the bottom 15 feet of extremely tall pines out by the road being down-lighted, with Vista up-light bullets (stop for a second and read this sentance again). A solo path light existed at the very end of a 150 foot run, and it probably had about 4 volts. All the cable runs for the property were inside the pine needles, on the surface.

    Then I remembered a local irrigation distributor for a large national landscape supply company. I asked what kind of tools (spades, etc.) he had for trenching for landscape lighting cable. He snapped, "Just lay it in the mulch." Nice advice. Same place has no timers or photo cells in stock, and no multitap's. Just a big "Vista" sign out front. Aisles and aisles of irrigation parts.

    Am I the only one who hates the whole irrigation distributor model for lighting? I understand many are knowledgeable with lighting, but all the ones in my town are ignorant on installations and are not fully stocked. They push aluminum in a coastal region. Some want to charge me cable by the foot, at like 200% higher than I get normally, including shipping.

    All this has no effect on me directly, since I'll just order from a lighting distributor/specialist, but I am the one that has to deal with the mess in the wake of these idiots that light jobs upside down and backwards.

    And I'm just a beginner. This stuff must kill you guys.
  2. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,187

    Same thing here Mike. We do have one Irr/light supplier that is ok about keeping accesories on the shelf. However there is no one particular place that caters to our market. If you go to a lighting store that just sells lights and ask them about Unique, Vista, Nightscaping, etc... They just give you the deer in the headlights look. It just shows you how far behind this industry is in the minds of those would be lighting distributors.
  3. bmwsmity

    bmwsmity LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Ohio
    Messages: 276

    I gotta say, I'm lucky, because my distributor is AWESOME. Great knowledge and great product. Couldn't be happier.

    Now, for the irr/lighting companies that are my competition, i have other opinions ;)
  4. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    You now are beginning to understand my frustration. Give it time, it will only get worse for you and it will begin to beat you down. As for your situation with dealers and wire, give me a call. For your wire, you should be using Cables Plus. Call Jim Oniel at 908-797-4111. Best wire I've found in the last $20,000 spent. Welcome to MY WORLD!!! Now you know why I get so bent out of shape when some of these guys casually give tid-bits of "how to do it" advice to an irrigation contractor. No offense to irri-guys, but you have to know more than 2 or 3 posts of info to install a job.
  5. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    Thanks for the link. Impressive website and pictures! Is all of that work your own creation?
  6. bmwsmity

    bmwsmity LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Ohio
    Messages: 276

    replied on other thread. sorry ;)
  7. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    sounds about typical with the tossed in lighting package when the landscape is installed Mike. I just yanked it out of a 1.5 million dollar home. Its the project I sent you pics of.

    Guys had 1200w total on property. I am over 3 times that. They had the usual 50w lamps in every fixture... Im twice as bright with 20w. Chances are the homeowner was never thrilled with it and would welcome something stunning. This is where a demo rocks the boat and shows them how low voltage can be really remarkable. Some have that sour taste in their mouth.

    Now find out who did it. Chances are they hate lighting and get them on your refferal program. They will either love it or they will look at it as a loss of revenue.
  8. extlights

    extlights LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    Yeah, this is very typical. We did a project last year on a very large home (6.5-7 million) and the lighting was horrible. The homeowner's wife contacted us and said that they had existing lighting but she just didn't think it looked right. When we went out there, it was a complete mess. All the fixtures had voltage readings anywhere betwee 8-10v, wires out of the ground everywhere...crappy fixtures, etc. Long story short....we completely ripped out her existing system and started fresh. We ended up with 6 more total fixtures and somehow we were $400 less than what they payed for the old system 5 years ago.

    There are way too many people/companies out there that don't care about their customers and are way too worried about the all mighty buck. They just do the job and get it done as fast as possible, collect the check and move on to the next victim...I mean customer.
  9. seolatlanta

    seolatlanta LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    Hey Mike

    Check your PM

  10. msouthard

    msouthard LawnSite Member
    Messages: 46


    Just curious as to who your distributor is. Your right many of the wholesale distributors are not as well versed in lighting as they should be but that varies form market to market as you can see from this forum. Many contractors are very happy with their irrigation distributors. There are many lighting only specialized distributors as well that I am sure many of the people on this forum use.

    Mike Southard

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