View Full Version : Advice for a newbie amateur??? please

05-03-2008, 07:05 PM
hi, all. I would like some recommendations on how i should light this. This is for myself and not commercial gain so any help would be greatly appreciated.
I am thinking of using a kichler 15385 on the right side, a 15384 for each column, another 15385 for the center section, and a 15385 at each corner of the driveway at the garage corners. Does this sound like a good choice? I am also considering using 15396's in place of the 15385's(not sure which would work better).
I have never used expensive lighting before and by no means do i claim to even have a clue as to designing lighting, the only thing I have used is the cheap big store stuff. I have just been reading and trying to gather information, so I can do as good of a job as possible with being an amateur.
This house is the house my builder owns and he is currently getting ready to build the same home for me except it will be reversed and the garage will be on the right. Also, my driveway will be 150' long and i am building a brick colum at each side of the entrance to the drive and was going to use a 15384 on each column. I am going to run everything with 10/2(already own 500') and I am using a stainless steel hadco 600w transformer(already own). I havent gotten around to what might work well going down the drive(if anything at all). I am just trying to get everything together while the house is being built and I dont have the house payment and it will be paid for by the time the house is done. once again, any help would be greatly appreciated.

Chris J
05-03-2008, 09:32 PM
This would be a good plan for your first time. I would consider 35 watters for everything because that brick is going to soak up a lot of the light, but you may want to put a 50w in the center (taller portion) of the home. Just back the fixture up a bit so there won't be a hot spot down low to counter the right and left sides. You may even consider another 15385 for the side garage wall.
There are a lot of different approaches that you could take in designing this, but what you have planned will work well and look very nice. No sense in trying to overwhelm you with a bunch of difficult application ideas. Don't use the 15396 though. It's just too small for this application.
Good luck!

05-03-2008, 10:16 PM
thanks for the input Chris... I think I will add another 15385 on the side garage wall(I am assuming you were talking about the inside wall next to the tall center). I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions and I am actually very happy my plans didnt have to be ripped apart. It makes me feel like I have actually learned some things while reading the forum.....

Chris J
05-04-2008, 12:35 AM
Yep, you did good. If you need any help with the voltage calculations or wire runs, just give me a call. Better yet, just fax me the layout, with measurments, and I'll calculate it for you.

05-04-2008, 12:42 AM
ok, will do.. and thanks again!!!!

05-04-2008, 12:47 AM
How did it come out or did you not install them yet Post pics of progress Beautiful Home by ther way

Chris J
05-04-2008, 12:48 AM
And by the way, no need to use the 10/2 wire. Keep this for the driveway later on. It looks like there will be no run more than 100' (by looking at the picture) so there is absolutly no reason to use up your 12/2. I'll explain all this later.

Chris J
05-04-2008, 12:56 AM
Read the post NOOBer. This is not his house, it's one that is going to be built for him. The post was only presented today.

Chevy 2500 w/graphics wrap
Stainless steel tool box with locking lid
4 flat blade shovels
1 big box of Ace connectors
3 Auto strippers
100' roll of flex conduit
1 big man to dig trenches
Big box of replacment lamps
Volt meter/Amp probe
Box of installation contracts/proposals
Full portfolio with 8x10 pictures

Chris J
05-04-2008, 12:59 AM
Sometimes I just kill myself....:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

05-04-2008, 10:41 AM
Sometimes I just kill myself....:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

ha the guy posted a pic and questions and 24 hours later he is supposed to have it done and photos for us.

I think something that forgot to get mentioned is toss out the quic discs that come with the kichler fixtures

05-04-2008, 11:35 AM
LOL!! yeah, he must have missed when the posting date was... ok, I will get some 12/2.... as far as the connections, I was planning on saudering them together and then using heat shrink tubing over the connection, but what do you recommend?

05-04-2008, 12:43 PM
Check out the connections thread, there is everything you ever wanted to know about making a low voltage connection.

05-04-2008, 08:37 PM
I will do that now.... I should have thought of that..

Check out the connections thread, there is everything you ever wanted to know about making a low voltage connection.

05-04-2008, 09:41 PM
i cant seem to find the connections thread using the search tool... also, does anyone think i might be better off using a 15384 on each side of the windows on the right side and in the center instead of the 15385?? what about the garage corners? I just want to be sure before i spend alot of money...thanks again..

Chris J
05-04-2008, 10:46 PM
i cant seem to find the connections thread using the search tool... also, does anyone think i might be better off using a 15384 on each side of the windows on the right side and in the center instead of the 15385?? what about the garage corners? I just want to be sure before i spend alot of money...thanks again..

That would look good also. I can see now that you are going to over complicate this because you are going to hear several opinions and you're not going to be able to make a decision without seeing it first. Well, guess what? Unless you have done this before, you won't know the differences until you try it. My advice would be to find some fixtures (somehow) and do a mock up demonstration for yourself. Try different methods and pick which you like the best.

05-04-2008, 11:02 PM
LOL!!! thanks Chris... I am going to have to figure something out... but from looking around at pics, I kinda like the look of splitting the window with a light on each side. Decisions, Decisions...... thanks again for all your help.... I might just purchase enough of both and then use the leftovers on the side and back.
If I go with 15384 that would put the total at 10 units for the front of the house and each column at the driveway. then one 15385 for the garage side wall. If I stick with the 15385, that would be 5 15385 units for the front and 4 15384 units.
Which way do you think would look the best? I am assuming if I go with the 15384 I would use 35w bulbs on all, or would you put 50watt bubls on the 2 for the center section?

Chris J
05-05-2008, 12:47 AM
I personally don't like the "strips" of light, but a lot of people do it. I just did a very small demo the other night to prove my point to the homeowner. He already had a bid that was $400 less than mine, but that guy was going to do what you are talking about with the 15384s. I showed the home owners both methods, and my original plan prevailed by leaps and bounds. They went with my plan, and I am installing the job this week. If you use the 15384 method, use 20w BAB lamps, but size the transformer to handle 35s. You shouldn't need more than 35watters if the system is volted properly. The middle portion of the garage front will suffer with this method though. Again, there are more trick applications that could be used on this home, such as down lighting from the eaves, but I'm not going to try to explain that by typing.

05-05-2008, 12:51 AM
then I am sticking with my first plan and going with what you said...it will make for less fixtures for me that way anyhow......thanks again

05-05-2008, 01:56 PM
hey chris,
do you think I could possibly get by with using 15396's in place of the 15385's with 35w bulbs? For some reason my local dealer can give me a big discount on the 15396's(I am assuming he wants to getrid of some stock) and it would be a huge savings if I can make it work and still get the same basic effect....

Chris J
05-05-2008, 06:54 PM
Your going backwards now. I said your initial plan would work fine, I didn't say it was going to be the nicest design possible. Now your turning up your nose at the very advice you asked for, (for the second time now) and that's actually kind of rude.
Here's the deal Bigboar, 15384s are even cheaper than the 396. You could "get by" doing the whole job with nothing but these, but what is it that you seek? An inexpensive lighting system, one that looks very nice, or one that will make your home the show case property of the neighborhood? The price is relative to the level your shooting for.

05-05-2008, 07:20 PM
youre right!! and I am sorry.....I do now realize I am getting cheap..... I will stick with the plan.....

05-21-2008, 04:11 PM
hi again chris,
ok while at my local supply store they showed my wife and I the 15081VGT and my wife likes it alot. here is a link to a pic of the same light online
would it work ok using them in place of the 15384s' using the same 20w bulbs? how about 35w(included)? I would be using 2 on the right, 1 on each pillar, 2 in the middle, 1 on each side of garage corner. Or would they work better another way?
thanks again for any help.

05-21-2008, 06:44 PM
oh, also I forgot to add that we really like the following path light and are thinking about buying a few of them for the sidewalk and patio in back.
is that a good fixture?

Chris J
05-21-2008, 08:38 PM
The path light is relativly new, and I haven't installed any of them so I couldn't say if it is built to withstand any abuse. The 15081 is now model # 15381 for your ordering information. This web-site and/or supplier is obviously out of date. The 381 is just a housing for the MR16 lamp as is the 384, so you could go either way with no worries. Some say that the wider lens allows more beam spread to come out of the fixture when using VWFL lamps, but I tend to disagree. The 384 is smaller and more discrete, therefore it is my first choice for MR16 housings. Personally, I hate the verdie green color and prefer the AZT (bronze) color which blends more with the landscape. The object is to hide the source and see only the effect whenever possible. If you can get a better price for the 381, then you won't be making a mistake. When you get your materials list together, shoot me an email. I can probably help you out with the shipment of materials that you will need.

03-05-2009, 07:57 PM
Hey all,
Its been quite a while. House is finally built, the final grading isnt finished yet(have to wait until the weather breaks). Just thought I would share a couple of pics as I am dying to get started with the lighting project. Also, I just want to say thanks again for all the help!!!

Edit: It would only let me post one pic. I posted some others in the following thread also on page 3.

03-06-2009, 12:29 AM
Good lookin Truck! hope you get it all figured out.

05-10-2009, 11:48 PM
well, alright. here is my first shot. I still dont have any landscaping or grass but got the idea today that I wanted to mess around with it....I know this is probably the incorrect way but the only way i could get the lighting to look anything like I wanted it to was to put them at an angle to the walls to try and get the light more spread... any suggestions appreciated...

edit.. it is actually brighter than the photo I took with my camera phone.

05-11-2009, 12:23 AM
here is a better try at a photo, at least using my digital camera