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INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-13-2008, 02:29 PM
I am looking for a fixture that can be mounted on the underside of some open deck steps (treads) to shine light down on the lower sets of treads below. I am going to need 8 or so.

I know that Kichler has the 15167 AZT but frankly it is just pain ugly and that glare shield is way too big. http://www.landscapelighting.com/portal/products/detail/15167AZT

I might be able to use the Vista 4260 but would prefer something that throws the light forward so as to not spill too much light down onto the ground beneath the steps.
http://www.vistapro.com/Product.aspx?ProdID=461&CatID=1&typeID=5

Do you know of another fixture that might work in this application?

Have a great day.

Tomwilllight
09-13-2008, 02:56 PM
James,

I like to use Roberts Step Lights which can be recessed into the underside of the tread. They require you to cut rabbit about 3/4" by 9/16". I think a rabbit cut in at an angle to throw the light forward would meet your needs nicely. Easy enough to do if you can remove the treads and have access to a table saw.

They also offer an LED line now.

Web Site http://www.robertssteplite.com

Tom

Mike M
09-13-2008, 03:01 PM
I can't help you James, but I agree that Kichler shield is ugly.

Tom, that fixture is slick!

Mark B
09-13-2008, 03:13 PM
Ha this is funny. I'm looking into the same thing. I'm going with the focus that is like the vista fixture. I tired my best to talk the customer into using downlighting from some trees that are close to the steps. On my project I have plain steps w/o rails plus there is a kicker plate on the top step. Then no kicker on the other steps. Then the upper section has steps with rails. So i'm going to use the vista light fixture for the lower section that James listed then some white regualr step lights mounted on the upper section to the rails. It will be interesting how it looks when it is finished.

Doesn't nightscaping have a light fixture that can be used in that application? I have seen some under benches. I might be wrong on that.

bmwsmity
09-13-2008, 04:21 PM
hmm. that vista light is pretty much identical to the light made by Integral.

the light by Integral does a nice job lighting steps and paver walls... but i still think it would throw light in a downward direction more than you would like james. wouldn't hurt to check the photometrics though.

NightLightingFX
09-13-2008, 05:25 PM
Before you go with Vista's fixture consider Evening Star's wall fixture. Evening Star has the same kind of fixture as Integral & Vista. I don't know about Vista's fixture but I have compared Evening Star's and Integral's and Evening Star's is far supperior. Evening Star's angles the light out so that it doesn't create a hot spot right under the fixture. I don't know if you researched Evening Star's new fixture or not?
~Ned

Mike M
09-13-2008, 06:23 PM
I have a sample of the Integral in copper. After a close look, it appears you can have a sheet metal guy bend it out for you, or contact the manu and give them the angle you want. If it was me, I'd bend it myself in a vice, and demo the effect first. The face plate is easily removed (screws) but the mounting plate has the bulb-mount permanently attached and it's a little in the way for a clean bending job.

my 2 cents.

Integral makes the facing in multiple finishes, but the bare copper is very nice.

S&MLL
09-13-2008, 09:54 PM
Integral fixtures shouldnt be used on wood steps.

NightLightingFX
09-13-2008, 10:04 PM
If you want to use something like the Integral fixture. DON'T use Integral, - Those fixture are VERY cheap compared to Evening Star's version. I am telling you the Evening Star fixtures ARE FAR superior to the Integral fixture.
~Ned

Chris J
09-13-2008, 10:12 PM
Will somebody explain to me why the beauty of the fixture is important in this application? If installed properly, no one will ever see it!

Mike M
09-13-2008, 10:18 PM
I'm the type that would fall drunk on those steps, look up, and say "that's an ugly fixture."

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-13-2008, 11:37 PM
James,

I like to use Roberts Step Lights which can be recessed into the underside of the tread. They require you to cut rabbit about 3/4" by 9/16". I think a rabbit cut in at an angle to throw the light forward would meet your needs nicely. Easy enough to do if you can remove the treads and have access to a table saw.

They also offer an LED line now.

Web Site http://www.robertssteplite.com

Tom

Thanks for the excellent resource there Tom, I had never heard of this line of fixtures before and they do look like they have some interesting products.

Three problems for me on this application... The treads are 5" Thick x 4' to 6' long, custom built into the side of a rock face (cantilevered) and mortised into the log riser on the other side. There will be no removing them!

Also, the site is REALLY dark, so I dont want a linear light fixture as it will produce relatively too much light and the linear nature of those fixtures will look incongruous to the rest of the property and landscape.

Finally, none of their products are listed for use in Canada. (Such a drag at times.)

Thanks again... my quest continues.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-13-2008, 11:56 PM
Will somebody explain to me why the beauty of the fixture is important in this application? If installed properly, no one will ever see it!

Let me try to explain:

1: It is a newly built property with around $5 to $6 million invested. Nothing but the finest everywhere you look.
2: The entire flight of steps is visible from below as you approach. I dont want the clients seeing an overly large, ugly plastic fixture hanging from beneath their custom built log steps that have been cantilevered into a granite rock face. No matter how you mount the fixtures, they will be visible in the daylight
3: Those Kitsch-ler fixtures are plastic... I dont do plastic fixtures.

Tom's idea of sinking a linear fixture into the bottom of the riser would have been perfect, except we cannot disassemble the stairs at this point.

I think the Vista fixture is a bit nicer then the Integral as it comes with a frost lens. Not sure about the Evening Star product as I have not seen it yet.

I might try out the new Nightscaping Masonliter as I can easily have them modify it with an internal reflector / shield to push the light forward.

Still Looking.

Chris J
09-14-2008, 12:04 AM
Good grief! If that's the case, then why even bring up a manufacturer in the first place? Was this just another opportunity for you to bait people like me just so you can smear the good name of a quality company like Kichler? You already know exactly what fixture you're going to use, so why do you consistently draw us into your satanic ritual?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-14-2008, 09:41 AM
Chris, give me a break man! Read my question. I have not decided anything. I simply posted this asking for alternatives. I only knew of a few fixtures that could work in the application and am hoping that somebody out here knows of some others.

Tom's reference is the perfect example of the type of help I am looking for. That is what this forum should be about.

Have a great day everyone.

Mark B
09-14-2008, 11:53 AM
Oh boy here is comedy show #5,897. I can't wait for #5,898.

irrig8r
09-14-2008, 02:04 PM
You already know exactly what fixture you're going to use, so why do you consistently draw us into your satanic ritual?

Dude... what have you been smokin?

Mike M
09-14-2008, 02:25 PM
Gregg,

Read between the lines, James was Kichler-bashing and he knows Chris uses Kichler. I only point this out because it was James who said name-calling is not professional, and yet he was name-calling against Kichler.

Also, it's James who uses the slogan "see the effect not the source." So Chris was not really out of line asking why the fixture appearance was so important.

I see a lot of sneaky button pushing! :nono:

I'm gonna watch some football now.

Chris J
09-14-2008, 06:26 PM
Thanks Mike. At least somebody understands.
As a side note, if the fixture will be visible by day, it will be a glare-bomb by night.

irrig8r
09-14-2008, 08:40 PM
Gregg,

Read between the lines, James was Kichler-bashing and he knows Chris uses Kichler. I only point this out because it was James who said name-calling is not professional, and yet he was name-calling against Kichler.

Also, it's James who uses the slogan "see the effect not the source." So Chris was not really out of line asking why the fixture appearance was so important.

I see a lot of sneaky button pushing! :nono:

I'm gonna watch some football now.

Naw it was more in the way he was saying it.... "satanic ritual"?

And yeah, maybe James was over the line with "Kitcshler"....but I may have actually used the line myself once or twice regarding some of their more statue/ figurine style fixtures...

I don't know anyone around here that uses them, ... so I can't tell you from experience how they hold up, etc.

Most popular fixtures around here seem to be Vista, FX, Nightscaping, Unique, Focus, Hadco... more or less in that order... I also have run into BK, Kim, Coppermoon, even Lumiere and Hydrel... but I don't see much Kichler...

BTW, I just did a dealer search... besides JDL (who I never do business with), the main places that carry them around seem to be retail lighting specialty stores.... maybe there's an untapped market.

Tomwilllight
09-14-2008, 08:53 PM
James,

Is there a handrail of any sort on these steps... I don't know Canadian code but I expect you will need one. Think about putting a linear source in the underside of the handrail.

If you can't use RSL, can you find some rope light that meets your code? It's a linear source and may be dimmed.

Tom

Chris J
09-14-2008, 10:47 PM
Naw it was more in the way he was saying it.... "satanic ritual"?
.

Perhaps a poor choice of words on my part, but we have been down this road a couple of times before. He asks for help, then dismisses everyone's ideas and tells us what he intends on doing on his own. It's just tiresome.
I move that we just drop the whole issue cause I'm tired of it already.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-14-2008, 11:58 PM
James was Kichler-bashing and he knows Chris uses Kichler.

Mike you give me way more credit then is due.

Yep, I guess I was putting down Kichler by calling them Kitsch-ler, but last time I checked a brand was not a person, so I didnt think I was offending anyone by that. (again... more of a humour attempt then anything.)

As for knowing that Chris uses Kichler... well believe it or not I actually don't keep records of a journal of who uses what. I wasnt aware that Chris was a "Kichler Contractor" and figured he uses a broad range of products like most of us do, so lets not build any connections where none existed.

Have a great day.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-15-2008, 12:02 AM
He asks for help, then dismisses everyone's ideas and tells us what he intends on doing on his own.

Not quite. I ask for help, give the background, list the alternatives that I know of, and hope for some constructive suggestions and new alternatives that I do not yet know of.

It's called a discusson.

I haven't yet decided to do anything... as I am still looking for a better alternative.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-15-2008, 12:05 AM
Thanks Tom... The under-rail solution was the first thing I looked at. Unfortunately the rail structure is being wrought into a single section (decorative iron work), is not tubular and offers no opportunity to mount fixtures to it.

And the beat goes on...

Chris J
09-15-2008, 12:10 AM
I wasnt aware that Chris was a "Kichler Contractor" and figured he uses a broad range of products like most of us do, so lets not build any connections where none existed.


You would be correct on that point.

Tomwilllight
09-15-2008, 12:24 AM
I suggest that you ask if it is possible to modify the handrail. My guess is if the clients trust you, they will order a change. I've often run into this is the type of problem. I've learned to write a description of the problem, suggest several alternates and keep it to less than a page. If this feature is as important as you've suggested, the client will see your point.

Tom

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-15-2008, 01:15 AM
Tom, normally I would do just that and it would work. However, the railing structure is complete and is due to be installed this coming week. We are not scheduled to install the lighting system until Mid-Late October ( I got the call just over a week ago) so there will be no changes to the structure...

I might just get stumped on this one...

I have half a mind to recommend a hugely involved core-drill solution that would see me mount Hunza SS fixtures into the rock face and then core 1/2" dia. holes straight down from the top to the fixtures for the wire. Not sure how accurately you can bore a hole that small in granite and to what depth.

ChampionLS
09-15-2008, 02:45 AM
Hey guys, (Hi Ned)

Just thought I'd check in.

Yes, Our wall light fixture is listed for the US and Canada, and the luminaire is designed to project the light down and out on a 60 degree angle away from vertical (out and down away from the wall). The optics of the luminaire diffuse and spread the light out to eliminate hot spots. The fixture features a 8 watt-double incandescent lamp module that actually throw more usable light than a single 10 watt xenon. We also have a bug-light lamp module that directly replaces the supplied lamp for patio applications where people congregate.

James, you mention a linear type shadowing or effect- Our fixture will not produce that. Our fixture will give you a clam-shell shaped light cone spread.

A problem with the Integral fixture is the mounting of the lamp socket- the light effect produces a shadow in the shape of an arrow pointing to the right. It is very noticeable on a step installation.

Our fixture is available in commercial grade copper/brass/brushed stainless steel and 8 faux finishes of powder-coat to match virtually any aggregate. Our copper face plate features real copper mounting screws, so it will patina evenly.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-15-2008, 03:01 AM
Sounds cool... Can you email me the spec. sheet and pricing directly to my office?

I will be away for a week or so, but will take a good look at it when I return.

ChampionLS
09-15-2008, 03:07 AM
I'll send you a photometric chart and some real photographs for you to compare. I believe your mailing address is still in our database.

Dreams To Designs
09-15-2008, 10:24 AM
I have used all the above mentioned fixtures, with the exception of the Kichler and would recommend either the Evening Star or the Vista versions. The Evening Star is larger than the others, but under a cap or tread the amount of light they throw is excellent. The Vista improves on the other designs by having a removable mounting plate and a frosted lens to diffuse and soften the lamp. The Evening Star fixture is a modular lamp and lens assembly that throws a great beam of light where needed. Because of the modular design and larger faceplate, the Evening Star fixture seems to be the sturdiest and most easily serviceable of all the step light fixtures.

The Focus fixture is due for a complete redesign and maybe out soon or available now. I have had some extensive discussion with Focus on this fixture and have been assured it will be vastly improved.

Kirk

NiteTymeIlluminations
09-15-2008, 08:38 PM
I have to take Chris side here. He does ask then he tells us that he decided to use what he was planning to use in the first place because our sugestions werent good enough. Chris I got your back!

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-15-2008, 08:54 PM
An interesting observation, although completely fallacious.

The fact remains... I have not made any decisions at all.

I guess this one will be pretty much impossible to "win", seeing as the only alternatives other the the three I started with have been Tom's and Anthony's! (Thanks to both of you... Anthony, still waiting for the spec's on your fixture via email)

In another vein: It must be pretty easy to sit back and accuse others of not accepting advice or alternatives when you don't offer any!

Perhaps there is simply a dearth of alternatives for this category.

Mike M
09-15-2008, 09:57 PM
Naw it was more in the way he was saying it.... "satanic ritual"?

And yeah, maybe James was over the line with "Kitcshler"....but I may have actually used the line myself once or twice regarding some of their more statue/ figurine style fixtures...

I don't know anyone around here that uses them, ... so I can't tell you from experience how they hold up, etc.

Most popular fixtures around here seem to be Vista, FX, Nightscaping, Unique, Focus, Hadco... more or less in that order... I also have run into BK, Kim, Coppermoon, even Lumiere and Hydrel... but I don't see much Kichler...

BTW, I just did a dealer search... besides JDL (who I never do business with), the main places that carry them around seem to be retail lighting specialty stores.... maybe there's an untapped market.

Your so west-coast, Gregg.

Also, the phrase "satanic ritual", come on, that's not so bad. Yes, images of sacrificial blood-letting may come to mind, but it's merely just a common old southern expression for "light-hearted collegial silliness."

irrig8r
09-15-2008, 10:27 PM
Your so west-coast, Gregg.

Also, the phrase "satanic ritual", come on, that's not so bad. Yes, images of sacrificial blood-letting may come to mind, but it's merely just a common old southern expression for "light-hearted collegial silliness."


:laugh::laugh::laugh:

Mike, if I had a mouthful of beer right now it would have been all over my keyboard and monitor...

I think I ought to find my black cat bone... and see if I can ward off your beer spilling spell... (or was that beer swilling?)

Lite4
09-15-2008, 10:45 PM
Wow, talk about a thread off track. James, I like the idea of core drilling the granite face and mounting to it since you are unable to mount to the railing and stair treads. I really see this as the only option if it is possible. Is it a rock face as in a large boulder or rock formation the house is built around that the stairs are built into or is it just a stone facade with a false backing?

Chris J
09-15-2008, 10:55 PM
Thanks for having my back guys, but that's enough. Let him off the hook and let's get back to business. I would offer a suggestion, but I don't have one as I'm not that skilled yet. Also, please refrain from using the $10 dollar words. I'm just a Florida redneck, and I get confused easily. I understand simple words like beer, gators, snakes and lyght bubs. :laugh: Hooked on Phonics almost worked for me!

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-15-2008, 11:11 PM
Wow, talk about a thread off track. James, I like the idea of core drilling the granite face and mounting to it since you are unable to mount to the railing and stair treads. I really see this as the only option if it is possible. Is it a rock face as in a large boulder or rock formation the house is built around that the stairs are built into or is it just a stone facade with a false backing?

Well the rock face is just that... It is an exposed face of granite bedrock, the steps and path below run along it for about 40' and the face itself is about 15 feet high from the path up to the flagstone patio that is on top.

To core the fixtures in would not be too hard, but the vertical holes to get the wires to the core drills would be really tough. I would need 4 fixtures located at 2, 6, 10 and 14 feet down the face. Not sure I could find a bit to get to them at that depth from the top. I cannot do anything on the face itself for hiding the wire as the rock is stunningly beautiful, and scraped clean except for plenty of lichen. No cracks or crevices to sneak through.

Does anyone know of a 1/2" dia carbide hammer bit that extends to 15 feet or so? (heavy machines to drill the holes are not an option at this point)

Regards.

Chris J
09-15-2008, 11:31 PM
A 1/2" bit that long would be to flexible and you wouldn't get a good, straight shot. That's just my opinion anyway; I've never seen such a small bit that long that wouldn't steer off.

Lite4
09-16-2008, 12:49 AM
Yeah, I have to agree with Chris on this one. You could get a bunch of extensions for the bit but once you get some length on that bit, she is going to get a bit squirly and may not shoot straight to where you need the hole. Talk about some precision drilling. This is where I would hire a concrete cutting and sawing company to come in and precision drill that thing. Still though, there has got to be an easier and less painful way of getting some light on those stairs. I will have to sleep on this one.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-16-2008, 12:51 AM
Ya I guess 1/2" is probably out of the question... I might find a 1" or so that I could put extenstions on as it goes down... but the thought of starting this process only to get the bit stuck half way down the vertical holes freaks me out a bit.

ChampionLS
09-16-2008, 02:10 AM
James, I sent you the photometric chart and a slide show of photos.

If you need anything else, let me know.

Thanks.

Tomwilllight
09-16-2008, 09:40 AM
James, I repeat. You are the outdoor lighting consultant for this estate. Tell them that they need to rebuild the handrail or they will have a safety issue - not to mention a black hole - in a very bad place on this job. It is your job to tell them in writing. Rebuilding a handrail is nothing in a job the size you describe. You need to be on record to protect yourself and you need to raise a ruckus to protect your client.

If you have reasonable options other than the handrail, fine, do it and lets close this discussion.

Tom

Lite4
09-16-2008, 09:59 AM
Here is one thought. I don't know exactly how the stairs and rock face are situated together but here is something you could try.
Use decorative hanging fixtures over the stairs about 9' or so above the treads. These lights would hang from a decorative steel arm that would be attatched to the wall and would reach out over the stairs. The steel arms would be of the same fashion as the railing. As you get near the top of the stairs you may have to mount on a decorative steel pole contiguous to the stairs to keep the same height above the treads for continuity. On the arm mountings; I would run flexible copper piping, 3/8" or so up to the top of the stone wall with your wire inside and immediately patina the copper to blend in to the wall a bit. Just a thought, may not be a possible idea as I have not seen the site challenges directly.

irrig8r
09-16-2008, 11:19 AM
You know, I can't recall you posting a photo of this challenge James...I even scanned back through the thread to see if I missed it... how about it?

Frog Lights, LLC
09-17-2008, 11:49 PM
James please consider our WALL EYE. We use LED's and you know the advantage of these. We are selling the product very well and would like you to try it. I will send some more information on the product.
Noel

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-21-2008, 09:04 AM
James, I repeat. You are the outdoor lighting consultant for this estate. Tell them that they need to rebuild the handrail or they will have a safety issue - not to mention a black hole - in a very bad place on this job. It is your job to tell them in writing. Rebuilding a handrail is nothing in a job the size you describe. You need to be on record to protect yourself and you need to raise a ruckus to protect your client.

If you have reasonable options other than the handrail, fine, do it and lets close this discussion.

Tom

Thanks for the advice Tom... I have informed the clients and the property manager of the need to light the steps and patio above for safety and liability reasons. They wholeheartedly understand and agree. However, scrapping the now complete and installed custom designed and built wrought iron railing structure is out of the question. It just isnt going to happen.

I am going the custom route... having a fixture specifically adapted for the application which will be effective at highlighting the treads properly and not creating any glare from below. The fixtures will age over time and blend into the step structure by day.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

JoeyD
06-12-2009, 05:23 PM
I posted a video for our Vanguard fixture in the Unique Forum guys.......

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=278612

Rainman7
06-12-2009, 10:28 PM
The Vanguard is the best step light of its type out there IMO. I tried a couple of others like the Vista and Integral....no comparison. Be careful when using the Integral on a composite deck..I learned the hard way. Also, if you have a very dark site, use a step light on every step not every other. Its amazing how a light on one step could make the one above or below it dissapear if there is no light on it.

Pro-Scapes
06-13-2009, 09:30 AM
I cant imagine I took the time to read this whole thread. Iron handrain... enough said. Its weldable... modifiable material. Forget shooting 1/2 inch at 14 feet. You would die before you finished thoes holes and to think you would hit a few inch core drill spot at that depth is just rediculous.

I dare you to even try it with a 1 inch bit. Just to compare we did a 6 foot one with an alluminum jig we made thru a rock for a water feature. With a jig and a 3/4 expansion bit we ended up off by an inch. No big deal but imagine being off by 3 inches.

Pictures!! where the heck are the pics.

Now back to that rail. Think about suggesting some sort of decorative pockets to be welded into the rail. Something small enough to hold the Vista rail light or Toms suggestion of the roberts step light even in LED then run a small ga wire. Maybe some nice flower boxes welded to the railing with a light concealed in a pocket underside ?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
06-14-2009, 09:39 PM
1: Changing the shape, pattern, and look of the already installed, custom fabricated, wrought iron rail system was not an option. The same rail was installed in multiple different locations across the property. Suggesting alterations of this type, so late in the build, is generally not appreciated and usually never accepted.

2: The problem was solved months ago. I had Nightscaping (the 'old' Nightscaping) custom build a bunch of MasonLiters with an adjustable reflector and mounted them under the treads of every other step. Installed 5W xenon lamps and the effect and light pattern was just fine. Depending on your location and the ambient light levels, it can and often is accpetable to light every other tread... In fact I cannot remember an instance where I lit every single tread in a set of steps. I personally think that would look just dreadful.