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Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by ChestnutOaks, Nov 6, 2005.
Good comments !
WOW! A thread in Landscape Lighting is on fire! lol This place somes to life........
I was checking out your web site and it looks pretty nice. It looks like you guys have some really unique types of fixtures which was nice. The prices seem alot better than Unique Lightings prices but how does the quality compare and also the warranty. I noticed on their site that they have a lifetime warranty on just about everything except for the bulbs. Also what type of installation method do you recommend for your set ups?
Thanks in advance
Thanks for the replies and comments. As for a diffuser on the lights, I dont have enough exprerience to know exactly what your talking about. And also about the blue and greens and stuff?? As for the lights, they are bullets and not well lights. And for highlighting plants and trees, the bushes on each end of the house werent even tree-form before, I talked them into that so we could accent them. There isn't another tree in the whole yard and only crappy carissa holly's in the front, so no real landscaping to high-light. As for the pathway, please go into a little more detail about using different lights to achieve the same thing, I just dont understand what you mean as Im still pretty new to all this. Thanks
Brian, area lights, I believe Vista calls them spread lights, and path lights are similar, but area lights usually throw a wider more even light. You can use then for double duty. 1 to light a safe path and t2nd to highlight plantings or accents near the path. Because of the larger lighting area, you normally use less area lights that give a more pleasing and even look to your paths and walkways. The lights on the walkway must address the safety issue to see any steps or curves, but most of the time are only used for accent. Take advantage of the accent feature, AND provide a well lit path for safety.
With your bullets, you seem to be getting bright spots on the house. Play around with different wattage lamps and beam spread for a more even and less harsh look. You might also want to try to reposition the fixture to allow the light to coat the surface more evenly, like if you were painting. You don't normally want bright and dark areas, but a more even look to the flow of light. If you choose, you can have brighter highlight areas, like a plant or sculpture, and less bright or darker areas to make your highlights stand out. Diffusers & bullets make great combinations. Buy a few and play around with them for different looks and the way the soften the light. For colored lenses, that is an acquired taste, unless used as holiday or seasonal lighting. Colored lighting can have very dramatic effects, so be careful, but do play with it.
Looks like you need to sell these people some landscaping, so you have something to show off, both day & night. Putting lighting on common plants is just that, common. Sell them up to specimens that need to be shown off for their for, or bark, or foilage & flowers. As you have seen, lighting is nor difficult, but there is always more to learn. Get a transformer and some fixtures to play around with at your property, and have at it. Check out the Cast lighting page and order their free information. (catalog & design/installation manual) You will gain a whole new insight on landscape lighting. Cast is a great system, but I use fixtures from many different companies with their system. There is so much out there in the way of purpose built and decorative fixtures to satisfy every need.
Continue to ask questions, that's how we all learn and grow/ Lighting is an excellent untapped source of revenue. Especially at this time of year, most clients don't get to enjoy the landscapes we have created, unless they are lit with a well designed and ind installed landscape lighting system. Make them happy and make money doing it.
Thanks for the reply Kirk. At my house, we already have it (here before I got into doing lighting) and we probably have 50 or more lights on our property. But, I think I am going to install a lighting system for my grandparents (live only about 400 yards from us) for Christmas. Thought that would be better than some clothes or something that they dont need/already have. His will be a good project with his landscaping and all. Has 4 crepe myrtles along each side of the drive coming in, and good places to accent trees in the yards and stuff around the house. I might try and get some pics for you guys and get some opinions on where all ya'll think lights should be put. No expenses spared on this job, even though its a "freebie." Quick question, do you guys usually put one light, or one on each side of a tree uplighting into it? Ive seen both ways.
Brian, it's all about the effect you are trying to achieve. You have to step out and view what you are lighting and then determine how and what to light it with. Two fixtures in front in a crossing pattern will fully light the object with very little shadow. One light in front can be stark in the center and shadowing to the outside. 1 light on either side in front will give full light, but allow shadow and movement to show. Lights from the rear, backlighting create a "glowing" look. If the subject can be viewed from more than one direction, or only 1 view is the primary or intended view, you must light accordingly. Don't expect your lighting design to be static, make sure it can remain flexible. Using a hub system like Cast, makes it easy. Just remember less is more, not just fixtures, but wattages and beam spreads for uplighting, especially. As with good landscaping, success is in the design and the materials you chose. Positioning is and should remain flexible.
The lighting looks positioned all right but the spread could be diffused a little more imo. you can do that with the vista spread lens ( a tad expensive ) to widen the uplit area. Also the type of bulb makes a difference, BAB 60 degree for the a wider spread. I like using the vista myself, but I think all of them all on the high side for pricing. I did a job just like yours but wanted to cover more area so the beam would not look so narrow. good luck