New fixture Being Designed With Contractor Input Wanted

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Alan B, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. Alan B

    Alan B Sponsor
    Male, from tampa, fl
    Messages: 444

    We are making some new molds for new products and would like contractor input. We have taken the short falls in the market place we see, plus taken in the suggestions we have seen here over the last 2 years. Below is what we are adding. The purpose is to add more bread and butter solid cast brass fixtures.

    1. The Volt Top Dog. [​IMG]This fixture already has done the above and fits almost all of the suggestions in Davids post in the Nightscaping thread. However there are 2 feedback items we are changing -- 1. 25' foot 16 g lead wire standard. 2. adding a female bolt on the glare guard so that the glare guard adjustment screw can be unscrewed without falling off the glare guard.

    2. Although we have not received feedback on this, from our experience we think it is needed. A fixture very similar to the Top Dog except a wider top for the fixture and glare guard so that the fixture does not limit the lamps ability to cast a wider beam spreads. It would be similar in features and look to the current Top Dog, but have the versatility of beam spreads like the Kim KLV205 pictured here...[​IMG] i.e. wide lens and fixture top so that you can use flood beam spreads effectively.

    The above will give us the following features for bread and butter bullets:
    -Cast brass
    -separate glare guard from fixture body-adjustable 360 degree glare guard protection (up down/left right or remove)
    -exc water shedding
    -domed lens
    -thick hand adjustable knuckles and glare guards
    -25' 16 g tinned copper lead wires
    -tight moisture proof bodies
    -all threads and socket pregreased with dielectric grease
    -bodies unscrew (no tool needed for fast bulb changing)
    -lead wire pre threaded thru stake for faster install
    -oring, greased, and screw shut threaded body
    -silicon sealed at lead wire exit
    -heat shrink tubing over internal splice
    -UL braided sleeve protectors over wiring to prevent chaffing
    -heat shield/reflector to protect wiring
    -stainless steel bulb retainer clips
    -beryllium copper sockets
    -room for lens/louvers and retro LED bulbs
    -assembled and ready for install
    -Top Dog for normal uplighting/spotlighting
    -Top Dog Wide Body fixture to enable wider beam spreads and flood lighting.
    -Sold direct to the contractor to avoid inefficient distribution mark-ups and delivery times


    Same as we currently have (has above features plus glass lens over socket) but add 25' lead wire and change shades from being spun brass to cast brass.

    Add a cast brass grate for top instead of PVC

    Note: To those who want some insight on how we manufacturer, Volt fixtures are completely custom manufactured. We design them, CAD our own molds, buy each sub component ourselves, have the bodies cast and send them to be assemble to our specifications. We even research, spec and purchase miniscule items like the dielectric grease to insure it is heat rated for high temps. These are not private labelled imports.
    If there are any other features or designs contractors would like incorporated--please let us know.


    Last edited: Apr 27, 2009
  2. Alan B

    Alan B Sponsor
    Male, from tampa, fl
    Messages: 444

    The one fall back of having the wider body for as mentioned in our planned Top Dog WideBody- is that it makes it a larger fixture and most contractors like small spots so they are more easily hidden. What is your take --small MR16 fixture with full glare guard (but restricts wide degree lamp spreads) or a larger fixturte like the Kim KLV205 that enables flood lighting? I am impressed with the KLV205's versitility but had issues with other parts of its design (watershedding/aluminum construction/fixture hex bolts locking in fixture after couple years).

    My guess is have both to cover both applications, but which would be your bigger workhorse?
  3. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Check with better lamp manufacturers and you will find that the MR16 lamp develops its beam spread at between 1.75 and 2 inches in front of the lamp. That means that any shroud or accessory (such as a convex lens) that is placed within that distance to the lamp will not affect the beam spread that the lamp produces.

    Optical lenses differ in that they are designed to change the beam spread by altering the optics of the lamp, but a simple 360 Deg. shroud with a 2" depth will do little to alter the performance of the lamp.

    "Prethreading" the lead wire through the stake will not save installation time, at least not for us. We would have to remove the fixture from the stake and then go about hammering the stake into the groune with a mallet as per usual.

    Those SS lamp retaining clips on the socket are a royal PITA when using many types of LED lamps. Not all lamp bases perfectly mimic the shape of a Halogen MR16 and thus you need to break the SS retaining clips off in order to install the lamp.

    Please ensure it receives ULc cETL or CSA listing status!

    Thanks for thinking of use before you produce the product!
  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    Hey, thanks for asking ! is this the first time? ever?

    I have to admit, James is right, those stainless clips are strong, but that bulb/socket does have a good click when you insert the bulb. I have not checked, are the clips removable? maybe make some cases without the clips for LED guys?

    I feel it would be easier to offer a 2nd smaller shroud for floodier app's, rather than make an entire light just for floody stuff.

    also, do you offer a hex/comb filter for the top dog?

    I may be alone here, but the 2 jobs I looked at today for uplighting small trees and the home, 35 out of 37 uplight bullets will be 60 degree 20 watt mr-16's. With UPS the way it is, you may not be able to pre-install that, but if any clip and socket would hold through , yours would be the one. I would be willing to sacrifice and volunteer to test 37 next week, of course, if I were compensated for my time, by say, 37 top dog lights...

    Alan, I've got a tool I made that allows me to hammer in stakes that are pre wired, as I tend to wire all my fixtures with extra wire than place/hammer/screw. I essentially welded together a handle, that allows me to hold the stake, and hammer a metal piece that goes over the stake as to not break plastic ones, with a groove in the face of it for the wire to not get hit with the impact while driving. it saves my hand and the wire. perhaps you could offer this tool to folks. let me know.

    On the paths, I know I have not reviewed them yet, but the copper on the shaft does look like a shinier/different finish, maybe clearcoated, than the top. I think that whatever material-spun or cast brass, bronze, copper, should be the same throughout the visable parts of the light if possible, as it will darken and age the same all over.

    On hand adjustable, find the biggest guy you can and see if his sausage fingers can adjust the angle and shroud. if so, they are the right size for all of us. I hand build some tiny mr-8 and mr11 fixtures for gutter mount 2 story dormer stuff, and I find that brass acorn nuts around the 1/4-20 thread size and up everyone can tighten/loose for adjustment.
  5. Alan B

    Alan B Sponsor
    Male, from tampa, fl
    Messages: 444

    Couple of questions on fixture catagories:
    -Well Light. We do not manufacturer an mr16 well light, and are not planning on doing so. I'm not a big fan of well lights and only carry the 1 one (ground hog PAR36) because we have to. Do you think we should add an MR16 sealed well light?
    -Wallwash. I like wall washes and think they are under used and there is a lack of selection for good wallwashes. Using low wattage wallwashes on the house facade and uplights on the landscaping right in front of the facade makes for nice balanced effect. Our plan is a brass wallwash made in the style of a shallow bowl and using a bi pin bulb. Any input on wallwash fixture desires?
    -Par36 flood lights. Don't currently manufacturer but haven't seen much demand, requests for one either. Should we make one and if we do, what improvements would you like to see?
    -Decklight. We are adding a simple hockey puck brass deck light. Pretty much a commodity item. What changes and improvements would you like to see.
    -Hub ready fixtures. We are moving to 25' lead wires. Any desire to see longer (30')?
  6. Alan B

    Alan B Sponsor
    Male, from tampa, fl
    Messages: 444

    The Top Dog was designed from input from lawnsite observations along with common sense of using corrosion resistant components/construction.

    Will do.

    yes from Abrisa Glass

    Bulbs may break, plus everyone has diff bulb preferences, wattages, degrees, so unfortunately I don't think it is workable to preinstall the bulbs.

    Funny you mention that. Stan, the owner of Focus sent me a tool just like you are describing that he designed and manufactured--very heavy cast brass tool for hammaring in stakes with fixture already on. I'll try and get a picture and load it as a new product on our site.

    Just my poor photography-- they are the same material, both clearcoated and match in real life- bad pictures-I need to update and improve all my product photography (and add different angles, close-ips, dimensions etc.)

    Will do we will increase the glare gaurd adjustment screw size (and we are adding a female side formed into the glare guard so there is more tolerance and the screw does not fall out when you over loosen it.
  7. NightLightingFX

    NightLightingFX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 580

    My personal input as a professional outdoor lighting professional. I don't understand the need for: "A fixture very similar to the Top Dog except a wider top for the fixture and glare guard so that the fixture does not limit the lamps ability to cast a wider beam spreads." I just use lamps with different beam spreads or lens - I am I missing something here? (guys fill me in some design considerations I must be ignorant too) I think you should put your efforts into a cast bronze small wall washing type fixture similar to Unique's "Stellar" and a cast bronze MR16 well light that allows a 30* ajustability on the lamp source. For the most part all I need is a good directional fixture, a good wall washer, and a good well light.
    P.S. I would love to see an affordable cast bronze well light that has a 30* ability to aim the light source on the market. That is where you shoud but your effort into.

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