Very Wide Ground Gutter - uplighting ideas

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by anthem, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. anthem

    anthem LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Posts: 22

    Ok, working with the landscape lighting people, we've come across a problem on this particular project. Trying to uplight a brick house (that also has four large columns up front). Anyhow, the problem is that the ground gutter is 44" wide, so the nearest that we can get to the house is 44". Uplighting from 44" is a huge problem with glare from the flanking windows looking out at night.

    Does anyone have any ideas that they've done to uplight a house, or columns that you've had large ground gutters in the way ? We've considered chipping out the ground from the brick gutter and running wire closer to the house and attaching it directly to the ground gutter. Since the Cast (of Kichler) bullets probably won't work, has anyone maybe used the tree light screwed down or to the brick wall, or perhaps the niche light ? Any ideas on what people have done or fixtures they've used would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,535

    Is there a way to downlight instead?
     
  3. Eden Lights

    Eden Lights LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 805

  4. anthem

    anthem LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Posts: 22

    Saw that thread. The owner is considering downlights for the columns as the electrician has prewired for those up in the a-frame of the house to get to columns. The house is similar to the picture in that thread in style but even larger. Columns are 30" by 26ft.

    Owner is reluctant to mount downlight in cans from the soffits though. The cornice work up there is amazing. It's like 14 piece cornice work with little and large dentil blocks, etc, etc. I can understand not wanting anything cut out of the cornice. It's enough that they didn't eave vent and decided to seal the attic and make it conditioned space rather than have soffit vents. . .

    I think lighting the space like the porch in front is doable from some distance, however when its right up to the house brick and not the patio - then it gets dicier as someone looking out the window will immediately get hit with the glare. . .

    Any other ideas. Appreciate them all.
     
  5. anthem

    anthem LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Posts: 22

    Perhaps also asking if anyone has used a fixed pillar light/wall mounted light and pointed it upwards for uplighting instead of walkway lighting ? The disadvantage is that it is fixed to never be moved again, and there might be some inflexibility in terms of only having dispersion characteristics vs positional. However, most of the lights that are put in are meant to never be moved again anyway. .

    Has anyone used like a Kichler/Hunza Pillar lite/Cast niche lite pointed skyward rather than downward ? What were you issues with using it in such a manner that you had to sacrifice ?
     
  6. Eden Lights

    Eden Lights LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 805

    We need some pictures to really help, but it sounds that anything on the ground would be a no-no: poor physical appreance, glare, and improper fixture mounting locations. We need alot of pics to help on this one?
     
  7. anthem

    anthem LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Posts: 22

    Eden - fair enough. Photo the house in question from a few weeks ago before the brick gutters went in. The brick gutters are now in, which complicates things. Large and very complicated, which is why a lot of people are trying to wrap their heads around it.

    http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s153/anthem_photo/20070524DSC_0029.jpg

    We are contemplating like the Kim Minivault, and/or the cast with the canopy attachment to be attached to the actual brick. Only downside is that it /is/ a gutter and the water will run through/around it. . . Advantage of a wall mount is that it will be out of the gutter water path, but most wall mounted lights are fixed and you are locked in to that position forever. . . The second item is getting wiring to the actual position of the lights, although that generally is not a problem - just a function of time/effort (read $). Positioning and aesthetics is first. . .
     
  8. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,830

    This picture is not helping your case much. We need some current photos, which show us exactly what the problem is.
     
  9. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    definatly need some close ups of the area in question. Since the pilars are a static object and will not grow or be swapped out for a different planting in the future a fixed location fixture should be fine as long as its placed properly. Where were you planning on putting the Kim vaults ? We have used these in multiple applications but usually surface mount them on a ledge or other hard surface where a bullet light on a flange just would not be strong enough.
     
  10. anthem

    anthem LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Posts: 22

    Will try and get some pictures of the brick gutter tomorrow when on-site. The columns aren't the problem, its uplighting both sides of the house.

    As of now, the consensus is to use a Cast Bullet mounted onto their surface mount canopy. Looks like the best option is to mount it on the actual brick surface gutter. The wall would be a better location, but with the mount, it would be about 2" off the wall and ideally we would like it located about 8-12" off the wall (not as 'hot' a spot).

    We were toying with the minivault as it may look better to have an actual round fixture on the surface rather than a bullet protruding up out of the gutter. It'll all be covered from the front with some foundation planting anyhow so how it looks behind the bushes may all be moot. There are other issues as the part of the brick gutter 1ft away from the wall has a slight slope down which might make the minivault mounting a bit more difficult.

    We also have the issue with materials. The runoff from the roof is copper, so there may be some galvanic corrosion issues as well. Bronze should fare better than some other materials, but only time will tell how the water runoff in the gutter will affect a bronze base/mount.

    There was also a discussion between the lighting designer and landscape person of whether to uplight under the windows/sill or uplight between the windows to wash the wall. I think we've all decided to wash the wall as there is more texture there. We're also going to move from the 24degree mr16's to the 12degree to see how they look on the inside portion of the house flanking the columns as the cornice detail is about 34' up and the 12 degree spread may look better.

    Basically if we choose the masonry screw the bullets into the brick, we're stuck and thats what the homeowner is going to have to live with (outside of cutting the leads and redoing). Having some sort of flexibility would certainly be better.

    And this is just the architectural part. . . haven't even gotten to the landscape part which should be fraught with less tricky situations.
     

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