Lil help from the pros, lighting different height palms.

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by KrayzKajun, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,737

    Went to look at a job this morning, customer wants to change out the home cheapo lights in his landscape around his pool. He had cheapo transformer go finally go out and wants to illuminate the all the palms around the pool. What do u guys recommend as far as low voltage fixtures etc.. and wattage wise? He had a dinky malibu system that didnt shine more than two feet up the trunks. Here are few pics of the yard.

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  2. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Not sure how much experience you have in designing & installing pro lighting systems so my recommendation is to get out there and do a mock up. Take a bunch of different fixtures and 3 times as many lamps of all different intensities and beam spreads and start experimenting. Those tall palms are going to to need at least a few fixtures each to do them justice. Also, don't be afraid of trying some downlighting from them for some really nice moonlighting effects.
  3. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,737

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  4. The Lighting Geek

    The Lighting Geek LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 886

    I am with James on this. You will need at least 2 fixtures per palm, one on each side, 10 degree or so. Down lighting from the palms will make it a much more natural scene and less busy. If no down lighting, consider some taller path/area lights to accomplish the same effect. Don't be afraid to use right amount of fixtures, along with the right intensity, customers usually base their lighting design on all the bad lighting they have seen. Our job as a lighting designer is to take charge of the design, as politely as possible. :) If you get an OMG, your on the right track. Depending on how much ambient light you are fighting, I would use 20 watt narrow spot on the taller palms and 35-38 degree 20 watt on shorter ones.

    Make sure you use quality connections such as

    I have found that people that have cheap lighting systems or DIY systems are a harder sell. You have to talk more about the ambiance than the fixtures to be successful. Just my 2 cents.

    This would be a good job for using a demo, or sampling of fixtures to nail it down as James pointed out.

    Good luck, and let us know how it turns out. Feel free to PM me if needed.
  5. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,187

    Good advice on previous posts. On a side note, Tommy mentioned a narrow 20 watt. Ushio's 24 degree BBF (20 watt) is great for this. The photometrics on this lamp are equal to that of a similar 50 watt lamp. It has a very well designed reflector and it packs a punch for such a low wattage lamp.
  6. Viewpoint

    Viewpoint LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    Palms need to be dialed-in more than other types of tree I believe. I'm usually happy with a BBF (20w 24°), but the really tall ones will often require an ESX (20w 10°). 35w if you have ambient light around and need to punch them up.

    Intensities and balance (symetry) are more important than brightness I feel, and can often be achieved just by tweaking the fixture a little bit. Too hot on the base? Kick it out a little more. 2-3 fixtures per palm looks best but budget sometimes doesn't allow for it.

    The photo is from a recent project with palms ranging in height from 12' to 25'. It still needed some adjustment when I took the photos, but you get the idea. Some palms have 1 light, a few have 2. This was all done with the Luxor ZD fixtures from FX (FB-3 LED's). They also have the advantage of being dimmable so you can fine tune even more.

    Lets see the after photos!

    Back Focal Point Night.jpg
  7. Terradek

    Terradek LawnSite Member
    Messages: 104

    I would be remiss if I did not mention the fact that UL 1838 fixtures are not allowed within 10' of a pool, spa or fountain as per NEC Art. 411. This is one of the most often violated NEC code infractions. So please consider down lighting to the pool apron instead of using the path light that is currently in play. It will also build your credibility with the customer that you are doing things by the book.
  8. The Lighting Geek

    The Lighting Geek LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 886

    Great point Gerry, I missed the path light so close to the pool. Even some of those palms are possibly with in the minimum distance. Must be very careful on the smaller yards or tight spaces like these.

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