Using a bullet light like a well light

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by jnewton, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. jnewton

    jnewton LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    I ran across an interesting thing on the Atom Lighting web site. I was hoping to see what you guys thought of it. As you can see by the picture, Atom suggests that you can fully shroud an existing bullet light by putting it inside a well light enclosure and installing it below grade.

    I know...what not just buy a well light if that's what you need? I agree, but what if (like me) you find yourself owning a whole bunch of bullet lights that you got an incrediblly great deal on and couldn't resist? These lights are very robust, but they could use a little more glare control. I can certainly buy a shroud that's designed to fit this fixture, but I am curious about the concept of using a bullet light in a well light enclosure.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts. I'm a new guy, so please cut me a little slack if you think this is a bone-headed idea. I have to start somewhere. :)

  2. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    Before FX started making well lights they used to promote this idea, and still offer at as an accessory called a WL.

    Comes with a 6160-T6 aluminum cover with slots (see photo) in six powder coat finishes for 31.50 list.


    Similar to the LiteGuard™ but designed for installation in turf or gravel areas where a flush mounted uplight is required. This model is not recommended for use in areas that receive ground cover as it will obscure the optical opening after a short time.
  3. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    You could also take 6" Black ABS pipe ( not corrugated, looks like black pvc) ( runs about a dollar per foot at most irrigation supply stores ) and cut off a 12"-15" piece or so with a 14" chop saw at an angle. I've never done this, but hey, if you need a well light, and you got bullets, then for a buck fifty in materials, you can have it.
  4. jnewton

    jnewton LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    That could work Dave. Thanks. But just because you CAN do something doesn't always mean you SHOULD, if you know what I mean. :) In your opinion, is it bush-league to use a light in this way? If you came upon an installation and found bullet lights used like this, would you say to yourself, "What kind of idiot did this?" And do you see any service/technical issues down the road? Thanks.

  5. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    No metal does well when burried in the soil, thats all I can say here. We all know what happens to aluminum when underground (not sure what material light you were considering, I know Atom makes some nice composite stuff). Brass and copper will last but you just leave a yourself open for failure when recessing a light that was designed to be above ground.

    For what its worth we do have and you can buy just the well light cans that are made of a hard composite, I think it is called PBT but I could be wrong. I need to look at my specs.
  6. jnewton

    jnewton LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    Hi Joey --

    The lights are solid brass, and they are Atom's Nucleus fixture (unshrouded). They're built like a truck, but I don't want to stick them somewhere they're bound to fail. Do you think they would be problematic even if I filled the well light can with gravel? Which also brings up the question of whether they would stay aimed correctly if they are in gravel.

    I lucked into a ton of these lights for very little investment, so there's not much at "stake" here, so to speak (sorry).
  7. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    I think they should hold up and I am not going to say they will be problematic becuase I am not sure they will be. Atom makes a good product so I am sure they will hold up.....BUT heres the but...anytime you burry a product that was not designed to be burried, gravel or not, you leave yourself open for potential problems. I think Atom may say the same thing.

    Keeping aimed shouldnt be a big issue, servicing and re aiming may be a pain though.

    Why not just use them elsewhere and eliminate the potential of a problem and just use a good solid well light for your recessed applications. Deal or not, no sense in wasting the light. Just something to think about.
  8. jnewton

    jnewton LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    I think you're probably right. I just had never seen this kind of application before, and wanted to talk it through with somebody who's been around the block a time or two. Thanks.

    And Joey, I just picked up a Unique Demo Kit from a landscape contractor for about 20% of its original price. He said he had used it twice, but decided not to develop the lighting side of the business. I'm skeptical of the "twice" part (I only had two beers, occifer) but everything in it looks new and works right out of the case. It's still pretty cold here in Iowa, but I'm going to have a ton of fun in a few weeks when the snow melts.
  9. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    Alright!! Well let me know if you have any questions reagrding your new demo kit. It's the best kit available and can easily be added too!! Good luck and let me know if there is anything you need!

    Joey D.
  10. eagle irrigation

    eagle irrigation LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    Why turn a $70.00 bullet light into a $ 35.00 well light? Just wait until you need bullets and buy the shroud. I got a great deal on some cast bullets but I wouldn't use the as mallets when I get a bushel of crabs. MMMM crabs.

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