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Let me have it...

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by bcg, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865

    I've been playing around with a demo kit at my own home trying to get some good pictures for marketing materials. I'm limited to 7 bullets and 2 china hats but here's what I did in front. I'd be interested in any comments or criticisms anyone might have.

    There is a large sodium-vapor street light just at the end of my driveway, about 30 or so feet from the house, that is kind of difficult to overcome.

    I know the tree needs more light, I only had the one left after doing the house and just wanted something on it so it wasn't in the dark.

    Please be brutally honest!


  2. mnglocker

    mnglocker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 757

    I like the house, the only thing I'd do is aim the spots on either side of the front door a bit more vertical to help accentuate the height of the home.

    And yes the tree needs a larger flood.
  3. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    And even up the shadows so they are the same size.
  4. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865

    I had some trouble with the lights on the sides of the door. The Alliance demo kit I'm using has the bullets installed on top of wire spools. Great for fast and easy setup, but not so great for getting them to sit perfect in a bed. I originally had those 2 lights adjusted so that they were lighting much further up the house but I had to almost point them away fromt he house to achieve that and then that area got a little dim so it wasn't drawing the eye into the entry like I wanted it to. I think I need a 35W narrower beam lamp to achieve the look I actually want there. I also think I need well lights instead of bullets to really get what I want.

    So that's the long version of I agree with both you guys, I had the same thoughts myself but was having a very hard time correcting those issues with the demo kit lights.
  5. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    Well you are in the right place for advice that's for sure...lots of knowledgeable people on this site and most are willing to bend over backwards to help a member out.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. Lite Headed

    Lite Headed LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    Beware of well lights in Texas. They are fire ant magnets. I wouldn't use them anywhere except when uplighting a tree from sodded areas. I would prefer to see the home lit with par 36 lamps that are in a stake fixture configuration.
    You need more height on the home and the par 36 may help, but you may need some soffit lighting especially for the peak above the front door. You might also consider some low wattage gutter mounted fixtures to wash the roof to add a bit more height.
    I would also consider lighting the shrubs that comprise the foundation plantings from the front of the bed using area/path lighting or washers.
  7. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865

    I had not considered fire ants being a problem but I can see how they would. We have our property treated every year so we don't have any ants but it's a good thing to keep in mind elsewhere.

    I don't really want to use par 36 lamps if I can avoid it, I'd prefer to keep the control I have with the mr 16. I had thought about doing something with that peak, I don't really know that I want to do any soffit lighting but low wattage gutter lights would probably work well.

    The landscape is the next project, intial plan is to do the house and trees then work on the plant material. The ligustrums on the ends look pretty good backlit (you cna see that some on the one on the right), I'm not sure what we'll do with the rest of it.

    I'm probably using mostly Cast products so I have to stage this, it can add up pretty fast.
  8. emby

    emby LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 380

    Your placement of your fixtures for the house are in a great spot. Just ensure that they are around one foot out from the foundation. Change the MR 16 bulbs in these to 20 Watt narrow spots. (12 degree) Aim the fixtures so that the eaves are lit and graze the wall. The brick on the wall should be even with light and with no bright spots on the wall itself.
    As for the two bullets at the front door...35 Watt 36 degree bulbs and once again aim the light towards the top. You can have these out away from the house say two to three feet.
    Always try to stagger your path lights. Illuminate the step at the front door for safety and move the other out where your turf and garden meet on the opposite side. By having your entrance slightly brighter than the rest of the house this will guide your guests to the front entrance.
    As far as the tree I would be placing four well lights MR 16's symmetrically around the perimeter of the drip line and would be using 35 Watt 36 or 60 degree bulbs. Maybe add one bullet at the base of the trunk and illuminate that main trunk.
    Its always nice to have several different degree of bulbs on hand to achieve the perfect balance of the overall scene.
    Just my 2 cents so I hope it helps you out. Have fun.

  9. Tomwilllight

    Tomwilllight LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 284

    "There is a large sodium-vapor street light just at the end of my driveway, about 30 or so feet from the house, that is kind of difficult to overcome."

    Ask whoever is responsible for the sodium street light to install a "house shield" or "house-side shield." Tell them it lights up your bedroom and you can't sleep. Most will do it at N/C. It will help you to get more subtle effects than you can now and allow you to use lower wattages effectively. And maybe even sleep better.

  10. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865

    That's a good suggestion. It does in fact light up my daughter's room quite a bit but, I think she actually likes that. When it burns out (it has a couple of times since we've moved here) she complains and starts asking to sleep in our room. Maybe I'll just have to get her a night light...

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