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NightScenes
01-10-2006, 07:16 PM
I have been getting plenty of questions about fixtures, but no one has asked anything about design. You can install the best fixtures in the world but if your design is bad, you still don't have a quality landscape lighting system.

The first thing I look at is safety. I want to make sure that I cast some light on any drop-offs, like steps. Any grade changes should be illuminated so the client can move about safely at night. I also like to make sure that I light the walkways. I do this in many ways. Usually I will place fixtures high in tall trees and let that light filter through the limbs and branches. This is a great effect. Moonlighting, as it is called, will bathe a pathway and surrounding area with a very soft light. With this design eliment, we are trying to mimick a full moon. The one thing that must be avoided is the runway look. This is when people line the fixtures along a walkway. This is just ugly!!!

OK, got to go to the dinner table now, I'll get back to this later.

SONSCAPES
01-15-2006, 10:57 PM
yeah i agree the runway effect is ugly!!!!! what is a good light for moonlighting i have two sawtooth oaks i want to light for a design i'm doing for a customer i was going to just uplight them but i think the moonlighting will look even better how many lights do you put in the tree just one what is a good wattage etc... thanks

NightScenes
01-16-2006, 07:46 AM
It all depends on how much area I am trying to cover. I use the Kichler 15087fixture with a 20 watt, 60 degree MR16 lamp. I rarely use lamps above 20 watts. If I am uplighting a large tree I might use a 35 watt and even on very rare occasion, a 50 watt, though the tree would have to be very large and tall. The trick is to get the light as high as you can in the tree. How tall are these sawtooth oaks?

SONSCAPES
01-16-2006, 06:22 PM
they are aprox. 30'-35' tall btw this job is about 40 miles from the coast should i reconsider using aluminum and use brass or somethingelse

NightScenes
01-16-2006, 06:34 PM
I would use brass only, when you are that close to the coast. Most quality manufacturers have brass fixtures available. If you look in their catalog, it will tell you what it is made from.
As for the tree, I would use a 35 watt MR16 with a 36 degree beam.

SONSCAPES
01-16-2006, 07:54 PM
thanks paul for all the help!!

NightScenes
01-16-2006, 08:11 PM
No problemo.

Here is something that every design should take into account. Light colors reflect light and darker colors absorb light.

This means, that if your walkway, driveway or wall is red brick or even a darker color, you are going to require a higher wattage lamp to acheve your desired result. A 20 watt lamp is going to look much brighter on a concrete sidewalk than it will on a red brick facad of a home.

Just something to think about.

SONSCAPES
01-16-2006, 10:29 PM
o.k. my grandmother is going to let me design and install a system for her. here is the catch she has a white brick home with black shutters maybe use 10 watt what do you think? thanks

NightScenes
01-16-2006, 11:04 PM
20 watt will probably be good. You would need 35 watt if it were a dark color.

Broker
01-16-2006, 11:13 PM
Paul,

Kudos you know your stuff. I am going to try that moonlight effect on a new customer that is looking to put some light on their driveway. He asked about pathway lights and I flat out told him no because I am working on a highend home and not a runway. I mentioned a lamp post because of the situation where there are no streetlights and the home is a least 100' off the road and he wants lights by the end of the drive. What would you do, Paul. I can email a pic of the home. We are heading there tomorrow to install the front foundation and pathway lights going to the home (18 lights total.) Look at escortlighting.com it is a small mom and pop company that offer some really nice pathway lights. They are kind of $$$ but you can sign-up to be a vendor. No $$ envolved.

NightScenes
01-17-2006, 08:18 AM
RI,
I do know of Escort lighting. Please send me a pic of this project, and I will be happy to take a look. 18 path lights? That sounds like way too many. As long as there are tall trees in the area, I would go that way. Remember, when you attach the wire to the trees, use zip ties instead of staples. The zip ties with the hole at the end will allow the wire to move a little as the tree grows and sways. You also have to check it every year to make sure that the tree does not grow around the wire. Use stainless steel screws as well, this will not harm the tree.

Broker
01-17-2006, 01:08 PM
RI,
I do know of Escort lighting. Please send me a pic of this project, and I will be happy to take a look. 18 path lights? That sounds like way too many. As long as there are tall trees in the area, I would go that way. Remember, when you attach the wire to the trees, use zip ties instead of staples. The zip ties with the hole at the end will allow the wire to move a little as the tree grows and sways. You also have to check it every year to make sure that the tree does not grow around the wire. Use stainless steel screws as well, this will not harm the tree.

I meant 13 accent lights and 5 pathway lights. I took the pic today and will post tomorrow.

klkanders
01-17-2006, 01:13 PM
RI
I am interested in seeing the picture also. Sounds like a fun project and one that will make alot of difference.

NightScenes
01-17-2006, 01:25 PM
RI,that sounds much better!!

KLKanders, I tried to send you a private message and it won't go through. PM me please.

klkanders
01-17-2006, 01:43 PM
Paul
I must not be important unuf yet to have that feature. I tried and got a message stating that. Would it be OK to call u? How long are u gonna be around?

NightScenes
01-17-2006, 05:34 PM
You can call me pretty much any time. I do have a meeting that I am just fixin' to head out for. I'll be back later. If you see me on here, give me a ring.

Broker
01-18-2006, 09:32 AM
I assume you do a demo when on a sales lead... How elaborate do you go on the demo.. I usually will limit it to 10 accents and no pathway lights. Should I change that.

NightScenes
01-18-2006, 01:25 PM
I haven't had a need to demo. I take along a portfolio of my work and I give them a power point, that I created. That gives them a very good idea of what I can do for them. It also points out my qualifications without me having to actually say it to them. I also point them to my web site. If they don't want to use me after all of that, they are probably going to use the cheap guy, and that's fine with me.

klkanders
01-18-2006, 07:15 PM
Good Evening everyone!
For someone who doesnt have the previous jobs under his belt would a Demo kit be something to buy or asemble and use? Do u think it would work to attach some fixtures to chunks of plywood so they can be moved around. Lets hear what some of u have done. Thanks!

Broker
01-18-2006, 08:25 PM
Demo to me is a lighting system you would install at the owners property but you just have the wire above ground.

NY Landscape Lighting
01-18-2006, 08:40 PM
We use a demo kit purchased from Cast Lighting last year. It comes with cast aluminum bullet fixtures. No path lights, but we added them to it. Comes with transformer wired with quick connects to the 4 commons. All wiring is quick connect. 4 mains and 20 16gauge leads for the fixtures. Wire is on a spinning spool, so you peel right off and roll back on. The military style case is big. I recommend taking out wire and carrying seperately to save your back. Takes about 45 minutes to set up.
It has been an effective tool for clients who do not have a definititive idea of what landscape lighting will do for their home. Often they are amazed by the demo and the results. Leave it for few days and light up your lawn sign. For clients with knowledge of landscape lighting, we use a portfolio. We are trying the Ambience Lighting program now. Seems pretty nice. I will post a pic using it.

DMAN
01-19-2006, 12:40 PM
NY,

Where do you find the ambiance lighting program. I too have the cast demo kit and find it very well thought out. Do you limit how many fixtures you set up? Also how did you adapt to the path lights? I was also wondering what your close rate is with the demo kit. I am trying to figure out a way to have the least amount of visits to the lead's site and be able to close the sale. Do you try to close the deal when you take down the demo or do you get back to them later with a proposal? Any tips? Thanks for your response.

Darron

NY Landscape Lighting
01-19-2006, 01:37 PM
DMan,

The ambiance lighting program is the one Paul mentioned in another post. You can download a free trial through the kichler website. Just started playing with it. Seems like it might be nice to bring the latop, take picture of the clients property and instantly show them a sample of what their lighting will look like. Would be like adding their home to the portfolio instantly, for them to see.

We just added the extra quick connects from the cast demo to the leads on some pathlights. 1 or 2 just to show their effect.

We have had people joke when we go back and say can't you just leave the demo up. It does help for clients who are on the fence about lighting. We put up the demo, talk to the client, learn their wants and needs, explain our ideas, and come back with poposal and take down demo.
Chris

aquamtic
01-19-2006, 07:42 PM
I can't seem to find ambiance lighting program on Kichlers site. Can you provide a link?

NY Landscape Lighting
01-19-2006, 07:54 PM
http://www.alogix.com/index.htm

klkanders
01-19-2006, 10:46 PM
Does everyone sketch or draw a "Lighting Plan" and or flag out where the proposed fixtures will be placed? Obtaining a site or landscape plan also would save some drawing time. Lets hear what everyones normal procedure is. Thanks

NightScenes
01-20-2006, 02:53 PM
It is always good to use a site plan if you can get one. If not, you should make a sketch of the project. This is covered in the LVLIA Standards of Installation.

klkanders
01-20-2006, 03:23 PM
Paul
When u obtain a copy of the site or landscape plan do u just sketch a lighting plan right on top of it? Are u doing many installs yet or if not when do u think they will begin?

NightScenes
01-20-2006, 03:30 PM
If the home owner will give me a copy of the site plan, I will use it, if not I will sketch one. It isn't fancy but it does show what and where. I install year round down here.