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ideas for lighting a patio

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by johnquest, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. johnquest

    johnquest LawnSite Member
    Posts: 36

    Thought I might post here for some suggestions. I put this new patio in this summer and now I'd like to use 12V lights to light it. The pics show the layout. The patio is 10' x 24' with a little 5 x 5 L shape on the SW corner. We don't need to get into the brands of lights, so much as the type of lights that will work the best. The east side of the patio is turf now with the one bed by the house and another one on the SE corner about 8' wide bordering the patio. My sense is to use area lights, small pagodas of like 10-20W, but I don't know for sure.

    Thanks, all and I appreciate it




  2. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    whats your plans for use of the area ? any tall trees or a tall eve of the home you can moonlight it from ? area lights are great for defining a patio. The small pagoda lights (im thinking of home depot type) wont light the middle of that patio too well. So if you can place a wide angle downlight someplace above with say a 20w 60 degree bulb or even a blueish moonlight 4700k bulb you would have some really nice mood lighting. If you have a bbq or something that would need some extra light Focus among others make some really nice bbq lights.

    I would space the area lights around 8 to 10 ft but keep the spacing as uniform as possible. More light twoards the entrances and any steps you have.

    looks like you did a pretty fair job on the patio. Maybe add a focal point like a water feature in one of the beds or off to the back
  3. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    As Billy likes to call those pagoda lights,"glow bombs". These will not look good for this very nice patio. If you are going to use path/spread lights, find a fixture that has a well covered light bulb, meaning that you can't see the source of the light. Something that has a wide photometrics (casts light out farther). I am attaching a pic of the type of fixture that I am referring to. The best way though would be to light it from a tall tree with a 20 watt MR16 lamp that has a 60 degree beam spread. Shining through the branches would give a great moonlighting effect on the patio.

  4. johnquest

    johnquest LawnSite Member
    Posts: 36

    The eve idea sounds cool. I do have a large eve, high. The edge of the eve/roof is right in line with edge of the patio/bed by the house foundation. The thing is. The outlet I will be plugging the transformer into is on the east side of the house. How do you recommend I run the wire? Bury it to the corner of the house and then up from there to the fixture? What are some good ways to string the cable to the eve fixture? I've wanted to stay away from the path light types because I think they're too tall for the edge of the patio which will see a lot of traffic to and from the yard. If there's like a short edge light of some kind with light going downward, I can light the middle of the patio with the eve light and the edges with the short path type lights. The path lights with downward shades are mostly over 18" tall. Too tall. Is there another type of light shorter that will cast light out a bit and down?

    Thank you. This is great help.

  5. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    To get the wire up to the fixture under the eve, run the line up the gutter drain and then on the inside of the fascia. As for a short fixture, remember that the taller the fixture is, the further out the light will cast. You won't have to put the light right at the step to illuminate it. With a tall fixture, you could place it 3 to 4 feet away and still light the step. Here are some fixtures from Vista that are around 13-14 inches. That's as short as your going to find for a good fixture.





  6. johnquest

    johnquest LawnSite Member
    Posts: 36

    I could set some 4x4 posts to about 12 inches above ground in the corners of the beds and patio and then attach something like these lights to the posts. Then make plant stands out of the top with an 8x8 piece of hardwood. These might not cast light out but with the spot/flood on the eve lighting the center, this might work and the lights would be solid. Sort of a deck type light.


  7. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    a deck light at 12 inches is going to do nothing but give you a nice hot spot on the ground not a soft even proffesional looking light at all.

    What I would suggest is install the vista or similar type paul demonstrated to you (we even pushed cast lights down to about 16 inches at request) then place some plantings around it that are low growing perhaps with some brilliant folaige.

    Running up the gutters to hide the wire is best. Just keep an eye on your footages. Moon lighting out of a high eve would look ok but a tall tree would look better. Dont over light it tho.
  8. niteliters

    niteliters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    did you build the patio?
  9. johnquest

    johnquest LawnSite Member
    Posts: 36

    The nearest tree to the patio is too far away. In a couple of years I will be able to get a light in one of its branches. I built the patio. I took those snaps right after I finished with the plate compactor. It's amazing how it has settled in, completely flat, solid. I finished it in the middle of July and since then there's been about 7" of rain fall on it. I'm pleased but it was hard. 8.5 tons of crushed concrete, inch of sand and the pavers. My brother helped me with parts of the job. If I had been thinking I would have run conduit under the patio but I'm not too concerned. I plan to bury the lighting wire on the edge of the decorative rock I put in on the edges of the patio.

    That's what I thought about the deck lighting. I'm going to get shaded path lights and sink them a bit deeper than the stake. I found some track lights for the eve from a company called Ruud Lighting if I can figure out where I can buy them. Any experience with Ruud? or where I might find some other outdoor track lights?
  10. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    I would hold off on the rudd lighting.

    Whats your plan for the area ? bright light or just soft mood lighting for conversation and a few adult beverages.

    How high is this eve exactly and whats the demensions your trying to light ? Then we can look at a photometric chart and determine how many and what size bulbs... Track lighting may not give the the desired effect (ie brighter in middle where it points down but soft at edges where its aimed at a steeper angle)

    You can prolly go with 2 or 3 downlights from a mid range brand cheaper than the track lights as well.

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