View Full Version : Let me have it...

07-04-2010, 09:50 AM
I've been playing around with a demo kit at my own home trying to get some good pictures for marketing materials. I'm limited to 7 bullets and 2 china hats but here's what I did in front. I'd be interested in any comments or criticisms anyone might have.

There is a large sodium-vapor street light just at the end of my driveway, about 30 or so feet from the house, that is kind of difficult to overcome.

I know the tree needs more light, I only had the one left after doing the house and just wanted something on it so it wasn't in the dark.

Please be brutally honest!

07-04-2010, 10:43 AM
I like the house, the only thing I'd do is aim the spots on either side of the front door a bit more vertical to help accentuate the height of the home.

And yes the tree needs a larger flood.

07-04-2010, 11:36 AM
I like the house, the only thing I'd do is aim the spots on either side of the front door a bit more vertical to help accentuate the height of the home.

And yes the tree needs a larger flood.

And even up the shadows so they are the same size.

07-04-2010, 11:41 AM
I had some trouble with the lights on the sides of the door. The Alliance demo kit I'm using has the bullets installed on top of wire spools. Great for fast and easy setup, but not so great for getting them to sit perfect in a bed. I originally had those 2 lights adjusted so that they were lighting much further up the house but I had to almost point them away fromt he house to achieve that and then that area got a little dim so it wasn't drawing the eye into the entry like I wanted it to. I think I need a 35W narrower beam lamp to achieve the look I actually want there. I also think I need well lights instead of bullets to really get what I want.

So that's the long version of I agree with both you guys, I had the same thoughts myself but was having a very hard time correcting those issues with the demo kit lights.

07-04-2010, 12:14 PM
Well you are in the right place for advice that's for sure...lots of knowledgeable people on this site and most are willing to bend over backwards to help a member out.
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Lite Headed
07-04-2010, 12:26 PM
Beware of well lights in Texas. They are fire ant magnets. I wouldn't use them anywhere except when uplighting a tree from sodded areas. I would prefer to see the home lit with par 36 lamps that are in a stake fixture configuration.
You need more height on the home and the par 36 may help, but you may need some soffit lighting especially for the peak above the front door. You might also consider some low wattage gutter mounted fixtures to wash the roof to add a bit more height.
I would also consider lighting the shrubs that comprise the foundation plantings from the front of the bed using area/path lighting or washers.

07-04-2010, 01:19 PM
I had not considered fire ants being a problem but I can see how they would. We have our property treated every year so we don't have any ants but it's a good thing to keep in mind elsewhere.

I don't really want to use par 36 lamps if I can avoid it, I'd prefer to keep the control I have with the mr 16. I had thought about doing something with that peak, I don't really know that I want to do any soffit lighting but low wattage gutter lights would probably work well.

The landscape is the next project, intial plan is to do the house and trees then work on the plant material. The ligustrums on the ends look pretty good backlit (you cna see that some on the one on the right), I'm not sure what we'll do with the rest of it.

I'm probably using mostly Cast products so I have to stage this, it can add up pretty fast.

07-04-2010, 05:38 PM
Your placement of your fixtures for the house are in a great spot. Just ensure that they are around one foot out from the foundation. Change the MR 16 bulbs in these to 20 Watt narrow spots. (12 degree) Aim the fixtures so that the eaves are lit and graze the wall. The brick on the wall should be even with light and with no bright spots on the wall itself.
As for the two bullets at the front door...35 Watt 36 degree bulbs and once again aim the light towards the top. You can have these out away from the house say two to three feet.
Always try to stagger your path lights. Illuminate the step at the front door for safety and move the other out where your turf and garden meet on the opposite side. By having your entrance slightly brighter than the rest of the house this will guide your guests to the front entrance.
As far as the tree I would be placing four well lights MR 16's symmetrically around the perimeter of the drip line and would be using 35 Watt 36 or 60 degree bulbs. Maybe add one bullet at the base of the trunk and illuminate that main trunk.
Its always nice to have several different degree of bulbs on hand to achieve the perfect balance of the overall scene.
Just my 2 cents so I hope it helps you out. Have fun.


07-05-2010, 09:31 PM
"There is a large sodium-vapor street light just at the end of my driveway, about 30 or so feet from the house, that is kind of difficult to overcome."

Ask whoever is responsible for the sodium street light to install a "house shield" or "house-side shield." Tell them it lights up your bedroom and you can't sleep. Most will do it at N/C. It will help you to get more subtle effects than you can now and allow you to use lower wattages effectively. And maybe even sleep better.


07-05-2010, 09:32 PM
That's a good suggestion. It does in fact light up my daughter's room quite a bit but, I think she actually likes that. When it burns out (it has a couple of times since we've moved here) she complains and starts asking to sleep in our room. Maybe I'll just have to get her a night light...

David Gretzmier
07-06-2010, 01:48 AM
I think the home looks pretty good, but I would bring the lights out to maybe 14-18 inches, and maybe bump up to 35 watters if you need. narrow triangles get you drama, so that would be 12 to 24 degrees, a nice flood would be with 20 watt 30-36 degrees, or 35 watts for more brightness. 60 degree 35 watters would get you full wash flood on the home and still reach the eaves, but not very night sky friendly.

I am not a fan of shielding your home from street lights, they are there for walking safety and security. while I love drama and a well uplit home, and light certainly looks better contrasted with dark, safety and security for your street rank higher for me.

07-06-2010, 10:24 AM
I think you're pretty close to ideal. Just a few suggestions.

I'd move the two uplights by the front door about 2 ft. farther away from the door. This will help to accentuate the inset-outset stacked brick work and angle the carriage light shadows so they aim inwards instead of straight up and down.

The other thing is to very precisely aim the bullets to eliminate the hot spots on the house. This is not so easy to do, but is easier when the bullet is less than than a foot from the structure.

07-06-2010, 04:50 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. I went ahead and got some permanent stuff to set this up. I'm using a couple of Cast bullets by the door (those will be visible and I really like the bronze) and Alliance bullets in the other areas where no one is going to see the fixture. No path lights for now, my wife wants the Cast Savannah and they just aren't in the budget at the moment. I'm putting 35W 36* lamps in the Alliance fixtures and I'm going to try 35W 24* lamps at the front door. I did move the fixtures back about a foot from where they were but we've got Azelias right there by the front door so that may be as far back as I can go. I'm going to tweak on it tonight and see how it looks and I'll post some more pictures of the "final" product for the house.

Next step will be the 2 Live Oaks in the front and then maybe a couple of gutter mount fixtures for the peak, depending on how things look with the new setup.

07-06-2010, 10:55 PM
OK, here is the "final" version of the house. I'm MUCH happier with the way this looks. Steve, I'd like to especially thank you for the suggestion to move the front door lights out a couple of feet, that really helped me achieve what I was after.

So, what say you guys now?

07-06-2010, 10:56 PM
Much better!
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Lite Headed
07-06-2010, 11:36 PM
OK, here is the "final" version of the house. I'm MUCH happier with the way this looks. Steve, I'd like to especially thank you for the suggestion to move the front door lights out a couple of feet, that really helped me achieve what I was after.

So, what say you guys now?

Too hot on the front left corner, and the front right corner either needs a minor fixture relocation or a major tree form ligustrum pruning. :laugh:
You could still bring in additional height by adding fixtures to the gutters to softly accentuate the roof.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-06-2010, 11:46 PM
Chillax... it is much better now than previous. Enjoy!

07-06-2010, 11:51 PM
I like the shadowy backlight from the ligustrom on the right. I thought about adjusting the left side out a little, I still might.

Also, in my defense, I didn't take the time to setup the tripod and I shot this at 800 ISO for a faster shutter, so it's a little soft and definitely over exposed. It's not as hot in person as it looks in the picture.

I have not ruled gutter lights out, what's done is what I had a budget for right now. I still plan to add a couple of path lights and uplight the 2 live oaks as well. Too much rain has made irrigation work super slow right now and while I have plenty in the bank at the moment, I'm always hesitant to spend anything when it's slow so the rest of this will have to wait until we're busier again.

James, what would you change?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-06-2010, 11:57 PM
I would add a NS Artisan to the fascia of the main gable shining down onto the front path and just slightly grazing the Brick and window in that gable end. This will Show the elevation off nicely and remove the need for any path lights leading up to the door. Depending on the ambient light there you may need to use a FMW in the fixture, but a BAB may work.

See the effect, not the source!

07-15-2010, 11:35 PM
Alright, I adjusted the left side out to eliminate the hot spot. I think I'm going to change the 2 insets on either side of the entry to 60* spreads and change the 2 entry lights to 36*. Right now they are 36* and 24*, respectively.

I kind of played with this in PhotoShop a little.

Lite Headed
07-16-2010, 12:28 AM
It still lacks balance from left to right. The TF ligustrum may look nice with the silouette, but it blocks the light needed to balance the left and right elevation of the home. Whats more, the wattage of the fixture on the right is too hot for a proper silhouette effect.

07-16-2010, 10:15 AM
This is just my personal preference but I really like the dramatic look of a narrow beam spread when uplighting between the windows. In order to acheive that look I would place 12 degree or 24 degree bulbs on each side of the entrance. As far as the entrance goes make that your focal point and with that being said make it a little more dramatic by placing that fixture up in the gable as James suggested. I think that will make a huge difference without changing the bulbs at the entry.
You need to get more light up on the house at the right side to even things out. Focus on the house then work on adding a little splash to your trees and shrubs.
It really looks good with your placements all it needs now is some fine tuning. Great job.

Just my 2 cents.


08-01-2010, 11:52 PM
OK, so I made some of the adjustments suggested and added uplights on one of the trees in front. You can see the ambient light from the street light in the grass and on the sidewalk, it's a LOT to overcome. I called the utility to get a house side shield put on but so far all they've done is come out and take the dome lense off. I'll be calling them again in the morning.