My first install

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by hamsey, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. hamsey

    hamsey LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Posts: 123

    Here is a photo of my first install. I think the landscape is good but I am not crazy about the house. Thinking about uplighting instead of downlighting on the house.

    Is there anyway to tie the line voltage front lights to the low voltage lights so they come on with the together instead of manually having to turn them on (front lights)?

    Comments welcome!

    Norm

    Lights.jpg
     
  2. hamsey

    hamsey LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Posts: 123

    Here's the sidewalk!

    _DSC4044.jpg
     
  3. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Well looks ok. 2-things.....
    the other side of the entry walk is not lighted at all and IMO too dark ,
    remember lights on walkways are for safety not just looks.
    And your uplighting on the trees should light the canopy of the tree's and not necessarly the truncks so much. I think they should be moved out away a bit and positioned up more than in. If you are going to light tree's they should have lights on both sides of each tree..in my book.
    The house looks fine. Really not bad for your first time.
     
  4. hamsey

    hamsey LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Posts: 123

    Thanks for the comments! Opposite end of the path is lit just did not come out in the photos. I will take more photos and play with the position of the fixtures. I figured the trees were too small for double fixtures.

    Norm
     
  5. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    I think its great try for your first. Personally I like the trees the way they are done altho they would look well as sheshovel said too. I see some black holes on each side of the structure your lighting and shadowing on the house there between thoes windows.

    Personally I would leave the shadow like that then light each side of the window with a 20w bulb. I think the path is fine... I probably would of staggered fixtures on each side of it. I would probably add a light back in the corner thats dark too. I agree I would uplight instead of downlight this home. Nice quality on your pictures.

    As far as tying in the line voltage you can get low voltage bulbs to fit most sockets including standard screw in and candelabra based bulbs. Have a licensed electrician disconnect the line voltage for you and tie into your system and swap the bulbs out. Be sure to mark the voltage someplace on the fixture so people replace them with the correct bulbs

    Everyone will have a different opinion on this. I just dont like the black holes. In my opinion you must define changes and corners to a structure to really bring it out.
     
  6. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Well I am basing my opinion on lighting design basics.
     
  7. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    she... obviously you have had no education in lighting design basics.....

    first thing that any lighting class stresses is to try and stay away from the "runway effect" that is what you are suggesting.....
    nightlights are supposed to accent not look like a landing strip.


    you are supposed to have light and shadows in areas...

    also when uplighting trees you can easially light the trunk if the trunk has a nice shape and that is wat you choose to accent....


    good job on the lights

    the thing I caught is the paver walk in the second picture....
    you do that? that last "step" before the long straingt section looks kinda poorly installed.
     
  8. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    on a 2nd look at your photos it looks like you need to angle the downlights away from the house a bit to soften the light and get a fuller light down the wall more.

    Again this is just my opinion along with the others I stated above. Just looks like a few holes in the install. Demo the additional lights if they hessitate and let the homeowner decide.

    Keep in mind every designer will do things a bit different. You could also silohette that structure in the beds but I kind of like the shadow.

    also looking at the 2nd photo it looks like visitors are going to get a nasty nasty glare on thoes tree lights near the walkway. We try to avoid this by using louvers.

    Im just not feeling how the downlights look unbalanced with the porch lights there... might just be your photo but i would also consider some smaller wattage porch lights as well.

    Im not trying to tear apart your install.. I like the landscape as you do too but Im just not feeling the house.
     
  9. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    if you want suggestions, here they go.

    I think the path lights are fine, i do agree that you should use lower watts on the porch lights, so you have a more uniform look with the lights.


    I also would lower the wattage of the uplight on the house.

    also i would use several lights around each tree with a lower wattage. instead of the one..

    this it wll help reduce the dark spots in the branches of the trees..
    the ones to the far right are the two that really stand out to with this.

    I have seen far worse jobs.

    good work. nightlights are pretty cool hunh?
     
  10. hamsey

    hamsey LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Posts: 123

    Thank you all for the comments and suggestions.

    Obviously the house need work. I did change the bulbs on the front house fixtures from 40w to 25w but will definitely look into changing those to LV. I had to angle the downlights more towards the house because they would blind you when you walked up the path.

    They did not want to stagger the path lights, I did suggest that. I did have the bed structure silhouetted at first they like the shadow better. I will try a lower watt bulb and put a louver on the light by the path.

    Yes, working with landscape lights is pretty cool. I just found out that you need to be licensed in CT. New law came into effect July 1st 2006. That sucks! Good thing this was for family. I have a neighbor who is a master electrician so I will have to talk to him.

    Norm
     

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