Landscape Lighting Choice

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by woodwardschris, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,187

    Hi Chris,

    I have tried all of them at one time or another. Here is my take,
    Vista- Very well built fixture, good lensing and easy to service.

    CAST- Very well built fixture, also good lensing and easy to service-cost is a bit higher though

    Kichler LED- Build is fine and pretty clean, no lensing (you will see individual dots from the LEDs on the stone), the chips they use are cheap you will see chips vary in hue from a green, yellow to purple. This is a result of poor binning in the 2700k spectrum. I have used them twice and my both customers hated them and had me remove them. I don't recommend them until they make some major changes.

    Focus- I have not used the focus lip light yet, so I can't comment

    VOLT- Heavy, decent built fixture (albeit a bit bulkier than it needs to be),good lensing and easy to service.

    Integral- Cheaper build-(non-enclosed lamp), no lensing, servicing is easy which will definitely be required with an open lamp-if using LED lamps I wouldn't recommend.
  2. woodwardschris

    woodwardschris LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42


    Thanks for the feedback. Not sure how to PM...this may be it, but site does not make it real clear.

    I like Kichler, but will have to put out a fairly significant amount of money to become a distributor.

    I have seen the thread on VOLT and may use them until I can build the lighting business...don't love how you have to piece together the unit and would like to have a distributor discount, but I can understand why they do what they do.

    Will look at some of the other suggestions.

    We are a Hardscape distributor...any types of lights you think would work well with patios and walkways and walls? I do see some landscapers, but the majority of my business is Hardscapers.
  3. woodwardschris

    woodwardschris LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42


    Thanks for the feedback.
  4. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    You may not have enough posts yet to have PM as an option. I'd give you my email but I don't post that on the net anymore. Send me a contact via the contact form on my website and then we can email.

    Yah, they're taking advantage of their success. I can't blame them. They're pretty highly sought after these days. Back when they were doing just halogen and incandescent fixtures, a lot of us didn't like Kichler. Too many different kinds of bulbs, construction of fixture was sometimes questionable. At that time, only 1 of 5 distributors in my town carried Kichler. Since they came out with their LED line, all that changed. Now they have a huge % of the market share. Now 4 of 5 of the distributors in my area carry Kichler and the 5th really wants to carry them, but Kichler won't allow it. At my main supplier at least, they sell more Kichler product than any other brand. But it's interesting that they're the only brand I can find at 4/5 of the distributors in town. Distributors know what sells, I guess. Even my hardscape distributor just picked up Kichler to sell to their hardscape customers. So that's a 5th distributor. (The other five I was referring to were irrigation/landscape supply stores)

    Outside of just your basic landscape maintenance, hardscape is the thing we sell most. Then lighting. We do a incorporate a lot of our outdoor lighting right INTO the hardscape projects. (Example) (Another Example). I'd say in terms of hardscapes, the #1 variety of fixture we use is the step light. There are lots of varieties and manufactures. But they're essentially all the same effect.

    The second fixture for in/around hardscapes, IMO is a nice pathway light. With even one or two of these around a hardscape area, you can create a very nice effect, like in the first example above. In the Kichler line-up, I really love the 15810AZT. We sell a ton of those.

    After that, just your standard spot/accent lights are good for lighting up trees and structures around the hardscape. In this photo, for instance, it wouldn't have looked nearly as nice if we had only illuminated the wall. The spot lights on the trees and bubbler fountain in this job really made it pop.

    Then having the ability to use an accent light (spot light) up inside outdoor structures like pergolas, arbors and covered patio areas is also a great use of lighting in the hardscape. Kichler makes a great mounting bracket that works nicely with their accent lights. It makes for a really clean installation, as you can see with this close-up photo.

    If I were a hardsape distributor, I'd be stocking a ton off those hardscape lights, a pretty good amount of one or two of the most popular varieties of pathway light, a lot of spot/accent lights in the most common intensity/beam spread, and a few dozen mounting brackets. But you have to show contractors how those are installed. In my area, at least, nobody understands how to use those. Partially because none of the distributors carry those mount brackets and have a good demo area showing the correct installation.
  5. woodwardschris

    woodwardschris LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42


    Thanks for all the info.

    You have been a big help.

    May start with Volt just to keep starting costs low until I can hook up with a larger supplier.
  6. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

  7. clipfert

    clipfert LawnSite Member
    Messages: 205

    Finally we hear from Matt. Don't know what to believe. One guys said you were out if the biz another said you were selling cars. I actually got a text from someone yesterday telling me to turn in the news because you were picked up for the Lufthansa heist. Set the record straight.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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