Equipment

Transformers

Jeff Mitchell Lighting is proud to be one of the few companies in St. Louis that installs only hexanol core transformers to power our systems. Most contractors without our expertise rely on traditional stack transformers that consume significantly more energy and burn at a much higher temperature. While hexanol core transformers are more expensive, their reliability, quiet operation, and longevity justify the investment; they have a longer lifespan than stack transformers and do not emit a buzzing noise.
Unlike other transformers on the market that are simply coated in epoxy, ours are completely encased in the substance to provide a quieter, smoother operation. The epoxy also keeps animals from disturbing or nesting in the transformer.
Finally, we offer the only transformer in St. Louis that can be completely buried in the yard for use in remote locations that need to be powered with a low-voltage lighting transformer.

Fixtures

Our entry-grade fixture is a solid aluminum light that has been factory painted. This fixture is of medium thickness and is the most predominant grade of lighting fixture used in the Midwest region. Additionally it carries a five-year manufacturer’s parts bumper-to-bumper warranty on all components of the fixture. These components include the ground stake, the housing, the lens, and even the socket.

These fixtures are made from ABS plastic, which is generally considered to be very durable, reliable material. ABS fixtures are also called well lights and can lights. There is no comparison between these fixtures and those available at the hardware store, as the thickness of these fixtures is dramatically greater. ABS fixtures are the second-most common type of fixture used in the Midwest region. Additionally they carry a 10 year manufacturer’s parts bumper-bumper warranty on all components of the fixture. These components include the can, the bracket, the lens, and all hardware. These fixtures do not generally contain sockets, but instead use a direct wiring technique.

These fixtures are made from solid copper. This type of fixture is an intermediate design between aluminum and brass. Although copper fixtures do not possess the extreme toughness of brass, their finish is a natural living finish, similar to that of the brass, which will naturally weather over time whereas a painted fixture would flake and peel. Additionally, it carries a 15 year manufacturer’s bumper-to-bumper parts warranty on all components of the fixture, including the ground stake, the housing, the lens, and the socket. The socket is made from advanced materials that are extremely resilient to corrosion.

These are our premium fixtures and are considered to be the ideal blend between brawn and beauty. Most impressively, they are almost always indestructible. In all the years that we have used them, we have never seen a single example of one being destroyed as a result of anything other than mechanical means. We have seen several of these fixtures that have been driven over by cars, dump trucks, trash trucks, snow plows, lawnmowers and the like and still remain intact with nothing more than a scratch that will naturally weather off on its own. The fixture carries a lifetime manufacturer’s bumper-to-bumper parts warranty on all its components, including the ground stake, the housing, the lens, and even the socket. The socket is made from advanced alloy metals that are extremely resilient to corrosion. These fixtures are the only fixtures that are eligible for our ultimate service plan.

In ground brass fixtures feature the same characteristics and quality as the brass fixtures described above but they are installed to be flush with the ground. The unique placement is advantageous in that the fixtures are not easily displaced; one would have to drop an extremely heavy, pointed object directly on top of them to do any damage. Customers should keep in mind, however, that they can be covered by leaves and other debris.

Wire

We use only the toughest wire available. Our wire is backed by a 10 year manufacturer’s corrosion warranty. We do not typically install pipe as it is not any stronger than the wire itself and therefore not worth the investment. Moreover, if the conduit system is not buried at least 18 inches deep, the freezing and thawing cycle will push the pipe out of the ground. Pipe also tends to be damaged by animals who chew on it. Even without the pipe, our supply wire is virtually impossible to cut through under normal conditions with a household shovel. However, in the case that the wire is physically damaged, neither our company nor the manufacturer will provide a warranty for it. Our trenching technique is non-invasive and we do not use a machine of any kind. We always trench right along the foundation of the house, the edge of the sidewalk, and the edge of the yard, minimizing the risk of wires being severed and leaving no evidence of the process.

Light Bulbs

At the end of the day, literally, light bulbs are the magic of the lighting system. Without the right light bulbs, -no matter how well everything else was designed and engineered – the right effect cannot be reached. After years of experimentation through trial and error, we have narrowed the playing field to use only the finest light bulbs available. We typically use halogen bulbs that produce a brilliant, crisp white. We stock twenty five different types of bulbs so that no matter the application, any effect can be achieved through the use of bulbs and filters. These halogen bulbs have rated lives of 4,000 hours. We recommend with all lighting systems that the bulbs be changed annually. This will ensure that all bulbs will burn consistently. All the housings will be cleaned once a year as well. In situations where the bulbs are difficult to access, such as the down lights that we install in trees and in eaves of houses, we utilize our upgraded bulbs. These bulbs have a longer rated life than any other bulbs used by other contractors in the Midwest. Only our brass fixtures have the ability to accept 20,000 hour life bulbs. These bulbs are halogen and because of their advanced titanium oxide coating, they maintain a consistent color for their lifetime.

Wiring Connections

We use the wiring technique most commonly referred to as “hub and spoke”. The process consists of a home run supply cable being run out into the center of a group of fixtures, usually five fixtures or less. One single connection is made to link the supply with these five fixtures that have factory-assembled soldered leads of twenty-five to fifty feet in length. This minimizes the number of field connections by 80%, which is advantageous as these field connections are a leading cause of lighting system failures. We use solid brass barrel wire connectors, which are most frequently seen in critical outdoor equipment such as primary utility power connections , security doors, and electrified jail fences. Despite being known as the second most reliable type of connection, to the best of our knowledge, we are the only contractor in the region that uses brass barrel wire connectors for lighting. Welding is the only type of connection that is more reliable, but it is problematic in a field environment and in our experience we have never seen a brass barrel connector fail in a field application. Many of the lighting systems we replace do not work because all of the connections have corroded to the point where replacement is the only remedy. Our solid brass barrel wire connectors carry a lifetime parts and labor warranty.

Automatic Timers

Clients oftentimes have specific questions regarding how their lighting system turns on and off. After weighing all of the options: switches, remotes, digital timers – just to name a few – most of our clients choose to have a photo eye installed. This device is a sun sensor which determines dusk and thereby turns on the lighting system. Generally we install a 1930s-style Intermatic™ dial timer that uses the green and red pegs. The green pegs turn the system on, and the red pegs turn the system off. We usually install these timers over digital timers, as our clients have told us they are more user-friendly. Most clients elect to set the system shut-off at 1A.M.