I have used 12 volt landscape lights for about seven years. During this
time, I have used various light fixtures from Home Depot and Lowe's. Some
seem pretty low quality, some appear pretty decent at first. But, they all
leak after a few years.
I have also tried more "upscale" lights from a lighting dealer, costing in
the range of $90 per fixture. They also leak after a few years. I see
NO difference in quality of the "upscale" fixtures at $90 than what I buy at
the big box stores at $15 each. No difference whatsoever. (Generally
speaking, I am a believer in the saying that you get what you pay for. This
does not appear to be the case with low voltage landscape lights).
Do any of you have experience with the long term use of low voltage
landscape lights, and have you found decent fixtures with good seals, so
that they don't leak after a few years ? If so, what brand/ store / etc
would you suggest that I try ??
Thanks for any comments or advice !!
Every brand I've ever used is junk. Most of the line voltage landscape
fixtures are garbage as well. The only possible exceptions are the very
expensive bronze ones make by Hadco or Kim. I've tried resin and plastic,
cast aluminum etc. None hold up over time, and those with bayonet and MR
sockets crap out the quickest
I've got a set of those cheap plastic lights with the clip in 4v bulbs
here at my place in MI... had no trouble with them in the 4 years I've
been here, and they were in before I got them... Judging by how many
layers of mulch the wires are under, I'd say they've been running
strong for 10 years now. The caps come off the top, water and snow
fall in, but, it all drains out the bottom so the light doesn't have
my 2 cents
hey, all sarcasim aside, I just mentioned that for whatever it might
be worth to someone else reading this thread later.
I looked at my timer box, and it looks like they are malibu lights
cheap, yes, from the borg, yes, what you were asking about, no.
but, like I said, just my 2 cents.
*I get asked about low voltage lighting by my customers every once in a
while. I advise them against it. I'm in New Jersey and the weather
conditions are not optimal for that stuff. The connectors corrode or fall
apart. The lights don't hold up well. Landscapers abuse them. Homeowners
step on them. The ones low to the ground get covered with leaves. The one
at the end of the line are dimmer than the beginning.
Have you considered LED (light emitting diode) lights? Google "white LED
Lights". Incandescent lights only only produce 5-10% light the remainder being
heat and it is the latter that causes fixture failure. With leds there need not
any such fixtures. If you can live with red lights, red LEDs are even cheaper.
I think it depends on how much light one needs and for what purpose. I've
not seen any low voltage garden lamps that give off much light and they
certainly don't throw light any appreciable distance, they're typically used
for minimally illuminating walkways. I also used low voltage lamps but I
didn't like that they needed wiring and they also leaked. For six years now
I've been using solar lights, they emit enough light to illuminate walkways.
Even on cloudy days they recharge enough so that they give off light well
past the wee hours when no one should be walking about anyway. The only
time solar lamps won't recharge is when snow accumulates on the solar
panels, but then the snow itself reflects more than adequate light for
walking about, and it's a simple matter to brush snow off the panels. For
security lighting neither low voltage or solar lighting is sufficient, for
that one should have hard wired flood/spot lights with motion detectors.
I've been using the same solar lamps for more than six years now, they still
operate good as new and the lamp's appearance is as good as new. And
eventually when the rechargeable battery pack fails it can easily be
replaced, and for like $6. And there are now solar lamps that do emit
enough light to illuminate relatively large areas and/or throw light a
distance sufficient for a flag atop a pole. I'm sold on solar lighting, I
would never again consider low voltage lights. I've already decided to buy
a set of solar lights for my outdoor Christmas tree... no more 150'
yes. this is the way we are going. we even have some solar LED lights that are
really surprising in that they have been outside all winter for 2 years now and
havent replaced the battery. The light is not BRIGHT like you can read from it,
we just want subtle lighting. Ingrid
On Mon, 8 Jun 2009 05:42:49 -0400, "Alan" <you're got to be joking> wrote:
Somewhere between zone 5 and 6 tucked along the shore of Lake Michigan
on the council grounds of the Fox, Mascouten, Potawatomi, and Winnebago
One box of 4 that I bought very cheap, says right on the box that the solar
powered batteries cannot be replaced. Lasted for 2 years. No evidence of
water intrusion. Lights: LEDs. Lights hang down, not pointed up. No way
for water to affect them unless you have more than 8" of standing water.
Tried them again in a box of 6, even cheaper this time. No battery
replacement disclaimer. Similar design. 1/2 price sale, I'm buying another
box for when these fail. Just connect the top section to the current
assembly already in the ground, all working again.
That's my advice. Buy them while on sale, and buy more than one set for
on 6/8/2009 7:36 AM (ET) Dioclese wrote the following:
I don't think the OP is talking about solar powered lights.
However I was in HD or Lowes last week and I saw solar powered lights
that said the batteries are regular AA rechargeables.
The problem I've had with solar powered lights is that the solar panel
plastic turns milky and gets hairline cracks. I've gone so far as to
buff the lenses and coated them with Future floor finish, but it doesn't
I've had the same issue, as well as the plastic stakes being softer
than the ground that they're pushed into (and the soil in my yard is
very soft indeed.)
I would love to find a good quality light, either solar, low voltage,
whatever that could be relied upon to last more than a year or two.
It was only a week ago and you don't know if you were in Home Depot or
Lowe's... something is terribly amiss with your perceptive ability. Sounds
more like you futzed with buffing and coating your lamp's solar panels when
new out of the box, thinking you'd improve them, instead you destroyed them.
Mine have been operating perfectly for nearly seven years and show no
crazing or opaqueness whatsoever, and the only cleaning they get is from
when it rains.
This photo was taken like a week ago, my solar panels look exactly like when
Btw, anyone know the name of that plant, I would appreciate it, I can't
remember and the tag is lost.
I never said I planted it, was there when I moved here. I've seen that
plant at a local nursery but don't remember the name, of the plant, I know
the name of the nursery. The original owner had little copper tags by many
of the plants, that one is missing or may never have been. That plant could
have been planted shortly after that deck was built, some twenty six years
ago, not six days ago. Btw, I've been separating and planting pieces in
unprotected areas, so far the deer and rabbits don't eat it.
This is the solar lamp I bought from Lowe's on 11/11/03, still works
perfectly. I paid $35 for a set of two. I wouldn't coat the solar panels
with anything as it may act like a sun screen one applies against sunburn,
blocking the rays that recharge the batteries... I'd think modern auto waxes
do contain a sunscreen to protect paint finishes.... clearly says any
modification voids the warranty. It's very easy to replace the batteries,
so far I'm still using the original batteries. Don't buy any B & D cordless
vacuum, costs as much to change the battery pack as to buy a new unit.
Malibu makes cheaper (plastic) solar lights too, they also make low voltage
lights, but these are made very substantially of cast aluminum and
beautifully finished, I got the ones with the pewter finish:
When I bought them it was simply an impulse purchase, I did no research,
they just looked nice and the price was right. Initially I wanted solar
lights for markers at the foot of my driveway but soon realized it wouldn't
be such a good idea as anyone passing could make off with them, so I put
them in back at my deck.
on 6/9/2009 10:47 AM (ET) brooklyn1 wrote the following:
I never said I buffed and coated the panels 'out of the box'. The
buffing and coating was done after they clouded over, as an experiment,
like buffing plastic headlights when they cloud up, to see if they would
regain their operation. They did for a while.
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