View Full Version : Lighting on Blueprint/Plan

10-21-2007, 12:04 AM
I am curious as to how many of you utilize blueprints in your everyday designs. I know most of you probably dont but I am sure that some of you do operate CAD or some other program to spec out on plan.

Also how many of you do installs for LA's and LD's and work off of a plan. DO you stick to the plan or do you change the designs and install what you deem neccesary??

pete scalia
10-21-2007, 12:53 AM
I am curious as to how many of you utilize blueprints in your everyday designs. I know most of you probably dont but I am sure that some of you do operate CAD or some other program to spec out on plan.

Also how many of you do installs for LA's and LD's and work off of a plan. DO you stick to the plan or do you change the designs and install what you deem neccesary??

I am hopelessly inept in free hand drawing or computer aided drawing.
I have a job coming up that was designed by an LA. I'm given latitude but must clear any changes in spec such as fixtures with the architectural firm before hand. Not one job that I've ever done that was designed by an architect has been viewed by said architect after dark. Frankly sometimes I look at these plans and I scratch my head when I see the placement and type specified. I was told by one LA that he calls out model #'s of fixtures from catalogs that manufacturers drop off without ever physically seeing or holding the fixture in hand. It really makes you wonder .

10-21-2007, 02:11 AM
Joey, As a draftsman I could and would but I frankly hav'nt had a job that called for it yet. I am old school so when the day comes I will do it on the drafting table with paper, pencil and parrallel rule.

Pete, The same thing happens with LA's sometimes on plant material and trees.

10-21-2007, 08:48 AM
I don't use blueprints for my designs, I don't think that it's something that this type of work needs. I do however work from plans that are provided to me and will draw my fixtures onto the plans if requested to do so.

I do work with an LA on several projects per year but once again if I need to draw it out on the plans I will but I usually don't have to. He just puts on his plans "Landscape Lighting to be designed and installed by NightScapes. Paul R Gosselin, CLVLT" and then my contact info. This is great because I don't even have to go through a bid process, I already have the project.

10-21-2007, 10:42 AM
Since I do complete soup-to-nuts landscape design, I absolutely do lighting plans. I have a preferred palette of fixtures I use because I know what the final effect will be, but I absolutely give the installer final say. There are some situations where all the plan is for is to allow proper bidding of the fixtures, wires, etc. For example, we just did a big (24'x12') backyard pond with two waterfalls; we moved those Focus SL-33s around several times before they were doing something that we and the homeowners could agree on.

10-21-2007, 06:07 PM
I've worked with LAs and LDs on a few jobs.
They've learned to be less specific, and simply call for a style of fixture or a lamp effect.
They know I have more real-world field experience.
I know they have the eye for broad design compositions and know fewer specific details (except for the plants, usually.)

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-21-2007, 09:33 PM
I recently got called to fix a large commercial site that has some awful lighting installed on and around it. When I asked who had done the lighting design the owner (a builder) said: "Lighting Design? Just Dots on a Page to me."

I think this attitude is all too prevelent in the construction industry. It is unfortunate. I will however proceed to fix this place... and perhaps educate the guy about how important those dots on a page can be.

Have a great day.

Eden Lights
10-21-2007, 09:35 PM
Vector Works is gaining a lot of ground around here with the LA's, you can also export a DWG file, PDF, and etc. with it. We are working on several plans right now with the lighting component of Vector Works and it has been a learning curve to say the least from our hand drawings.

11-26-2007, 11:34 PM
All you need. http://www.dynascape.com/default.html Awesome software.

They used to have a outdoor lighting edition also, not sure now.

11-26-2007, 11:44 PM
pro landscape also has lighting however we sometimes hand draw our plans and usually complete a detailed diagram for larger systems.

I am workign with a landscape arch now. His general plan is pretty good but will need considerable real world adjustments. I feel plans which are 2 demensional really hinder good design however they can provide us with a firm grasp of whats to come and allow us to plan for extras others may not have seen such as conduits... outlet locations...areas that must be prewired ect.

Back to the original question ... NO we do not do blue prints for every system. Its un nessacary as Paul said. I do think a comprehensive as built set of diagrams and or notes dictating wire routing and placement and proper color coding/numbering is essential to larger multi transformer systems tho.

The Lighting Geek
11-27-2007, 12:21 AM
Unless a LA is involved, I don't create or use plans. Paul is right on the money there. I have been able to write on a set of plans provided to me to provide as-builts when necessary.

11-27-2007, 12:22 AM
I use AUTOCAD for my designwork. If I am selling from a demo, I don't draw one initially. I will add the phrase "per demonstration" in my proposal and if I am adding a few lights to it I will show them where I want to put them. If it is a sale without a demo, I always draw up the property with the lighting plan and proposal together so they will see what they are getting. At the end of the job I always draw up the as builts and laminate 2 copies, one for my records and one for the homeowners. Drawing up simple lighting plans is not a big deal for me. I have been using CAD for years now and can usually have something drawn up within an hour or so. I would like to think that it sets me apart from the competition, but I don't know if homeowners really care. All my commercial work has to be designed in CAD for city approvals though.

11-30-2007, 06:22 PM
You guys all confirmed what I was thinking.

Bassicly most LA's do not go see their jobs in the evening and James made a good comment about lgihts just being dots on plans.

One tip, if you do do a lighting design on plan make sure you use a larger scale plan to help relieve the "DOTS". Thanks for all your input guys!!

Chris J
11-30-2007, 10:03 PM
Lighting designs on paper always "look" like overkill. I just did a design off a blue print this week, and it looked to the homeowner like it was going to be lit like the Taj Mahal! It took me forever to convince these people that a lot of fixtures does not necessarily mean a lot of bright light!

11-30-2007, 10:11 PM
We always use the statement that a lot of times more fixtures can create less light. Reason being is that when you use fewer lights you tend to create uncomfterble lighting situations that force your eye to hop around from hot spot to hot spot. But when you put in fixtures in between to create level 2 lighting to bridge your hotter level 3 lighting you create a softer more cohesive portrait that is comfterble to look at and in turn looks less hot.

Chris J
11-30-2007, 10:16 PM
I agree 100%.