Author Topic: Stay Away From New Caster Lighting Products. (Lithonia, Designer's Edge, etc.)  (Read 6148 times)
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Stay Away From New Caster Lighting Products. (Lithonia, Designer's Edge, etc.) « on: June 29, 2016, 09:41:39 PM » Author: HPS Lover
Hello All Fellow Members:

I started a brief discussion on one of my posts HERE: http://www.lighting-gallery.net/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-121192.

Anyways, Icefoglights pointed something out to me that others may or may not be aware of.  It has to do with lower-end HID lighting products.  These products go under, but are not limited to, the brand names of Lithonia and the Designer's Edge.  For those not aware, the components of these fixtures are made by a Chinese company called Caster Lighting, a VERY low-end manufacturer.  Not too long ago, I purchased a Designer's Edge (with Caster gear) 100W PSMH floodlight made in 2011 (see above link).  Shortly after getting it, the ignitor started to hesitate when turning on the power, and the light also would noticeably flicker, a sign of unstable current.  Not one of my other fixtures from the past had ever done this (except for if someone was using a high-current appliance, like the microwave, for example).  I recently decided to open up the fixture and inspect it.  Lo and behold, was what appeared to be an H38 MV ballast.  To confirm my suspicion, I disconnected the ignitor, and installed a 100W MV bulb.  It worked just as it would on a regular MV ballast, with NO signs of overdriving.

I have seen other complaints similar to the issues I'm having in other places on Lighting Gallery.  Seems as if corners are intentionally cut to make the products fail prematurely.

To make a long story short, these lower-end fixtures (despite being somewhat expensive), are NOT built up to quality.  I would splurge and get something like a Hubbell or RAB fixture; they will last you a LOT longer than one of the Caster "rebrands"!

 ::) :'( >:(
Best regards,
Ryan
(AKA Mercury Vapor 456 on LG).
 
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Re: Stay Away From New Caster Lighting Products. (Lithonia, Designer's Edge, etc.) « Reply #1 on: June 29, 2016, 09:47:49 PM » Author: wattMaster
Who owns The Designer's Edge name?
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HPS Lover
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Re: Stay Away From New Caster Lighting Products. (Lithonia, Designer's Edge, etc.) « Reply #2 on: June 29, 2016, 10:02:48 PM » Author: HPS Lover
They (The Designer's Edge) were bought out by a company called Coleman Cable. They (Designer's Edge) used to be their own company, yet outsourced their products LONG before being bought out.  If I recall correctly, I believe someone said when they were first around they used high-quality components.

As of now (2006 or earlier to now), they became completely outsourced to Caster, which, as mentioned, is easily the worst lighting component manufacturer on the planet.
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Re: Stay Away From New Caster Lighting Products. (Lithonia, Designer's Edge, etc.) « Reply #3 on: June 29, 2016, 10:04:03 PM » Author: Silverliner
I have a cheap Lithonia 50w MH mini-wallpack fixture. It doesn't have a capacitor, which is unusual for MH fixtures.
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HPS Lover
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Re: Stay Away From New Caster Lighting Products. (Lithonia, Designer's Edge, etc.) « Reply #4 on: June 29, 2016, 10:18:37 PM » Author: HPS Lover
I have a cheap Lithonia 50w MH mini-wallpack fixture. It doesn't have a capacitor, which is unusual for MH fixtures.

That part doesn't seem quite so odd to me.  Even some higher-end lower wattage PSMH fixtures don't have capacitors.  From what I have read (correct me if I'm wrong), the capacitor is mainly to improve power factor.

Regarding your wallpack, have you had any issues with yours?  They get VERY low reviews online (2 stars at best).  Everyone said some component goes out within a year if they're lucky. ::)
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HPS Lover
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Re: Stay Away From New Caster Lighting Products. (Lithonia, Designer's Edge, etc.) « Reply #5 on: June 29, 2016, 10:21:24 PM » Author: HPS Lover
Oh, BTW, Heath/Zenith is also another brand that falls under the outsourced Caster category.
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Re: Stay Away From New Caster Lighting Products. (Lithonia, Designer's Edge, etc.) « Reply #6 on: June 29, 2016, 10:36:59 PM » Author: wattMaster
Oh, BTW, Heath/Zenith is also another brand that falls under the outsourced Caster category.
Oh no, my Desa International 2001 motion activated wall switch is of horrid quality!
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Re: Stay Away From New Caster Lighting Products. (Lithonia, Designer's Edge, etc.) « Reply #7 on: June 29, 2016, 10:47:13 PM » Author: Silverliner
Mine still works, but it buzzes pretty loud. It will actually light a Philips 50w CMH lamp though, surprisingly.


I have a cheap Lithonia 50w MH mini-wallpack fixture. It doesn't have a capacitor, which is unusual for MH fixtures.

That part doesn't seem quite so odd to me.  Even some higher-end lower wattage PSMH fixtures don't have capacitors.  From what I have read (correct me if I'm wrong), the capacitor is mainly to improve power factor.

Regarding your wallpack, have you had any issues with yours?  They get VERY low reviews online (2 stars at best).  Everyone said some component goes out within a year if they're lucky. ::)
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Re: Stay Away From New Caster Lighting Products. (Lithonia, Designer's Edge, etc.) « Reply #8 on: June 30, 2016, 12:45:21 AM » Author: icefoglights
I had my first Caster ignitor fail back in 1999.  It was in a tallpack sold by RAB (they sourced their tallpacks from Caster at that time).  That ignitor failed pretty quickly.  I want to say less than a year.  I later put up a Designers Edge wallpack with a Caster gear.  It's ignitor made it 3 years before it crapped out.  That got replaced by a RAB wallpack with Advance gear, which gave me no problems since.  I also have a Heath Zenith HPS yardblaster with Caster gear that seems to have defied the odds, being 15 years old with it's original ignitor.  I had Heath Zenith/Desa motion sensor lanterns, which I had to replace after around 13 years because it went dayburning.  Another motion sensor has been working for 12 years with hardly a problem.  Only issues I had with it were one evening nearly a year ago where it decided it didn't want to work right.  Turned it off for 24 hours cleared it up.  The other issue is that the dual bright doesn't really work with LEDs.

I'd have to say, back when you could get them, Caster's Mercury fixtures seem to hold up better than the imported Regent/Cooper ones.
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Re: Stay Away From New Caster Lighting Products. (Lithonia, Designer's Edge, etc.) « Reply #9 on: June 30, 2016, 12:47:56 AM » Author: icefoglights
I had my first Caster ignitor fail back in 1999.  It was in a tallpack sold by RAB (they sourced their tallpacks from Caster at that time).  That ignitor failed pretty quickly.  I want to say less than a year.  I later put up a Designers Edge wallpack with a Caster gear.  It's ignitor made it 3 years before it crapped out.  That got replaced by a RAB wallpack with Advance gear, which gave me no problems since.  I also have a Heath Zenith HPS yardblaster with Caster gear that seems to have defied the odds, being 15 years old with it's original ignitor.  I had Heath Zenith/Desa motion sensor lanterns, which I had to replace after around 13 years because it went dayburning.  Another motion sensor has been working for 12 years with hardly a problem.  Only issues I had with it were one evening nearly a year ago where it decided it didn't want to work right.  Turned it off for 24 hours cleared it up.  The other issue is that the dual bright doesn't really work with LEDs.

I'd have to say, back when you could get them, Caster's Mercury fixtures seem to hold up better than the imported Regent/Cooper ones.
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Re: Stay Away From New Caster Lighting Products. (Lithonia, Designer's Edge, etc.) « Reply #10 on: June 30, 2016, 01:37:54 AM » Author: Ash
I have a couple Lithonia VR4CV's from ~2000. However they left the Lithonia factory without gear and have 230V 50Hz gear installed in them by a local company. They are made quite well. Have they dropped or cut costs on the VR* series ?

Also i'd need a few new covers for my VR4CV's (some of the old ones got broken when the lanterns were taken down). Where can i get those ?
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Re: Stay Away From New Caster Lighting Products. (Lithonia, Designer's Edge, etc.) « Reply #11 on: June 30, 2016, 07:41:54 PM » Author: M250R201SA
I have a Caster (Heath-Zenith) crapblaster "175" watt that flickers as it starts up and is loud as a cicada during warm up, but quiets down after it regulates.  I got a 175w GE 201SA I may put up there, or I may put a cobrahead 150w HPS up and retrofit the mount.
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Re: Stay Away From New Caster Lighting Products. (Lithonia, Designer's Edge, etc.) « Reply #12 on: June 30, 2016, 08:13:32 PM » Author: wattMaster
I can't imagine what it would sound like as Cicadas are extremely annoyingly loud here!  >:(
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Re: Stay Away From New Caster Lighting Products. (Lithonia, Designer's Edge, etc.) « Reply #13 on: June 30, 2016, 09:38:57 PM » Author: M250R201SA
https://youtu.be/RS5OHI2S4-8  Have a listen for yourself.  Never said it sounded like a cicada.  Just loud as a cicada lol.  Cheap junk barely even wants to start up.  It eventually does.   Anybody know what causes this?
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Re: Stay Away From New Caster Lighting Products. (Lithonia, Designer's Edge, etc.) « Reply #14 on: June 30, 2016, 10:10:42 PM » Author: wattMaster
I was talking about that Cicadas happen to be very loud, so I would be scared of the loudness of this.
I don't have the faintest idea why it doesn't want to start up, maybe bad/cheap design?
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