View Full Version : New Project

02-11-2008, 06:53 PM
Okay here is one Im real excited about. I'm doing the entire landscape but I must admit, Im can't wait to get to the lights

02-11-2008, 07:08 PM
Wow, there are some fantastic downlighting opportunities in those oaks. Looks like fun.

Mike M
02-11-2008, 07:48 PM
I wouldn't up light any trees (me personally). All that brick is awesome!

Like Tim said, downlighting op's when you are finished with the scapes. Mount behind the trees. Throw in a white bench with potted flowers, etc.

02-11-2008, 07:52 PM
That house looks like a nice project for both scapin and lighting. Its fricken snowing here again maybe I should come down and lend you a hand. :) Like Joey mentioned on another thread this is a prime example of grazing that beautiful brick and stone house first then working your way out into the landscape and trees. Would love to see what you have in mind for this place. Any water features going in? When are you starting?
Keep us updated with pictures plz. Good Luck!


02-11-2008, 07:55 PM
Yes I agree some nice down lighting on that driveway would be awesome would'nt it?
And ok throw that bench and flowers in for Mike!

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-11-2008, 09:29 PM
What an awesome canvas!

See all those steep pitched Gable ends? What a great opportunity to subtley and effectively down light from each and every one. The stone walls will pop out given their texture and the shadows that each will throw.

Is that a trellis located under the twin dormers? Lots of opportunity there.

Can you get some ingrade shielded uplights located in the main entry area?

Don't forget to ask if they 'want fries with that?" I see a couple of coach lights that probably could do with an upgrade.

Moonlighting the driveway is a no-brainer... great spacings there... do it sporatically and make the eye travel from pool of light to pool of light. Mix up your directional orientations to play depth games with the eye.

Do the extra work involved in downlighting the house from the Fascia of the gable ends... don't wimp out and simply uplight the house from the ground!:)

Need any help? It was -22c for a high here today, nearly froze solid through working on the interior system of a big log home. I think I am going to move to St. Lucia. :laugh:

02-11-2008, 10:17 PM
wow you guys are great and the ideas are terrific. I can't wait.

I've know this family for a while. They live around the corner. I met them back in 2001 when I building my house. They just recently finished theirs. So the other day I sent out an email to every single person on my contact list about outdoor lighting. David was the 1st on to reply. He just so happened to be ready to landscape. I know him well enough coordinate a budget with him.

His words..."I want the wow factor" now he was talking about landscape but I think it will be just as easy to wow him with lighting.

02-11-2008, 10:33 PM
oh other questions.

He's ready to start asap. I'm going to sub out the irrigation. He only has 45PSI and I'll let someone else deal with that.

I'll have to look at the porch area closer and see how much access I have. Ill take some more pics too.

I don't think you could call it a trellis. What you may be seeing in the center is a scrawny oak that was left. I already told him it has to go. I'm thinking a huge Natchez Crape will go there. I mentioned that and he told me he loves crapes. So do I and they are great for this area. Even when they defoliate the branch and trunk structure is awesome. I don't but crapes from just anywhere. I buy from east texas and they are brought in from Forest Hills LA.

I will definitely consider lighting from the Fascia. You know that will spawn a lot of question right?

As far as what where when. I just met with him Saturday. I'm going to start with bed layout and design. I want to do formal elevated the beds using the lueders stone which is on the house. He has already had some stone work done subsequent to the house. He probably will have that guy doing it. Thats okay The more he saves there the more he can afford for lighting.

02-11-2008, 10:40 PM
remember on another thread me asking about the flood lights. The are everywhere. If I could only convince a few builders that there are better options.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-11-2008, 10:44 PM
Ah well, think of those flood lights as opportunities! You certainly will have no issue pulling power out into that landscaple. Some nice Red Dot J-Box covers in bronze from home depot and they will disappear.


02-13-2008, 05:32 PM
This job looks like it will be a lot of fun!!!

Go for down lights out of the peaks on the home and then some soft wall washing and silhouetting on the other walls in between those with the high peaks. Don't leave out the dormers!! Down lighting out of the Oaks is a no brainer but remember where there is a down light in a tree an up light is needed as a counter balance as to not produce a large floating canopy. You should always connect the trunk to the ground. Now that doesn't mean you need to front light the trunk but some nice cross lighting would be in order to give it some transition from the canopy to the ground.

Cant wait to see some finished photos!!

Eden Lights
02-13-2008, 05:51 PM
Have you already educated and convinced your client to remove the big facade mounted pars? If I missed this point, I apologize.

02-13-2008, 05:56 PM
What...remove those gorgeous lights mounted to the home..are you crazy....what if the boogie man is trying to climb in through the window, those things not only light the house they can double as a home defense by burning the crap out of him!!! LOL:laugh::laugh::laugh::gunsfirin

02-13-2008, 09:57 PM
no I haven't mentioned it to him yet. I think I'm going to wait and show him some LV lights first. Once he seen LV from the street he'll understand.

Most people with these big lights think they look good. It the grazing effect you from them. It does look better than no lights.

Thanks JoeyD I like what you said about the the connection. Good point.

Eden Lights
02-13-2008, 11:35 PM
I would prefer darkness myself, but lighting can be subjective. I don't know anything about your business, but I would very careful about associating your lighting business with those pars. We have a area outside of Nashville where Pars on the facade really took off and we tried every retrofit solution type of fixture possible, but even when you change out the lamp source the fixture is just to close. That was years ago and now we usually present it like this: Mr. & Mrs. Homeowner, you have seen my portfolio and I must tell you that I can't obtain those type of results without removing the high wattage pars from the home. They cause glare, hotspots, and very uneven illumination on your home. We can remove them and the energy savings will allow you to recoup your investment in the current lighting. I am not a wasteful person and if there was any way to use them and the final result be acceptable I would, but I cannot. While I don't normally do demos, I will for you do a side by side comparison if you have a interest in seeing the difference and I will provide you with a energy comparison at that time. After the demo, if you haven't convinced them and they still want additional lowvoltage lighting then you close with this: I apologize, but I can't accept the project because the high ambient light levels from the pars will not allow your surrounding additional lighting to be effective or ascetically acceptable therefor I would be doing you a disservice and wasting your money. Thank them for their time, make sure they have all your information and ride off and do not look back.

I am by no means where I want to be as a designer or as a company, but when people ask me what is the one thing that has helped my business I tell them this. When I started I had a very good job with very flexible hours so I choose my projects and I turned down and lost alot of work. If you do one of these, you will be doing alot more and then you will be the guy that does those bright ugly house's with the dim landscapes lights that was a waste of money. That's not what I say, that's what your lost customers will say.

Good luck, I really am just trying to help.

02-14-2008, 08:28 AM
moonlighting the driveway? I have been sitting here for 2 years and I'm dying to know why anyone would would light a slab of concrete? All the trees and whatever landscape you put in and the first thing people point out is a slab of concrete to light?

Someone please explain what car is going to drive down that driveway without headlights? And if not in a car who is going to stand in the driveway and say, wow this is nice concrete?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-14-2008, 08:33 AM
It is not so much that you want to 'moonlight the driveway' specifically... Rather, you moonlight the area in front of the house where the driveway passes through.

This will provide amazing depth and intrigue into the property when viewed from the road and also when viewed from the house out to the road. It effectively works from all site lines. Pools of light spaced asymmetrically along either side of the drive and in the inner circle, not necessarily aimed directly onto the driveway. If there is no competing ambient light around, you can use very soft lamps... even 1032 MR16s at 30+ feet are enough.

Take if from Dr. Moonlighting (Me)... Done right it will be an awesome visual mid ground.


02-14-2008, 11:36 AM
hmmmm...I dont know, moonlight is cool, palm trees are cool but I dont install fake palm trees in an area that has palm trees...

toungue in cheek

I'm fine with downlighting, just is over done alot and creates nighmares for alot of homeowners...yeah i know, its good for maintenance contracts though, almosts forces a client into one, hate to put it that way...

I'm sure it will look good but doing moonlighting (attempting moonlighting) without it being absolutley perfect is way worse than not doing it. James I'm sure you moonlight fantastically but hold off on referring moonlighting to guys who dont have as much experience as you...caution.

02-14-2008, 01:04 PM
Your analogy to moonlight falls apart if you consider fake light other than moonlighting is fake like artificial sunlight

I personally am excited about the concept of moonlighting and here is why. This house is only a couple of blocks from me so our property is identical as far as trees. On a full moon night if you walk the trail from my house to the barn, the light shown on the oak trees produces the coolest shadows. It looks awesome but subtle. Surprisingly it can even go unnoticed but if you point it out to someone they always love it. To replicate that is exciting to me.

Beyond being in a tree what are some of the issues with tree lights that cause so much concern?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-14-2008, 03:54 PM
TPnTX. Show me a man who can perfectly emulate the light of a full moon falling onto a natural landscape and I will show you a trillionaire! To do so you would need to have your source(s) located hundreds of feet above the property and blanket it in about 0.05 foot candles. This is just not going to happen

Downlighting from trees, or moonlighting as I call it, is definitely an art. You really need to be able to visualize the final outcome so that you can effectively plan your locations, heights and effects. I wouldn't hesitate for 30 seconds to apply extensive moonlighting to that property you have pictured above.

There are many different ways you can go about this. Some like to aim the lights straight down from trunk mounted locations so that the tree is grazed from the source to the ground. Some, like me, prefer to project the light out away from the trunks so that the light grazes some foliage as it travels down to the ground where it produces large soft pools of light. The shadow effects from this technique are fabulous, when the breeze kicks up, the leaves and branches moving cause the shadows to dance and undulate... all of the clients love this.

Consider too that attack and angle you place your fixtures at. By mounting all of your fixtures at the same height, aimed in the same direction, at the same angle, you get one type of effect, very symmetrical and somewhat emulating actual directional moonlight. I prefer to mix up the heights, directions and angles, providing a very asymmetrical look. I find that this technique adds a lot of drama and intrigue to the site and it causes people to stop and admire it.... the eye gets a little tricked in this sense as it is not "normal" to see light coming from different angles casting shadows in different directions.

In any case, the moonlighting effect is a wonderful technique when you have the proper canopy to mount it in. You want to get your fixtures as high as possible without being unsafe. I generally mount fixtures between 30' and 40' from the ground. You also want to use fixtures that are designed for downlighting applications. Don't assume that any bullet will do! Most bullet style fixtures are designed primarily for uplighting and will have moisture issues when aimed down. Decent Bullet style downlights include the CAST Treelight (The best!), Lumiere 203, Vision3 FL13. You want something that provides ample glare control and shielding so that you do not have a long lateral view into the lamp. On that note, you want to keep any aiming angles below about 30deg to horizontal so you do not create glare issues.

Mounting, Connectors, Tree Friendly hardware and techniques, safe climbing methods, tools and components are other issues you have to have a good understanding of before you do this type of work.

Is it worth it? You bet your bottom line it is! The effects are really magical and when done properly, it does not create that much of a maintenance issue as others might report. I have thousands upon thousands of lights in trees now... and other then getting tired of all the ladder work, I wouldn't have it any other way.


02-15-2008, 08:54 PM
I'm sure it will look great. I hope you the best. I just see lots of moonlights not working and not maintained, ever. Enjoy the job, it looks like fun. It sounds sexy, espcially written as nicely as the both of you typed it up, sound very nice...just hope it is maintained and not shined straight on that concrete

John Pletcher
02-17-2008, 02:01 PM
As was stated earlier by many, down lighting is the way to go on this opportunity. I tend to disagree it will be a maintenance hassle as some have said. It is an opportunity to do a beautiful piece of art with lighting and an opportunity to not only maintain but to get more work in the future when the home owner wants more done.