Design Help on a High End subdivision entrance

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Venturewest, May 6, 2008.

  1. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 516

    I am preparing a design proposal and bid on a much larger project than I have done in the past. I am going to have a regional representative help me with this, but I was going to see if any of you would take a look and give me some design ideas. I want to do something that will really stand out, and I don't want to miss a chance to take advantage of the really great elements available.

    I am looking for good ways to graze the walls, suggestions on the number of lights per spruce and river birch. The developer also specifically requested that the large triple-log columns be really well lit. Any tips you guys have would be greatly appreciated.

    This is a high visibility, high-end neighborhood entrance, and I would love to make it absolutely spectacular.

    I can send a PM with budget info if anyone is interested. Thanks!!





  2. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 516

    Just a few more. As you can see there is the one large flood on the sign.





  3. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Well, where to begin? That is one heck of an entry. :)

    The possibilities and options are pretty much endless there. Do you have any idea of an acceptable budget? If they have $25k to spend or $100K to spend will make all the difference in the world as to what direction I would take. I am not talking about component quality here either, the budget will dictate the coverage and complexity of your design.

    No point suggesting a bunch of ideas that cannot be implemented due to budgetary considerations.

    Have a great day.
  4. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    One thing I personally would NOT be doing is focusing too much attention on all of those boulders... I would put my assets into lighting the Structure (grazing & downlighting), fences (silhouette effect?) and all of the Birch, White Pine & Spruce (highlighting)

    Same with the water feature... ignore the moonrocks and focus the attention on the running water only.

    If you do have a big budget to work with, then I would also be projecting light from the fence line onto the mature forested area in the background, paying close attention to the sightlines into the fixtures as you drive out of the development back to the road.

    As one of my clients likes to say: "Everything can be solved with enough money and time."

    Have a great day.
  5. NiteTymeIlluminations

    NiteTymeIlluminations LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    The only thing I would throw in would be to get some labor help, I mean diggers and make sure everything is real deep. You know you'll get a call in a few months after the maintenance crew was in their with the tiller and laying new mulch and the wires were shredded by the tiller. I'd use conduit all the way into the stake everywhere and I'd use hadco S3-H stakes. Yes this takes alot of flexiblity out of the project so you have to spend 80% designing. Its like measure twice cut once mentality.

    Good looking entry, wow...I really like it. Hate to say it but if you havent done a project like this I'd spend a few nights demoing it just for yourself. Then when you put it in conduit you know your right.

    You have a potential masterpiece there, good luck.
  6. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 516

    I really appreciate your suggestions. I think the conduit is a great idea on a commercial site like that. James, I am glad you pointed out that the boulders would not be a good subject. I guess they will be receiving plenty of indirect, reflected light anyway. I also like the idea of doing something with the fence. They obviously spent some money bringing all that timber in, and it would be nice to show it off.

    Would the best method to silhouette the fence, be to project light from the fence line onto the mature forested area in the background.

    I will PM you the budget.
  7. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Ok, I know this will eat fixtures and thus $$$ but I would try backlighitng the fence with ingrade fixtures located just behind the fence rails and using a Bipin or wedge lamp rather then an MR16... this will push soft 'pillows' of light up and graze the underside of each fence rail etc. Then I would use Bullets with 50w narrow spot and narrow flood MR16s to project onto the mature trees in the background. (maybe 35W depends on the ambient light) You can get away with this because there is nobody traversing the space between the fence and the forest. Think of the forest as the stage and the fenceline as the pit where you are using projection footlight fixtures.

    Good luck with this... it could be an award winner if done right.
  8. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 516

    James, those are great ideas. I feel like those are the kinds of things I can demo or explain to the developer and differentiate myself from the other contractors. Any ideas for the large log columns that support the gate header? I know that is one thing I could demo that is really important to the builder. Should I strictly uplight them?
  9. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    I would uplight them from the bottom, both sides, and downlight them from the top, both sides, I would also add a downlight fixture from the middle of the beam span onto the driveway infront and behind the 'gates'. It adds a lot of appeal as you approach the structure.

    Gotta run now...
  10. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    I would probably avoid these back-lighting techniques on a commercial property unless you do a demo and show the entire board of directors the effect and intent. While this would be tremendous positioning from a 'lighting design" perspective, the commercial properties usually want a whole lot of "POP" with high wattage lamps. In my dealings with subdivision entrances, you can't approach these jobs in the same way you do a residential property because you have to make an entire HOA happy, not just one or two people. IMHO, these people are going to want these structures and boulders to really stand out. The subtleties of shadows and intricate details are not going to be appreciated by the common passer-by, and will most likely go unnoticed.
    This is just my opinion, so I hope no one takes offense.

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