Adding LV Lighting to Statuary, etc.

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by JimLewis, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,869

    I have a customer who wants me to do some lighting in his back yard. He wants to start with a few spots and also have me light up several little statuary around his yard. He has some pagodas and similar statuary that could be illuminated. I am just not sure exactly how to do it. I know it's pretty simple. But all the lighting I've ever done was with pre-made fixtures. I never had to worry about constructing a stand alone socket, etc. So if I could get some help I'd really appreciate it. See the photo below. This is the kind of stuff he wants me to illuminate (and integrate it into the LV lighting I'm installing). There are holes in the bottom of each of the statuary items so they are already made for wire to already go up through the middle.

    So assume I'm a total idiot. Because until I've done something once, I kind of am.... Spell it out for me exactly what part(s) I need to buy and where I might find a part like that and about how much I would spend. I appreciate the help.

  2. Viewpoint

    Viewpoint LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79


    Here's what I did for a stone pagoda at a client's house.

    Get a single contact bayonet base socket mounted on an offset bracket, or make one yourself. I made mine out of a reclaimed socket from a discarded fixture and some scrap brass. 93 or 1141 lamp to light it up. I go with the incandescent, because of less heat (fire hazard) since it is a non-UL fixture. The bare halogen could ignite organic matter if any gets in through the "windows".

    I drilled into the stone to set an anchor to screw the socket bracket to. You could also epoxy it, or just let it dangle, depending on the pagoda and how much effort you want to put in it. I wanted it to stand off from the stone a bit and position it to get the shadows on the wall just right. Note- For less headaches, anchor it to the side or base, not the roof of the pagoda. This way, when you take the roof off to access the lamp for maintenance, it doesn't pull the socket and wiring with it.

    Then run the wire down and anchor it best you can to hide the wire. Epoxy or JB weld the wire lead to the stone to keep it from springing loose. If you want to get crazy with it, notch the stone (with a concrete blade on a grinder) to hide the wire, epoxy it in (with some of the stone dust sprinkled in for color) to hide it and it will be virtually invisible.

    The new lumiere will not be very functional as a pathlight, other than as a marker due to the angles and thickness of the stone. I try to project the open"window" shapes onto a nearby wall (can't tell in the photo because it's washed out by security lights...oops.). This adds a bit more interest, especially on a boring stucco wall.

    That's it! I've done this on several sites, always as a surprise for the client. When I walk through the site with them after the install, I love to see their reaction to this simple, cheap, yet high impact lighting application. All in all, I usually have less than 20 minutes and $5 into one of these conversions unless I get fancy. (In case they hate it, I'm not out a lot of time or far, everyone has loved it)

  3. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    we did a much larger one I was able to mount a cast niche light in the top. the pagoda was around 3.5 ft tall and I have nearly a foot from the top of the ceiling inside it til the windows started. I ended up cutting about 1.5 inches off the shroud of the niche light to get more spread. Worked well. Had to change the SCB lamp to a 10w
  4. Illumicare

    Illumicare Inactive
    Messages: 148

    Viewpoint's advice is sound and will work effectively and efficiently.

    If you are not too interested in using incandescent SCB or S8 wedge lamps because of their rather limited lamp life, you will be able to be one of the first to use our new Omnidirectional Miniature LED lamps in a few days time! Our new LED SCB and S8 wedge LED lamps produce over 220 Lumens at 3000K (warm white) making them equivalent in brightness to a 20W incandescent. They only draw 3 watts and have a lamp life of 30,000 Hours.

    We are just putting the finishing touches on our new Company and Product launch program... All the inventory is here and ready to roll out. Stay Tuned!
  5. RLDesign

    RLDesign LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145


    I know the small style pathlights fit inside this size pagoda. It provides a sealed lamp inside, but still provides a nice effect. They can be hung from inside with a small chain, brass mounted. I have often inserted a pathlight into a lighthouse for that specific client (nice word for tacky) .... you can thread into the base of the concrete bottom and run wires out the bottom and put the concrete cap back on. Or you can do what viewpoint stated, but sliding a piece of frosted glass or plexi into the openings will protect the lamp from sprinklers or moisture. In conjunction, it would be nice to downlight this from above to create a focal balance. 2700 15 degree LED from James has worked great in this application. HK DOWNLIGHTS, CAST TREE LIGHT, NS JEM, or other tree downlight would work. Maybe, have the downlight just graze the backside (from viewed side). It will create a subtle outline, present the concrete structure, and allow the glow from inside. OR, You could also nicely illuminate with a spread lens on Coppermon CM895 or Nightscaping Miniwashliter with shroud. From 2 sides would be nice if crosslighting (why I suggested the shrouds) It sure feels like I am working on my COLD certification, personal growth project.

    Talk soon.

  6. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    I've lit similar lanterns by going down to a local plastics place and finding a cylinder of clear acrylic, (5" diam. as I recall), cut it to the right length, used rough sandpaper inside and out to "fog it up", drilled four holes near the top at 90 degrees apart, made a cross/ grid w/ stainless steel wire and hung a bayonet socket from the center of it.

    The cylinder diffuses the light and helps keep out rain and leaves. BTW, supposedly acrylic holds up in UV light better than polycarbonate, and is less expensive.

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