NIGHTSCAPING what do you think?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Venturewest, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 513

    I just attended a one day training/ sales seminar put on by Nightscaping. They are supposedly the biggest low voltage lighting company in the world, but I never hear much about them on this forum. If anything the sales rep said was true, it seems like their transformers and fixtures must be awesome. Does anyone have experience with their products or customer service? What do you all think?
  2. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    They may be the biggest but I believe that is a function of being one of the oldest. In my opinion their products are more a reflection of being the oldest. Their fixtures corrode and chip quickly. They have a built in timer so when it goes bad you have to disassemble or take in the whole transformer to repair. I believe they are still using fuses rather than internal breakers. On top of everything they are a ***** to get into, why can't they just make a simple door like everyone else. The only feature I do like is the on/off switch for checking lights. I like F/X
  3. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 513

    That is interesting and actually reminds me of another question I have. Paul if you read this, I would love an answer. Nightscaping claims that the old fashioned fusestats are much safer that the ambient breakers, because the breakers detect heat in the wire. In a cold climate, the insulation can actually be burning off the wire before they trip. The fusestats supposedly trip the instant a dangerous dead short occurs. Are any other manufactureres still using fuses?

    Also, the transformers don't come with built in timers anymore. Just options like everyone else.
  4. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,209

    Just think, if that were true, would you want your home to have fuses or circuit breakers? A circuit breaker will trip instantly with a short. They will not trip instantly if it is an overload. It might take a couple of minutes, just like a fuse. You just dont have to replace it every time it trips.

    I am not a big Nightscaping fan, but I have never used their products. I have replaced some of the stuff but that could easily be do to poor maintenance.

    I know several quality professionals out there like Nightlighters, who swear by Nightscaping.
  5. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 513

    Good point. I guess if breakers weren't better, our homes wouldn't all have them.
  6. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,209

    Sorry Chris, I wrote Nightlighters instead of Niteliter. My bad.
    Chris, will you ever forgive me????

    How's that bride of yours?
  7. niteliters

    niteliters LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 537

    That bride of mine is fine, I however had to pick up z-pak today for a virus I have. wonderful life of marriage, children and passing disease. Nightscaping...yes I do like their fixtures..I have sworn by them as well as at them. their copper fixtures are hard to beat. their painted fixtures are prone to chip. We've put in I don't know how many thousands and had to replace 30-40 over the years. Nightscaping did cover them and the customer was just happy we came through. I look at it like this. You tell people there's a life time warranty on power center and 10 yr warranty on fixture finish. They are pretty impressed when we have had to follow thru on that.
  8. niteliters

    niteliters LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 537

    I have never had a power center go bad. My limited experience has shown me that there are 5 key areas of lv lighting. the power source, the fixtures, lamp selection, connections, design. you are in control of all except the power center. I have never worked with a better power source than nightscapings. the fuses are a minor point...comsee, comsaa. I went to nightscaping and watched that powercenter being made from the ground up. piece by piece. not in china...right here in america. I watched them wind the wire on both the 120 volt and 12 volt, they would wind a little bit then pack it tight...wind a little bit and pack it. therefore no humming in unit. I don't care what fixtures or cable or connectors you would use but I have never seen a better made power center than nightscapings.
  9. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,209

    Now Chris, all transformers are hand wound. They haven't found a way yet (beats me why not) to do it by machine. Thats why every transformer is a little different, even if it's only .001.

    Didn't you tell me that the Nightscaping transformer was the only one that you have used? Once again, I believe that it all comes down to what you start out with and what you are comfortable with.

    There really are very few bad transformers. What can go wrong with a spool of wire, really. That's basically what a transformer is.

    Sorry to hear about your illness, Chris.
  10. steveparrott

    steveparrott Sponsor
    Messages: 1,230

    Couldn't disagree with you more that "There really are very few bad transformers." If you talk to any distributor, they'll tell you or show you many transformers that have melted down under normal operating conditions. And I'm not refering to just low end brands, I'm talking the big manufacturers. It's not that their transformers are "bad", but rather that they are designed to barely meet specs (mainly to keep cost low). Just meeting specs doesn't make the grade for the challenging outdoor light environments that we face.

    A few basics

    – there are two core confugurations, EI laminated type and toroidal type. EI-types have efficiencies that range from 70% to 85%, while toroidal types are around 95% efficient. This difference in efficiency translates into significant energy cost savings. A more efficient transformer also regulates current to the secondary tap better. As an example, a 15 volt terminal on an EI-type will drop about 1.5 volts when fully loaded, a toroidal will drop about half that amount. These toroids also have practically no vibration vs. significant vibration for the EI-type. This vibration can loosen tap screws. Toroids also run cooler.

    - Another big diferences in quality transformers is the internal wiring. Low cost mfgs. often skimp on this and these wires often overheat and burn.

    - Another big difference are fuses vs. magnetic breakers. Fuses are problematic for many reasons

    -Other differences are the tap types and sizes. Taps can overheat and burn. And some transformers don't even use taps, just wires that must be wire nutted. Wire nuts are prone to damaging wires (cutting strands) and are a pain to work with.

Share This Page