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Dynamic & Layered Lighting Systems

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    How many of you guys have built dynamic and layered lighting systems? I have always wanted to get into this but have not got my head around how to present it to the client in a way that they would buy.

    I envision taking a setting (Deck overlooking a typical suburban backyard for the sake of this example) and applying what is essentially 3 or 4 complete systems into the yard, each powered by it own transformer(s). Then through a system of switches, or via an automated control like a DMX or similar, you could set different scenes that the client could select from like a menu. This way the lighting system would be dynamic, and constanly variable based on the whims/desires of the client.

    Have any of you done this type of work? If so, did you promote and sell it, or did the client request it? Obviously we are talking about some potentially high cost systems here. Is there a market for this?

  2. extlights

    extlights LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    We did something somewhat similar a few years ago. It wasn't controlled by automation, but everything was interior switch controlled. The client had 2 big ponds (one with a large spring style fountain), 2 large waterfalls with a very complex rockscape scene and a large patio area that overlooked all of this. We ended up making it 7 different phases with all of them being controlled on 7 different switches. The client basically wanted to turn on and off whatever he wanted depending on his mood. He could have just the waterfalls on with a few paths and trees, or he could have the fountain on with some trees and his statues etc.

    It ended up being a very expensive and labor intensive project. The biggest pain in the but was figuring out the sequences he wanted. We ended up going through the plans 4-5 different times before we settled on what would work the best. I will say though although it was a lot of work and really a pain, it turned out great.
  3. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    Sub Circuits (as I call them)

    With LED's you can still use one transformer, and dial-in brightness settings and provide controls of "branches" from the main run. From your operator's convenient switch location, just run a 'control wire' to each hub you want to control.

    Unlike conventional systems where a hub is powered by a designated run, Hubs can now branch off a run and be used to create sub-circuits, which can be controled independent of the home run.

    Irrigation guys--think of irrigation hubs with valves and relays.

    Who's still laughing at me?
  4. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,173

    Mike, The main problem I see is how to you manage voltage if you are putting multiple hubs on a main run. What if one hub is undervolted by 3 volts and one is undervolted by 1 volt. What then? If you are basing this premise on the use of LEDs that is another story, but I personally wouldn't build your business around LEDs as your primary lighting sources. I don't think you will be happy with the results. Just my thoughts.
  5. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    Eden is full swing into this. Hopefully he will chime in. The system we are proposing right now was slated to be just like this but we were planning to use a wireless controller on the low voltage side of the trans.

    System would operate at 75% nightly... after 11pm the home would drop to 50% but the moonlite driveway would stay at 75% since its soft anyways.

    The dock would operate at 50% nightly and party mode would increase it. Security mode would bring all lights to 100% and bring the house mounted floods up to 100% as well.

    Homeowner is worried it will be too hard to work so we are going to do a small scale mock up for them with a touch pad in place.

    iTouch... advantage and some others offer these controls. The home we are doing hopefully soon(house is still incomplete for 3 years) will have an advantage system built into the home house and will feature an advanced layer lighting system including about 5 difference scenes and possibly color changing underwater lights.

    I have a PCS tec timer on the way to me and we plan to install 3 transformers at our own home and play with upstart while sitting on the deck one night.

    See also http://www.abtwireless.com:80/ http://www.itouch.ws/home.htm
  6. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    Tim, take a few nights off from your demo's and start cross-referencing the research.

    Then, when you are up to speed on the fundamentals of LED tech, give Sherman or FOLD a buzz and get on the waiting list.

    By the time you have a useable LED in your own hands (and not a retro bulb), which will blow your mind, I will already have LED systems installed, a complete LED demo kit, ads placed, and a strong early market position.

    I guess some paths must be made alone.
  7. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,173

    Well, good luck to you Mike.

    Billy, How are you dimming those lights for long periods of time without having long term effects on the halogen bulbs? Am I missing something?
  8. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    I am not really talking about dimming the different zones of light in a scene as I don't think that giving the client too much control or too many options is wise. I simply want to layer multiple zones to create multiple environments.

    Mike... your tag line says it all. You really have a lot to learn. Slow down, learn to walk before you run. I sound like an old man I know, but you really do need to understand some fundamentals better before you think the LED is going to be 100% effective for outdoor lighting. What is the harm in slowing down and learning as you go?

  9. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    timers will be programmed to go to 100% once per week for 45 min probably during the daytime. Relamp if and when things become discolored. I run my system at my house at a mid 9v... its been this way for over a year and there has been no ill effects on my halogens. They are still clear and the right color
  10. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    This is easy to do with a UPB controller with multiple event settings as well as multiple transformers. We have done stuff like this for years for Demo's and for permanent residences. It is rare that the homeowner relly wants to have so many different scenes but it is common for them to want one or two for the back yard or as a vacation setting.

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