mounting light in trees

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by cutbetterthanyou, Jul 29, 2007.

  1. cutbetterthanyou

    cutbetterthanyou LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,178

    First off i am not into this bussiness, i do mowing and landscaping. I enjoy just getting on here am looking at your work. I know this is probably a dumb question ,but when putting lights up in the trees where does the wire run, down the side of the tree? or are they cordless? I have never noticed the wire in any pics. Just thought if you have 3-4 light in a tree, 3-4 wires running down the side of a tree would be ugly and homeowner looking. Also what about mounting the lights, are they on a strap or screwed on. I would think screwing them on would be harmfull to the tree. And last, i am assuming that there is slack left in the line for the growth of the limbs and later reajusting.
  2. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    You are correct. They are screwed into the tree. The line is run up the back side of the tree on the least obvious side. The screws should be stainless steel to not harm the tree, and a loop should be provided to allow for growth.
  3. cutbetterthanyou

    cutbetterthanyou LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,178

    Thank, this is somthing I have been curious about since I first saw the outdoor lighting. Still seems ugly thought, even if the wire is on the least obvious side, wish there was a different way like cordless or somthing. How much wire should be left in the loop?
  4. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    I guess that would really depend on the tree, how mature it is, and how much growing it will do. I would leave at least a few feet coiled at the base, but you can always splice more wire into the run later on down the road.
    It's not always the prettiest thing in the world, especially if the tree is smack dab in the middle of the yard or garden and it is viewed from every angle. Sometimes, it is just not the best thing to do but sometimes the sacrifice is worth the effect.
  5. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    I have over 5000 lights mounted in trees now, so I can argue that I have a bit of experience with all this.....

    You should always use Stainless Steel Hardware. I recommend using SS hanger bolts, which allow you to back off the fixture as the tree grows. Also, make sure your wire staples are SS as well! I use Arrow T59 SS staples to secure the wire down the least obvious side of the tree.

    If you are putting multiple fixtures up one tree, make a junction up the tree and run only one wire down.

    If your bullet downlight of choice makes use of a 1/2 NPT or NPS threaded stem, I would recommed the Hadco TM1H tree mount.

  6. NightScenes

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

    staples? Around here the tree would swallow those up in about 6 months. I use ss screws with zip ties. I wish I had $.05 for every foot of wire I've had to cut out of trees because the tree grew around the staples. This happens at least once a week.
  7. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    Well Paul, you are in Texas, and we all know, everything grows bigger and faster in Texas.

    I have had great success with the Cast tree lights and mounting hardware and they just made some contractor driven improvements to it. The wire is really not noticeable unless you are looking for it. My best solution has also been stainless screws with wire ties.

  8. NightScenes

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

    The big problem I have with using stand off screws is that they tend to snap off and break before I can get them half way in.
    Our maintenance allows us to check the mounts every 6 months and we can back the screws out when needed.
  9. Landscape Illuminating

    Landscape Illuminating LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 84

    What's the general consensus for screw length with the zip ties? #10 x 1.5 in stainless?

  10. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    I would say that depends on the tree, specifically the bark. If it has a bulky type, rough bark surface your going to need a longer screw to penetrate this to get to the wood for a good hold. I typically will use at least a 2" screw, but just make sure to use stainless steel. This is an interesting question as I have never given this any thought. I may need to check with the local arborist to find out if penetrating too deeply may damage certain species of trees.
    Thanks for the question.

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