View Full Version : Lighting up stones - advice needed

10-26-2009, 11:30 AM
Hi guys

We have customer with house near water. House located above the water level and territory have several retaining walls down to water made from "wild" stones. His landscape designer decided to do not put anything on the lawn between house and water - to make view to water from house clear and to make house visible from water. Sow there will be no trees, plants and so on - only stones and grass.

So the main question is - how to light up this landscape (house will be lit too)? We need somehow light up the grass, stones and walkways.

Now I decided to put path lights on both sides of from steps in walls, may be some tall area lights 60 ft or so near fence. And put a lot of little wall washers like stellars or starburst on this stones.

This well be looking good then looking from water - lighted rows of stones and a house above. But from the house I afraid that territory will be dark - you dont see stones and grass...

So if you guys did something like this - give advice - what can I do else with this?

Thanks! :rolleyes:

10-26-2009, 12:48 PM

Nice looking property.

Besides Path Lights down those walkways, and maybe lighting up those trees down by the water I would not illuminate the stones and grass area.

I would focus on the house as my focal point and include those trees that are close to the house. As far as the path lights go, I would choose a product that would have a very large beam spread (11" top hat at least) so that the light spills a little bit onto the rocks and turf along the pathway.

INMO I really do not like the look of those stones so I would not incorporate them into my lighting scene.

Just my 2 cents worth.


10-26-2009, 01:50 PM
Thanks Ken

Absolutely I will lite up this tree near water, also there will be some patio so I'll uplight the tree and downlight from it to the patio. Trees near house too, of course.

But I need to do something with this stones because customer put a lot of money to bring them here (from caucasus, 1000+ kms) so I think he will be sad if I dont accent them somehow :)

I think that landscape designer wants to make some mountain style landscape...

And yes, there will be some boat dock, 90% wooden and we will light it too, and the water... but rocks?! :)

10-26-2009, 04:44 PM
I am stumped!!! LOL Besides using area lights and or Stellars I am not sure anything will look really good and or not create glare while lighting those rocks.

Look to the Centaurus 12 for your area lights. They have a 12" top on a 24" stem! They will give you plenty of beam spread!! http://www.uniquelighting.com/product_pages/CENTAURUS12.htm

Great property, I am sure you will do a great job!!!

10-26-2009, 04:56 PM
Thanks Joey!

I see wide-hat path lights will do the job.

10-26-2009, 05:23 PM
No idea what kind of plants you have there but I can tell you if I was the landscape designer on this project I would still do some small beds in front of the stones and not just turf.

Just area lights planted in the gaps of the stone might look kind of repeatative(at least for my taste) Some low profile beds might really help delineate the project. It should be kept subtle as that home is a great focal point in itself.

10-26-2009, 06:15 PM
Egor, curious, what does a home like that cost in Russia? Any idea what it would be in US dollars?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-27-2009, 12:13 AM
Igor, I am with Ken 100%. Light the house, the paths where the steps are and any principal trees. Those retaining walls will look a bit much if you highlight them in any way, especially from the water.

Less is more!


10-27-2009, 11:32 AM
Thank you all guys

I think that I'll put several Stellars to lit stones, may be near path and steps and some large stones.... I agree that overlit stone walls will look to bright from the water. So I'll lit them carefully.

Joey, I dont know exactly how it cost. Today all prices for houses are different because of a crisis , low money movement etc. Before crisis I think that house like that, already built (this is built by customer) may cost around $2m. This is for house. How many land costs I dont know. This lake is about 100km from Moscow, which is a bit far away to drive every day to work and back. This is vacation house, customer have several houses near Moscow. Land at this distance is around $20 per sq.m, depends on many factors. But this house is sitting really near water - this is unsual. There is nature-saving federal law that no private constructions can be built near 100m from water - this is federal territory. People can rent this land - but the process is very complicated and expensive. So I think this land is more expensive than others.

10-27-2009, 04:53 PM
That doesnt look very big for 2 million at least in my part of the country. There is a home here for sale at 6.5M now that is about 8k sq ft on 97 acres with 3 private stocked fishing ponds

A nice home on a good sized community lake that you can fish or ski in for a 4-5k sq ft home in good condition can be had in the upper 800k to 1.5m range on 2 manicurured acres.

10-28-2009, 03:46 AM

Yes I agree that it doesnt look too big for that price. But the place matters - everything in/around/near/related to Moscow costs more that in other places.

10-28-2009, 08:51 AM
If you are looking for area lights with a bit more of an artistic bent, you might look at these. I really like the patterns these bollards throw down. Also, if you are putting in a grassy area, they are mounted to a concrete footer and are substantial enough that the lawn mower won't knock them out of allignment like a path light on a stick.
I am getting some for an upcoming project, I think they are kind of cool.


10-28-2009, 09:19 AM
Thanks Tim!
I really like this ligths. I think even tall ones will not make glare from water.
Will ask our american guys how much it will costs to take them here.

And again - they should be placed near something - walkways, fence, tree, house...

10-28-2009, 09:56 AM
While I wouldn't usually recommend this - I would consider mounting 2 MR-16 bullets at the top of the center post under the center awning to flood the property. One would have a 20W, 60 degree spread and aim at the property nearest the house; the second would have a 35W, 36 or 60 degree spead and aim at the property towards the water.

This would simulate moonlight as best as can be accomplished on the property, and would preserve the natural lines and visual flow created with the rocks. It would be critical that the light levels be very low, and that the lights be on a switch accessible from the house, a dimmer on the secondary would also be nice.

I feel that any other lighting on the rocks would be unnatural - of course the path should be lit with path lights.

10-28-2009, 10:02 AM
Steve, asumming that there will be some pation near/around tree near water and customer will use boat - I think there may be some glare from this bullets. Territory around large tree and patio I would lit from this tree of course.

I'll try to found foto from the bottom to the house so you will see that there will be glare.

10-28-2009, 10:15 AM
Btw there is nice small cave near water :)

10-28-2009, 01:44 PM

Yes I agree that it doesnt look too big for that price. But the place matters - everything in/around/near/related to Moscow costs more that in other places.

I have always wanted to see the real Russia. Maybe I need Comrade Egor as a tour guide.

Now, I know your client spent alot of money bringing in rocks from some place else but I would ask the client to go with you on it and light the trees....pathway...structure then see what they think. Maybe do a demo on the rocks. Steves idea would be ok for a utility type light but I think it would make the house look like a cyclops at night when the fixtures are on. You can downlight patio near house with this technique tho. Everyone has different ideas and that is great but no way are 2 mr16's going to make an impact on a yard this long. Up near the home yes but in the 2 lower terraces no way

You can definatly play with that little rocky cove near water. Perhaps some soft lighting in that area

10-28-2009, 04:13 PM
Sure, Mister Billy, you always can ask me about Real Russia LOL :)

I think we need to make demo for ourselfs. But this will be in spring... we put several homeruns along each stone - so we can put almost anything after all.

10-28-2009, 05:49 PM
Steve, asumming that there will be some pation near/around tree near water and customer will use boat - I think there may be some glare from this bullets. Territory around large tree and patio I would lit from this tree of course.

I'll try to found foto from the bottom to the house so you will see that there will be glare.

I see your point, the distance from the house to the water is too far. My suggestion would produce direct glare. Looks like you can use the tree by the water for moonlighting - that would be nice!

10-28-2009, 10:36 PM
Just curious. What is the winter like in that area. Will there be a heavy snow ? What about heavy rains that will wash out that dirt behind the walls causing a huge mess

10-29-2009, 02:57 AM
I think winter is like in canada or so. 2-3 ft of snow I think is usual for our place, outside of city. Of course depends on the temperature, cold winter or not... Usua temp is -15C/-20C up to -30C very rarely.
As for rain - we are not in tropics so there is no such rain which could wash out something.

Let There Be Light
10-30-2009, 10:41 PM
In my honest opinion, I would use softliters or miniwash liters in copper from Nightscaping. They do a great job in washing walls, stones, etc. Another idea is to place a SCB socket into a pvc cap and place it inside various "pockets" of the stone. Using a single contact bayonet LED, the homeowner can then change the color simply by changing the diode. This is a very cool effect.

Good Luck,