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BrandonV
01-14-2009, 09:42 PM
well as you may know I'm not a full time lighting guy, but my company does everything, and we like to think we do everything well. thought I'd share some pics of my current job. been at it all week but so far I've only taken one photo. I'll take some more tomorrow night if I don't freeze first. lighting is much less active than my typical day and I'll tell you it gets chilly.

the only pic for today is one of the 3 transformers, we went with cast's master series 1500W. never used them before, but so far I've loved working with them, I've only used hadco, and alliance in the past. the lights are alliance brand, my client selected them after looking into cast, unique and kichler. so far we've installed 103 lights, most are downlights up in the trees. which as yall know ain't no fun in 30˚ weather w/ wind off a lake.

anyways sorry for the teaser thread, had nothing to do and thought I'd get the thread started a day early, while the wife watches her cantonese soap operas... which I wouldn't understand even if I wanted to watch.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-14-2009, 10:01 PM
Well Brandon, let me tell you.... 30˚F is not all that cold my friend. Last night it was -35˚ here... and tonight we are expecting it to get a bit colder! Be thankful that you can still be out there doing your job! :)

Have a great day.

Lite4
01-14-2009, 10:06 PM
Hey Brandon,
Good start, I look forward to seeing your pics. I like how you label the individual runs with the labeler. Nice touch.

LightYourNight
01-14-2009, 10:18 PM
Ya awesome idea with the labeler! I've always used 3m number wire markers in the red dispenser. The labeler is much easy to understand. Mind if I borrow your method? :clapping:

LightYourNight
01-14-2009, 10:25 PM
more 10g wire = small voltage taps... pros cons?

BrandonV
01-14-2009, 10:45 PM
feel free, we use it extensively w/ irrigation systems so its handy. I used pretty much all 10g wire on this job except for 1 run of 8 and 2 so far of 12

LightYourNight
01-14-2009, 11:19 PM
feel free, we use it extensively w/ irrigation systems so its handy. I used pretty much all 10g wire on this job except for 1 run of 8 and 2 so far of 12

oh sorry. that wire looked like 12. you must have long runs with lots of wattage.

David Gretzmier
01-15-2009, 01:30 AM
Man, those 1500 watt trans seem to crowded quick. I'd love to land on a 100 fixture plus job right about now. good luck !

TXNSLighting
01-15-2009, 12:17 PM
Yeh thats what i need... hell id even take a 50 light job! Yet others who dont even do lighting full time are geting them...:realmad:

Hurry up with the rest of the pics.

David Gretzmier
01-15-2009, 07:21 PM
Oh,easily, it is the folks that do other stuff who get most of the lighting jobs.

I would guess that there will be 350 low voltage "professional" lighting jobs done in my area this year, and 90% will be done by landscapers and landscape architects that also do trees, lawns, shrubs, etc. They are simply in front of the customer more so they get hired.

Sad to say, at least in my area, this also leads to 90% of the jobs being just decent to very poor.

BrandonV
01-15-2009, 07:21 PM
now now, I do do lighting, but not exclusive. we do "projects" start to finish, we did the install 1.5 years ago and while doing that sleeved everything for the lights to follow once everyone's mind was made up. anyways, we completed the wiring portion of things today (unless more lights are added) but they'll be able to look over everything over the weekend (we're not working tomorrow, it was cold enough there today w/ a constant 12mph wind.

I forgot the nikon today, but took some daytime photos w/ the iphone, I'll go up one night next week and position everything.
-1st pic is how I'm rigging up the zones, everyone ok w/ this? I tape them and then stick each in a silicone filled tube.
-2nd uplight hiding in the abellias, shines (1 of 3) on a big magnolia
-3rd 24" area light, everything else is 18" but this one had a height disadvantage
-4th view down to jet ski parking, couple of path light and about 3 downs
-5th transformer yall saw yesterday cleaned up and piped.

BrandonV
01-15-2009, 07:26 PM
-6th path in front yard up to turf area. there are some uplights on the big beech trees way back in the distance and a couple on the cryptomerias (not my idea though)
-7th large tree to the right of previous pic, 2 down lights and 3 up lights. not sure how this looks yet, if the uplights down throw far enough for the client i may install a couple on the inside of the tree about half way up, suggestions?
-8th trans 2&3 located on other side of home
-9th run of wires heading to the front yard.

klkanders
01-15-2009, 09:10 PM
Brandon,
Thanks for being brave enough to post your pictures. Looks like a nice property and project. I am sure some will nit pick this and that but you knew that coming in.
One question I have is with the first picture showing your wire connection. Do you feel it will keep your wires secure? I personally would skip the black tape....just put them right in your silicone tube and twist them and push up and down to get the silicone to fill any voids.
Keep the pics coming ............

Thanks
Keith

BrandonV
01-15-2009, 10:07 PM
I'd think they're much more secure than wire nuts, you can really crank these suckers down. I tried the junction kits by alliance once, but they're designed for nothing bigger than 12g home runs and as you can tell most of the properties I deal with are covering larger distances so I though this up. It's an expensive method, but the spilt bolts are designed specifically for this so I'm comfortable with it. also w/ the one run of 8g there is no better way to do it in my mind. also with the spilt bolts, when something needs to be changed I can just add/delete the wire for the fixture

Lite4
01-15-2009, 11:20 PM
In pic one, those connections will work as long as they are completely immersed in the silicone. I use the Ace for the very reason you speak of; I can crank down on the nut and hold the wires securely. I am jealous of your job. I have had zilch for work in the past 4 months. Glad to see your staying busy. Looking forward to seeing your night pics.

TXNSLighting
01-15-2009, 11:21 PM
As long as your charging what we normally charge for this im ok with it :laugh: Its lookin pretty good. Cant wait for some nighttime shots.

Mark B
01-16-2009, 08:12 AM
Looks like a great job for this time of the year. Don't forget to tell us what you charged for the job. LOL

David Gretzmier
01-16-2009, 02:09 PM
I'll not nitpic. I too am jealous of anyone getting big jobs right now. Heck, small jobs too.

OK, one nitpic, not for you but..The only issue I have with those big tubes is I have never found them with labels on both sides of the connection in any irrigation or lighting repair job. so you end up cutting and redoing all the wires.

as an aside...

I wish there was some sort of code we could use to talk about costs, profit, and how much we billed for jobs ( although I think what you billed is fine ) that would allow us to communicate financials among us without informing the public. some sort of formula that is distibuted by email, and only available to those folks who have 100 posts or more on the lighting side of lawnsite. say, this jobs cost me 1.8 snarfs and i billed 3.4 boogleys, with snarf and boogley being a multiple of a dollar amount that only we know.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-16-2009, 02:14 PM
David, that ability exists... it is Called the AOLP forum. Although, in over a year participating there I have not seen many members talk too openly about money issues.

Regards.

BrandonV
01-19-2009, 05:56 PM
I'm up here right now. I'll take some photos might put them up tonight, not going to adjust anything tonight because too cold. Just looking if I need more lights.

Lite4
01-19-2009, 06:45 PM
post some pics.

BrandonV
01-19-2009, 09:18 PM
can't post pics from the iphone for some reason. here are some quickies I took tonight so the boss can see what to add/change. one thing I didn't realize that I will have to change is all the lights came w/ 35W 36˚ spot bulbs, so I'm going to have to change them to something w/ a wider throw. I had hoped I put them high enough up in the trees it wouldn't matter, but live and learn.

BrandonV
01-19-2009, 09:20 PM
here's part two

Chris J
01-19-2009, 09:33 PM
Looks good, but I have to ask; with all the trees, why was there a need for path lights? Thanks for posting the photos though. We open ourselves up when we do that.

BrandonV
01-19-2009, 09:41 PM
they're pretty active at night and want the steps well lit, that and most of the tree lights are dl the woods, the paths are mulch (except for the steps) so they wanted them to delineate where to walk

worx
01-19-2009, 09:54 PM
Hey Brandon it looks great to me, but let me ask why not light the "face" of the columns at the entryway?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-19-2009, 10:02 PM
Brandon, are you open to hearing some ideas that you could use on future jobs based on things that have been installed on this job?

BrandonV
01-19-2009, 10:13 PM
Hey Brandon it looks great to me, but let me ask why not light the "face" of the columns at the entryway?

would have if concrete wasn't flush, homeowner didn't want cables run across the roof to up there either, metal roof, and it wasn't important enough to them for me to saw it up to put in a well.

go w/ the ideas

Chris J
01-19-2009, 10:21 PM
I also get the impression that you are an employee of the company and have no vested interest? If so, I think it's awesome that you visit here to gain knowledge and insight for your benefit as well as gaining ground with your employer. Am I correct in my assumption?

BrandonV
01-19-2009, 10:30 PM
no I'm the head hole digger in charge, when I say it wasn't important enough I mean the homeowner deemed it wasn't worth scaring up his driveway. I'd rather of had the light there, though I must say it turned out better than I thought. what's you're plan, more than eager to learn.

BrandonV
01-19-2009, 10:34 PM
Brandon, are you open to hearing some ideas that you could use on future jobs based on things that have been installed on this job?

go w/ the ideas, if you suggest something I might even change it on this one, not quite finished like I said, actually need to try a different fixture I think for a couple of the lights because I've got a little bit of glare, thought a longer shroud would knock that out.

irrig8r
01-19-2009, 10:39 PM
I was looking at the view up those wide steps and thinking of all the hot spots...

Is it an area from which the lights will be seen often?

Are plants going to block the view from below of some of those up the slope to the right of the stairs?

If not, some kind of glare shielding is in order...

BrandonV
01-19-2009, 10:52 PM
http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=132243&stc=1&d=1232414364
this one? I don't think they'll be down this far often, the lake is actually WAY down, the water normally comes up to the 2nd step, we actually just put the sand in on the lake floor this week because of the drop. when I took this pic I actually wadded out into the lake as far as my boots would let me. but I'll defiantly remember to ask. thanks for catching that.

irrig8r
01-19-2009, 10:56 PM
Ah... there ya go.

Yes, that's the one, and I guess it's not an issue then. :-)

Otherwise, placement looks good to me.

I find these two situations to be challenging, and usually requiring nighttime to get the placement just right to avoid glare:

1. A path that traverses a hillside where the light can be seen from below, like switchback paths, or steep stairs leading up above a driveway.

2. Pathlights near a pool deck when seen from across the pool where the underside of the fixture is reflected in the water.

BrandonV
01-19-2009, 11:00 PM
i wish the lake would stay low (not really) the sand on the beach looks great. well goodnight gents, please feel free to rip me a new one, i'll look over it tomorrow.

Chris J
01-19-2009, 11:02 PM
what's you're plan, more than eager to learn.
Hell, I don't know. You did a decent job, but with all the limitations you described with not being able to core drill or run up the roof line I couldn't tell you what I would have done different. Except maybe convince the HO to have more trust in your abilities. But you'll need references in their area to pull that off. Did you show them how clean a good core drill and recessed fixture could look? I'm a big proponent of "what you do to one side, you must do to the other. In your case, for example, I probably would have back lit the bush on the right side of the home with wall washing on both sides then down light the middle. You said you couldn't do down lighting on this job, so what's the point in suggestions? Either you do what you know how to do, or you do it their way. Who's the pro here, the HO?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-19-2009, 11:09 PM
I share Gregg's concerns. Path lights work great at delineating and effectively lighting flat, level paths. However very very few pathlights have been properly designed to light paths that change elevation! When viewed from below, as in at the base of a set of stone steps leading up, they cause a ton of glare. Sometimes it can be distracting enough that the glare impedes the safety of anyone walking up the steps.

I deal with a lot of elevation changes on the properties here. There are only a small handful of path/spread fixtures that control the light output such that the glare can be adjusted when viewed from below. A few from Nightscaping, One from Coppermoon, Vista used to have some until they changed their lens configuration this past year. (Also MR16 based pathlights will work well... more of these coming out on the market soon!)

Basically you need to find fixtures that have the lamp deeply recessed out of view or that provide an adjustable collar that the lamp installs behind. This will eliminate the direct line of sight into the fixture and eliminate the glare when viewed from below.

Regards.

(Just saw your explanation of the sight lines from the lake... won't be an issue I suppose... but keep this in mind for the future. Regards)

BrandonV
01-20-2009, 07:10 AM
thanks for the comments, the path lights I used (alliance) can be screwed down so when I actually go through and adjust things I'll be sure to check for hot spots, the HO wanted to wait and do this with me when things are warmer... thanks guys for you're help, and let me pose this question
with this shrub (thuga on the left)
http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=132239&stc=1&d=1232414271
it's very confined area here and I'm not happy w/ the way it's lit at the moment. WWYD? put another flood on the left? I feel that need to be done and both need to be on risers, or maybe use a par36 w/ a softer bulb. I'm using just one 20W flood right now, but I don't have the room to get back far enough? maybe just a wash on the rear of the shrub?

worx
01-20-2009, 09:46 AM
James which Copper Moon fixture are you referring to that has the ability to be adjusted?

klkanders
01-20-2009, 11:02 AM
Steve,
I believe he is referring to the 300, 500, 700, 730, or 750 Path lights.
They have a set screw that enables you to set the top up or down on the stem.
I have used many they are solid and simple.

Keith

worx
01-20-2009, 11:31 AM
Thanks Kieth I have been cruising there site and they look great. How long have you been using Copper Moon?

klkanders
01-20-2009, 02:25 PM
Steve,
I think about 3-4 years. They do have some nice products.

Keith

worx
01-20-2009, 04:49 PM
Thanks Kieth

NightLightingFX
01-20-2009, 05:49 PM
You guys will probably disagree with me but here is my oppinion.

Brandon,
My question to you would be, does the lighting you did for the front of the house really enhance aesthetics? Think about it, is it a scene you really enjoy looking at? in my oppinion highlighting columns from the side doesn't cut it. Since you are limited in so many ways to accent the front of the house, I personally would not have even touched it. In my oppinion if you are limited by obsticals to create a worthy lighting portrait - don't even mess with it. I would have focused my efforts on the back yard.

To be honest, to me it looks like there was no artistic thought as to how to light the front of the house. It looks like you put fixtures only in places you were able to regardless of artistic appeal or not.

There was a picture looking out to the lake through a bunch of trees. I don't think you had a night time pic of it. But it looks like you put a bunch of path lights leading down to the lake. It is hard to get the full view as to what is the best thing to do. But my first thought was to strategically light some of the trees to create some kind of night lighting forest scene. Something like what Tom Williams does check out his website. www.wlld.us/home/index.shtml I hope I don't sound to much like a pompes (sp?) a$$.
~Ned

NightLightingFX
01-20-2009, 06:09 PM
It is hard to know for sure what to do by looking at a picture. I think what I would probably do is just focus on accenting the Brick venear (sp?) where ever possible vs. lighting shrubs and etc.
~Ned

BrandonV
01-20-2009, 08:07 PM
There was a picture looking out to the lake through a bunch of trees. I don't think you had a night time pic of it. But it looks like you put a bunch of path lights leading down to the lake. It is hard to get the full view as to what is the best thing to do. But my first thought was to strategically light some of the trees to create some kind of night lighting forest scene. Something like what Tom Williams does check out his website. www.wlld.us/home/index.shtml I hope I don't sound to much like a pompes (sp?) a$$.
~Ned

I there are a ton of down lights over there, I didn't take that many photos over there. because of needing to change the bulbs to soften it/ flood the area better. any suggestion on what type of bulb? right now they have 36W 36˚

I'll talk to the HO about maybe drilling the concrete and putting in some up lights on the front once more when he returns. ok?*trucewhiteflag*

jnewton
01-20-2009, 08:45 PM
Brandon - regardless of the particular merits of this job, I think it's great that you are willing to open yourself to constructive criticism without getting your back up. You're off to a great start by checking your ego at the door, and listening to what these guys have to say. Humility goes a long way around here. John

David Gretzmier
01-20-2009, 10:37 PM
This is why I don't post photos. my ego is too big and I don't handle critics of my work very well. I'd love to think i'm open to learning, and I kinda am, but not from my mistakes that others point out. I like learning from other folks mistakes.

Plus, I really don't know how to post photo's. Heck, I can barely take photos.

Lite4
01-20-2009, 10:49 PM
Hey Brandon,
You might look into some spread lenses for your lights if you are just looking to spread out the beam a bit.

Mark B
01-20-2009, 10:57 PM
Hey Brandon, what lake are you doing this on? I'm jealous that someone has a big job like that this time of the year.

NightLightingFX
01-21-2009, 03:09 PM
One way to light the front entrance without core drilling is to pursuade the HO to place a planter at the base of each column. Use the planter to hide a directional fixture behind the planter, so you can up light the columns and create a nice back lighting effect for the plants in the planter.
~Ned

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-21-2009, 04:16 PM
Brandon, I would suggest you try a BAB (20w 40 deg) lamp with an optical spread lens in front. This will soften and spread the beam pattern from your downlights. You don't have much if any ambient light there to deal with so 20W lamps will be more then enough to create an awesome moonlight effect through the trees. (My speciality)

If you really want to kick things up a knotch in your moonlighting, try out the Luxxo LED MR16 lamp. At 216 Lm and 3100K with 60 degree optics it is the perfect lamp for downlighting from trees in that environment.

Regards.

BrandonV
01-21-2009, 09:55 PM
thanks James, I actually called up my rep and he's sending me some 35w 60˚ bulbs right now, I actually was expecting these down lamps to come w/ that to start with but I that doesn't work out I'm defiantly game for the led, I've done just a little with leds but I defiantly see the advantage of them for down lights, aka not breaking the ladder out so frequently.

BrandonV
01-21-2009, 10:01 PM
Hey Brandon, what lake are you doing this on? I'm jealous that someone has a big job like that this time of the year.

I'll tell you what mark, If you want to see it I'll call you the next time I'm heading that way, you could probably meet me at the mall off I40. This project is up towards Stokesdale so Greensboro is on my way up. I'll probably be going up next Weds/Thurs or Friday depending on schedule... working in High Point right now. As you may of noticed I get around quite a bit. I might actually be in Whisett next week installing some trees w/ our spade truck.

Chris J
01-21-2009, 10:45 PM
Brandon, I think you did great work on the job. Keep it up pal. It pays to get criticized by posting your projects, as long as your not an egotistical ass like myself. Complements to you sir!

TXNSLighting
01-22-2009, 01:01 AM
Brandon, I think you did great work on the job. Keep it up pal. It pays to get criticized by posting your projects, as long as your not an egotistical ass like myself. Complements to you sir!

:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

I hope i get to meet you one day.

Pro-Scapes
01-25-2009, 10:48 AM
I'd think they're much more secure than wire nuts, you can really crank these suckers down. I tried the junction kits by alliance once, but they're designed for nothing bigger than 12g home runs and as you can tell most of the properties I deal with are covering larger distances so I though this up. It's an expensive method, but the spilt bolts are designed specifically for this so I'm comfortable with it. also w/ the one run of 8g there is no better way to do it in my mind. also with the spilt bolts, when something needs to be changed I can just add/delete the wire for the fixture


Nice project. I notice the cast pathlight in target range of the irrigation head. What i did on some was drill a small weep hole in the bronze to make sure all water vacated. Thoes 3156 lamps do not like irri spray. Make sure the irri doesnt run when the lights are on

Soldering thoes instead of using the lugs your using can be more cost effective and more secure also tin coating everything helps improve the corrosion resistance should your grease be comprimised.

Your first pic I see alot of wire hanging out of the lugs. I try to get the jacket right up before the jaws. Excellent work on the labeler.

Mike M
01-25-2009, 02:28 PM
Brandon,

Tip, from an experienced beginner:

A demo kit will help with each particular job. Your learning curve will accelerate and you will rapidly build confidence with the homeowner (and yourself). After a couple medium to large sized demo's, you'll quickly figure out how to deal with dense shrubs, what not to miss (various building surfaces and key focal points), and you'll find you own way to fill every dark hole and create a complete and unified portrait. Also, Nate Mullen's book can separate you from the landscapers who just put fixtures in dirt to uplight all the plant material.

I would like to see more info from James on his downlighting forte, and anyone else who does a lot of this. It's not just a great effect, it's a dynamic style that also helps comply with strict ordinances. I have been strapping my down-lights to trees for my demo's, and the effort is worth it.

For summer 2009 (I'm on leave through May) my design goal is to liberate myself from the beds as much as possible; to begin core-drilling, to do more structure-mounted down-lights, and to continue studying moonlighting from large trees. Either that, or I'll have something to think about while standing in long breadlines.

rlpsystems
01-28-2009, 08:40 PM
Heres a picture of some pathway lights I installed today.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-28-2009, 08:55 PM
Wow that path light is absolutely HUGE!!! Look at it... it is almost as big as the entry portico! Must me one monster of a lamp in that thing! :laugh:

rlpsystems
01-28-2009, 10:34 PM
Wow that path light is absolutely HUGE!!! Look at it... it is almost as big as the entry portico! Must me one monster of a lamp in that thing! :laugh:

Yeah. Rented two cranes, and took almost four hours to dig a 10 foot hole that was 20 foot deep for the stem assembly to be concreted in. I dont think the HO will pay the bill, but it WAS worth it... And the lamp.... I'm sunburned, and so is everyone within a 500 foot radius....But at night .....Its AWESOME

TXNSLighting
01-29-2009, 12:10 AM
What brand is that?

BrandonV
01-29-2009, 08:01 AM
really it's probably more efficient that way, instead of 20 little lights all over the place you take care of it with one. kudos

wurkn with amish
01-29-2009, 11:10 AM
Brandon,
excuse me if you already posted it.
where did you get that labeler?
Nice big job too!

BrandonV
01-29-2009, 01:58 PM
Lowes I think...

rlpsystems
01-29-2009, 09:14 PM
Wow that path light is absolutely HUGE!!! Look at it... it is almost as big as the entry portico! Must me one monster of a lamp in that thing! :laugh:

Hey James. Nice website. Looks awesome.

klkanders
01-31-2009, 10:25 AM
Brandon,
Any updates and pics on this yet?

Keith

BrandonV
01-31-2009, 06:01 PM
going back up monday weather permitting. have to remulch the property and I have a couple of alliance dl150s I'm going to install in a couple of places where sightlines were an issue. that and I have 10 35w 60˚ bulbs I'm going to swap out in some places to do a test run before I order the rest.

klkanders
01-31-2009, 06:18 PM
Ok sounds good....we will let it slide this time! :)
Weather permitting? Its 45 deg. here today (thats above zero for a change) and the sun is shining and some snow is melting. Back to reality with another cold front moving in tomorrow. I did get out for a bit today and checked on some lighting issues.

Thanks!
Keith