General

  • Can I purchase CAST products over the Internet?

    CAST Lighting is available online in two ways:

    • Through the CAST Lighting Online Order Exchange. This online store is linked to the CAST Lighting website, but products ordered here are fulfilled by our authorized distributors. CAST does not sell direct to consumers.
    • Through online stores set up by our authorized distributors. Some, but not all, of our distributors have online stores where you may purchase CAST products.

    Note, however, that CAST Lighting products are best installed by a trained professional. We strongly encourage consumers to search for a professional to design and install their landscape lighting.

     

  • How is CAST Lighting different from other manufacturers?

    CAST Lighting manufactures the most durable and reliable professional lighting fixtures available anywhere – at a reasonable price.

    In addition to solid bronze construction, internal components of fixtures and transformers are engineered to withstand the most corrosive of environments.

    CAST Lighting is also known as the Industry's best source of training and education .

    There are many other differences, give us a call to learn more .

  • Where do I purchase CAST products ?

    CAST products are only available through CAST Distributors and their contractor customers . To locate a CAST Distributor for product purchases, click here.

Product Information

  • Can LEDs cause Garage door openers to stop working ?

    Yes, that's correct. This is (unfortunately) a common problem with many LED lamps and fixtures.

    The culprit is the switching rectifier in the LED driver. This is the component that converts AC current into DC current so the current can power the LED's. The rectifier generates high frequency electromagnetic radiation (EMR). This EMR is also called EMI (electromagnetic interference) because it can interfere with other devices that use high frequency signals such as garage door openers and other wireless control devices.

    The extent of the interference depends upon the strength of the EMI and the distance to the wireless device. Surprisingly, a single LED fixture installed at up to 50 ft. from a wireless device can prevent that device from working. Multiple outdoor fixtures with problematic EMI can take out a home's entire wireless lighting control system.

    A properly designed LED driver positions the rectifier and other components to minimize the EMI and employs shields and/or filters to further reduce the EMI. EMI can both be radiated (travels through air) and conducted (travels through wires). Both types must be minimized. Minimizing EMI is standard practice for the design of any kind electronic circuit. The fact that so many manufacturers neglect this requirement is shocking. The primary reason for this neglect is the difficulty and expense in eliminating EMI in the very tight space of an MR-16 driver compartment.

    How do you know if EMI has been effectively minimized? Look for the FCC mark, and a statement that the device complies with FCC Class A or B. If you don't see the FCC mark on the device or its packaging then you should conclude that EMI could be a problem. You should never install an LED in a residential or commercial property if the FCC mark is missing.

    By the way, FCC Class A is a commercial rating - Class B is a residential rating. Class B is a tougher standard since it recognizes that residential properties have TV's that are highly susceptible to EMI. Devices with either Class A or Class B are likely to be OK, but Class B is better.

    All CAST LED fixtures and modules are FCC Class B rated and will not interfere with wireless devices.

  • CAST LED Perimeter Lighting System: Are 220/240V transformers available and, if so, in what wattage?

    We currently produce 300VA and 600VA transformers in 120V and 220/240V 50/60Hz. These come with a built in manual on/off time clock and plug into a standard GFCI-protected outlet. Transformers can be controlled using dusk to dawn optional photocell or can be wired to any relay-style automated control such as a motion sensor.

  • Do CAST Lighting LED lights melt snow?

    Anyone with landscape lights in a northern climate knows there's a problem when you get heavy snowfall - the lighting disappears! Fortunately, most lights get hot and quickly melt the snow. Voila! The lights emerge like beacons from those snowy blankets.

    I say "most" lights because some don't get hot enough to melt the snow – especially the new LED ones . LEDs generate much less heat than do incandescent bulbs, so it can become a losing battle between the snow and the lights . If the snow wins, then the homeowner may be in for a cold dark winter .

    This is less of a problem with CAST LED lights – here's why. Most of the heat comes from the LED chips inside the fixture. To melt the snow, that heat must travel from the chips to the body of the fixture.

    With CAST LEDs, the LED chips are "integrated" into the fixture body. That means there is a solid metal pathway for the heat to follow; the chips are mounted on a metal board; the metal board is mounted on a metal core; and the metal core is mounted in (or is part of) the fixture body. The heat travels very quickly from the chips to the body – this not only melts the snow, it keeps the chips cool so they last longer and perform better.

    Compare this with what happens in other types of LED lights. Those lights put the LEDs into old-style bulbs – they are not integrated into the fixture body. The heat from those LEDs has a tough path to follow. Instead of a solid metal pathway, the heat must pass through the fixture's internal air space . Air is a poor conductor of heat .

    Think of a thermos bottle – pour hot chocolate into a thermos and it remains hot for a long time while the outside of the thermos remains cool . That's because every thermos has an air space between the inner chamber and the outer wall. That's what happens when you put old - style LED bulbs inside a light fixture – they have an air space preventing the heat from escaping . Such fixtures have a tougher time melting the snow and are at risk for the type of overheating that shortens their lives and diminishes their performance .

    That's why, if you live in a snowy region, you need integrated CAST LED lights to enjoy the nighttime warmth and glow of your snowy landscape!

  • Do CAST products comply with LEED certification requirements?

    Two parts of the LEED certifications apply to lighting - light pollution reduction and optimizing energy performance. CAST lighting luminaires and lamps can be used to meet these standards. Most of the luminaires are fully shielded to prevent light pollution; and our transformers and lamps are highly energy efficient. Used in combination with other sustainable elements in the project, an exterior lighting design using CAST Lighting luminaires can meet standards sufficient to gain LEED points.

  • Does CAST offer LED fixtures?

    Yes, CAST Lighting is the industry leader in LED development for landscape and perimeter lighting. CAST LED fixtures are durable, high-performing, feature-filled, and reasonably priced. Please go to our LED Fixtures page to drill down into our many LED offerings.

  • How long will my bulbs last?

    The life expectancy that appears on the lamp box is determined by tests under laboratory conditions using standard testing procedures set by the Illumination Engineering Society of North America (IESNA).

    The rated life is set at the time when half of the tested lamps burn out. When lamps are subject to an outdoor environment with changes in temperature, lamp life may be shortened. Other factors such as fixture design and voltage fluctuations may also affect lamp life.

    Given this host of variables, it is typical (in a landscape lighting application) that 10,000 hr. lamps last (on average) from 18 to 30 months, while 5,000 hr lamps last from 12 to 24 months. Of course, it's not uncommon for some lamps to burn out in times much shorter or longer than this.

    If you feel that your lamps are burning out prematurely, contact your CAST installer to check your lighting system.

     

  • How many lights does one LED Impressionist Light replace?

    200 or 300 (depending on how you do the calculation)!

    Each CAST LED Impressionist Light has 20 levels of light level adjustment; 5 replaceable optics; and 3 color temperatures (initial 2,800K plus 2 correction filters - to adjust to 3,000K and 3,200K).

    That's 20 x 5 x 3 = 300 combinations. (200 combinations if you just count one color correction filter).

    That means a lighting designer can purchase one CAST LED Impressionist directional, install it on a property then adjust the brightness, beam spread, and color temperature to find the perfect lighting effect for the design.

    Before the Impressionist, designers needed to make all those decisions prior to installation - a practice that often led to less than perfect designs and a lot of wasted time going back and forth to the distributor.

    Also before the Impressionist, if the designer needed to change the design for the seasons or to adjust for other changes in the landscape, he or she needed to purchase additional lamps - again a lot of back and forth to the distributor and wasted time and money.

    One fixture - 300 combinations - buy one and you're done - makes a lot of sense.

    Read more about the Impressionist Series

  • Where do I view the CAST warranty?

    Click here to view the CAST Warranty.

  • Why are CAST Lights made of solid bronze?

    Solid sand-cast bronze is the most corrosion-resistant metal used to make landscape lighting fixtures. It doesn't scratch, chip, crack, break or corrode. It also ages naturally to a beautiful patina - a color that blends perfectly into the landscape.

    Read more about bronze.

  • Why are my CAST Lighting fixtures turning white?

    Bronze contains a small amount of zinc. After a fixture is installed in the landscape, some of this zinc migrates to the surface forming a whitish coating. This coating eventually fades and washes off. The time for the whitish coating to disappear varies according to environmental conditions and can last from a couple weeks to a couple months.

    We recommend that homeowners allow this natural process to progress, but if they wish to remove the zinc coating, this is best done by gently scouring the fixture with coarse steel wool or a steel brush. After scouring the fixture, the surface should be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Keep in mind that the whitish coating may re-appear until the zinc migration is complete.

    To prevent the zinc from reappearing after the above step, the homeowner may apply WD-40® to the fixture then rubbing it over all the surfaces. Note, however, that this application will delay the further patinization of the fixture to it's final stage of bluish-green by as much as a year.

Design

  • What fixtures are best used for illuminating the front of a house?

    CAST MR-16 bullets (CBL1CB) are the most commonly used fixtures for illuminating vertical surfaces. MR-16 lamps are available in a variety of beam angles and wattages allowing for precise control of the lighting effect.

    CAST Well Lights (CWLWFL, CWLWFLLEAD, CWLMR16) are also used for this purpose. However, well lights are below-ground fixtures and may get covered in mulch and plant material. If a garden bed surrounds the house, then an MR-16 Bullet is a better choice.

  • What techniques are used to illuminate driveways?

    The most compelling lighting for a driveway is moonlighting. This involves mounting CAST Tree Lights 20 to 30 ft. up into trees. For more info on moonlighting, click here

    Driveways may also be illuminated along the edges with CAST path lights or the CAST MR-16 Area Bullet.

Installation

  • Can CAST fixtures and transformers be dimmed?

    Note: For a more complete discussion and modification instructions, read technical article.

    Properly designed landscape lighting systems use low levels of illumination positioned and aimed for optimal effect. Dimming these systems typically deteriorates the lighting design and serves no useful purpose. Still, if dimming control is required there are several factors to consider:

    • The best approach is to use a dimming system that reduces the voltage at the secondary transformer circuits (12v to 22v). This bypasses any potential problems with compatability with the transformer's magnetic and electronic components.
    • All tungsten/halogen lamps should not be operated for extended periods at less than 10V. These lower voltages will cause the bulb to blacken and reduce the lamp life.
    • All our transformers 900w and greater have electronic components that require a minimum of 100 volts to function normally. Dimming below this level will cause the transformer to malfunction.
    • Only our CJ300 and CJ600 series can be effectively dimmed to lower voltages (less than 100V) with a magnetic dimmer.
    • Our electronic transformers are fully dimmable with an electronic dimmer.
    • Some electronic systems might work on our larger transformers if they are simply used as on/off switches (no dimming) on the transformer circuit. The homeowner wouldn't be able to dim the lights but they could use the dimming controller to turn the lights on and off. The dimmer's manufacturer would need to provide recommendations on which of their products might work in this way.
    • Note that there have been some incidents of unexplainable nuisance tripping of panel breakers when dimming systems were employed with a magnetic transformer. These problems are very difficult to troubleshoot.
  • Can I do it myself?

    We do not recommend that homeowners undertake the installation of a professional landscape lighting system. For best results, you would need: 1. electrical installation experience, 2. appropriate installation and testing tools and 3. to take time to learn the CAST system of landscape lighting installation. In most cases a professional CAST-trained installer will give you better results than if you did it yourself.

    Also, keep in mind that landscape lighting design is an art form that takes years to master.

  • Is it OK to mount a transformer inside a home?

    We recommend installing transformers outside on a transformer stand (constructed according to our guidelines). This eliminates running wires through walls and also allows for the best dissipation of heat generated by the transformer.

    However, CAST transformers are UL approved for inside installation. In this case, the installer needs to follow National Electrical Code (NEC) guidelines for running wires within a structure; and must use a properly rated metal conduit when running wires through exterior walls.

  • Will a landscape lighting installation damage my property?

    No, low voltage lighting wiring requires very shallow narrow trenches as compared to high voltage lighting that requires deeper, larger trenches.

    A CAST-trained lighting installer learns how dig narrow trenches that can be pushed closed to prevent any damage to turf.

    A typical landscape lighting installation can be completed in one or two days leaving the landscape unmarked and undamaged.

Maintenance

  • What sort of maintenance is required for CAST fixtures?

    At least once a year, the following maintenance should be performed on CAST fixtures:

    • Fixture surfaces wiped clean of dirt and debris
    • Lens cleaned with a CLR solution
    • Plant material and debris that may be contacting or covering the fixture should be removed

    For more information on maintenance, click here

  • What sort of maintenance is required for CAST transformers?

    At least once every 18 months, the following maintenance should be performed on CAST transformers:

    • Surface and under cover cleaned of dirt and debris 
    • Terminal block set screws (top and bottom) tightened securely 
    • Testing loop amped and compared to record form to ensure transformer load is still within limits 

    For more information on maintenance, click here.

Troubleshooting

  • Why are my CAST Lighting fixtures turning white?

    Bronze contains a small amount of zinc. After a fixture is installed in the landscape, some of this zinc migrates to the surface forming a whitish coating. This coating eventually fades and washes off. The time for the whitish coating to disappear varies according to environmental conditions and can last from a couple weeks to a couple months.

    We recommend that homeowners allow this natural process to progress, but if they wish to remove the zinc coating, this is best done by gently scouring the fixture with coarse steel wool or a steel brush. After scouring the fixture, the surface should be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Keep in mind that the whitish coating may re-appear until the zinc migration is complete.

    To prevent the zinc from reappearing after the above step, the homeowner may apply WD-40® to the fixture then rubbing it over all the surfaces. Note, however, that this application will delay the further patinization of the fixture to it's final stage of bluish-green by as much as a year.

Business

  • Does an installer need to be certified by CAST to install CAST products?

    No, anyone can purchase and install CAST products. We do, however, highly recommend that installers take one of our hands-on trainings. These training provide a hands-on opportunity to design and install systems under the guidance of our experienced training instructors.

  • How do I become a CAST Distributor?

    Contact your CAST Regional Sales Manager.

  • How does a company get listed on our Distributor/Designer Locator?

    Only authorized and approved CAST Distributors are listed in the Distributor/Designer Locator. For a description of distributor categories and requirements, click here.

    Designer/Installers are not listed in the locator. All homeowner and business leads coming through this website go to CAST Distributors.

  • How is CAST Lighting different from a lighting franchise?

    The model of a landscape lighting franchise is for the installer to make an initial investment in the franchise, to adhere to its rules and to pay back a portion of profits. The return for this cash investment and payback is the use of the franchise name, access to its training, business plan and products and a limited amount of marketing support.

    CAST Lighting is often called a "franchise without the franchise" because we offer high quality products, a strong brand name, comprehensive training and extensive marketing support - all this while asking for nothing in return, the installer keeps 100% of his or her profits.