What downlight for stone columns?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by allinearth, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. allinearth

    allinearth LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 609

    Working on a project in which I would like to downlight some stone columns. The columns are 3' wide. The tallest is 6.5' and they step down to about 4.5'. I would like to mount a compact fixture under the capstone to graze the front of the columns. Does anyone have a recomendation as to which light would work best in this situation?
  2. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 6,462

    The vanguard or Gemini from Unique would be good.
  3. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    I will suggest that any fixture that you mount directly under the capstone will either lack the punch necessary to light broadly and evenly all the way to the bottom, or will cause a horrible hot spot just in front of the fixture.

    The best way would be to hide a bullet style fixture, using an MR16 lamp and lens, somewhere in the soffit/fascia/eaves above the and in front of the columns. If the columns are not "holding anything up" then look for appropriate trees or other elevations to mount the fixtures too.

    All too often people place too small a wash type fixture on too large of a structural element and then have it look poorly done, or they over light it by placing a projection lamp right up tight against the surface creating a hot spot.

    Have a great day
  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    I agree with Jame's post 100%. make it look great from below rather than mediocre from above.
  5. The Lighting Geek

    The Lighting Geek LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 875

    i am also in agreement. Sometime you have to go big or forget it...or something like that. LOL

    The only thing worse than something missed in a lighting portrait, is something not done right.
  6. allinearth

    allinearth LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 609

    Well I was going for a different look than the usual uplight. I'm listening but the vanguard looks like it might work? Any opinions on that? Thanks to all so far.
  7. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    Sorry Earthworker, but that style of fixture will not "work". Sure it will put some light at the top of the column, but it will also create glare as it is not shielded and you are mounting it at 4.5 to 6.5 feet off the ground. Also the lamp employed in the fixture is not strong enough to project light to the bottom of the columns. You will have a hot spot right at the top and the light will fade to black at about 2 to 3 feet from the fixture.

    Do this and those columns will look like so many other elements that are lit by those who do not understand lighting and photometrics.

    Learning by mistake is one thing, and has value... but don't say that we didn't tell you!
  8. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    I have another idea for you... why not call in a lighting professional. Make it an opportunity to team up with a complimentary trade. This initial project could be the start of a great teaming opportunity, you being the "Earthworker" and them the "Lightworker".
  9. ELumin8

    ELumin8 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    If you post a picture of what you would like to light, I would be happy to offer a few suggestions.

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