Author Topic: Whatever happened to Fisher Pierce?  (Read 614 times)
Maxim
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Whatever happened to Fisher Pierce? « on: October 31, 2023, 11:15:08 PM » Author: Maxim
Whilst taking out my recently-acquired Fisher Pierce photocontrol from its box a few moments ago, I was struck with a thought. When exactly did Fisher Pierce fall into oblivion? When did they fade from mainstream markets, both in the residential and commercial sectors? What led to this downfall??

These are all questions I have posed for you all experts. I'm honestly curious as to what led to the turn of events that eventually cast FP into oblivion... I found an article that discussed Pacific Scientific's profits (published 1994), which also discussed the devastating losses of previous years vs profit made that year, and the movement of their manufacturing plant from Puerto Rico to Weymouth, MA. But from there, I haven't the slightest idea.

So, whatever happened to our beloved Fisher Pierce photocontrols???
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Robotjulep
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Re: Whatever happened to Fisher Pierce? « Reply #1 on: November 01, 2023, 09:13:46 PM » Author: Robotjulep
I don't know too much about Fisher Pierce, other than the fact it was ubiquitous to vintage lanterns and fixtures in North America. I have a Fisher Pierce photocontrol that came with my yard blaster, but it doesn't work, unfortunately. It is just there to complete the fixture.
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LightsoftheWest
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Re: Whatever happened to Fisher Pierce? « Reply #2 on: November 01, 2023, 09:21:59 PM » Author: LightsoftheWest
They still exist. They're now named FP Outdoor Lighting Controls and are owned by Sun-Tech (Sunrise Technologies Incorporated) based in Raynham, MA. Unsure of where their modern controls are made. They make LED and HID twist-lock photocontrols as well as wireless/smart controls.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2023, 09:24:50 PM by LightsoftheWest » Logged

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sol
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Re: Whatever happened to Fisher Pierce? « Reply #3 on: November 01, 2023, 09:41:03 PM » Author: sol
Wasn’t Sun-Tech a competitor to Fisher Pierce way back ?

Also, pardon my ignorance, but what is the difference between a HID photocell and a LED photocell ?
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Maxim
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Re: Whatever happened to Fisher Pierce? « Reply #4 on: November 01, 2023, 09:45:28 PM » Author: Maxim
Ooooh. I Googled them and found their site. It looks to me that Sun-Tech, Ripley, and Fisher Pierce are all under one umbrella now?

Even so, why have I not seen modern variants of FP photocontrols recently??
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Maxim
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Re: Whatever happened to Fisher Pierce? « Reply #5 on: November 01, 2023, 09:46:49 PM » Author: Maxim
Wasn’t Sun-Tech a competitor to Fisher Pierce way back ?

Also, pardon my ignorance, but what is the difference between a HID photocell and a LED photocell ?
I too am not entirely sure; I believe LED photocontrols have a contact pad on the bottom, whilst the ones intended for HID do not?? Something like that. I was told that in my use case (38W RoadFocus) it shouldn't be an issue, but it would be at higher wattages.
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Re: Whatever happened to Fisher Pierce? « Reply #6 on: November 02, 2023, 03:11:49 AM » Author: Medved
Also, pardon my ignorance, but what is the difference between a HID photocell and a LED photocell ?

One of the biggest difference is related to the anticipated character of the switched load.
HID uses to go more into the inductive character, so tend to arc when switching off, but the electronic LED ballasts tend to be more of a capacitor character, so high current spikes at turn ON. It requires a bit different approach to design the switching element. Yes, this is relevant mainly for higher loads, but even for lower ones e.g. the triac switches do not work well once capacitors are involved (the high di/dt when turning ON is killing them) in the load circuit and do not like lower currents in general (below 0.2..0.3A it becomes difficult to keep them switched ON when they are supposed to be), but LEDs tend to draw less. And on the opposite side, MOSFETs (became quite common for LED stuff) are not handling that well if the load becomes inductive (breaking the current causes an overvoltage spike).


Plus the LED can tolerate frequent switching pretty well and has nearly zero "restrike time", while the HID get worn off when switched too frequently and any switch off leads to many minutes dark time. So HID have to have something to prevent erratic switching (so have some form of filter for random upsets), LED ones can tolerate way more mess in that, so could be made simpler.
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Maxim
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Re: Whatever happened to Fisher Pierce? « Reply #7 on: November 02, 2023, 07:00:26 AM » Author: Maxim
Thanks for the detailed reply, Medved. I had no idea.
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Re: Whatever happened to Fisher Pierce? « Reply #8 on: November 02, 2023, 11:28:16 AM » Author: sol
Well, I can go to bed more knowledgeable tonight !

Thanks, Medved.

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Re: Whatever happened to Fisher Pierce? « Reply #9 on: November 02, 2023, 02:38:21 PM » Author: HIDLad001
I have heard people say that the modern SunTech photocells aren't very good. Can anybody prove or disprove this?
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