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MR-16 Prob...

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by jbailey52, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,078

    Ok we installed 6 Cast mr-16 bullet 20 w on two retaining walls.. (I will attach a picture) the problem is if the bullets are too far away they light up to much of behind the wall, including the evergreens which will be lit. if they are to close... it just spots directly on the wall to hardshly. (These 6 lights are the first of about 35 on this project in the front yard, just did this for a demo) anyway, im wondering if I should use something else light wise, or possibly some type of lens or so? Also, I didnt get a chance to seal the fixtures and after one rain they are tarnished already.. is there a way to clean these and seal them? Also, for the holidays does cast or anyone offer colored lenses to put on the bullets? I believe that would be very helpful and another selling point.


  2. seolatlanta

    seolatlanta LawnSite Member
    Posts: 176

    I would keep the MR 16 on the trees themselves but use a wall washer fixture with a 20 watt bi-pin that throws light from l to r instead of a flood like an MR 16.

    Also with that retaining wall being so short you might consider path lights centered in those beds so you will still have some light hitting the stone and also defining the bed. If you did that you could start path lights on the path all the way up by the front door and lead the light all the way down into the bed and down the bed.With a wall so short you will have some shadow behind it most likely.

    I attached a picture of the washer fixture for you but I think the path lights are the way to go. Make sure you have a good spread so air traffic control doesnt stop by!

    washer fixture.jpg
  3. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    ditto that... Bullets to light the wall in this case are a poor choice in my opinion.. Bet its brighter than snot with some severe hot spots.

    Low wattage wall washes like the cast one or kichlers would be a better choice than the bullets but in this case I would prolly light the beds with area lights and allow them to just graze the wall enough to define it then use the highlighted areas of the beds for seasonal color.

    I get dichronic colored lenses from Chuck at florida outdoor lighting. They do dim the light noticably so if thats a problem be sure to plan your systems accordingly so you can upsize bulbs for holidays. They simply sit right over the mr 16 bulbs.

    Also beware on your spacing if you do use area lights. That wall is light and will be reflective while that black mulch (is that what that is?) will absorb the light.
  4. niteliters

    niteliters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    My advice would be the same advice you received in your other thread "lighting plan pics" Get some onsite help. I think a company was recommended to you "dream to designs". I assume this is a paying customer that you are representing yourself to as a professional. Don't think they don't notice when you say you have "the plan" and then change it dramatically later....or tell them you're new at it and to expect modifications. Neither puts you in the best light so to speak. If you have the opportunity to access a professionals opinion...go for it.
  5. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,078

    Well Nite, This is not the same house.. this is the 6th house in this development we have done lighing on... thanks for the "tip" on changing a plan and a customer not liking it. 8 years in the business... I know that.. also.. my customer gave me the go ahead... this whole design build is my own. I was looking for a couple suggestions of fixtures.. not your business help. The other jobs we had EP henry and Unilock retaining walls, and I used kichler 15396 washes. :On this particular jobs since we used a field stone, the aquarius salesman recomended using the bullets... I didnt think it would work, but since we were only getting a couple for the house at this time, and we are using approx 20+ bullets at this location, trying the five wouldnt matter, because they would be used elsewhere
  6. klkanders

    klkanders LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 848

    I think I would use pathlights also because of small area. Maybe 2 or 3 on left side of gate in the upper bed areas and a few more staggered on both sides of walk to front of house. I am not in favor of bullets on all the small evergreens ( too many ) but if you had to just do a few of them.

    In my opinion I would do the pathlights first then add other light if needed.

    Good Luck!
  7. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,078

    Maybe I didnt explain this right and I appoligize.. there will be 8 path lights from the steps (cant see them in the picture) comming from the sidewalk, to the drive way and to the gate.. and bullets on the bigger shrubs there... right now im asking about what fixtures you recomend for lighting the wall the right way, without throwing to much light over the wall, and not creating hot spots like the bullets do.
  8. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    This is a job for a small wash light. If you are the designer/installer and you have all of this experience, why would you let a salesman talk you into using something that you admit you didn't think would work? This is why salesman are not landscape lighting designers. There are very few, maybe 12 salesmen in the country that I would call upon for design advice and they are all former lighting designers with many more years of experience than myself.

    I would use the Kichler 15396AZT with no more than a 20 watt T-3 lamp. I would probably use a 10 watt. I would also add some path/spread lights in the upper beds to accent the smaller plants and fill in any dark holes.

    I also think that Chris gave some great advice. Let Kirk or someone come to a site and help you with a couple of designs. You may have installed lights on several jobs but we are not talking about just sticking in some lights. A professional is always willing and eager to learn. Take a deep breath, swallow some pride and grow as a professional landscape lighting designer. You will not regret it and the industry will be better off as well.
  9. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,078

    you know im starting to wonder about this forum... I simply ask a question about a certain fixture... and get nothing but people telling me how to run my business... that is not what I was asking... I dont know why you have this complex... but I simply asked for opinions on fixtures... not my business techniques.. which I have found to be very succesful....
  10. eskerlite

    eskerlite LawnSite Member
    Posts: 222

    If you want to use bullets on the wall you have to turn the hoods to the side (3 oclock) and shine the wall from the side not from the front. Make sure you shine away from sitting areas as you know. If you dont want to use these fixtures, a Nightscaping turtle type fixture with a bi pin and spread lens is what you want to use every 12' on the wall.
    Sean C.

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