What is so "Unique"

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    I dont know SPJ's history but I do not think they have affiliation past or present with RS or Lightcraft.
  2. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,170

    Have you ever wondered if any Chicoms that do lighting ever say, "I'll never use any of those cheap American import fixtures, only China built for me." Don't ask me why I thought about this, just one of my 4 am random thoughts.
  3. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    I dont think anyone will ever say that. They will only defend the cheap products they are using by saying "I never have a problem with what I install". The reality is it is price drivin. If my lights were $40 a piece (my brass) I think way more people would use them, but reality is I would have to have the lights fully assembled and packaged in China and I would have to eliminate the good wire, sockets, lamps, and other components I use. In other words I would not be Unique I would be........well you get the point. We refuse to sacrafice quality for quantity and I think our custoemrs appreciate that. Does the market really need another cheap knockoff line anyway?

    Joey D.
  4. The Lighting Geek

    The Lighting Geek LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 886

    I believe that anyone who visits Unique's factory will leave with a sound appreciation of their dedication to lighting. I am not making a comment on other manufacturers here. There is a lot of mis information floating around. You really have to visit if you get the chance, no matter who's line you use.
  5. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,552

    Well, I heard it from my distributor. And she (at the time she was the owner, since passed on, sadly) showed me the catalogs and I think they both carried Justin transformers at the time.

    Must be six or more years ago...
  6. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,552

    Whether or not you agree with the Unique method of installing lighting, you have to hand it to them for making waves (initially) and raising the bar (more recently) as far as what they offer in the way of both product and support (including warranties, but much more.)

    I've personally experienced a level of service from both Joey and Unique's local rep Zach that has gone way beyond what I expected from a company I'm not even doing business with yet.

    Jeez... listen to me.... you'd think I'd been drinking the kool-aid... :dizzy:
    But ya know what? I'm serious.
  7. ChampionLS

    ChampionLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,066

    Just thought I'd step in here a bit...

    Has anyone attended LIGHTFAIR? I'm sure some of you have. Basically, there are hundreds of fixtures available from over seas suppliers for landscape lighting use. There are many of these in circulation today, right now in the USA and available from various distributors. (Do I need to mention names?...they are lurking here too) Everyone seems to have their own "private labeling" Nothing wrong with that, but eventually it catches on and nobody has anything unique.

    Unless, of course.. Your Unique Lighting. (haha) What I'm trying to say is go for the manufacturers that produce lights by their own designers. Products that are designed here, tested here and have listings and ratings of their proven reliability. Anyone can put together a sexy advertisement in a trade publication, but the real truth lies in the product. I agree with Joey on the patent issue. Products that are patented, and Trade Marked have less of a chance of being reproduced or copied and marketed back as cheap imitations. :usflag:

  8. Mike M

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

    I am an impressionable rookie, but I've purchased fixtures by Vista, Cast, Kichler, Nightscaping, Evening Lights, and Unique. I have also recently purchased the Unique demo kit.

    I have no idea why anyone would bash Unique, or try to kick them down a notch. It's obvious that their products are made by low-voltage landscape lighting people, for low-voltage lighting specialists. Made with USA quality, great designs and aesthetics, and installer friendly.

    If anyone thinks they can compare Unique with another line, let me ask you this... How many Nightscaping, Vista, or Kichler full-time installers are there who loyally and faithfully only install just Nightscaping, or Vista, or Kichler?

    I'm not saying I should only use one manufacturer, I'm just saying that the number of people that do makes a profound statement.
  9. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,552

    Mike, I've always been doing some lighting since 1989. I've done a lot more lighting in the last 10 years or so...

    Dozens of contractors and designers that I know of personally (some I talk to on Nichtchat, other in "real life") are loyal to Nightscaping. It's such a big product line, and the with the customizations they offer, it's all some contractors need or want to know.

    Some folks get used to doing things one way and don't need to keep looking for new solutions to problems they think they have solved. There are landscape contractors for whom lighting is just a part of what they do, and a few of them that I know are very happy with Nightscaping.

    I also know a few contractors who are really sold on FX. And through this forum I've met a few who are really sold on Unique.

    I've switched back and forth between a handful of brands over the years. Never have used Kichler or Kim, have used Nightscaping, FX, Vista and a little BK and RSL. Haven't used Cast or Unique to date, but I try to stay open-minded.

    These days I'm still using mostly Nightscaping, and probably no more than a dozen of their styles, almost all either copper and brass or stainlss steel...

    Personally I prefer the look of naturally aging copper and brass to all those other metallic finishes I see from Unique, RSL, SPJ and others. I like the way it visually disappears into the landscape.

    I still try to educate my customers (when they're receptive to the idea) to "see the light, not the source" whenever possible.

    And as far as anyone bashing Unique, I think some of it goes both ways. It goes back to the whole UL 1838 argument. Nightscapinng and FX take one side, Unique and Cast (as far as I know) take another. Vista tries to play both sides of the fence.

    Who is taking more market share? I have no idea. But in the case of lighting, my theory is the pie is getting bigger, and so some companies might not notice so much if their share of the pie is getting smaller, as long as their overall sales continue to show growth.
  10. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,170

    "Personally I prefer the look of naturally aging copper and brass to all those other metallic finishes I see from Unique, RSL, SPJ and others. I like the way it visually disappears into the landscape."

    Perhaps you havn't seen the Unique line in a while. It is pretty much all brass or copper. I know they will sell powder coated if you want, but that is not their main push.

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