Palm Tree Lighting

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by EveningIllumination, May 26, 2010.

  1. EveningIllumination

    EveningIllumination LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    Hi All,

    I meet with a prospective client today and she would like her palms lit.
    1. Does anybody here know the name of these palms-the small ones(there is one royal palm)? (so, I can do some homework on size, rate of growth etc.) she - couldn't remember the name of them and the landscaper was not there (AGAIN!)

    2. I am thinking that recessed ground MR16 fixtures would be best
    a. B-K Lighting Adjustable Well Star -- I like the adjustability of this fixture but being in South Florida ants could be a problem.
    b. HK Lighting's MR16 well light - for the same reason as B-K
    c. Unique's Nova -- Love this fixture but only goes to 20W and I am sure that I will need to bump up to 35W in 5-6yrs and possibly 50W later on.
    d. Nightscaping's vermeer fixture - I LOVE this fixture too - only problem the lamp is not adjustable.
    Anybody know of a fixture that will accept a MR16 up to 50W that is fully enclosed and the lamp is adjustable?

    3. How many fixtures would you use per tree -- I am thinking 4 per tree but am wondering if 3 would do an adequate job?

    I am including photos from the site. Any and all info and thoughts are greatly appreciated.

    ThankYou - Have A Great Day!
  2. GreenEarth808

    GreenEarth808 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    they look like date palms to me...not the pygmy date (pheonix robelinni) for sure.
  3. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 381

    Vista 2170 BSO or 5270. Good up to 50 watt. Hold LED lamps nicely tooThumbs Up
  4. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    Yes those are Date Palms they grow about a foot a year and the roots will encase and possibly crush in ground fixtures. We used a FX well fixture with some 35 watt pars to light up some that were about 30 tall. Looks great to us and the client but based on what gets posted here others would consider it not well lit :dizzy: We don't like to be blinded or see the lights a a focal point rather have them accent the landscape. To each his own.

    Another thing is you can't position them exactly the same on each tree and expect to get the same effect because the trees don't grow perfectly straight. We found it best to temp wire the lamps and move them around at night to get the desired effect and the bury the fixtures the next day.

    We have maintained this home for 15 years now, so every other year we pull up the lights and cut back the roots. A copper sleeve would be nice to repel the roots but its a pain to chase the copper sheets down and cut it to size plus there are about 40 of these palms on this job. Every time its time to do it again I swear I'm going to do those sleeves but I just never get around to it.
  5. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    What type of lamp adjustments are you looking for that cannot be accommodated by the NS Vermeer Fixture? The lamp in the Vermeer is held in place by a c shaped bracket and offers the ability to aim the lamp within the fixture. I would say it provides about 20 degrees of adjustment from vertical.

    Have a great day.
  6. steveparrott

    steveparrott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,276

    Maintenance of well lights for this project could be a nightmare. I suggest two MR-16 bullets.

    I also suggest positioning the two fixtures at a 120 degree angle from each other relative to the trunk. This leaves an unlight portion of trunk on the viewers side (enhances depth and sets a nighttime mood).

    Start with 20W 60 degree, positioning fixtures about 18" from trunk and aim to graze trunk while illuminating the entire canopy. Consider cross lighting (e.g. left fixture illuminates right side of canopy, etc.). This enables you to better illuminate the trunk and ensures complete canopy illumination even when the tree is small.
  7. EveningIllumination

    EveningIllumination LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    Bob - I will look into Vista
    Greenearth - Thank You

    Az Gardener - How many fixtures per tree did you use? Is there a 360degree of the trees? Do you think a brass fixture would repel the roots like the copper does? DO you have an ant problem?

    James - The bracket in the NS Vermeer is loose and can not be tightened down to hold an aim. I am thinking if I could aim the lamp I would be able to position the fixture a little further, right from the start, from the trunk and as the tree grows the lamp could be tilted as needed. I am not sure how much degree of tilt that would require.

    Steve - 2 fixtures per tree? These trees have a 360degree viewing - the property is a corner lot and the drive goes right through the center of the lot so, these trees can be seen from all angles. I hesitate to use bullet style fixtures because I think anything sticking up out of the ground will be a hazard and a lawn maintenance nightmare.

    Thank You all for your time and advice.
  8. sprinkler guy

    sprinkler guy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 223


    Take a look at the FX RP well light. Goes up to 50 watts, and has a very adjustable gimble set for the lamp. The fixture housing also comes with a set sleeve. This fixture is designed so that it could be poured in concrete. Not suggesting that here, but with the sleeve, annual maintenance would be pretty easy. Fill the sleeve with a pre-emergant, then each year lift the light out of the sleeve, clean out any intrusive roots, and apply more pre-emergent. Sealed at the bottom, so ants shouldn't be a problem.

    With 360 degree view, how many lights per tree were you planning? The RP with a composite cover instead of the brass is pretty competively priced.
  9. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    a bed should be defined on the back sides of the trees. It looks like a really nice property. I too would then use bullets. I just did 4 of these palms just like steve said but opted to use 3 fixtures per tree triangulated since they were viewable from 360 degrees.

    If your client wants to see them from every angle you will need 3-4 per tree. Plan ahead with your system capacity and wiring to be able to bump the wattages up later.

    Keep in mind ambient light conditions and client's desires as far as brightness will affect the end design. Since you are unsure of what to do I would do a mock up on at LEAST 2 of these trees.

    If your going to light the taller ones in the same way you will need a narrower lamp (24 or 12 deg???) with more punch dependant again on the clients desires. I did 3 about this size with 35w 24 deg and the effect was fairly subtle an pleasing to my clients with a fair amount of ambient light.
  10. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,542

    yup date palms, Not canaray island but likely sylvester dates. That tall one doesnt look like a Royal. Far away so tough to say. Frond looks more like a Foxtail because the frond spread 360 degrees out like a foxtail also the trunk isnt smooth like a royal and the trunk isnt larger at the base. Picture is taking from far away from that tree....I could be wrong

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