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Unique's Manufacturing Process

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by nate mullen, Dec 19, 2007.

  1. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,983

    I'm just a talkative beginner, so you can stop reading now. I shake my head at how much copper we use. I welcome any innovation which is cost effective by finding a better way.

    Think of how much less copper you would need, in fact, then think of how small the wire will be in the future with LED's. Sorry about mentioning LED's, but you will also save even more wire with inherent resistors, since everything can be chained, like in line voltage.

    Fuses and quick connects can be housed inside of fixtures (one connect for going in, one for going out), eliminating hubs and splices and miles of leads. Use little quick connect splitters and just add-on to any fixture on the run. I don't know why they don't have resistors built into halogen bulbs or fixtures.

    No more splices during installs, but some quick connects with butt crimps in your service kit.

    I'm gonna eat breakfast now.
  2. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    We have the 24v T3's and MR16's. There is not a 24v PAR36 to my knowledge. A 24v TF is only another $5 mmore than our standard Multi Matic units. You can buy them with secondary fusing, secondary lugs, you can also get them in Direct Burial. We also now have them in Pool and Spa as well.

    You use the same 12ga or 10ga although no need for 10ga with a 24v system. You just add the 24v lamps to your fixtures.
  3. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Now who on earth wants to get into the sourcing, stocking and tracking the use of 24v lamps? Think of the confusion and frustration in the marketplace on jobs that the original installing contractor looses touch with! Can you imagine the client, caretaker, or yard maintenance guy trying to figure out what is wrong when every replacement (12v) lamp they put in a fixture burns out?!?

    Naw they won't move to a full 24V system... they will just throw more voltage, at thinner or longer cable runs until they get 12V at the lamp. What a dogs breakfast of wiring techniques and potential future failures that will be.

    We should be pushing for industry standardization people, not looking towards 'new' and alternative directions that will muddy the industry and leave clients upset and systems dysfunctional in the future.

    Just my .02 CDN.
  4. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Joey, what is the range of 24V lamps on the market?

    In MR16, how many wattages and beam spreads?
    In Bi-Pin, T3 or T4, how many lamps at 24v?
    In Wedge base?
    What about SCB?

    Do you really think there is enough demand in the market to develop a new lighting system at 24V and have it compete with 12V systems, knowing the risk of confusion in the market after the installation and installer is long gone?

    You know what I think/say: Do it right the first time. Pay an electrician to run some line voltage to where it is required. What is the big deal? It might cost a bit more on a whole system but on a per fixture cost breakdown it is very little. Life is easier when 12V = 12V my friend.
  5. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,983

    Naw they won't move to a full 24V system

    It's all in the calculator. How much money can be saved on copper? Every time I handle my 10 gauge wire it reminds me of my old house in PA with all that heavy and dangerous copper knob and tube wiring. Thank God we got away from that stuff.

    It would not be a logistics nightmare if I went 100% 24v., now would it? And I don't want lawn guys or homeowners doing service calls anyways, swapping my bulbs with 50 watters from Home Depot and not sealing housings correctly whether or not 24 or 12v.

    I see your point with your customization model. Lots of specialty fixtures from multiple manu's/distributors, adding on 24v would just make things worse for that model.

    Copper is so expensive, I cannot believe how much of it we use to compensate for 12v. I'd like to know what they do in Japan, where they have limited natural resources, and pride themselves on efficiency and shun any kind of waste.

    I can't read Japanese, but I'll google stone garden tea ceremony lighting or something. This has me really curious.
  6. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    James let me say this. You do not always and will not always need a 24v system. YOu I know will NEVER need one becuase you will never go beyond 15v becuase you have sweaty, salty palms and you do not want to be electricuted while standing in a puddle makeing a connection. I'm messing with you.

    Reality is you will use a 24v system when you can and need one. For exampkle, a gentleman called us yesterday from a winery. His power source was 1500 feet away from where he wanted his lights. We designed him a 24v system and its done, no problem!!

    As for lamps there are alot more 24v choices than you think. Now as for SCB and DCB we dont mess with that crap anyway nor do we mess with wedge base. We use Bi Pin lamps only except for our 120v orions which utilize medium base lamps and our par fixtures.
    So as for range of options here you go.
    Ushio makes 24v T3 in both Halogen and Xenon filled. They come in 5w, 10w, 15w, and 20w. There is also a 50w available. Dont know why I dont see a 35w? They last from 2000hrs in Halogen up to 10000 hrs in Xenon. They have 24v MR11 in every spread you want and in 20 and 35w. In MR16 they have wattages 20, 35, 50, 75 in 12degree up to 36degree. We know you might want a 60degree every now and then but we do have all of our lenses to spread, narrow, and soften your lamps. MR16 avg life is from 2500 to 4000hrs depending on wattage.

    This is just USHIO, we know GE has just as many if not more.
  7. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,983

    after the installation and installer is long gone

    That's the problem. Should that be allowed to happen? I have built long-term commitment with reliable routine service into my young business model.

    The biggest mistake landscapers make is when they think they are just selling the fixtures and wires and transformers and they don't realize there is a need for service and routine maintenance. A year or two goes by and bulbs are out and light from a kicked stake is facing the woods. 5 years goes by and the aluminum is corroded and nothing works, shrubs have grown over the fixtures, and nobody notices what time anything is turning on. And I'm just talking about what I've seen in the past months of starting up my young business.

    Why on Earth would I have sympathy for these installers when considering support for a new system?

    The best thing that could happen is state regulations insisting the 24v systems be installed by certified landscape lighting specialists. When that happens, I'm 100% 24v. And thank God if nobody can legally touch the system and mess it all up.

    This is best for the homeowner; less copper, more efficiency, and proper, education-based systems.

    And this all coming from me, a guy who loathes government regulations.
  8. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Mike, and Joey for that matter....

    Do you really think that you will maintain contact with 100% of your clients over time? Do you think that no one will sell their property after you have put a system in? Or do you think that when those said properties are sold, 100% of the buyers with initiate contact with you to ensure ongoing maintenance of the lighting system.

    Fact is, you will loose touch with a number of the clients and systems that you install. Things happen. This is why our industry needs to further standardize and not fragment. We have to develop standardized systems and methods so that our industry is not frowned upon in the long run.

    Years ago LV outdoor lighting was getting a really bad reputation. I think we have organized and turned a corner and are heading in the right direction with dedicated outdoor lighting contractors, manufacturers, and distribution. We even have the AOLP if you wish. Now we need to further strengthen our industry by standardizing methods of installation and developing regulations and codes of our own. Having multiple voltage systems will only dirty the waters so to speak.

    Imagine the frustration of a homeowner who doesnt know or understand the intricacies of his Multitap (to 22v) or 24V (heaven forbid) system and who has lost touch with the installer. They are more apt to just give up and badmouth the whole LV outdoor lighting industry. Now think of the confusion of the poor irrigators, lawn maintenance guys, caretakers, pool boys, and all the other people that homeowner might ask to "fix my lights". Do we really need to be confusing and frustrating more people as to what we do?

    Need some power? Hire and electrician to put it in for you. I have been working on large sites (most of my clients are 3-5 acres, largest being over 100 acres.) for almost a decade now. It really isnt that hard or that much more expensive to work within the constraints and parameters of "traditional" Low Voltage Lighting. For you urban and suburban contractors, I can't imagine when any of this would be an issue for you at all.

  9. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    James I am sorry but there are a lot of ways to do things and you may not agree here but if I am getting 12v or 24v to a lamp that requires 12v or 24v who really cares how you do it as long as you are not endangering people. Maintaining the system is something that has to be discussed and when you leave the closeout packet you should be very detailed in documenting what lamps were used where, what units were used to power those lamps, and how you distributed the voltage. If you do the critical three and check voltage at the lamps making sure you have correct voltage, you check amperage on your secondaries to make sure you did not overload the wire, and you check amperage ont he primary to ensure you did not overload the power unit then you have ensured your system is working properly.

    Fact is we are not trying to change the industry we are trying to push it. Just because your other manufacturers do not offer the things we offer doesnt mean they are uneeded. Do you thinkt he 5k lights NS makes are all needed or for that matter used? Reality is while everyone elese is trying to come up with a new pathlight we are trying to come up with ways to make your job as a contactor easier.

    Why hire an eelctrician on every job, thats lame. Just get the job done with the tools that are at your disposal. If the 24v system is not for youthen fine, but trust me there will be alot of PROFESSIONALS that will love it!! we wouldnt throw thousands of dollars at it if we did not know that already.
  10. nate mullen

    nate mullen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    yes 24,25,26,27,28,29, and 30 volts taps........have them now and selling....we also have all mr 16 and astro bright lamps, I am working with GE on a par 36. The price on the lamps are about double, the transformer are a little more. But the cost saving on wire is big. The wire can be cut in half. And yes they will be aproved for landscape lighting. I designed a job yesterday. 900 ft long driveway ..... 12 lights at the end.... 20 watt lamps......really can not be done on a 12 volt system but on 24 volt no problem.We can use 3 runs of 8 wire. 3 amp load on each run about 3.7 VD or 4 runs of 10/2 with a 2.5 amp load about a 4.8 VD. This is when vaule enginernig comes in to play.

    You could run 120 volts to the end which would cost at lest ...........min size conduite of 1" with 2 # 8 and 1 # 10 thwn , pull boxs , pull roap, soap, tenching, Hire a electrian...what do you think $5000.00

    24 volt system........3 # 8/2 80 watts ..2700 ft @ .90 cents = 2400.00
    24 volt system........4 # 10 60 watts...3600 feet @ .50 cents = 1800.00

    you have a saving of about 3000.00 dollars.not bad

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