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Downlighting from house

Discussion in 'Ask' started by Mesodude, Jul 8, 2019.

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  1. Mesodude

    Mesodude Member

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    Still in my planning stage and contemplating moonlighting shrubbery and the driveway on the side of our house. I'm thinking of mounting one or two lights beneath a third floor window ledges on either side of the chimney (see diagram) and would love to get some feedback on my approach as well as the most sensible way to route the wiring for the fixtures. A related challenge is that the transformer will be located on the far right side of the front of the house (as indicated by the red star). First, is that a good location for the lights? Also, assuming cost is no issue (meaning, for instance, I could put a transformer wherever I wanted to or I'm open to either low voltage or line voltage options, etc.), what would be the best way to mount one (or both) of these lights and route the wires. Thanks! downlights.jpg transformer.jpg
     
  2. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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    Hey there Meso,

    I'm not quite sure how easy it would be to run the wires if wanting to install lights under those windows; the wires would also more than likely be easily visible. You could consider using gutter mounts and illuminating from the corners of the house. This method would make the installation easier (less drilling) and allow you to hide the wire within the gutter system. Low-voltage is certainly the way to go and, given the size of your property, you should essentially be free to mount the transformer wherever preferred and (using the correct gauge of cable of course) still get optimal power at each fixture.
     

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  3. Mesodude

    Mesodude Member

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    Brilliant. Since there's already a fair amount of utility wire business going on on that side of the house, probably best to avoid making more. Finally, a backup plan I was already considering was to attach a light at the location indicated by the red star in the photo attached. It's nice and high, there's an outlet directly below it near the ground (to the left of the garage), and I'd still be able to reach the fixture fairly easily (if I needed to adjust it). Do you think that's a sensible approach or do you think one of the other locations (also starred) would work better? Thanks so much for your suggestions, Evan!
     

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  4. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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    Personally, I prefer a mostly geometrically balanced design so, I would certainly want the (2) initial lights for balanced illumination on the trees. I think that higher point would also be a great spot for an additional fixture; the moonlighting effect looks beautiful when continued around a property/house encompassing a number of objects/areas and that light would help continue the 'flow'. Perhaps there is another tree or some other unique yard feature you could illuminate in that unpictured area.
     
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  5. Mesodude

    Mesodude Member

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    The back yard (the unpictured area) is basically a large deep, rectanglular lawn area entirely bordered by mostly evergreens between 25 and 40 feet tall. We enjoy the night sky view from our deck but the remaining three sides of the house are my landscape lighting canvas. I'm really liking the idea of having downlighting mounted on the front and rear gutters of the main house, though. Really like your suggestions, Evan. Thanks so much.
     

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  6. Mesodude

    Mesodude Member

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    After looking at blueprints for my house and realizing the gutters are only about 20 feet high, I'm once again considering placing downlights on either side of the chimney, only higher up (see diagram). Although it'd be much easier to hide the wiring by mounting the lights on the gutter, I'm concerned that, even with a long shroud, at least one of the lights will be too easily seen (either from the driveway below or from passers by on the street). The proposed mounting height would be 27' -28'. My thinking is that hiding the lighting is more important than hiding the wiring. Thoughts? moonlight.jpg
     
  7. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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    Both are pretty important but, generally, it is more important to prevent glare and keep light sources hidden; not being able to see any wires is important to some but, it is largely preferential. For most downlighting applications, we generally recommend mounting at least 20' up a tree or wall of course, every project varies as far as what will look good. We do sell glare guards for the Woodsman: we offer a Narrow version and a Wide version.
     
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  8. Mesodude

    Mesodude Member

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    Thanks so much for your feedback, Evan. I was hoping you'd tell me one of my ideas was way better or worse than the other (so I could blame you if I don't like the final result). LOL But seriously, I'm going to mull the pros and cons to both my approaches for a bit before deciding. I realize I risk overthinking things but I love lighting designs where the lighting is soft and the sources are well hidden. So I'll definitely be using shrouds and other glare prevention as much as possible throughout my project. I really appreciate your help!
     
  9. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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    It's definitely always best to tread lightly when making recommendations; even with our customer support reps, we never want to give the impression that our recommendation is the only/best option for a homeowner. With so many factors to consider (local codes, HOAs, personal preferences, etc.), the 'perfect' design will widely differ from person-to-person. I am always glad to be of help! :D

    Be sure to submit some photos of your completed project!
     
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  10. Mesodude

    Mesodude Member

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    Will do, Evan. Thanks again!