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Old 08-23-2009, 09:22 PM
GreenLight GreenLight is offline
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Techniques questions...

Just curious as to how most people are placing their lights on tight topiary (sp) trees. Im on a job right now where they have anchored in the corners of the house with Foster Hollies and the foundation bed itself doesn't have a whole lot of room. The Foster Holly doesn't really give great results on vertical uplighting from the base as the light just seems to get swallowed up as soon as it hits the the foliage. It's not providing great results from the dripline either because of it's conical structure. It's almost as if I should be hitting it from a distance of greater magnitude, but it would just about put the light in the grass and would probably give me a much greater wide light on the house than I want.

Am I better suited just uplighting the trunk vertically and then attempting some type of structural downlighting? I just really am not crazy about the results im getting and wondering what others have done with specifically the foster holly variety and or the single trunk crape myrtle with the wide canopy.
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:39 PM
irrig8r irrig8r is offline
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Topiaries are hard to light directly. Silhouetting from the back side sometimes works, if the topiary is in front of a wall.

Downlighting from above can work if located under a soffit or other overhanging structure.

I've tried to figure out ways to light tiered topiaries in the foreground along paths, but the internal downlighting I have in mind won't hold up to errant cuts with hedge shears.

Forget uplighting, IMO.
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:46 PM
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Pro-Scapes Pro-Scapes is offline
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I like to light them from behind as gregg is saying too. If I must light them from the front the fixture is sometimes moved away considerably.

All depends on the shape and size in which they are cut and maintained along with the setting they are in. Somewhere I have some pics of some we created a background behind it then let the plant just become a Silhouett. Very nice looking with how they were cut.
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:54 PM
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Lite4 Lite4 is offline
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I prefer to silhouette them if I can and if they have an interesting enough shape to them.* Downlighting may be an option from the soffit above if possible.* Dark plants always suck up the light, try a lamp with some punch.* Maybe a 20 watt ESX or if you really need a punch try a 20 watt BBF, also maybe try using a blue dichroic lense to manipulate the color temp on the light closer to 4000k to bring out the greener color of the holly and make it pop since it is of high visual interest in the landscape.* Just my .02
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:56 PM
GreenLight GreenLight is offline
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Are you backlighting from inside the canopy or trying to get behind the dripline, or does it matter? I will try this method and see how it works. Im just a bit hacked because these are cornering plants and I really wanted to have anchor trees to front side light, but I guess I don't really have a good option with these because they reside so close to the bed line.
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:57 PM
GreenLight GreenLight is offline
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Nice pic Tim...

Thanks for everyone's responses and help also.
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Old 08-23-2009, 10:00 PM
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Lite4 Lite4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenLight View Post
Nice pic Tim...

Thanks for everyone's responses and help also.
When silhouetting, I don't backlight the plant or object itself, but rather the wall, plant material, or whatever is behind the object.
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Old 08-23-2009, 10:27 PM
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Pro-Scapes Pro-Scapes is offline
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Tim has it exactly. I have a very similar pic someplace on a cd. Washing the walls behind them usually look nice.

I have done 1 where there was nothing but more plants behind it and we opted to light the plants (multitrunked lace maple behind it too lit up) and it came out really nice. I just added on to the job saturday and will try to get down to get some pics on wed.
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