Old 10-07-2012, 12:08 PM
rl43854385 rl43854385 is offline
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Location: Portland OR
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What's the best low-cost landscape lighting system?

I'm remodeling a house for my parents to live in and need to put some lighting around a large, partially recessed, concrete ramp/walkway. Also it would be nice to continue the lighting system to other parts of the yard but that is a luxury. The budget is being used up by huge remodel items so the lighting has to be done on a tight budget unfortunately.

My goals are:

1) Keep costs low
2) Provide some basic light to the walkway at night
3) A long-term reliable system (I know that might be an issue with the budget I'm on)

Some background:

1) I put several 4" PVC sched. 40 tubes under the newly poured walkway to allow power or irrigation to get to the other side
2) 110V system is an option or low voltage if appropriate or?
3) I don't know much about landscape lighting at all but a lot about remodeling in general
4) I have had bad luck with old-technology low voltage systems on houses I bought with them pre-existing.
5) A large, raised, paver patio is under construction and perhaps the system could provide a little "walk around" lighting for that to?
6) There is one giant Oak in middle of the yard that could have accent lighting but that is really a luxury and not needed at all.

What I'm looking for:

Just general information for what type of system to get.

Thanks for any help!
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:13 AM
INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting is offline
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Location: Muskoka, Ontario, Canada
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RL: try contacting a local landscape lighting pro and pay them for their design and specification. Doing so will help to ensure a quality system that can be installed within your budget. Don't go throwing away your money buying substandard ( retail) fixtures and components in order to maximize the scope of the system. It is far better to use pro grade components in a smaller scope and have it properly designed and specified. Scale back the size to accommodate better components and then address the rest of the system at a later date as budget allows.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:47 PM
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LLC RI LLC RI is offline
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Location: Cranston, RI
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I second James' comment.

To get bits and pieces of information from those who might give you some , and then to try to source out all the components that you would need, you'd be much wiser to find a professional landscape lighting designer/ installer in your area. The lighting pro will assess your needs from a safety and security perspective as well as aesthetic aspects of what can be done.

Your time is worth money and if you factor in the time you'd spend/waste... trying to figure things out for yourself, you'd likely get a better job and for not much more than what you'd end up spending on your own start to finish ( taking into account any mistakes or mishaps that you might make being inexperienced)

Good Luck

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Old 10-08-2012, 05:06 PM
indylights indylights is offline
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Just curious if your original post, which I didn't think was anything inflammatory, got cencored or if you made the adjustment yourself. If the admin did it, the cencorship on this site is getting ridiculous.

Scott Maloney
Sunflower Landscapes
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:03 PM
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starry night starry night is online now
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Scott, I'm pretty sure that part of James' post got censored because I commented after that along the same lines and my post disappeared.
It's too bad that there can't be any disagreements on this forum.
Phil Bauer
Starry Night Lighting


"Always look on the bright side of life."
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:39 PM
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Classic Lighting Classic Lighting is offline
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http://www.lewislandscape.com/ I'd recommend that you contact Jim Lewis. He's very knowledgeable regarding landscapes and lighting.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:07 PM
INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting is offline
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Yes there was some editing done by the administrators. They certainly are running a tight ship lately. On one had it is good as it keeps the junk posts to a minimum. On the other hand it does tend to take away from the unique characters who contribute and the personality of the site as a whole.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:06 PM
Viewpoint Viewpoint is offline
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Location: Sacramento, CA
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I agree with James as well. Your money will be better spent on quality fixtures well placed and dependably installed than trying to compromise. Having a long-term lighting plan that can be installed in phases over a period of months or years will make for a much happier client in the end.

When putting together a lighting system, like many other things, there are three primary variables:
1. Cost
2. Reliability/durability
3. Performance
You only get to pick 2. If you make it on the cheap, you can make it look good or be reliable/low maintenance but not both. A good lighting designer won't compromise their design, and they won't put in a half-rate system in the name of cutting costs. They should walk away, because it will rarely work out in your favor in the long run.

With that in mind, another couple of names you should look at is Paul Welty from innovative nightscapes there in Portland http://www.innovativenightscapes.com/ or Tom Williams http://www.wlld.us. Both are brilliant lighting designers and technicians in your market and if they can't help you, will know who in your area can.
Andy Thomas CLVLT #1058 COLD #1321
Owner, Viewpoint Lighting
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