lights for my home

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by silvercvic, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. silvercvic

    silvercvic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    I have finished my little retaining wall and now I am ready to install some lighting, I have been following this forum for a while and all the info here has been great.

    Now my idea of lighting up my house and curb appeal is fanatasic, I really want to light up the face of my home. The price of electric is so expensive around my area, I have thought of solar, but don't like the color of blue led too much.

    Here is my idea so far, I would have to mix-match good quality with some cheap lights (unless someone got something similar of good quality)
    I was considering:
    - (4) 20w/35w spot (Kichler MR16??), to accent the house
    - (3) low wattage spot for my japanese maples/water feature,
    -some surface lights:
    - 5 inground well lights (adjustable and totally flush to the ground...I don't want the lawn mower to break them) to accent the wall/security
    I read somewhere that 'malibu' and 'ccl-lights' were cheaply made

    Now for the transformer, any suggestions on what brand (600watts)? I was also questioning if transformer came in zones, basically I want the inground well & tree spot to stay on all night (photo cell control), the house spot lights (most of the night), and the walkway to turn on with a motion detector, although I am not sure if the name brands makes motion attachments with these. I have seen one company 'manor house'
    makes them, but again I don't know about the quality of these

    Back to the zone question, do I need to buy 2 separate transformers or 1 with zone control?

    Any suggestions on the lighting and/or transformer is much appreciated, I have attached some pics of my home to give you all an idea of what I am trying to do

    vanderbilt front - pre retaining wall (800x600).jpg

    vanderbilt front02 - pre retaining wall (800x600).jpg

    vanderbilt.nightshot (800x600).jpg

    retaining wall.well lights(800x600).jpg

    retaining wall.walkway lights (800x600).jpg
  2. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    Wall looks alot better. you spent alot of time and money on this so far. Dont use cheapy lights and ruin it. WTF is SUPER MATERIAL or whatever they are calling it????

    Stick with quality brands. I would install seperate transformers front and rear given what apears to be the distance and the need for seperate controls you could probably place the transformers in more convient locations. To obtain the multiple controls for the front use Kichlers dual 300 trans which is 2 transformers in the same case. This is PROVIDING you do not end up with more than 300w needed on each zone. You could control them via X10 pro if you wanted enableing you to turn them on and off via timer or keychain motion sensor ect.

    The cheapo lights your showing can be found in a deck light or something similar from just about any manufacture. Kichler has some really neat looking ones. Use a low wattage bulb since they will be so close. Your best bet would be get a few of them and hook them up to a 12v battery one night and play.

    I dont have time to look up fixtures I would use but I would of planned this out more before and prewired the wall and possibly made a lip inside the top of the wall to hide some rope lights...Matt at firefly did this on some stairs and I thought it looked phenominal.

    Atleast should of done some conduits and prewire some of that. Lots of options here as well as opinions. I will try and look more tmrw due to rain

    PS with the size of that home your not even CLOSE on 4 mr16's to light it tastefully and artistically.
  3. silvercvic

    silvercvic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Thanks for the info, I have so far ran 12 gauge wires under the sidewalk: from the 2 right windows, under sidewalk (in front of the door), and to the other side where the box window is. I have also left access to that conduit with a plastic shield with which I am able to access anytime.

    Would you recommend me running these:
    Kichler 15088 Low Voltage 36-Watt Well Light? Possibly swap the bulbs out for some 20watt and get 6 of these?
  4. niteliters

    niteliters LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 537

    you have a challenging job ahead of you. Lots of angles and hard spots to get light to via the architecture of your home. I would have a professional come out and look at it. Maybe pay them for their design of you want to install.
  5. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Kingsland, Texas
    Messages: 2,214

    I'm with Chris and Billy here. This is definately a job for a professional designer and quality equipment.
  6. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    hope your not talking about putting the well lights in the flower beds with mulch :nono: an above grade fixture should be used there... par 36 or mr 16.

    im slow right now... fly me up and I will design it for ya:)
  7. extlights

    extlights LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    We rarely use bullet style fixtures to light the facade of a's just a personal preference. We use well lights most of the time, but we always put covers on them. Never once had a problem with mulch catching fire or anything else, plus the covers are an upsell. Also, a lot of our customers don't seem to like above ground fixtures. Again, just a personal preference.

    If you do decide to use well lights though, make sure you include a cover with them.....otherwise just go with the bullet style fixtures.
  8. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    pinestraw is the major mulch around here... much more combustible and its lighter and gets displaced more easily. I had a threat about this awhile ago and it got debated... search pinestraw and well lights.

    I can usually hide fixtures behind plants. If someones really against seeing fixtures then I will work with them on something else. I just try and keep my liability to a minimum and I wouldnt install a well light with or without a cover in anyplace it could come in contact with combustible materials. If it was totally needed then a waiver of liability would be signed beforehand.
  9. silvercvic

    silvercvic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    that's sweet info, didn't think about the mulch catchin fire. I guess the bullet style is the way I need to go...but most of the landscaping in my area is well in mulch and our mulch in our area is double-shredded hardwood -or- cedar
  10. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    dave obviously does it and hasnt had a problem. I just threw it in as something to consider. He has far more experience than I do so take it as you will. Just make sure you keep the lens area clean and free from pile up

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