CAST Lighting, an outdoor lighting manufacturer based in Hawthorne, NJ, has a ten-year history of producing the most durable low voltage lighting products in the market. This stature was greatly enhanced on May 9th when it received the lighting industry’s highest honor “The Most Innovative Product of the Year”. The award was given at LightFair International 2012, the world’s largest architectural and commercial trade show.
The winning product was CAST Lighting’s LED Perimeter Light, a compact, energy efficient security light designed to mount on chain link fence posts. Powered by a small 24-volt transformer, this light, positioned every 20 to 30 feet, provides highly targeted illumination along extremely long fence lines.
The award judges, all top lighting professionals, were impressed by the innovative design and thinking behind the luminaire. They commented,
“Never has so little light done so much work. We found this to be a simple, clean, efficient, energy-effective solution which could be used on nearly every property. It leverages the best benefits of LED – low voltage operation, optical efficiency, small size and long life for a truly robust security lighting solution.”
The task of illuminating long perimeter fences has always been problematic. The typical solution is to install tall pole-mounted luminaires that flood fence regions with light. This approach wastes considerable amounts of energy since most of the illumination falls outside the perimeter region. Installation of these pole-mounted lights is also very expensive in both material and labor. The new CAST Lighting LED Perimeter Light uses just 7 watts per luminaire and can illuminate 500 feet of fence with less than 150 watts of power. Typical metal halide pole-mounted lamps would require nearly 4,000 watts to light that same fence. This represents a 96% savings in energy cost.
Steve Parrott, CAST Lighting’s Communication and Marketing Director, comments on the potential for the LED Perimeter Light,
“One of the most remarkable things about this security light is its wide range of applications. Since we introduced the product, we’ve been flooded with requests from Homeland Security; the military; energy companies; federal, state, and local agencies; airports; and a host of private facility managers. We are ramping up production to meet these demands, and have an aggressive R&D effort to develop new products that will address other security lighting needs.”
Dave Beausoleil, president and founder of CAST Lighting, remarks on some of the other features of the LED Perimeter Light. (Watch the video.)
“As with the development of our entire line of outdoor LED lights, we focused on the unique challenge of putting sophisticated electronics into a lighting fixture that would be subject to extreme environmental conditions. We protect the LED circuit from moisture, heat, voltage variations, and electromagnetic interference. The result is an extremely robust LED security light that will survive many years without problems.”
CAST Lighting has full specifications, application documents, and installation instructions for its LED Perimeter Lighting System. For inquiries, call 973-423-2303 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Based in Hawthorne, NJ with production facilities in the US and Colombia, CAST Lighting produces the lighting industry’s most durable and robust outdoor lighting for defense, security, landscape, and architectural applications. More information at http://www.cast-lighting.com.
Intensive Online LED Learning Event to Educate Installers, Designers, and Architects
REGISTER TODAY – LINKS BELOW
As a landscape or lighting professional, you are undoubtably confronted with clients who insist on LED’s and expect you to be the expert. That’s a tall task since understanding LED’s (especially as installed in an outdoor environment) requires some intensive study.
To jump-start your education, we’ve created a fact-filled online learning event. This hour-long webinar will cover the following:
New opportunities for LED upgrades and new installations
New challenges dealing with semi-conductor-based lighting
A primer on LED science, including driver electronics, color, heat management, LED life, voltage loss calculations (power factor)
CAST LED product features
LED installation techniques
Sales and marketing strategies
This webinar is an excellent introduction into the world of LED’s as they function in the landscape.
Since you’re probably busy, we’ll be holding this webinar 8 times over the next two weeks!
- David Beausoleil, Founder and President of CAST Lighting
- Steve Parrott, CAST Lighting Communication & Marketing Director
To register – click on one of the dates and times below! You can access the webinar from a PC or Mac; audio is available through your computer or via phone (long distance charges through your phone carrier may apply)
The webinar is a full-hour with time for questions at the end.
Janet Moyer, the world-renowned landscape lighting designer, was among the judges. She has been instrumental in helping the AOLP develop their training programs and attracting the natural talents of designers like Bernie.
Unlike many lighting firms, Bernie Granier (based near Houston, TX) is a master in finding the perfect blend of architectural lighting and landscape lighting. The result is an exuberant nighttime experience that embraces the totality of the property.
Exceptional architectural lighting, as shown here, requires an artistic eye and complete mastery of lighting tools.
Using only the best landscape lighting products (CAST among them), Bernie also takes care to ensure that the lights will survive the outdoor environment and continue to provide exceptional lighting year after year.
Our hats off to Bernie and StarShine of Texas for elevating the art of landscape lighting in the Lone Star State. Homeowners looking for exceptional lighting customized to their property, their homes, and their lives should contact Bernie. He’s a master of light and is fully capable of transforming your nighttime experience. We are proud to include Bernie among the CAST Lighting Masters of Landscape Lighting.
This blog entry describes a new patent-pending invention from CAST Lighting designed to greatly simplify the planning, installation and maintenance of wall lights.
CAST Set-in-Stone Wall Light Installation System.
Stone or block walls are distinctive features found in nearly every well-designed landscape. Installing lights in these walls is a wonderful way to illuminate their beauty. These lights also illuminate adjacent pathways or garden beds. For these reasons, many under-capstone lighting fixtures are purchased and installed.
Among these wall light fixtures, the CAST Engineered Wall Light (both incandescent and LED versions) has become a light-of-choice, primarily because of its durability (solid bronze) and sustained performance – lamp compartment enclosed in frosted glass, integrated LED board, corrosion-resistant components, etc.
One of the biggest challenges facing wall light installers is the fact that once a light is mortared under the capstone, it is nearly impossible to remove. The same is true of wires that run through the walls. Another problem is that wall lights must be installed during the wall construction phase – a messy process and often a logistical nightmare among contractors.
The New Invention
CAST Set-in-Stone Wall Light Mounting Module and Flexible Conduit. Mylar label is peeled back for wiring, then re-sealed to prevent mortar intrusion.
The new invention, the CAST Set-in-Stone™ Wall Light Installation System includes two components:
These components are installed during wall construction to provide fixture mounting locations and wiring conduit. This allows the lighting installation to occur after the wall has been completed.
How it Works
The modular system can be used for any wall light installation including between blocks and in solid walls, but the most common use will be under capstones. Let’s go through the steps for an under-capstone installation:
Prepare the Wall. With the wall completely assembled except for the capstone, drill a hole to exit the wall.
Put Wall Light Mounting Modules in Place. At each fixture location, place a module (holding it in place with a brick).
Attach Flexible Conduit. Connect modules with Flexible Conduit, and run conduit from the first module to exit the wall.
Run wires through Flexible Conduit. Run wires into and out of modules, and to exit the wall.
Seal Modules. Each module has a Mylar flap that is opened to run wires then closed to prevent mortar intrusion.
Connect and Insert Wall Lights. After the capstone has been mortared in place, open module wiring compartment, connect fixture wires, then insert bracket into module sleeve. The wall light (and its wiring) may be removed at any time for servicing or replacement.
Learning the System
The CAST Set-in-Stone Installation manual contains detailed guidelines for wall light positioning and optimal wiring methods. This illustration shows the three main wiring methods.
The CAST Set-in-Stone wall Light Installation System is a rapid method that is easy to learn. A complete installation manual accompanies the modules.
Not so simple to learn are the subtle design considerations that determine exactly where each wall light should be placed. Also a little tricky, is determining what wiring configuration is ideal to ensure proper voltage to each fixture. The installation manual addresses both the location and wiring configuration issues.
Newsletter recipients often comment that they highly appreciate the communication, and that it keeps them up-to-date regarding the latest in landscape lighting. CAST is also conscious of the flood of email communications and releases newsletters only when new information arises. Because of this, CAST newsletters are rarely reported as spam, and very few recipients unsubscribe from the publication.
Steve Parrott, Communication and Marketing Director of CAST Lighting, comments, “Constant Contact has been a valuable partner and enables us to feed valuable information to our subscribers in a professional and effective manner. The landscape lighting industry is hungry for knowledge and there are very few venues for professionals to gain access to useful information. For this reason, in addition to promoting our products, we strive to contribute to the landscape lighting knowledge base.”
Putnam Hall lit by UNH landscape lighting students.
Low Voltage Landscape Lighting Installation and Design is a niche profession – part lighting design, part electrical installation, and part horticulture. For this reason, very few colleges teach the subject*. One notable exception is the University of New Hampshire in their Thompson School of Applied Science.
“Landscape Lighting”, created and led by Rene Gingras, Associate Professor of Horticultural Technology, is a one credit course offered once a year. This 4-week course combines classroom work with hands-on training. It represents one of the most in-depth trainings available anywhere. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive a “Certificate of Completion” from CAST Lighting (a landscape lighting manufacturer).
Professor Gingras remarks, “We established this class three years ago with the support of CAST Lighting and BISCO (a green industry distributor). We also received a grant from the University Parents Association. Next year, we plan on adding LED information and extending the course to 7 weeks for an additional credit.”
Students learn hands-on landscape lighting installation techniques.
Steve Parrott, Communication and Marketing Director of CAST Lighting, comments, “Most landscape lighting professionals received, at most, one or two days of training before launching into the work. In fact, CAST Lighting offers a very effective full-day hands-on landscape lighting seminar that teaches the basics. While that’s enough for most, it doesn’t compare to the comprehensive 4-week program that Professor Gingras provides.”
*One other university class also presents an exceptional training opportunity, “Landscape Lighting” a two-day class taught once a year at Rutgers University by CAST founder, Dave Beausoleil.
Our first priority in lighting the landscape is to provide the basic illumination that enables our vision. From there, we expand our designer’s skill to include several other goals – some obvious, others more subtle. The following article not only elucidates these goals, it sets them in relation to each other. It is the relationship of lighting goals that defines lighting quality. Lighting quality is the value we bring as professional landscape lighting designers.
Quality is a nebulous word and largely subjective. One person loves the lighting, another hates it, and another is indifferent. With such a range of opinion, how is it possible to define and achieve this quality? The answer can be found by considering a host of factors including human needs, economics, energy efficiency, environmental issues, and considerations of architecture and plant material. The next time a homeowner asks why she should hire you to do the lighting, you will explain lighting quality and how you achieve it.
Summary of Quality Landscape Lighting for Human Needs
The lighting designer illuminates the landscape to serve the needs of people who live and visit there. The designer provides sufficient illumination of the right type to enable people to perform needed actions in an environment that is visible, comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing.
Economics and Environment
Summary of Quality Landscape Lighting for Economic and Environmental Needs
The lighting designer selects fixtures and components that are long-lived, reasonably priced, energy-efficient, and that represent a minimal impact on environmental concerns.
Integration with Existing Architecture.
Lighting Emphasis and Variation.
Codes and Standards.
Summary of Quality Landscape Lighting for Architecture
The lighting designer recognizes important architectural and landscape features, and creates a design to selectively highlight these features. The designer also selects lighting fixtures that are visually appropriate to the surroundings.
Integration with Existing Plant Material.
Summary of Landscape Lighting Quality for Plants
The lighting designer incorporates plant material into the lighting design with recognition of each plant’s distinctive qualities, and plans for lighting system changes as plant materials grow.
Quality lighting for the landscape is comprised of a host of factors including human needs, economics and the environment, architectural factors, and plant material considerations. The lighting designer who embraces all these factors and incorporates them into lighting plans offers great value to lighting consumers.
Steve Middleton adds a compelling nighttime dimension to water features.
Landscape Lighting is a profession that hosts a wide variety of individuals – with a wide range of talents. This fact complicates the selection of a landscape lighting designer. How does a homeowner know who’s good, who’s bad, and who’s truly exceptional? Like all complicated decisions, the best answers come from knowledge – preferably knowledge based on evidence.
With Steve Middleton (owner of Treasure Coast Landscape Lighting in Hobe Sound, FL), the evidence of his exceptional work can be seen every night along the sleepy roads of Florida’s Treasure Coast. Because of Steve, countless homes shine as though the walls themselves are glowing; tropical vegetation emerges from the darkness as though the moon itself had been captured and put to the task. But the most compelling evidence is found on the faces of Steve’s customers – expressions that range from gratitude, to delight, to serenity, to pride. Clearly, the evidence of Steve Middleton’s skill is overwhelming.
What sets Treasure Coast Landscape Lighting above their many competitors in the region? The reasons are set out in the company’s website (Treasure Coast Landscape Lighting). Primary among them, is Steve’s absolute expertise in tropical vegetation and its illumination. He is widely recognized as the nations leading expert on the subject, and was featured in an article on the topic (Palm Lighting Particulars) in Landscape Contractor National.
Landscape lighting creates nighttime depth and mystery through the juxtaposition of illuminated architectural and plant elements.
Some may wonder, “What’s there to know; you put a light in the ground and shine it onto a tree?” The truth is much more complex and involves three main factors:
Understanding how lighting fixtures coexist with plant systems
Understanding how illumination affects the visual appearance of various types of plant materials
Understanding how lighting fixtures are affected by environmental factors
The first point is not even considered by the great majority of lighting installers. Tropical vegetation (especially palm trees) have the fastest and most aggressive root systems of any plant type in the world. A lighting fixture staked in the ground at the base of a palm tree will, in a few months, become completely entrapped by the roots. This will not only immobilize the lighting fixture (note: fixture locations need to be adjusted as the tree grows), the roots may also grab the wire and pull it away from the light socket. Many Floridian properties are littered with lighting fixtures that have been destroyed in this way.
Years ago, Steve recognized this problem and devised ways to insert lighting fixtures and their wires so roots would not entangle them. He also learned how the various types of palms differ in their root growth, and applies specific techniques appropriate to each specific tree.
To appreciate the second point, one needs to understand the dynamic nature of light. Depending on the angle of illumination, its brightness, its beam spread, determines how a surface appears. As children, we all shone flshlights from under our chins to create a monstrous appearance. In the same way, illuminated trees and structures can look garish or charming, scary or welcoming, unsightly or beautiful – it all depends on the hard-earned talent of a lighting designer like Steve Middleton.
Landscape lights with coated finishes tend to chip and peel.
Just do a Google search for landscape lighting. You’ll find lighting fixtures that cost less than a movie, less than a haircut, less than a meal at McDonalds.
Unfortunately, just like these other consumables, low price lights are purchased then quickly lose their value. Bright and shiny when you buy them, in a few months they are broken, bent, chipped, and may not work at all. Maybe you’ll spend a few more dollars for “premium” fixtures – these may last a full year. In the end, all that remains are bad memories. You might as well have spent the money on a good movie.
Even the Pro’s are Seduced by Low Prices
You would think a landscape lighting professional would be smart enough to avoid throw-away lights. Sadly, many fail to realize that their reputation depends upon the value they deliver. Landscape Lighting Design is an awesome craft that takes years to master and the results are breath-taking – even life-changing – for the homeowner. When a professional designer uses cheap lights, it is not only bad for business; it does the homeowner a huge disservice.
Low cost lights often have flimsy stems that bend and break.
Mistakes Some Landscape Lighting Professionals Make:
They spend way too much time trying to save a few dollars on lights, instead of selecting a high-quality brand and sticking to it. Many do this by selecting discount online retailers that offer nothing but low prices and mediocre quality.
They are not suspicious when confronted by the oxymoron, “High Quality – Low Price”. They forget that “You get what you pay for” is, and always will be, true.
They think they can only succeed if they offer their service at the lowest possible price – lower than everyone else. They will use cheap materials, take shortcuts, and do anything to bring the price down.
They fail to see value in their work, their craftsmanship, their experience; and consequently devalue their service to the point where they make little or no money on jobs – a downward spiral that forces them to compromise on the products they sell and the service they deliver.
They fail to see that the success of their business depends on their reputations. If their businesses are associated with low quality lights, then their reputation reflects that.
They waste time trying to sell professional systems to homeowners who can’t afford (or appreciate) a quality lighting design.
Poorly designed lights may have exposed filaments (light bombs) that hurt the eyes. CAST Lights have fully concealed lamps with no direct glare.
Mistakes Some Homeowners Make:
They hire professionals who make the above mistakes.
They fail to recognize how a professionally designed lighting system beautifies their property, makes it safer, more secure, and enables them to enjoy their nighttime activities.
They underestimate the skill, experience, and artistry required to produce an exceptional lighting design. They spend way too much time in Home Depot browsing through the outdoor lighting section.
When evaluating bids for landscape lighting, they focus too much on price, and not enough on other values like training, experience, product quality and professionalism.
They are offended when the landscape lighting professional refuses to budge on price.
After they get bids on projects, they rush to the Internet to look for product prices to see if they are getting ripped off. They don’t know that the best lighting brands (like CAST Lighting) can’t be purchased through the Internet.
They try to do it themselves.
Professionally designed and installed CAST Lighting. These fixtures will never break, bend, chip, or peel - lifetime warranty.
Landscape lighting professionals should select a high-quality brand and stick to it. They should also work on increasing the value of their businesses, build their reputations, and set prices that truly reflect those values.