Being pound wise and penny foolish, at the expense of your Gambino landscape lighting system

Being pound wise and penny foolish, at the expense of your Gambino landscape lighting system

By Mike Gambino

Have you ever seen one of those true story TV programs where names are changed to protect the innocent? Well this is one of those articles. It’s a story that is not too common but every now and again pops up. It is a perfect example of how the quality of the Gambino brand and the function of the systems we design and install depends on the expertise of the original professional designers and installers to maintain it to look its best.

Also, it may shed some light (forgive the pun) on why it is important for the consumer to selectively choose a designer and/or installer with experience in the craft of outdoor lighting who also services their own systems.
To preface the trials and tribulations of client X in this troubleshooting comedy of errors, it is important to note that some Gambino landscape lighting system owners  replace our originally installed OEM lamps with those readily available from their local home improvement store. The lamps we provide in our fixtures at the time of installation are all the finest quality available. Now the finest quality lamp is not always the cheapest lamp on the shelf. Therefore, when system owners replace lamps they are given options as to what they are going to replace them with.
That’s fine. We know the lamps we provide standard are top of the line. We are confident with their quality, durability and longevity. But, at some point we have to allow our users to make their own decisions based on their individual situation as we cannot insist that they retain us to performance all maintenance on our systems. That’s what happened in this particular case.
Client X was a happy Gambino landscape lighting client who for years had us come every 6 months to service their lighting system.
Client X was off to a great start. He’d made the effort and chose to use us to provide a quality Gambino landscape lighting system and have it serviced and maintained with originally installed Gambino brand products. And everything was performing without a hitch for several years until he decided one year that he wanted to save some money. So he went out to the local home improvement store and bought some replacement lamps and asked the gardener to change bulbs that were burned out. Everything seemed fine until it was time for the lights to turn on that evening. And that’s when the trouble began.
Most didn’t come on and the ones that did looked “off color”.
He called his gardener that next day and had him come out and recheck wiring, make sure the power supply was sending juice to the system, tested the transformer, and so on. He went through all the troubleshooting steps he could think of. Nothing worked. So he called us with hat in hand looking for help but also wanted to let us know that we had a problem with our system. In the mind of client X, his troubles had to be the result of a faulty product. He was dead wrong.
When we arrived we immediately went through our basic troubleshooting steps. We quickly found that not only were the lamps he used of very poor quality but they were shorting out and tripping the breakers in our transformers. Most of our originally installed LED bulbs were still in place and working fine. So by replacing the bulbs with those of much lower quality what he did was blow circuit breakers inside the transformers due to short circuits. The fixtures that did work didn’t look right or “off color” because as a result of the choice of lamps ( bulbs) of a higher kelvin rating and wattage. The look of the system at night had been greatly diminished as a result in dim and color depreciated light output.

In his mind he felt that perhaps he’d purchased the wrong product or got a bad batch or something. To his dismay he found that he had hired his gardener who also overlooked the small detail of re-lamping fixtures with original replacements. No wonder the lights wouldn’t turn on and look the same as before.
Perhaps now Client X will understand the value of replacing bulbs in Gambino brand fixtures with the lamps we provide. If not, I can only hope that he learned a valuable lesson from his tale in troubleshooting. That being said, if you’re going to point fingers, make sure those actions are justified and secondly, as a minor side note, it’s pretty close to impossible to produce quality light without first using a quality lamp of a proper wattage. 

This landscape lighting blog is published by Mike Gambino of Gambino landscape lighting inc. all rights reserved. Mike is a professional landscape lighting system designer/ builder and has been designing, installing and maintaining landscape lighting systems for more than 27 years. Mike resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife and 2 sons. To visit his website go to . To inquire about hiring Mike please click here .

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