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Suggestions on lighting this deck

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by LightYourNight, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. LightYourNight

    LightYourNight LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101

    I have a customer from out of state who wants to light a deck. Here is the email from him:

    "Thank you so much John Paul. I attached 3 pictures from different views. To give you an idea, I took some measurements. Ideally I want to add step lights but if you think I need to add something more please let me know. I am looking for something elegant and low key but that makes it pop without looking tacky. I would also add a light to illuminate what I am cooking on the grill you see on the left, change the lights on the walls, and maybe add a new one by the table for night dining.

    First step is 28 feet and until the end of the main deck is 25 feet. See how it wraps around with the second, smaller deck.
    Second, and third are 28 feet.
    Fourth is 15 feet
    Fifth is 5 feet

    All the steps are under 1 foot tread. Rise is about 5".
    Please let me know if you need any other distances.

    I rather stay away from LED lights. They are too "cold" looking. Power access is not an issue.

    Appreciate any help you can give me."

    Now first off we've done a lot of decks and we think of ourselves as experts on standard decks. Most decks we light have railings though and not sharp drop offs. Any input on how to light the edges would be great. Maybe some kind of surface mount directional fixture set into the deck? The deck supports will be an issue as always so the smaller the recessed bit the better.

    I attached 3 pictures from the homeowner and one that shows where we plan on placing the louvered step lights(probably kichler 15072co)

    Thanks for the help guys. Ive been doing lighting and electrical for a long time and have enjoyed all of your posts... when Ive had time to look through them. I'm happy to finally be participating. Thanks again!!




    step light layout.jpg
  2. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    1: Steps lights as illustrated work for that area.
    2: Advise the client that they need a railing around the elevated area of the deck to meet basic building code. Around here, any more then two risers from grade to deck requires a railing structure. Bottom line is if a lighting guy does try to make that area safer after dark, and and the client does not install an appropriate rail structure, then I would bet the lighting contractor will be accepting some responsibility in the event of a slip/fall accident off that deck. Personally, I would stay away from the job until it meets code.

    3: Once a rail or appropriate barrier (bench with a back) has been installed you can carry on. It could be very effectively 'moonlit' by installing a few directional bullets on the fascia of the dormer (one with a tight spot on a switched circuit just for the grill) shining down onto the dec surface. This in conjunction with a few postlights or underbench mounted niche lights would work out.

    Bottom line, think ahead as to what you are getting into in terms of responsibility and liability on each job. Adding light to that deck is fine, until someone walks off the edge of it and then claims they could not see the drop as the deck was well lit and the surrounding landscape completely dark. Be careful out there.
  3. LightYourNight

    LightYourNight LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101

    Good Call. Im not doing the work just the design. But I will make sure to tell him to do something about that drop off and not make any suggestions for it as is. Thanks for the warning!!
  4. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    John Paul, I just visited your website. Very impressive. Is the home on the home page your work or one of your customers?
  5. LightYourNight

    LightYourNight LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101

    Kichler Photo.
  6. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    wow that pic looks awfully familiar. Where have I seen that before ?:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:
  7. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    Good answer my friend. Either you are real intelligent, or just plain honest, but either way I like your honesty. Take a look at my website and you will see what I mean. My homepage has the same photo. It was one of my first jobs, and although I'd like to think I've progressed in lighting design I haven't changed my site in several years. (I should though). I can't say that I agree with what you are doing business wise by selling to DIY'ers, but in this economy, I guess you have to do what you have to do. As a suggestion, I would recommend that you use your own photos to display your work. This thread alone will probably hurt your business as you have now been exposed as someone who uses other peoples work to portray your business. Not Good! I know it's hard with a start up business, but you must strive to be individualized (is that a word?). Whatever, thank you for the honesty. Just to clarify a lot of other conversation, did Kichler give you that photo or did you copy it out of the catalog?

  8. LightYourNight

    LightYourNight LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101

    i would say its hard to take good pictures... and thats a good picture kichler sent me on a marketing cd
  9. NightLightingFX

    NightLightingFX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 580

    OK, I have to jump on my soap box for a moment.

    I am by no means anywhere as successful as some of the professionals that contribute to this forum so what I have to say probably doesn't carry as much weight as it would coming from someone who has proven themselves financially successful in this business.

    But as someone who considers himself as a quality outdoor lighting professional & artist. I would be ASHAMED and EMBARESSED if anything other than my work was promoted on my website. I think a quality outdoor lighting professional has to have a cetain amount of pride and ego in their work in which they are proud to display THEIR work vs. just throwing up anything that looks good.

    I realize that when you are just starting out you my not have much work to show. That is where demos come in to play. Do a demo and take pics. I have to admit, when I first started out I did experiment with some of Uniques promo pics they had on a CD. But I personally think that if you are at a stage in your business where you have a website, then shame on you for not using your own work:nono:

    The bottom line is in my humble oppinion: if you can't create a demo that looks good and take good pics of it. Then you aren't qualified to market yourself as a Professional Outdoor Lighting Contractor.

    That is just my opinion, OK I am off my soap box now.
  10. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 6,464

    Thats how i did it! I only used my work for pics! The first ones were demos. Luckily i sold my third demo and got pics of a actual install! I never even considered using someone elses work on any of my advertisements.

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