Picking fixtures help? :)

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by punt66, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    Hello gentleman. I have a question. Maybe some one or a sponsor can lead me in the right direction with a part #. I have a long time client that is hiring me for a complete landscape redo. I have everything designed but before i put my stamp on my lighting design i have a question about lighting up the drive. The drive is curved. One side has a hill the other a 20' section of wooded area between neighbors drive. Nice large trees to work with. Currently they have a low voltage (old) lighting along that one side of wooded area. I am removing that and the plan is to add 2 motion floods (or sim) in 2 different trees to be able to light up the drive. I have not yet decided what motion placement i should use or which fixtures. I would like to diffuse the light though so it is not abbrasive and looks more like moonlight. I am open to any suggestions.

  2. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 381

    JP, I would not consider for one second motion lights if you are referring to the line voltage type. Feel free to PM me or call me. I live in the area and can point you in the right direction. If this is not something you do regularly, I can help out. Remember in Connecticut, you have to be licensed to do both line voltage and low voltage work.
    The tree lined driveway can give you a tremendous opportunity to create something wonderful.
  3. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    Yes, i am well aware of the need to be licensed. I am not. I am however good at landscape design and installs and typically design my own lighing projects and work with an electrician to install. I will take pics of the drive (your right, the lighting in this drive can be incredible if done right and that is why i am looking for outside opinions). I do want the lights to be able to turn on when the home owners pull in. They are retired and travel so they come home at all hours and a timer just isnt doing it for me. I have not done much with motion other then a cheezy garage light.
  4. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Motion sensors are so 1970's. I would not be caught dead using them. If done right, the downlighting from the trees will be glare free, soft and subtle, and if you use LED lamps inside the fixtures they will be using next to no electricity to power them. In this way the clients can enjoy the benefits of great lighting that comes on at dusk and off whenever they want, each night of the year.

    Put that call in to Bob... he is a great asset and will be able to 'show you the light' - if you are willing.
  5. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 381

    There are many options for controls of the lighting. A motion detector is not one of the good ones. In your area, I am sure you are in the wooded areas, you have to contend with all sorts of small furry woodland creatures, even some big ones. Ask your electrician how he would control that area of lighting. Controls can be as simple as astronomic timers, ABT systems (I have never installed one so I don't know for sure) to simple lighting controls to automated lighting control systems. The electrician should know all except for the ABT system.
    Do they have smart phones, they can control not only the outside lighting but the interior as well so they are never entering a dark home.
    They can turn on the lights from the visor of the car very easily and the side of the bed or any of 9 locations. WHile your at it, turn on the inside lights as well. If they are elderly, this will act as one more security aspect.
    Proper lighting design incorporates all of these aspects of lighting, not just where or what type a fixture is. Work with your electrician and you should do great.
    With your knowledge of landscape and his knowledge of lighting controls and electrical, you can do great things. An electrician should be more than just one who puts wires together according to Code.
    I don't mean to sound condescending but too many think that the electricians are dumb apes. Most are pretty savvy and if they are an electrical contractor they put in a minimum of 10000 hours (at least in Connecticut) to hang their shingle so they could have some helpful insight. If not, keep looking they're out there.
  6. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    Good stuff. I will ask them if they have smart phones. Creatures/wind/falling leaves were my concerns with motion as well. I will talk to my electrician and my clients again to see how far they want to take the control system or maybe i can just use a timer. Thanks guys. RLI, the electrician i use is a great electrician and has occasionally good ideas but he is not into new products and design. So i am open to chat with you. I will take pics of the property today as i am working in that neighborhood anyway and post them here and if willing we can chat through phone or PM about the job.

  7. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    Ok, here is the drive i am working with. Just spoke to the clients. (elderly) They do not have smart phones and do not want anything "complicated". They are fine with a timer. They do like the idea of the motion sensor still hahah. But i can talk them out of it. Or if we can do a motion/timer combo? But using just a timer is ok. Their landscape project will be done in two phases. This year is lighting and landscaping left side of the driveway and walk to front door. This is the smaller project. Next year the plan is to remove the hill on the right side of the diveway and use the fill in the backyard to level out the grade and give them a more usable front and back yard. Here are some pics.







    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  8. S&MLL

    S&MLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 751

    If the still want the motion then use an abt like bob suggested. You can have ur ec wire it in a way that only a certain zone comes on when activated. Its also wireless so you can mount where you please. (certainly not 1970s there James) The unit is also a built in timer so you can program your non motion zones. Also you can have them all on a program then have the motion override everything.
  9. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 381

    Jason, got your PM, looking forward to your call. Remove those yard warts and downlight, that would be my suggestion.
  10. NightScenes

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

    I agree with Bob, this place could be magic if done right! Stay away from the motion sensor and go with LED down lighting and this will be a great project! JMO

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