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Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Lite4, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,113

    Are you talking about someone local who makes decorative steel lights or does photography?

    No, I don't use a filter at night.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  2. eclairagepaysager

    eclairagepaysager LawnSite Member
    Posts: 62

    Sorry about the confusion.

    I meant decorative steel lights.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,113

    You won't find anyone locally who can make a few of them for what you can simply purchase them for through Attraction Lights. Nor will they be as well made.

    Go here: www.attractionlightsretail.com

    There you can get hooked up with wholesale, contractor pricing once you register.

    To learn more about the full line of products, you can go to: www.attractionlights.com Lyle has a link to the store in the navigation bar that will take you to the store site where you can register your company for wholesale pricing and purchase products directly on-line.

    I love em. I use them on as many jobs as possible. They just look fantastic in the landscape by day or night.
  4. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,746

    Tim, Are the Attraction Lights that you have pictured at the front entrance to that home 24" ?
  5. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,113

    Hey Phil, Yep, they sure are. They are the 4x4 Aspen Grande path light -24"

    I used the Brilliance, 2200k LED in them to accentuate the bronzy color. They warmer light makes all the difference.
  6. Ganny

    Ganny LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    Not the best quality, but attached are some pics of my almost completed DIY backyard lighting project. The pics show the outside perimeter of my yard but I still need to do the inside yard abutting the house. Considering it was the first time I have ever installed landscape lighting, I'm happy with the results. But if you have any suggestions on possible improvements I'm listening! Thanks.

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  7. Viewpoint

    Viewpoint LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    Ganny - Good first effort. We all started somewhere, and you made some typical rookie moves, but that's OK if you are happy with the results. In the end, that's what really matters.

    Now to completely lambaste it!

    Disclaimer: I hate pathlights. Especially in perimiter beds. That's a personal bias, and I'm working on it with my therapist.

    Unless you plan on keeping the boxwood hedge manicured into tiny spheres, those pathlights will be useless in a year. As it is, their light is already mostly obscured from the path, which is the object to be illuminated is it not? You can move them into the hedge to cut down the shadow, but maintenance will always be an issue. Instead, use hanging or fixed-mount downlights. That crepe myrtle with the pathlight dead-center under it (another issue) is asking for a small hanging light (I like the FX Luminare LS-12 with an LED SCB lamp from Illumicare to be specific). This will achieve the look you're going for without a bright circle of light. "A gentle pool of moonlight on a calm summer night" if I were pitching it to a client. :) And they give you more bang for your buck, illuminating a larger area. As for pathlights directly in front of the trunk...don't do it. Ever. That's almost as bad as putting a pathlight in the lawn. It creates that harsh shadow line 2' up the trunk, making it look like the tree is interrupted. Not to mention the shadow it casts from the uplighting on the tree.

    The photos aren't great, we get that. The camera will always be a harsher judge of your lighting levels than the human eye, so use that to your advantage. Look for the dark areas and hot spots in the photos, and try to create a better balance between the two. Lower the light output on the spot lights by using a lower intensity lamp, and/or raise the ambient light levels around those spots with wash lighting or downlights if you have the place to mount them. Fill in the dark areas with wash lights to smooth the transition from one bright spot to the next. When you do this, your eye will be more relaxed and your subconscious will have to do less work filling in the missing information. You'll actually find it more relaxing because of the lack of strain in your eye and your brain won't be stressing about what's lurking in the shadows. It's all very primal.

    Also, play with light levels to create interest in 1 or 2 areas...your focal points. For example, pick a tree, put 100% light on it. Frame it with the shrubs at 60%-75%. (Did I mention take the dumb pathlight out from in front of it?). Taper the light off on either side to 30%-50%. This will draw attention to your focal point(s), and make the yard look less 2 dimensional. This can be done by changing lamps, filters (frosted/spread lenses), or screening (metal screen from a screen door, available at your local hardware store), aiming adjustments, or placement to manipulate the light intensity and distribution.

    Please take all this in the spirit it was intended which is one of constructive criticism and an attempt at levity. My first lighting installation as a pro only came after a hundred or so night-time demos as a lighting rep. The key is to play with different lamps, fixtures, positions and filters to find what works. Often these are found in what Bob Ross called "happy accidents"... try some absurd placement (like stick the fixture way too close to the tree) to give you a better perspective about what effects good fixture placement/aim can have on your lighting composition.

    Keep playing in the dark...It only gets better!
  8. ducnut

    ducnut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,569

    ^^^ Great reply, Andy. It's useful info and perspective, for those of us who've never done this type of work.
  9. Ganny

    Ganny LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    Andy, thanks for all the great advice! I plan on trying to implement many of your suggestions, starting with removing the path lights that are dead center in front of the three Crape Myrtal trees and the one Red Oak tree. I also like the small hanging light suggestion in lieu of path lights. My spotlights are integrated fixtures for which I can't control light output, so I will need to play with the other techniques you mentioned. Regarding adding wash lights/down lights, I do have a wood fence behind the trees on the rear property line that I could possibly use to mount down lights. Thanks again.
  10. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,113

    Here are a few photos from a job yesterday. The project is not really all that exciting but it was such a nice evening that I couldn't help but stay out and snap a few frames. Enjoy!

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