View Full Version : Critique First Job

11-06-2005, 09:29 PM
First job I ever did about 4 months ago, just thought I would get a critique from you guys. Got a few jobs lined up for the next couple of months.

Sorry for the poor picture quality. couldnt keep a steady hand. :D

11-06-2005, 11:38 PM
Looks good! It's tuff taking night shots. Try when the sun is just setting. What brand lights did you use?

Jason Rose
11-07-2005, 12:09 AM
Looks good, pretty 'classy'

Looks like you could maybe do a little more fine tuning on the aiming on a couple of those lights...

Either way, lighting like that can really make a home stand out! I have cheapo lights on my house, not a big or fancy home, but it sure makes it look nice at night! Plus it's a little more deterrant for fools sneaking around in the dark!

Gilla Gorilla
11-07-2005, 12:09 AM
I think everything looks good except for the front door. It seems alittle dark to me but that might be what the customer wanted all along, to keep the light off of it.

I have a customer now that just wants the foundation lite up but no path lights along the 60' plus long walkway. She is affraid the dogs will get the leashes wraped around them and pull them up.

How much did you charge for that job and what lights did you use? If you dont mind sharing.

Frog Lights, LLC
11-07-2005, 12:19 AM
I like the up light treatment on the house. Without knowing the budget it is hard to suggest more lights. I like to see some spreader type lights focusing into the beds. Of course if money permits more up lights on special specimen objects or plants. Further, I like to see different style path lights the pagota type are "tired." Frog Lights has two sizes of spreader lights all aluminum wholesale price $29 , spot lights $25 , copper or brass path lights $40. Less 20 % and free shipping for Lawnsite members.
I think it is great that you did this install. You will get better with each one that you do. The work is easy fast and very profitable. Our staff would be please to assist with any suggestions or help should you need it. This offer is extended even if you do not purchase Frog Lights, LLC merchandise.
Good job!

11-07-2005, 01:05 AM
I used Vista Lighting and a Vista Transformer. We also put in 7 or 8 (cant remember) pathway lights in the back around the pool area. Total cost I think was like $2800. I think we had like 21 total lights or so, figured somewhere around 110/light and $500 for transformer and wire.


11-07-2005, 01:09 AM
Also, the homeowners have lights on either side of the door, so they said they would turn those on rather than lighting it up some more.

R & R Yard Designs
11-07-2005, 03:09 AM
Nice job but, Next time try a fillter on the lights (a peach to bring out the earth tone, A blue for the greens and blues.) its makes the plants and house pop more. and do a diffuser fillter on the walls to get rid of the sharp lines.

11-07-2005, 03:15 AM
I think that uplighting should uplight plantings and trees not houses.Unless it is the front entry or walkways.Your work looks fine though.Just not my to my personal ideal of what landscape lighting is ment for.

Dreams To Designs
11-07-2005, 08:46 AM
Try a tripod for the camera or rest it on the hood of the truck for those night shots.

If this is what the client wanted, it looks perfect. I would have liked to see the light more even, rather than the bright and dark areas. Lower wattage lamps with a wider beam spread would have eliminated some of the harsh lines. Again, if this is what the client wanted, good job. Good lighting is meant to compliment the project, not overtake it. It seems to be a recent trend for clients to want to light up the front facade of their home and create a storefront look. As Sheshovel said, I prefer to light plants and highlights, rather than the whole home, but I do what the client wants. Rather than tier path lights, you may have been able to use area lights and light parts of the garden and path, but also used less lights to do the same look.

What type of fixtures did you use for the up-lighting? Are they well lights or bullets, and how about wattages? Vista does an excellent system for lighting, but there are many other brands out there for variety and unique fixtures.


Frog Lights, LLC
11-07-2005, 06:39 PM
Good comments !

11-07-2005, 08:21 PM
WOW! A thread in Landscape Lighting is on fire! lol This place somes to life........

Gilla Gorilla
11-07-2005, 08:43 PM

I was checking out your web site and it looks pretty nice. It looks like you guys have some really unique types of fixtures which was nice. The prices seem alot better than Unique Lightings prices but how does the quality compare and also the warranty. I noticed on their site that they have a lifetime warranty on just about everything except for the bulbs. Also what type of installation method do you recommend for your set ups?

Thanks in advance

11-07-2005, 10:43 PM
Thanks for the replies and comments. As for a diffuser on the lights, I dont have enough exprerience to know exactly what your talking about. And also about the blue and greens and stuff?? As for the lights, they are bullets and not well lights. And for highlighting plants and trees, the bushes on each end of the house werent even tree-form before, I talked them into that so we could accent them. There isn't another tree in the whole yard and only crappy carissa holly's in the front, so no real landscaping to high-light. As for the pathway, please go into a little more detail about using different lights to achieve the same thing, I just dont understand what you mean as Im still pretty new to all this. Thanks


Dreams To Designs
11-08-2005, 08:35 AM
Brian, area lights, I believe Vista calls them spread lights, and path lights are similar, but area lights usually throw a wider more even light. You can use then for double duty. 1 to light a safe path and t2nd to highlight plantings or accents near the path. Because of the larger lighting area, you normally use less area lights that give a more pleasing and even look to your paths and walkways. The lights on the walkway must address the safety issue to see any steps or curves, but most of the time are only used for accent. Take advantage of the accent feature, AND provide a well lit path for safety.

With your bullets, you seem to be getting bright spots on the house. Play around with different wattage lamps and beam spread for a more even and less harsh look. You might also want to try to reposition the fixture to allow the light to coat the surface more evenly, like if you were painting. You don't normally want bright and dark areas, but a more even look to the flow of light. If you choose, you can have brighter highlight areas, like a plant or sculpture, and less bright or darker areas to make your highlights stand out. Diffusers & bullets make great combinations. Buy a few and play around with them for different looks and the way the soften the light. For colored lenses, that is an acquired taste, unless used as holiday or seasonal lighting. Colored lighting can have very dramatic effects, so be careful, but do play with it.

Looks like you need to sell these people some landscaping, so you have something to show off, both day & night. Putting lighting on common plants is just that, common. Sell them up to specimens that need to be shown off for their for, or bark, or foilage & flowers. As you have seen, lighting is nor difficult, but there is always more to learn. Get a transformer and some fixtures to play around with at your property, and have at it. Check out the Cast lighting page and order their free information. (catalog & design/installation manual) You will gain a whole new insight on landscape lighting. Cast is a great system, but I use fixtures from many different companies with their system. There is so much out there in the way of purpose built and decorative fixtures to satisfy every need.

Continue to ask questions, that's how we all learn and grow/ Lighting is an excellent untapped source of revenue. Especially at this time of year, most clients don't get to enjoy the landscapes we have created, unless they are lit with a well designed and ind installed landscape lighting system. Make them happy and make money doing it.


11-08-2005, 11:47 PM
Thanks for the reply Kirk. At my house, we already have it (here before I got into doing lighting) and we probably have 50 or more lights on our property. But, I think I am going to install a lighting system for my grandparents (live only about 400 yards from us) for Christmas. Thought that would be better than some clothes or something that they dont need/already have. His will be a good project with his landscaping and all. Has 4 crepe myrtles along each side of the drive coming in, and good places to accent trees in the yards and stuff around the house. I might try and get some pics for you guys and get some opinions on where all ya'll think lights should be put. No expenses spared on this job, even though its a "freebie." Quick question, do you guys usually put one light, or one on each side of a tree uplighting into it? Ive seen both ways.


Dreams To Designs
11-09-2005, 01:39 PM
Brian, it's all about the effect you are trying to achieve. You have to step out and view what you are lighting and then determine how and what to light it with. Two fixtures in front in a crossing pattern will fully light the object with very little shadow. One light in front can be stark in the center and shadowing to the outside. 1 light on either side in front will give full light, but allow shadow and movement to show. Lights from the rear, backlighting create a "glowing" look. If the subject can be viewed from more than one direction, or only 1 view is the primary or intended view, you must light accordingly. Don't expect your lighting design to be static, make sure it can remain flexible. Using a hub system like Cast, makes it easy. Just remember less is more, not just fixtures, but wattages and beam spreads for uplighting, especially. As with good landscaping, success is in the design and the materials you chose. Positioning is and should remain flexible.


11-11-2005, 09:48 PM
The lighting looks positioned all right but the spread could be diffused a little more imo. you can do that with the vista spread lens ( a tad expensive ) to widen the uplit area. Also the type of bulb makes a difference, BAB 60 degree for the a wider spread. I like using the vista myself, but I think all of them all on the high side for pricing. I did a job just like yours but wanted to cover more area so the beam would not look so narrow. good luck