PDA

View Full Version : How would you light this dry-stacked stone wall?


irrig8r
11-30-2007, 09:52 PM
http://lh5.google.com/g.catanese/R1CHOeo3PpI/AAAAAAAAAh0/21Dg45pJquM/Machado%20Residence%2011-30-07%20049.jpg?imgmax=512

http://lh5.google.com/g.catanese/R1CHOeo3PqI/AAAAAAAAAh8/ijKobODdS0c/Machado%20Residence%2011-30-07%20050.jpg?imgmax=512

http://lh5.google.com/g.catanese/R1CHOeo3PsI/AAAAAAAAAiM/vzoftboeMl8/Machado%20Residence%2011-30-07%20056.jpg?imgmax=512

http://lh5.google.com/g.catanese/R1CHdeo3PvI/AAAAAAAAAik/Yf8oPJ7tsgo/Machado%20Residence%2011-30-07%20063.jpg?imgmax=512

irrig8r
11-30-2007, 10:09 PM
My connection is slow tonight, so I couldn't edit the above with more info, so here it is:

This is a path that goes from the bocce court at one end to the wine cellar at the other. Two staircases descend from the pool/ patio/ outdoor dining area. These clients do a lot of entertaining. They expect a lot of foot traffic throughout.

The path is approx. 325 ft. from one end to the other. It's about 8 ft. wide, with a landing (not shown) that adds 6 ft. width in a spot in between the stairways, that will be a seating area and a wrought iron fence (not done yet) along the top of the lower wall (path level).

The rocks in the wall are not stable enough to do any serious core drilling. I'm looking for something small and inconspicuous, like maybe (I've heard of doing this) the Nightscaping Seegarliter placed horizontally a foot down from the top of the wall and projecting out 3 or 4 inches.

Along the stairs I could use some conventional copper pathlight fixtures on the higher side at the top of the wall, but I'm concerned about glare when seen from below. Maybe something with an adjustable top like one of those that Unique or FX offers?

There is uplighting of some parts of the upper walls to do, but I have to avoid glare into the eyes of people going down the stairs too.

Anyway, I think this is going to take some experimenting to deal with the glare issues in all directions.

Any thoughts?

Lite4
11-30-2007, 10:17 PM
Gregg, here is my idea from what I can see in the picture.
1. the staircase- I would find a large fairly flat stone probably 2/3 to 3/4 of the way to the top. I would drill a 1/2 hole through the stone from the front to the back. I would mount a Unique Gemini on the stone to downlight the wall and the stairs. Just find like stones to mount to all the way down the staircase at even intervals if possible, for even lighting. Not only are you not able to core out the steps, but in this case you wouldn't want to because of glare and trying to negotiate steps.

2. On the outside walls I would use a well light with a good spread lense at a predetermined interval along the base of the walls. I don't see any place to hide a tranny so you will probably have to run power down that wall somewhere and I would use a subteranean tranny to hide it.

(oh yeah, double stack your well or get a fixture with a deep socket to fight glare.)

Pro-Scapes
11-30-2007, 10:20 PM
looks like the foothills area north of stanford to me.

On the paths perhaps you can use shorter ones... Coppermoon has a really nice compact path we are very happy with. You may wanna check with a west coast distributor or terradek on thoes.

On the uplights its going to be tough i think. Is there more landscape planned around the paths ?

I would almost say your over thinking this... Why not traditional deck lights since the wall is unstable to core drill ? I think Cast deck lights would look great on this wall but thats just my opinion. I would lean that way then use some small wash lights in other areas to show off the levels of the wall and possibly some other fixtures mixed in but I would try to keep it from being too busy... looks like the got a simple look of a wall and path that you could of seen 100 years ago. I would try to keep the lighting in mind with that. If they are planning iron railings on the stairs you could also see about doing some fiber optics or other linear lighting recessed into the bottom of the railings ???

irrig8r
11-30-2007, 10:47 PM
Gregg, here is my idea from what I can see in the picture.
1. the staircase- I would find a large fairly flat stone probably 2/3 to 3/4 of the way to the top. I would drill a 1/2 hole through the stone from the front to the back. I would mount a Unique Gemini on the stone to downlight the wall and the stairs. Just find like stones to mount to all the way down the staircase at even intervals if possible, for even lighting. Not only are you not able to core out the steps, but in this case you wouldn't want to because of glare and trying to negotiate steps.

2. On the outside walls I would use a well light with a good spread lense at a predetermined interval along the base of the walls. I don't see any place to hide a tranny so you will probably have to run power down that wall somewhere and I would use a subteranean tranny to hide it.

(oh yeah, double stack your well or get a fixture with a deep socket to fight glare.)

Not familiar enough with the Unique line to know the Gemini by name. I'll have to look. Not really interested in coring the steps themselves, looking to light them from the walls as needed.

Well lights close in might work. Not sure how well that crushed gravel is packed, but it won't be changing to anything like asphalt or concrete. There's a wider maintenance road at the bottom of the lower slope, so the path doesn't need to be used for any vehicles either.

Thanks.

BTW, might be worth buying an auger for that many well lights...

irrig8r
11-30-2007, 10:53 PM
looks like the foothills area north of stanford to me.

On the paths perhaps you can use shorter ones... Coppermoon has a really nice compact path we are very happy with. You may wanna check with a west coast distributor or terradek on thoes.

On the uplights its going to be tough i think. Is there more landscape planned around the paths ?

I would almost say your over thinking this... Why not traditional deck lights since the wall is unstable to core drill ? I think Cast deck lights would look great on this wall but thats just my opinion. I would lean that way then use some small wash lights in other areas to show off the levels of the wall and possibly some other fixtures mixed in but I would try to keep it from being too busy... looks like the got a simple look of a wall and path that you could of seen 100 years ago. I would try to keep the lighting in mind with that. If they are planning iron railings on the stairs you could also see about doing some fiber optics or other linear lighting recessed into the bottom of the railings ???

The deck lights is something they used elsewhere... same shape but cheaper than the Cast... Luma Landscape Lighting product.. black finish is already fading in 4 years

http://lh6.google.com/g.catanese/R1CIiuo3P3I/AAAAAAAAAjk/3LEDiXnR4gI/Machado%20Residence%2011-30-07%20087.jpg?imgmax=512

I was looking to try something less conventional.

Thanks for your input.

BTW, it's above Los Gatos. Close though :-)

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
11-30-2007, 11:44 PM
Gregg

At the steps and landings, I would lean first towards some sort of core-drill fixture like a Hunza steplite. Then I would look towards something like the Seegarliter or the Hunza Twig, inserted into the stone wall at various points. Only problem with the second method would be spacing and beam spread.

As for the longer walls along the gravel pathway... I would be using an inground (well-light) spaced evenly, with a grate or other glare reducing accessory.

I hope your client's are ready for the quote! That is going to be one expensive walk way to light....

Let us know how you procede.

Have a great day.

The Lighting Geek
12-01-2007, 12:34 AM
I would try stellars with the knuckle cut off & linear spread lense along with apollos with linear spread lense and glare guards

Lite4
12-01-2007, 12:43 AM
Gregg, The Geminii is the same shape as that deck light. It is solid Brass however.

irrig8r
12-01-2007, 01:53 AM
I'm going to look into pricing on these FX fixtures. The MR-11 uplight is a new one to me. 8,000 hrs. for the Xenolux sounds promising. And 4" diam. sounds good. With the glare shield of course.

http://www.fxl.com/products/documents/119463464318660144.pdf


The Unique Nova also looks interesting. Not sure how they can squeeze an MR-16 into that diameter housing though...

http://www.uniquelighting.com/Spec%20Sheets/Nova.pdf


I also like the FX CG, and the ML-20 is a smaller version of it. Still 4.85 " across though. For on the walls above the steps.

http://www.fxl.com/products/documents/119463380518656432.pdf


And I might be able to get Nightscaping to customize a Seegarliter with a flat/ blunt end so it doesn't look quite so phallic. Fits OK in 1" conduit.

http://www.nightscaping.com/pdfs/seegar_gd7520cu.pdf

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-01-2007, 08:21 AM
I'm going to look into pricing on these FX fixtures. The MR-11 uplight is a new one to me. 8,000 hrs. for the Xenolux sounds promising. And 4" diam. sounds good. With the glare shield of course.

http://www.fxl.com/products/documents/119463464318660144.pdf


The Unique Nova also looks interesting. Not sure how they can squeeze an MR-16 into that diameter housing though...

http://www.uniquelighting.com/Spec%20Sheets/Nova.pdf


I also like the FX CG, and the ML-20 is a smaller version of it. Still 4.85 " across though. For on the walls above the steps.

http://www.fxl.com/products/documents/119463380518656432.pdf


And I might be able to get Nightscaping to customize a Seegarliter with a flat/ blunt end so it doesn't look quite so phallic. Fits OK in 1" conduit.

http://www.nightscaping.com/pdfs/seegar_gd7520cu.pdf

Gregg... I like that FX CG fixture, and while you are looking at small diameter/footprint inground well lights, you might want to check into these from Intense! Lighting:

http://www.intenselighting.com/productinfo.php?id=356

They are quite nice... I used some this past spring in a drive-over situation to highlight some Wrought Iron gates. They are rugged, and to my surprise and delight, have had no water ingress to date. They come with a grated lens for glare control and you can also fit a honeycomb glare louver to the lamp with a clip. They are a nice, small dia. inground.

Have a great day.

(P.S. Jack is doing well, and I will send out an update to all the friends and family just as soon as we get home... Not sure if that will be today or tomorrow at this point.)

irrig8r
12-01-2007, 09:59 AM
Very glad to hear Jack is doing well. I saw that you had been on Lawnsite, so I knew you had a long day yesterday.

irrig8r
12-01-2007, 10:10 AM
BTW, never heard of Intense! lighting before. They look like they're probably up there in a price range w/ Hunza, Vision3, BK, etc.

Looks like they are in Anaheim...

So what is it about so many lighting companies in Southern Cal? Could it have anything to do with a labor pool of so many skilled defense plant workers (machinists) laid off in the eighties and early nineties?

Is it that people live outdoors more of the year?

irrig8r
12-01-2007, 10:24 AM
I was just browsing the Nightscaping catalog and ran across the Sazliter. This looks interesting at only 2.5" across. I'm going to check with the factory. I know they could replace the standard SCB with a wedge base with no hassle. I wonder if it might also be wide enough for an MR-11 ??? Now that would be a very low profile uplight.

http://www.nightscaping.com/sazliter.htm

And being brass, it should have a lifetime warranty, right James?

Frog Lights, LLC
12-01-2007, 11:11 AM
If you would like to try our DS-1 Stainless steel deck light. try mounting with a bracket that would slide in or lag it to the rock/ wall at even levels. Normal wholesale is $47. We will accommodate and ship direct to you for $25 each.

irrig8r
12-01-2007, 02:01 PM
Thanks for the suggestion and offer.

However, I'm looking for something that is going to age gracefully, and blend in as smoothly as possible, i.e. copper or brass.

Frog Lights, LLC
12-01-2007, 05:08 PM
We make the same item in solid brass also.

steveparrott
12-01-2007, 05:37 PM
Given the nature of the wall - very irregular and loose, I would avoid deck-type lights. Also tons of labor. Thinking also of consistency in design, I would look to light both stairs and paths in the same way. The obvious conclusion would be to use china-hat type path lights spaced about 10 ft. apart just behind the uphill side of the stone walls. Where possible you could have path lights on the opposing side as well. Of course, being sure to select path lights with no glare when viewed from below.

I also see a nice pergola at the top of the path - that may be a useful mount for a downlight for addtional illumination at the path head.

irrig8r
12-01-2007, 05:49 PM
Given the nature of the wall - very irregular and loose, I would avoid deck-type lights. Also tons of labor. Thinking also of consistency in design, I would look to light both stairs and paths in the same way. The obvious conclusion would be to use china-hat type path lights spaced about 10 ft. apart just behind the uphill side of the stone walls. Where possible you could have path lights on the opposing side as well. Of course, being sure to select path lights with no glare when viewed from below.

I also see a nice pergola at the top of the path - that may be a useful mount for a downlight for addtional illumination at the path head.

Thanks Steve. Good observation- there already is one there at the top landing shining from above... a tacky fixture from Luma. I'd like to do something better there too as part of renovating the entire lighting system.... first this project to get my foot in the door. Check your PMs.

pete scalia
12-01-2007, 07:52 PM
If you would like to try our DS-1 Stainless steel deck light. try mounting with a bracket that would slide in or lag it to the rock/ wall at even levels. Normal wholesale is (deleted). We will accommodate and ship direct to you for (deleted) each.

Is this really a great idea to mention wholesale prices openly? Couldn't this have been done in PM? How's a guy to make a decent markup when his cost is laid bare for the public to see. Thank you.

Frog Lights, LLC
12-01-2007, 08:45 PM
Okay, Sorry, Pete just trying to help him out. I will have special access on my new website for Lawnsite members to obtain goods at special prices if they want.

Pro-Scapes
12-01-2007, 10:31 PM
I'm going to look into pricing on these FX fixtures. The MR-11 uplight is a new one to me. 8,000 hrs. for the Xenolux sounds promising. And 4" diam. sounds good. With the glare shield of course.

http://www.fxl.com/products/documents/119463464318660144.pdf


The Unique Nova also looks interesting. Not sure how they can squeeze an MR-16 into that diameter housing though...

http://www.uniquelighting.com/Spec%20Sheets/Nova.pdf


I also like the FX CG, and the ML-20 is a smaller version of it. Still 4.85 " across though. For on the walls above the steps.

http://www.fxl.com/products/documents/119463380518656432.pdf


And I might be able to get Nightscaping to customize a Seegarliter with a flat/ blunt end so it doesn't look quite so phallic. Fits OK in 1" conduit.

http://www.nightscaping.com/pdfs/seegar_gd7520cu.pdf

I got novas here. VERY compact and well built..Comes with assortment of lenses and 2 different face plates and a pvc sleeve...Im not crazy about the well light idea. I think it will look good but I would be concearned about gravel and that dust from it setteling on the lenses and such and the glare factor. Maybe im looking at this wrong. Either way im due home for a visit in Gilroy again... fly me out and I will be more than happy to help on this one :)

Pro-Scapes
12-01-2007, 10:44 PM
Given the nature of the wall - very irregular and loose, I would avoid deck-type lights. Also tons of labor. Thinking also of consistency in design, I would look to light both stairs and paths in the same way. The obvious conclusion would be to use china-hat type path lights spaced about 10 ft. apart just behind the uphill side of the stone walls. Where possible you could have path lights on the opposing side as well. Of course, being sure to select path lights with no glare when viewed from below.

I also see a nice pergola at the top of the path - that may be a useful mount for a downlight for addtional illumination at the path head.

I wasnt thinking of labor but I did do 4 cast deck lights on a very similar wall here and it came out great. Really brought out the texture of the wall. Perhaps your looking for more intensity than a deck light would provide.

BTW... 4 deck lights... including drilling the wall (backed by cinderblock) and 1 foot of excavation on the back side to retrive and run the wires then drill anchors into the wall and attach fixtures took me about 1.5 hours. With this type of wall you would be able to find spots to snake the wire in without much issue I would think... I am thinking the well light idea would be just as much if not more labor plus disturbing the compacted base so close to the wall may pose an issue ???? not sure just a thought.

I think its wonderful how different designers will have so much of a varied technique.

Better yet... cap that wall off and run a dadoe with a rope-fiber type of lighting :)

irrig8r
12-02-2007, 01:30 AM
I got novas here. VERY compact and well built..Comes with assortment of lenses and 2 different face plates and a pvc sleeve...Im not crazy about the well light idea. I think it will look good but I would be concearned about gravel and that dust from it setteling on the lenses and such and the glare factor. Maybe im looking at this wrong. Either way im due home for a visit in Gilroy again... fly me out and I will be more than happy to help on this one :)

LOL. You have a good point about the dust. More of an issue in summer, but that's when the entertaining will likely happen more anyway. I'm also thinking there may be a solid concrete footing (haven't checked yet) and maybe even a drainline...both making well lights more impractical.

My conclusions:

1. Lighting from the top seems it might be the way to go after all, despite it being "conventional".

2. By doing that I can highlight some of the plant material that will probably be spilling over the edge of the wall too.

3. It will probably be a lot less labor in the long run too.

ChampionLS
12-03-2007, 01:21 AM
In grade lighting is subject to being covered by leaves more than dust/dirt. This is only a short lived problem in the fall season of the northern states. I think the wall would best be lit using Brass deck style lights, mounted with tap con screws(hidden), or nylon anchors with matching fasteners (visible). A small wire access hole behind each fixture can be dug with a post hole digger. We use a fiberglass fish rod with a wire pulling braid at the end to pull the wiring between the rocks and up through the hole. Installation goes very quickly. This tool is also very handy when installing deck lighting on an existing deck.

Pro-Scapes
12-03-2007, 07:57 AM
Anthony!! I gotta disagree with your mounting ideas.

I wouldnt fish the wire straight in... I would enlarge the hole thru an existing crack and install a small piece of flex conduit to protect the wire should the wall settle (hello ever feel an earthquake out that way ? How about loma prieta??) then slip my wire thru that. A hammer drill with a 3/4 inch bit would slide right thru there. Then leave about a foot of the lead in wire behind the wall for service in the future and find a place to mount your light. It doesnt have to be completly flat... you can shim it up with some stainless strips if you need a few degrees of adjustment. I would consider lighting the plants as needed but I would try to keep the fixtures concealed / blended in during the day and keep disturbance of the wall. I really feel an aged cast deck light or if you patina one it will work well here. Best bet is to grab a few fixtures and go demo it. Make sure you and the client are on the same page here.

Dreams To Designs
12-03-2007, 10:28 AM
I would approach this with a completely different solution, as I find paver lights and deck lights to be so very limited in their output and effect. With such great landscaping and views, beautifully functional walls and a pathway that needs lighting, I would go with area lights above the walls to light the landscaping and spill over and light the path as well. In areas like steps or turns I would add additional lighting for safety, like small deck lights that will making navigating easy. Looks like the cart path needs a guardrail or at least a definitive well lit edge.

Kirk

Pro-Scapes
12-03-2007, 01:44 PM
well... greg certainly has all his options and opinions lol. Only concern I would have with pathlights is how would it look from below since this is a good size grade change.

JoeyD
12-03-2007, 03:49 PM
If you go with a pathlight you could use our Solaris or Canterbury. They have fully adjustable shrouds so you can really dial it in to avoid as much glare as possible. we have done this on a few jobs. I will try to find some pics.

ICT Bill
12-03-2007, 04:14 PM
I'm no expert like you guys but I agree with Dreams To Designs. You should put tall area lights in. They would cast a larger light area and give you something to mount to if you need additional spot type lighting.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-03-2007, 08:50 PM
I would shy away from path, or area lights... I wouldn't want to look at them all, all day long.

See the effect, not the source.

irrig8r
12-03-2007, 09:06 PM
At this point iIthink path lights are what I'm going to use.

Nobody is going to look at them "all day long". They will be run from a switch when the area is used, but I don't expect it is used except for on weekends. Otherwise they will be visible only from above, and in that large expanse of landscape, once the plants are installed and start to grow, I think they'll blend right in.

Right now I'm favoring the FX FG, because the look blends well with the setting, they will weather nicely, and the light is slightly forward of the fixture, but not so much of an angle to be a glare problem (I think.) I will see if I can get them with wedge base socket and use some 912s or a Xenon equivalent.

My other reason is they will light up the plants that spill over the wall. I don't recall what they are going to be, but I'm imagining creeping rosemary, purple lantana or other spreading groundcovers with flowers and Mediterranean themed perennials.

On the stairs themselves I'm considering the pathlights on one side and something like the Cast Decklight on the other.

For soft uplighting of some of the walls along and up the slope I'll be using Nightscaping Sazliters w/ wedge base Xenon lamps.

Thanks for all the input.

ChampionLS
12-05-2007, 05:28 PM
Anthony!! I gotta disagree with your mounting ideas.

I wouldnt fish the wire straight in... I would enlarge the hole thru an existing crack and install a small piece of flex conduit to protect the wire should the wall settle (hello ever feel an earthquake out that way ? How about loma prieta??) then slip my wire thru that. A hammer drill with a 3/4 inch bit would slide right thru there. Then leave about a foot of the lead in wire behind the wall for service in the future and find a place to mount your light. It doesnt have to be completely flat... you can shim it up with some stainless strips if you need a few degrees of adjustment. I would consider lighting the plants as needed but I would try to keep the fixtures concealed / blended in during the day and keep disturbance of the wall. I really feel an aged cast deck light or if you patina one it will work well here. Best bet is to grab a few fixtures and go demo it. Make sure you and the client are on the same page here.

Hey Billy!!,

I'm open to any suggestions you wish to offer. Since we are out here on the East.. life is pretty boring.. No earthquakes or Loma Prieta (I thought it was a animal! lol). You make a very valid point. Every geographic region has it's particulars. I'd like to hear more of problems/improvements that you run into on an installation.