Ushio Ultraline = Horrible!

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Last year after 8 years of using only GE Constant Colour MR16 lamps I decided to make a change to the new and highly touted Ushio Ultraline 10,000hour MR16 lamps.

    What a mistake! So far I have had to replace almost all of the units I installed in 2006. Most have burned out with only 750 to 1500 hours use! This has become a very costly endeavour for me as I have replaced all of these lamps on warranty.

    Just yesterday I came to an installation I did in October 2006. The system's hour meter read 1100 hours on it. 33 of the 47 installed Ushio Ultraline BAB-FG 10,000 hr lamps had burned out. (Yes all of the fixtures had between 11.2 and 11.7 volts to them)

    I would highly recommend that people stay away from these lamps until a solution has been provided by Ushio. In all fairness they have requested that I send some of the burned out lamps to them for analysis and they are going to offer me warranty replacements. (I would prefer a full credit as I am many times bitten now and don't want to re-install problem lamps)

    Anyone else using these lamps and having problems?

    Have a great day.
  2. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    Ushio now has a Titan 18,000 hour lamp. Maybe you can get at least 2,000 hours out of these?
  3. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Yes I just heard yesterday that they have an 18,000 hour lamp... I might pick one up and install it here at my home for testing.

    So far the line of LED lamps I have sourced are working amazingly well. They are identical in intensity and colour (3200K and 221 LM) to a 20W BAB Halogen MR16 and operate on 7 to 14 volts AC or DC. At only 6.15 watts and a rated life of 50,000 hours they promise to be a revolution for my systems. So far the clients love them. Time will tell....
  4. NightLightingFX

    NightLightingFX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 580

    What is your oppinion of xenon MR16 lamps. I have been trying out Atom Lighting's xenon lamps they are supposed to be rated at 10,000 hrs? I have no real length of time in which I can testify to there performance quality yet. FYI, while we are on the topic of lamps since I began doing artistic outdoor lighting almost 2 yrs now I have gotten very frustrated. I was introduced to low voltage lighting by Unique and in that cases where I used the Unique products along with Ushio lamps. My systems performed like a champ. As I got away from Unique products and bought other lamps - Prism (from a well respected distributor) I have had nothing but problems. I HATE PRISM LAMPS!!!! I have had other well respected professionals try to steer me toward "GE Constant Color" but I am not sure the excess in price is quite worth it. I know that some of the cost of the GE Constant Color goes to the quality of light that is put out. I am not sure if I am willing to pay for that. However, lenght of life is very important and if the GE Constant Color is head and shoulders above the rest then I may have to go there. What lamps are some of you other guys using?
  5. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Ned. I have installed literally thousands of GE Constant Colour MR16 lamps. They are the best in my opinion. The colour doesn't shift, the reflector material is cast into the glass, and the have a very good rated life.

    As for the additional cost.... well it is not you who needs to be paying for it, it is your client. Sell them on the benefits of the lamp and they will be more then happy to pay for the best.

    Besides all of that, you are working on margin right? If you are marking up your materials 20, 30 or even 40 percent (it doesnt matter) then you are much better off selling a 10 dollar item over a 5 dollar item aren't you? Again... would you rather sell a $50 fixture at 1.3 = $65 or $15 to you or a $100 fixture at 1.3 = $130 or $30 to you.

    The math is pretty easy.... Use the best stuff you can find (you do get what you pay for), impress the client that they are getting the finest on the market, and rest easy knowing your clients are going to have systems that work every night.

    Have a great day.
  6. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Kingsland, Texas
    Messages: 2,214

    I used to use the ultraline lamps in all of my initial installations. I found that they didn't last any longer than the regular 2000 hr lamp which seems to perform VERY well. I end up replacing about 12% of these lamps in the first 3 years. I don't use the front glass lamps either. I think that they retain too much heat and therefore fail prematurely.
  7. sprinkler guy

    sprinkler guy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 223

    You say the color, I mean colour, is the same as a BAB. Which brand of bulb is this? Every few months a rep hands me the latest version of an LED to replace MR-16s, but they always have that weird blue light to them, with zero projection. I use a lot of Xenon bulbs, mostly for the effect, but I tout the longer life to the customer.
  8. NightLightingFX

    NightLightingFX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 580

    What brand of xenon lamps do you use? And are you happy with the results you have gotten?
  9. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Ahhh yes... the brand of LED MR16 lamp I am using... Well I am in the midst of opening a distribution company and a retail web site. Once I have all of the details sewn up and am authorized to sell these LED Lamps, then I will reveal all. They really are quite amazing lamps. 3200K and as much light as a BAB. No one can tell the difference! Stay Tuned.

    As for xenon lamps.... I use these pretty much exclusively in all my miniature lamp applications. They are a bit warmer colour then halogen but the lamp life is amazing. Most clients don't see a difference. I used to use Ushio but my distributor now deals in THHC. They seem to work just fine.
  10. steveparrott

    steveparrott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,276

    James, good luck on your new endeavor. As a sometime snow-bound Canadian, are you at all concerned that LED-equipped well lights will not melt through snow? I heard from a mid-western guy that he's abandonned LED's for this reason. I guess the LED bullets would melt the snow, but only vertically, not along the path of the beam.

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