Design Discussion

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by Az Gardener, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    Used to be you could just throw up a bunch of lights & everyone was happy but the industry is becoming more sophisticated & I am finding myself trying to put the same design principals into the holiday lighting that I do for my flower beds.

    Problem is I have a lot of experience with flowers and colors in daylight but I'm definitely behind in the lighting arena. I would welcome a discussion on design thoughts. Specifically I'm concerned about too many clear lights washing out the darker solid colors like red & blue. Also how to create depth with lights to give the display more interest/texture.

    I'm only putting up lights for my existing maintenance clientele but they are used to having the best gardening service so I don't want to disappoint with the lights.
  2. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 583

    Using LED lights will prevent any washing out of colors. The reds and blues and greens really pop vs incandescent.
    Using pure white LED will make you white pop along with your colors.

    But a great way to stand out over your competition and demand a better price point, is to be able to use your creativity.

    One trick I'll share: Works well with smaller trees, say 10-15 feet tall:
    trunk wrap and branch wrap as much as you can with a solid color LED (Red, or blue look the best) Then, get some clear incandescent C7's and place them in the canopy of the tree.

    an easier one. Get a blue flood light and shine them into the trees as well as putting some warm white lights in the tree. You can get away with using less light strands this way and still have a pretty cool look that is cost effective to your client.
  3. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    Thanks for the info & great ideas. Do any colors recede or advance more than others?
  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    sigh, I sell all these tips. but I am in a giving mood-

    the secret to photographic quality Christmas lights is balance. If you do the top, you need to have stake lights along the edge of the beds, or mini lights spread out equally in shrubs down below.

    in the middle, you either need 1 right size wreath at the highest center peak, or the right size wreaths at the outer and center, or possibly all peaks, or perhaps wreaths on the dormer windows. you need garland around the door or outside arch. teardrop foliage on carriage lamps by front door or garage door. we do not and I am not a fan of ringing the windows, or garage door. but some folks do. you always have to mention red bows as an option on wreaths and garland at sales appointments. be aware that some folks are against them and they block lights at night. but they sure look nice during the day.

    for shrubs, mini lights-color should be symmetrical, using design 101- grouping odd numbers work best, ends or ends plus middle, etc.

    color on top and stake lights should make sense- do corners in green, blue or red LED, incan or warm white everywhere else. or do a pattern for a candy stick effect-3 red 3 clear, etc. when using multi, do 2's, 2 red 2 green, 2 yellow, etc. the colors stand out more.

    try to avoid stake lights lining the driveway or walkways. it aint a runway. it is a house. we do it some, but why bring attention to concrete? and they are tripping hazards. the house is what they make the payments on. make it look awesome. try to keep stake lights on bed edges.

    and really big trees take way more mini lights than you think, take longer than you think, and are way more expensive than any client will believe. but some folks still have us do it.
  5. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 569

    Really key stuff here Dave!!

    THe odd numbers is just like landscape design, also look for the shrubbery that is installed in a diamond type pattern, that way just like during the growing season, something is always lit. Create depth, not a single dimension look.

    Huge issues, make sure yo are not taxing the power, you will run service calls left and right, over work product, and worse case scenario possibly cause a fire. Secure wreaths properly, IE pulled into a house that came with a business I purchased, fully adorned 6' wreath mounted on two wood screws, TurfHokie saw the picture of that had to go get stainless eyes, quicklinks etc and silicone. If you breach the structure SEAL IT!!

    If you are going to use LED, spend the $ get the "samples" apparently it means something different to most distributors as they charge you for them, but make sure it is a quality product, color is good especially on the whites. Plug it in and let it go 24/7 in a condition that is hot, cold, dusty, damp, make sure it is up to snuff.
  6. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    Will mixing red or blue LED's with traditional clear minis have any negative effect. Will the old clear bulbs wash out the Led's? I'm wanting to wrap palm trunks with blue & clear like a candy cane I have plenty of clears but would be buying the blue Led's.
  7. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 583

    I'll think you will be alright. I've posted some pics on our sales thread. One has blue next to warm white (similar to clear)

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