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Edgewater
10-10-2007, 10:14 PM
Hi,

Let me start off by saying that I have just started with lighting. We have done one install using CAST fixtures and a kichler trans. I have read many of the post here as well as The Landscape Lighting Book. I have a good grasp on what makes a system good from a technical standpoint, but I need some help with a prospective job.

The client has a huge lot that has some large trees, but no landscape beds that warrant being lit. He needs two things:

1) BRIGHT lighting for functional work on the lot in the dark. This will be done with 120V Spots installed by an electrician.

2) Some LV lighting for aesthetics. This is where I would like some ideas.
thinking some moon lighting from 2 or 3 trees near the house, and then somehow lighting 3 of the bigger trees towards the back of the lot, just to give it some depth.

I cant get the photos the fit. If I reduce them, they get cropped.

My problem is mostly related to how to light specific trees in terms of fixtures and wattages. I will try and figure out the pics.

David Gretzmier
10-10-2007, 11:18 PM
Edgewater- post some pics and I'm sure some folks will jump in with ideas. I'll help if I can see the trees and estimate the height and size of them.

JoeyD
10-11-2007, 10:12 AM
Edge, Feel free to always contact me if you need assistance!!

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-11-2007, 10:46 AM
I sure hope it is not too late to change the client's mind on that 120V lighting..... I have yet to find a job, site or need that cannot be lit effectively and efficiently with LV lighting.

I have dont some comparitively massive lighting jobs on huge multi-acre lots entirely in LV lighting. It can be done and is very cost effective when compared to 120V lighting.

If the client has a lot of large trees on the property I would be suggesting a large scale LV system making use of lots of tree mounted down lights.

Give me a call directly if you would like some more help or guidance with this.

Have a great day.

Edgewater
01-23-2008, 03:52 PM
Back from the dead. I forgot that I had made this post.

Edgewater
01-23-2008, 04:08 PM
For the purposes of orientation, the photos are

1) view down hill from the house to the left side of yard
2) view down hill from the house to the right side of yard
3) Some of the small trees in the center of the yard at the base of the hill
4) View from the bottom of the hill up toward the house
5) Maple at the side of the house.


The house is a the top of a hill. Right behind the house, there is a clump of tall and thin maples. At the base of the hill, the yard open up and has some small trees (up to 15 ft). This clearing is in a horseshoe shape that points away from the house. At each end of the "horseshoe" there are a couple of tall (40 ft +) trees in the open. The horseshoe goes around a clump of dense trees that are mostly pine and birch.

My thought was to light some of the trees at the back of the house (maybe moonlight) as well as the large trees in the far corners of the yard. It will then need something in the middle to balance it all out.

I don't know how to go about lighting the larger trees.

He also wants to have the open "corridors" light with a separate zone that will be bright so that he can do work in the evening etc.

Any ideas or techniques would be greatly appreciated.

Adam

Pro-Scapes
01-23-2008, 05:13 PM
Adam this is just screaming for tree lighting. Before anyone wastes their valuble time giving you pointers. Are you comfortable with working inside trees and on ladders and do you have the patience to check on these lights 3 or more times per year to ensure the trees health and wires are doing ok ?

Also does the client have or is willing to make the investment nessacary to warranty the amount of wire and the extra labor and care associated with tree lights. These lights will be placed 25 ft or more up inside the trees

Edgewater
01-23-2008, 06:13 PM
The installation and maintenance is not an issue.

The ultimate question will be the budget. In our area, lighting has not taken off yet. Most people don't understand the cost of a quality job.

The goal here will be the light a few trees around the property. I suspect that doing and ideal install with a larger portion of the trees lit will be out of the clients budget.

With any luck, we can select the best trees to light now (5-8) and then hopefully they will want more done when they see the result.

Adam

Pro-Scapes
01-23-2008, 06:47 PM
personally i would then start with lighting the home and adding a few moonlights to the drive and walkways.

In this case our best luck has always been a phased approach. Your client will obviously have a budget and may not be ready for sticker shock. Divide the property into zones....

Face of home
Back yard
sides
driveway areas
Entrance

Then speak to an electrician about getting power where you need it.

Now that you have that down... soft and subtly ? well lit ? What are they after ? You then need to determine if they wish to fully display the trees with lighting or if they just wish to show that the trees are there and moonlight from them. Without being on site I cant tell you where I would place lights. I would look for a budget limit from them and propose a zone by zone with an incentive to do it all at once.

The Lighting Geek
01-23-2008, 10:27 PM
I would demo that job in a second. First reason is they don't understand lighting and probably have not seen a good job. Let the demo bring them around get them into the job with a demo. This, in my humble opinion, is a good job to use a demo.

I would use at least 16-20 fixtures in the demo, all up lights. You can discuss down lighting after they see the demo. I would make sure to get grazing light on the bird house, but not direct light. Make sure you light anything they have spent money on or feel is a focal point.

The Lighting Geek
01-23-2008, 10:31 PM
You will get nice ambient light with the up lights and possibly some downlights. Most people I meet that want 120V lights just don't understand what can be done with LV lighting. I will say most are happy with the ambient light, they just have no idea how much you light indirectly.

ChampionLS
01-24-2008, 03:00 AM
Adam this is just screaming for tree lighting. Before anyone wastes their valuable time giving you pointers. Are you comfortable with working inside trees and on ladders

Just as in the tree care business, working with ladders isn't the safest choice when working in trees. I would suggest getting a pair of tree climbing spurs and safety belt. You can easily climb any tree quickly and safely. The only drawback is you do leave some wounds in the trees bark, which will heal up quickly on oaks and maples.

Pro-Scapes
01-24-2008, 09:09 AM
As someone who has gaffed extensivly in both telephone poles and trees clients really frown on spikes in thier trees. If your going to climb trees without a ladder use a rope method. Both of the companies here who do merc vapors state NO SPIKES.

Spikes are great if your dropping the tree but not so great if the client values that tree

irrig8r
01-24-2008, 12:21 PM
That spider lift James was showing pictures of a month or so ago seemed like a really great solution ... but probably cost effective only if you were installing a hundred tree mounts month. :-)

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-26-2008, 03:48 AM
Just as in the tree care business, working with ladders isn't the safest choice when working in trees. I would suggest getting a pair of tree climbing spurs and safety belt. You can easily climb any tree quickly and safely. The only drawback is you do leave some wounds in the trees bark, which will heal up quickly on oaks and maples.

Sorry to interject so bluntly here. DO NOT FOLLOW THE ABOVE ADVICE. You cannot use spurs on a live tree... the chance of introducing disease, rot or other damage is very real.

If you want to climb trees safely and effectively and not rely on ladders then contact a local arborist association and take their training course.

DO NOT USE SPURS ON LIVE TREES. This is a totally unacceptable.