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inside jobs

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Mike M, May 31, 2009.

  1. Mike M

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

    Re: lv interior illumination

    If anyone does interior lv lighting, I have some basic questions.

    For one, how do-able is this without an EC? (are there enough opportunities to find outlets for transformers)?
  2. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Mike, Interior LV lighting is generally limited to recessed "pot" lights, track lighting, undercabinet lighting, niche lighting, etc. The only part of the work that is LV is that the fixtures in question use LV transformers and lamps. All of the supply circuits are line voltage.

    If you are interested in getting involved with interior lighting systems, you will need to become well versed in all types of lighting technology, applications, and techniques. Also, the opportunity to install these systems is very limited unless you have a licensed EC on staff. Not to mention all of the conflicts you will encounter with the contracted EC who is already on the build. There can be the opportunity to design, supply, and project manage an interior system... something I did for a number of years. In the end, the conflicts between the builders, EC's and my contracting business were too much to bear. I have changed my biz model, formed a stand alone design/consult business and am much more happy doing the design, specifications, consultations and project management side of the interior lighting business. I leave the procurement and installation to the electrical contractors and everyone is MUCH more happy this way.

    By the way you pose your question, you are thinking that interior LV lighting systems are similar to those we use in the landscape. Although it is possible to design remotely powered pot light and track lighting systems, you will find that is is actually cheaper and more convenient to use individually powered fixtures than it is to do remotely powered systems. Even if you were able to sell a competitively priced, remotely powered, LV lighting system for the interior of a home, you would still need the assistance of a licensed EC to install it as you certainly would not be relying upon existing receptacles to power a plug in transformer.

    Hope this helps.
  3. Mark B

    Mark B LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    I think that getting in interior lighting would be way harder to got into. I'm not knocking you wanting to do it. I think it would be fun to do.
  4. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    It is fun, very challenging, and rewarding.

    The learning curve is steep, and it is not for the feeble. You will encounter a LOT of apprehension and resistance from Architects, Designers, Builders and EC's. The Architects seem to think they know everything about lighting design. The Interior Designers = Ditto + they feel you are cutting into their turf. The builders are not too keen on having another sub trade to manage. The EC's either feel slighted, jilted, pissed off, or belittled by your presence... until a full project is complete and they realize how much more money your input has just made them.

    Having done it the 'hard way' for a number of years, I would encourage you to focus on the Design, specification, consultation side of the business and leave the procurement and installation to the EC's. As one of my advisors told me... "Stop trying to push a rope."
  5. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    I an working on my 3rd interior now which happens to be my home. I will be doing my own of course as I am not in city limits and can legally do it myself.

    When I have done 2 interiors in the past we simply specified and placed the fixtures including cove lighting... can lights in the ceiling and 6 recessed lights in the floor. Our EC took care of all aspects of connections including the UPB per my specifications. I programmed the UPB and adjusted and trimmed the fixtures. Unlike James I preffer to procure my own materials just so I know everything is exactly what I need and delays are kept to a minimum.

    I decided to back off the lighting at our own home alot. Just because you CAN do something doesnt mean you should. As much as I love lighting I am sure most will agree that going overboard is a bad bad thing
  6. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Ditto what billy said. However, there are everyday interior lighting systems and then there are custom interior lighting systems. The interiors I design and specify are generally using between 200 to 400 pot lights, many custom step lights, a dozen or more recessed in-floor lights, tons of linear strip/undercabinets, etc etc. Component costs alone, with no installations, run from $40k on the low side to up to $150K on the high side.

    When I first move away from the Design, Procure, Install model I too was worried about substitutions to my specifications. I quickly learned that at these levels, the installing contractors do not mess with your specifications. It simply would not be tolerated. Besides, as the lighting designer, your job is never finished when you deliver the specifications as the build starts... you will be called upon for consultations throughout the build and you should be insisting on a rough-in walk through before the home enters trim phase.

    I have found that since I shifted to a Design, Specify, Consult business model, the level of respect, listening and follow through has increased dramatically. No longer are you viewed as 'another subtrade' getting in the way and delaying the build. You are now the problem solver, someone who is most welcome on the site.

    Interior lighting design is a really challenging job, but it is ultra cool to be able to apply your vision to your client's home and have them appreciate it each and every night.
  7. worx

    worx LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    Who would you recommend as a good source for interior lighting? What are some of the better product brands? Which companies are good to work with? Cabinet lighting in particular.......
  8. worx

    worx LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    Has anyone worked with Phantom Lighting........
  9. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Steve. There are more quality manufacturers of interior lighting product that there are for outdoor lighting... many many more. So many that it would be a chore to begin listing them all.

    I think that if you were to ask about specific applications I would be able to help you out more. As for cabinet lighting I like to use Alico's line of xeelite products. Juno also has some very nice product for lighting under and within cabinets.

    I have Phantom Lighting's full catalog here but have never used their products. For linear cove lighting I prefer to use MagicLite, but the differences are probably negligible.
  10. worx

    worx LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    Thanks James I will visit some of the companies you mentioned. I have been approached about cabinet lighting, and cove lighting. Now I am on the hunt for reliable product and reputable manufacturers.

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