Industry transformer inventory issues

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Alan B, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. Alan B

    Alan B Sponsor
    Male, from tampa, fl
    Messages: 446

    I have been told by 2 sources, including a fixture manufacturer that their has been a big shortage of transformers. Apparently there are financial and fundamental production issues at one of or the biggest OEM manu of transformers. Transformers are being allocated, certain wattages (900w) have been out of stock since Feb.

    I am busy forging ahead and frankly was not aware of this until very recently. I do not even know if it is fact and do not want to spread rumors. Have any of you experienced this? (shortage in supply of trans from many of the lighting manu's)?
  2. emby

    emby LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 380


    I just went through a whole lot of time trying to secure 2 900 watt Cast transformers for a poject as my regular distributor could not get them.
    Thank goodness another supplier here in Ontario had them in stock.
    I am now back to the drawing board looking for a new power supply if this is in deed fact.

  3. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    I have heard rumblings that MDL is on shaky ground. I have heard this from a couple of manufacturers as well as some other industry pros. MDL is responsible for manufacturing a lot of the transformers used in the market today. If they go under the reverberations will be felt far and wide.

    I also suspect that 3able technologies is either in serious trouble or has already gone under. They manufacture(d) a little known line of landscape lighting transformers as well as did some custom / private label product.

    There are options of course, many of them building really great product. There will be a major player in power systems launching their new line of LV transformers in the very near future. They are currently awaiting approvals from UL.
  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    I had trouble getting a few trans from Garden Light a month or so ago and went with an alternative source. They still had trans, but the price went wacko high. they said they would be getting in more and then lower prices back down, but did not say when.
  5. sprinklerchris

    sprinklerchris LawnSite Senior Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 281

    Have not had a lick of trouble getting the Vista MT. I guess MDL doesn't make that one?
  6. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    I wonder if Steve or Mike Southard can fill us in on this. I heard there may have been some health issues with the owners of MDL but that was some time back. ( I pray he is ok)

    David if your dist is going wacko on price just because there is a higher demand you may wish to reconsider who you do business with.

    I needed 7 direct burial units for a job and had no issues getting them. In fact the build date on them is 5 days before i actual got them in my hands. No issues getting my beloved magnums either.
  7. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    garden light had excellent prices on 11-15 volt trans, but thier 11-22 volt trans are nearly double in price. when they had almost run out of the 11-15's they basically raised the price substantially to put them more in line with other trans out there at 11-15. I was told on the phone that they had trouble getting the 11-15v trans, and when those were gone, they would only have the 11-22v for a while.
  8. wbaptist

    wbaptist Inactive
    Messages: 54

    Unique Lighting Systems manufactures our transformers in house. We can supply any size unit we offer. 310,360,500,600,840,1120,1500 and 1838 wattage units are available for purchase. We have units listed to UL1838, UL1598 and UL1563 standards.

    Contact your local sales with any questions.

    Northeast Brian Collins 203.807.8705
    National Kyle Trotter 602.689.5568
    Northeast Glen Nyhuis 973.518.2717
    Central & Coastal California Steve Lauritsen 209.607.3060
    Colorado Dennis Ferdinandsen 303.901.3805
    Ohio Valley Antony Veraldi 317.507.0971
    Southern California Tom Kuenzi 760.802.8509
    Southwest Drew Tedford 480.294.5875
    Midwest Tom Callahan 224.330.7904
    Northwest Jim Parrish 253.255.6247
    Southeast Jhy Musselman 863.651.2679
    Southeast Debra Burke 407.619.0856
    Corporate Headquarters Lisa Burkhard 760.291.2413
  9. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    I am glad you brought this up... I have seen a lot of product lately that is UL listed, BUT it is improperly listed! The thing about a safety certificate such as UL, CSA, ETL, etc is that the listing or certification only applies if the device is being used in accordance with the scope of the listing which it carries. In other words, it is not acceptable to use a device designed and listed for a specific application for some other application.

    Lets take some common UL listings that are being applied to transformers:

    UL 506: It clearly states that the scope of this standard does not cover "cord and plug connected transformers", "garden light transformers", and "swimming pool and spa transformers"

    UL 1563: This is a standard that only applies to self contained spas! It makes no mention of equipment for landscape lighting, garden lighting or low voltage lighting.

    UL 1598: This is a standard that is for Luminaires and not transformers. Looking further it is a standard that does not even apply to luminaires to be used in "Low-Voltage Landscape Lighting"

    So I have to ask... how is it acceptable for a transformer manufacturing business to produce products that are UL listed with standards that are not applicable for the vast majority of end users of the product? It is fine to say your products are UL listed... but that does not mean that they are listed for use in Low Voltage Landscape Lighting or Garden Lighting applications.

    We had all better pay more attention to these things. The electrical safety industry is gaining strength and looking more closely than ever at what is being installed in the field, and by who. If we keep playing loosey goosey with the rules, standards and codes then it should not be too surprising if one day we are all told that only Licensed Electrical Contractors will be allowed to do our installations.

    Ok that is enough time on the soapbox for me tonight...
  10. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    My hat is off to uniques ability to deliver and fast. this past week I needed 6 in grade transformers for a special project and I got them 5 days after ordering. The build date marked on the trans was 4 days before I had it in my hands! While I still much preffer my beloved Gambino Magnums for wall mounting I definatly appreciated Unique being able to deliver my needs quickly. Now if we could just get Joey back! No offense Rusty!

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