View Full Version : Castle in need of some expert fresh eyes.

02-19-2009, 04:52 AM
I really could use some help from you experienced guys. I got this great job last year. We did the lighting on the front of the house and entry area by the garages(that the back side of this photo). It turned out great and they love it. This winter they finished redoing the rock walls and pool area going out to the lake. There is a lighted infinity pool at the top and then a lighted 3 spout fountain where the staircases meet at the bottom.

This customer is very picky and detests shadows of any kind. It makes their house look really spooky. We did all wash on the front and sides. They really like smooth even soft illumination.

Do you guys have any general strategies on how we could get this low wash on the rock walls and house. I know its depends on a lot of factors but I could really use some help and some fresh eyes on this project to help me get a little more creative.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated especially from you guys that have been doing this for many years.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-19-2009, 08:34 AM
John, has the site been prepared with conduit through the walls/foundations? Are the areas behind the retaining walls soil or hardscape? Does the client want this to show from the lake looking to the house or is their perspective from the house looking out to the lake only? (around here, we try to minimalize the view of the property from the lake so as to keep things discreet and the neighbours happy.)

02-19-2009, 08:53 AM
James is right. Are there conduits... Whats in that courtyard ? Need pics of that. Is there anyprewire ?

If you did the front while the back was under construction why didnt you prewire and pre sleeve everything. We have one going in like this that already has almost 6k ft in wire in it and its not done.

I am presleeving for kim mini vaults below the pillars like you have. The coach light fixtures I would probably change out to a fixture like Unique Orion 12 to uplight and downlight the upper middle area

Walls are straight forward as are the turrets. To create that wide washing effect on a large home like this I have used a cm125 fixture with 35w 60 degree and back it off the home a bit more. Lamp selection and fixture location will of course depend on how bright they want it. I would definatly demo a few areas just to make sure the client and I are on the same page

Is the home already automated for your controls or will you be doing it?

02-19-2009, 09:04 AM
Just a quick first thought....maybe do some down lighting from the eaves...works great above patio areas because it also lights the patios so you get double use out of the light...something like the lights above the front door on this home (though I wish I could have mounted them flush):


these are all Kichler LED fixtures, btw...

02-19-2009, 12:58 PM
First thanks for responding guys.

All Areas are accessible and there has been prep wire ran in hard to get places. There is soil on each wall tier and the patio area stone paver which has wire preran in front of archways. The upper level needs lit too (i was thinking cans from above).

The coach lights have to stay.

The transformers are all on upb modules and already in place with leads going outside in a variety of controls room hidden around the exterior

They really want the house to look great from across the water. Kind of the main goal. They don't care about the neighbors.

They want very smooth and even low wattage not to bright. Thanks so much for the advice but I don't think the cm125 w/60 degree lamp just backed off a little bit from the house is going to be what we want.

I need something that is recessed or a little less conspicuous by the archs on the patio. We did a demo of some well lights right up by the columns and they didn't like the way it made the stone blocks look from close up.. So im kind stuck there The genius designer said we should get light boxes and aim them at the house from far back. I stopped that train as fast as I could.

I was almost thinking lots of small bi pin wall washers with 10 watt lamps across the retaining walls behind the shrubs and some pathway fixtures in front of shrubs.

I'll post some more pics today.

Thanks guys!

02-19-2009, 11:01 PM
what wattage kich led are you using there smity???

02-20-2009, 12:12 PM
the kim vaults look promising. do you get a scallop shaped light pattern with them?

02-20-2009, 04:04 PM
what wattage kich led are you using there smity???

Anywhere from the 4.5 to 12.4 (20 to 50w equiv). I think these actually put out more light than what the stated equivalent is.

The fixtures above the door are 12.4... in front of the two small pillars are 4.5

Out of 110 fixtures, I only had one that had issues (replaced no questions asked by Kichler, of course).

02-21-2009, 06:11 AM
Heres some more pics. Sorry bout the snow. I'm gonna run a bunch a tests as soon as the weather gets better.

What would you do with lighting these retaining walls? Wash fixtures on wall behind large shrubs? I was also thinking of putting some spread lights tucked in the smaller shrubs. Opinions?

I was going to put small deck lights on inside wall for stairs.

Opinions on lighting other parts of the house?

I really appriciate any responses. Its good to hear other peoples opinions it really opens up my mind to different techniques.

02-23-2009, 10:55 AM
thats a whole lotta glarebombs.

That how is light colored. I have done homes this color with 35w no problem.

I would probably try to recess Kim mini vaults in the patio below the pillars.

What type of lamp are in all thoes lanterns

02-23-2009, 12:29 PM
the glarebombs have 4-10 watt candle lamps each.

02-23-2009, 12:37 PM
This house is the perfect example why I am trying so hard to get real tight with the custom homebuilders in my area. There is nother more disappointing than to get to project where the customers have the money for me to do an incredible job but my hands are tied due to ignorant design choices.

Those glare bombs are like finger nails on a chalk board to me. It also looks like there is a lot of concrete patio etc. That makes it real hard to do anything there. Imagine what it would have been like if you were involved with the initial design - wouldn't that have cool!

Mike or James probably have some good insight for a job like this. It looks pretty challenging to me.

02-23-2009, 12:59 PM
Fortunately there is wire ran under the patio for me.

I have access to almost all the location except the uper level where I was going to suggest recessed cans in the eaves.... something that should have been done during the initial house wiring.

02-23-2009, 01:33 PM
For the glare bombs you can look for some low wattage flicker flame light bulbs. My first thought is to do a lot of up lighting around the structure. On the patio that my cause glare issues? I am curious to know what some of the Big Dogs think what would be a good approach.