1. Ask the Expert: Fertilization Strategies for Success: Dec. 12, 2017
    Learn how to do more with less when it comes to your fertilization services. Join the live Ask the Expert event hosted by Koch Turf & Ornamental: Dec. 12, 12-2 p.m. ET in the Fertilizer Application forum .

mix up and down lights?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by starry night, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,255

    What is your opinion of mixing up and down lights on a building?
    I haven't done it but it seems like it might look peculiar.
    For instance, on the attached photo, I plan to silhouette the two spiral arbs by backlighting the home walls with spotlights from the ground. I am not sure if I will also need to light the peak. If I do, the question is, should I do it with a third bullet or do I downlight with a wash from the peak? Opinions?

  2. jana

    jana LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    On each corner, find the center of the extruded part. Place the center of each fixture 6-8" back. Tilt the fixture one notch forward past vertical.
    Turn the fixture inward, kinda like if you were cross lighting, just a little. Use the shroud and make a nice vertical bean on the outside of
    each extrusion. All your doing is tilting the beam inward. Will help with no hot spot under the eaves too.

    If you create a vertical beam on the outer the rest will take care of itself. So just uplight it. Might go out one night and set up those 2 and mark
    the spots before install. 20w BAB, vista LED mr16 4.5w 36*
  3. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,255

    Thanks for your reply Jana. I understand several ways to use uplights here. But, this application was just an example of the possibility of using uplighting and downlighting. I have wondered before if anyone uses the two together or if it is confusing to the eye.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
  4. jana

    jana LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    Sorry I misunderstood you. Up or down, not both here on elevations.

    You could go down from the peak and eaves. If doing that I would make sure I had the distance away from the wall the same on all.
  5. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,186

    Hey Phil, to answer your question I use up and down lights together all the time, however I never light down from a peak. (I personally just don't care for the look).

    In your case here, silhouetting is a great idea, however I believe a third light in the middle is unnecessary. Simply place the 2 uprights directly under the outside window casements and use a wide 60 degree lamp in each. You will easily silhouette the trees and illuminate the peak with 2 lights quite easily.
  6. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,255

    Thanks Tim. In this situation, I was going to try the 60's to see if they would also hit the upper area. But, I have been wondering for some time about the uplight/downlight question and just asked it in general.
  7. emby

    emby LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 380

    Hi Phil,

    Just wanted to ask what you want to illuminate with the down lights? Are you trying to place the light on the wall or the two plantings?
    I agree with Tim on using BAB/60's for two up lights behind the two plants to illuminate the wall and achieve your silhouetting. That would be one light level across the wall. If you were to introduce down lights, I would think that the light would end up introducing light spray or even hot spots onto the plantings (as the tops of the plantings will be closer to the light source) and thus you would essentially weaken the silhouette effect. I don't think it would be pleasing to the eye at night.
    When I have silhouetted, I try to keep the item to be silhouetted in total darkness and adjust the background level of light to make it look more pleasing to the eye. You might want to experiment with both BAB/60's and FMW/60's. Being a light coloured wall the reflectance will be greater so the BAB/60's should do it.
    Just my thoughts for you. Good luck.

  8. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,186

    Hey Phil,

    This was done with a soft FX wash light. This was probably 8 years ago, but just to show what even a soft wash light can do if you follow Ken's advice and keep the topiaries completely dark. I agree in this case that down lighting would diminish the silhouette effect you are trying to achieve. 2- 170-200 lumen up lights with a wide and soft 60 degree spread will silhouette those trees and will cross light the gable, bathing it in soft light.


Share This Page