PDA

View Full Version : regular thread


Mike M
06-27-2008, 08:04 AM
Okay.

This q is for the non-demo guys. I have been doing some consults, and want to know if anyone can recommend tips for the following:

Does anyone install up to certain points, for example, to hubs or just home runs, leaving leads unburied? I have about 16 fixtures to place in a back zone, with tons of plant material and I'd like to think I can easily make changes on the night I aim, and then go back and make everything permanent. This would include not attaching my leads up trees yet, and not burring leads from hubs.

I am used to the safety of the demo for confirmation.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
06-27-2008, 08:11 AM
Safety Schmafety.... jump in there and install that system. Use your experience and your gut to do the best you can. Create something new! Then preview it and tweak it and aim it and adjust it. Then tell the client it is ready and have a lighting ceremony to make it festive!

Git er done!

Pro-Scapes
06-27-2008, 08:15 AM
Mike I use an above ground all the time on large installations. This is especially handy when clients question the design or your performing a new element. I cant ever recall making major changes tho. Its more of a sales point and a point to get your clients to do it they way your recomending

I think latley we have just been burying it but leaving quite a bit of slack especially around landscapes that are inmature.

Lite4
06-27-2008, 10:48 AM
I just bury and go. I am the designer, they trust me.

NightScenes
06-27-2008, 11:25 AM
I bury everything but leave about 5' of wire at each fixture. This allows for minor adjustments and plant growth. Have confidence and go Mike.

Tomwilllight
06-27-2008, 01:43 PM
Leave the wire above ground until you've completed your night set/focus.

I've tried to leave "enough" wire to adjust focus but I always end up pulling yards of wire out of the ground to get an even better effect. It may be crazy but I worry a lot about becoming a "cookie cutter" designer. If the wire is above ground, I can move lights around and try things I've may never have tried before. This keeps me fresh and interested and ensures my clients get my best.

I'm not alone, Greg Yale and Jan Moyer both leave their options open and wire above ground until the focus is complete.

Mike M
06-27-2008, 03:21 PM
I'll try to be more confident, thanks everyone.

Tom, I've been calling it, "Gonna come back and aim these tonight."

Do you refer to it as "focussing" to the client? I'd like to use as much professional-sounding language as possible. I'd like to explain it as an evening of "project focus," etc., when we come back to "clarify the effects" by aiming and positioning, and adjusting brightness levels, etc.

If anything is iffy, I could explain this, and leave the leads above ground as I feel the need.

I've been using your phrase "responsible lighting" a lot lately (thanks) and I use "light trespass" a lot now, too. I got that from James.

The best language I've found is in Nate's book, like defining lighting objectives, POV, etc. I think I have to read my Moyer book again and examine her language (it's been a while since I cracked that thing open).

Tomwilllight
06-27-2008, 05:01 PM
Mike,

I use focus because that is what it is called in professional Theatre and Architectural lighting. Light trespass is also a technical term and defined by the IESNA - Illuminating Engineering Society of North America - http://www.iesna.org/

You'll find that Jan uses terms that are understood throughout the lighting profession. Her book is a tough read but everything you need to know is there. You may want to take a look at my review of her 2nd edition - www.amazon.com/Landscape-Lighting-Janet-Lennox-Moyer

I think it's about time that the Landscape Lighting industry do what all other facets of the lighting world has done - adopt a common set of technical terms. But that's an issue for another day.

Tomwilllight
06-27-2008, 06:24 PM
A note on Mock-ups. There is no more valuable thing you can do for yourself or your client.

First, mock-ups always sell... I'm assuming your presentation is competent and efficient.

Second, you have the opportunity to watch the client see your light... Watch very closely, you can see when they really get it and that will tell you much more about how they react to light. This is sometimes very hard to do... depends on the client and how much you can engage them in a conversation about the light. Let them see your love of the light...

Third, Strut your stuff... I usually light anything but what I should obviously light; I like to show them something they haven't noticed in their garden. Often it's something small and hidden... until I reveal it to them. Their perception of how big the job will expand.

Fourth, Make their garden appear larger by lighting in depth... Suggest, tease, entreat, surprise... Make them want to move to see better or more clearly.

Pro-Scapes
06-27-2008, 06:51 PM
Leave the wire above ground until you've completed your night set/focus.

I've tried to leave "enough" wire to adjust focus but I always end up pulling yards of wire out of the ground to get an even better effect. It may be crazy but I worry a lot about becoming a "cookie cutter" designer. If the wire is above ground, I can move lights around and try things I've may never have tried before. This keeps me fresh and interested and ensures my clients get my best.

I'm not alone, Greg Yale and Jan Moyer both leave their options open and wire above ground until the focus is complete.

I knew my doing this sometimes is not a hairbrained idea. It really does work and you will see the results from it. Downside is it sometimes requires a reset of the aim after burial if the fixtures get disturbed.

I dont always do the above ground but there is times where it does come in very handy. I guess like Tom I have found myself pulling up wire sometimes. My helpers and wife think I am Anal about my adjustments.

Mike M
06-27-2008, 07:08 PM
Well, here we go.

Back to demo. They asked tonight if I would reduce the scale of the budget. Thing is, I know they will be the ones asking me to come back and add on lights to complete the portrait, so, to avoid the add-on syndrome, I will tell them we should demo the back yard like we did the front (even though we agreed when I was there earlier this AM to just install the lights).

These are great people, and I have no problem with this. Especially if it enables them to see the value in using the right number of fixtures.

Option two, is to simply solder in a few pigtails at each hub, and just come back and add on as they wish. This is exactly what happen to me a month ago as I had posted here.

Eden Lights
06-27-2008, 10:09 PM
Excellent thread and excellent comments, thanks for all the info.

Chris J
06-27-2008, 10:14 PM
There was a time when I really went off the deep end with this exact situation. The client was hesitant about my plan, and wanted me to scale back the design. What did I do? I installed it the way I wanted to and then covered up the "extra fixtures" with plant buckets. When I got back that night, I asked them how they liked the job and they loved it. Then I kicked the buckets out of the way and asked again. They were amazed. I told them the extra cost to keep it, or I would take them out tomorrow. They gladly paid.
I wouldn't recommend doing this as I probably just got lucky that time. However, every time a client wants to scale back I am tempted. Almost always they will have me add the lights that I originally recommended. I guess this is the one type of client that should receive a demo every time.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
06-27-2008, 10:50 PM
When asked to scale back a project I will offer instead to 'phase in' the project. I explain that rather then cutting fixtures from the original plan, why not just cut out entire zones, thus bringing the project in line with their budget.

I would rather do 2 out of 5 zones really well then be asked to reduce the number of fixtures across an entire site by 3/5ths. Invariably this technique works very well with the clients. Many, after seeing the results in the reduced scope will call back and ask that the rest of the project be completed right away. Others will have me back in a years time or so.

Have a great day.

Mark B
06-27-2008, 11:11 PM
I have done the same thing Chris. It has worked for me as well. Or I like it when the wifey does not want a light there, and she looks at me I dis agree with her, the hubby agrees with me.. Well she wins that round. Then after I'm done and paid. I get a call saying I think I want to put that light there. I just smile and charge them for a new fixture. Gotta love it.