Lighting Ideas/Suggestions

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by cgaengineer, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    I have purchased a Transformer from Unique 1120SSSL to replace my Hampton Bay el cheapo transformer, (thanks Joey for talking me into the purchase, the transformer is very well built and should serve me well until I upgrade my el cheapo lights).

    Using what I have now (Malibu Metal Lights) I would like to illuminate my house and would like some input from some professionals. I understand my results may not be the best they could be using the lights I have but would still like to try my best while I absorb the cost of the transformer (Ouch). I am planning to change the landscape in the front left by removing the large privet hedges, butterfly bush and replacing them with a shorter slower growing Indian Hawthorne with some dwarf hollies in front of them. On either side of the garage I plan on adding 2 Italian cypress or those taller hollies (Name slips me).

    The red ovals are the spots (4 of them) and the red dots are path lights (4 of them). As you can see this leaves the front porch very dark.

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    I would like to illuminate these maples but I am unsure if a tree light would be the correct way or up lighting from a ground spot/flood light.

    [​IMG]

    I appreciate everyones input, but don't be too hard on me! Don't mind the lawn, I was attacked by grubs this season and the grass is slowly recovering. With the county in a water ban situation I don't think there is much I can do to speed up the process.
     
  2. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,830

    I would also uplight that column in the center of the porch. The light hitting the ceiling will create a lamp-shade effect, and will softly illuminate the porch area. On the left of the home, I would put those uplights behind the bushes, about 8-10" from the wall, and let the light also hit the left column. With what you have, that's about the best advice I can provide.
     
  3. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    I do have the spots behind the bushes at this time and I think it looks pretty good. The spot on the column is probably a good idea. Thanks for the ideas.
     
  4. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    I didnt mean I wasnt going to buy more lights...if more lights are needed let me know what kind and where they should be placed. Would 2 more spots on each column be a good idea? What about the trees?
     
  5. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 16,793

    Nice house CGA. My 3 year old destroyed all my lights and I wont replace them till he gets older. He likes to play out in the yard so Im just happy to see him having fun, inother words it didnt po me.

    Im no lighting expert, but about those Itailian Cypress.... They do not grow here in the South. They are really only good to about 20 degrees. They are actually rated to 10 degrees, but from experence the cold weather here keeps them from growing. I grew up in So California and they grow huge out there 60 to 70 feet. The biggest Ive seen here is mabey 15 feet, but they were straggley.

    I recently purchased a eastern I think Ceder. Its cigar shaped like the Itialian Cypress and Im hoping it does well. The nursury had 11 of them and I was going to buy them all but Im a little tight on money for a experement.

    Great looking house, hope you will post a night pic with the lights
     
  6. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    Kids can be a mess...mine is almost 14 and he is pretty good, but sometimes he does stuff that makes you ask why!!

    Thanks Larry, it aint much but its mine! Much better than the apartment I was living in 4 years ago!

    I was looking at a tall skinny holly but I cannot remember the name...and around here they plant those italian cypress all over the place? I was concerned that the italian cypress may get too big for the location so the holly would be a better option.
     
  7. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    Green Tower Boxwood is what I was thinking about for each side of garage.
     
  8. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,830

    I would just let the light on the wall hit the column on the left. For the trees, you will need multiple lights to make it look good, at least 3 on each. The bed area for the left tree will provide enough room so that you can back the fixtures away from the tree to highlight the canopy. It would be nice if you could extend the bedding around the tree on the right in order to do the same thing. I would suggest one light at the base of the tree shooting straight up the trunk. Then, another 2 or 3 from outside the drip line to get the canopy. The effect will frame your house and create a nice portrait.
     
  9. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    Chris,

    Thanks for the advice. The tree on the right actually needs the bed moved out a bit anyway so this would be a good time to do this. The tree on left needs to be pruned but I didnt get to it last year so going to wait till fall, but I suppose it would still look decent to light it now. For trees do you suggest floods or spots?

    I understand the light right near trunk pointed up, but wont the other 2 lights pointed at canopy drown out the light that is pointed up the trunk? Do the other 2 lights illuminate from the rear of the tree or the front as looking at picture?
     
  10. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,830

    The point of lighting the trunk is to visually connect the tree trunk to the ground. If you don't do this, the effect will be a tree canopy floating in thin air. I would use MR16 spots with a 35w VWFL lamp (60 degree). Unless you want the trees visible from inside the home, put the additional lights in front, and to the sides of the canopy. If you want it to be even more appealing from the front door or inside, use a couple more for the back side. I know it sounds rediculous to use 6 or 7 lights for one tree, but believe me the effect will be awsome. I have used as many as 20 lights for one tree, but they were big-uns, and some of them were actually up in the canopy cross lighting the branches and down lighting the ground cover. For the lights on the back side, which will be pointed toward the street, I would normally use a fixture with great glare control and shielding. You won't find this type of fixture at home-of-depo.
     

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