Your opinion on how many well lights to surround a tree

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Conroy Lighting, Mar 25, 2019.

  1. Conroy Lighting

    Conroy Lighting LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Hello,

    I am bidding a job and was wondering your opinion on how many well lights to place around a tree. It's a smaller red maple tree, about 25' tall with a 25-35' canopy. I used 4 bullet lights for my demo install and it looked great. But I am going to use well lights for the permanent install. I'm curious how you many well light you think would give me the same light lumens to illuminate the whole tree. I think I know, but I want to hear how some one else would do it. The pic is the actual tree and yes I fixed the one bullet light that was off. Thanks in advance.

    Dan Conroy

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  2. BrandonV

    BrandonV LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,067

    4 dim up lights is better than 3 bright well imho. I’d recommend using the bullet lights vs wells because they don’t get buried as easy. Think mulch and leav3s.
     
  3. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,098

    I prefer to go with more fixtures as well but use lower output. I would only do Wells here if they were going to installed in a turf area.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Conroy Lighting

    Conroy Lighting LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Great comments. I'm going to recommend they get 4 uplights as opposed to well lights. thanks for your feed back.
     
  5. wyrenutz

    wyrenutz LawnSite Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 80

    Think about the many different surfaces that your light will hit.
    For instance say you had a down light illuminating a white concrete walkway with let’s just say a 5w60 degree lamp. Let’s say it’s 8 ft above. The brightness level on that concrete is going to be a lot brighter than let’s say the walkway was grass. The reflectance of the colour and surface of any material that your going to light will have a huge impact on the amount of light and number of lights to achieve the intended designed light levels. That Red Maple and once those leaves come out are going to soak up a lot of light and you will end up with hot spots depending on fixture location.
    That tree has some features that might allow for a ring mounted fixture mounted up in the tree to illuminate the lower trunk and branching as well as the mulched or dirt area below.
    As I see it that tree will need perimeter lighting skimming the outer rain drip area and more directly under aiming up into some clear sight lines.
    I’m not convinced four fixtures will provide you with possible referrals or if it’s your tree it won’t look to be in a three dimensional scene during the night. Red dark leaves soak up a lot of light.
    Just my opinion though.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  6. wyrenutz

    wyrenutz LawnSite Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 80

    These are just to provide an example of using more fixtures and less wattage or high levels of light. Although this example has green foliage I just wanted to show how many fixtures can be used to (in my opinion) light a tree with an artistic and unique design that captures the interesting bark and branching structure of this tree.
    There are 7 stake mounted fixtures and two ring mount fixtures lighting this tree.



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    knox gsl and Mike M like this.
  7. Jimmy Turks

    Jimmy Turks LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    I would wait till that tree is in full leaf before specifying anything.

    Wells only in the sod, bullets in the garden bed beneath.

    If it were me, I would say 4 bullets near the trunk, with 4 to five wells around the drip line. Brighter narrower lamps in the bullets (350 Lumen-36 Degree) to punch up inside the foliage, softer wider beam lamps in the wells(240 Lumen - 60 degree) to graze the perimeter. Paint it with light... fixtures are your brush strokes. You don't tell a portrait artist how many brush strokes to use do you?

    Good Luck.
     
    knox gsl likes this.
  8. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,734

    From an artistic standpoint, it is beautiful to use 8 or 10 light fixtures. But what is missing from this discussion is any budget concern from Conroy. Not everyone can afford $2500 or more to light one tree.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  9. Jimmy Turks

    Jimmy Turks LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    My favourite answer when asked: "How many fixtures are in this system?" Answer: "Enough".
     
    kellanv, starry night and BrandonV like this.
  10. OP
    OP
    Conroy Lighting

    Conroy Lighting LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    The budget for the home is $3500. For me to try and budget it properly, they are already getting 3 path lights, 8 uplights, and 1 flood light already I am going to do 4 bullet lights along the drip line. I think if I angle them correctly with a 60 degree led it will look proper. I don't think the tree will need a bullet going up the trunk. The wire runs are pretty easy, not that far from the transformer. It for good friend and I want to give him what he is paying for. I like the answer enough.
     
    knox gsl likes this.

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