LANDSCAPE LIGHTING WORLD® FORUMS

Help me design low voltage lighting system

Discussion in 'Ask' started by Mark L R, Jul 6, 2020.

Share This Page

  1. Mark L R

    Mark L R New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2020
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hello, I'd love to have your input on lighting up my home. What products to use, and where to place. While doing the landscaping, I have already installed 12 gauge wire crossing under the sidewalk. I have power on the back corner of the house (behind the chimney), cant see it in these pics. I would put the transformer there - and run the cable around the side of house that is 1 story, and then cross under the sidewalk. From beginning to end, it could be 110 feet. Should it be 2 wires?

    Mainly interested in lighting up the house with uplighting, maybe some sidewalk lights, and/or shine a a few lights up the big oak tree? What do you think?
    Also - how can I light up the front of the garage? Mount light on the right front corner of the house?
    Thanks in advance.
     

    Attached Files:

    Evan K and Mesodude2 like this.
  2. Mesodude2

    Mesodude2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2019
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    139
    Hi, Mark. Photographed at an angle and from that distance, it's a bit difficult to judge perspective on the main part of the house (the straight on shot of the garage was extremely helpful) but I'll do the best I can in terms of recommendations. If you look back at the dozens of threads here, you'll notice a common theme. For the main part of your house, I recommend that you flank your windows with lights. The idea is to to illuminate your house attractively while avoid light trespass into your home (especially rooms where you sleep). I've recently begun recommending that people replace sconces where the light source is visible with up/down or down fixtures where the light source is hidden. That is, unless you're absolutely in love with your fixtures. Alternatively, you could lower the light level on your fixtures by using frosted bulbs and/or glass fixture canopies. IOW, dial back the brightness of your garage lights to a level that still provides the security that you want/need while complementing (rather than competing with) your landscape lighting.

    It looks like you already have some ideas about what features of your landscape you want to light. A couple of spotlights flanking the base of the trunk of that large tree and perhaps another two or three spots (or well lights) further away from the base to fully illuminate the foliage. By all means illuminate that cool boulder and surrounding garden (perhaps with a path/area light or small flood light. You could also illuminate the hedge with flood lights. There is no one perfect formula. I'm making suggestions based only on what I can see. There may be other shrubs, trees, and garden areas you'd like to light.

    As for the under sidewalk wires, I think what you've done is very smart. You can connect up to 7 fixture to some of the above ground hubs you'll likely use to power your lights. If you think you'll add more lights to that side of the yard down the road, it's not a bad idea to bring more than one wire under the sidewalk (I have three)--even if you just cap the unused wire off for now. I also highly recommend you look back at some of the dozens of threads. I think you'll find that there are excellent lighting recommendations and principles from Evan and others here that you can use for your own lighting plan. Hope my general recommendations are helpful.

    main720.jpg garage720.jpg
     
    Evan K likes this.
  3. Mark L R

    Mark L R New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2020
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    3
    thanks for the ideas....this is helpful.
     
    Evan K likes this.
  4. Mark L R

    Mark L R New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2020
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hi Mesodude2,
    What sorts of up & down lights are available for the garage? We have these pretty low wattage, like 30 watts (120 volt) each, as we didnt want anything too bright. I think the up and down lights could look cool. Do you have an item you like? A pic?
    Thanks< Mark
     
  5. Mesodude2

    Mesodude2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2019
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    139
    If you like those sconces with lower lumens bulbs, you can stick with what you have. The three fixture types here are dark sky. There’s a down light, a sconce, and an up/down light. All of these types of fixture would work with your brick colonial.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Mark L R

    Mark L R New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2020
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hi Again, Our sconces are just about like your middle choice, the antique bronze/brass.....however, they do not send any light up the brick wall. And this does not match the house, where the light goes up the facade. Do many places sell the up/down light?
     
  7. Robert Mason

    Robert Mason Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2020
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    29
    Google “cylinder lights”.
     
    Mesodude2 likes this.
  8. Mesodude2

    Mesodude2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2019
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    139
    what Robert Mason said. You can find a version of that cylindrical shaped up/down light just about anywhere. Big box stores and online lighting sites. A site I use a fair amount is Bellacor. If you feel like being overwhelmed by choices, you can check out build dot com. The thing you need to keep in mind as much as buying a fixture you like is making sure you get a fixture with the beam spread and shape you’re happy with. As you can see from photos here, a fixture with a rectangular or square body will cast a different shape light than a cylinder will. And just as adjusting the glare guard on your spotlight fixture alters the shape and beam spread of the lamp, wall fixtures where the light source is significantly recessed will project a tighter beam of light than fixtures where the light source is closer (or sits flush) to the fixture’s opening. Finally, you’ve probably already thought of this but that flower box below the garage window will block uplighting from a fixture installed on that center pillar.


    F9620E49-5B50-415A-895F-D9DA6633E6B7.jpeg E384FB2A-16E1-42A8-99BA-0F69786578F5.jpeg
     
  9. Robert Mason

    Robert Mason Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2020
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    29
    Meso has a good point about the shadow that would result from a center cylinder light shining on the flower box. It is not clear to me from your description if you have low voltage power to the garage front, especially the right side. If so, an alternative to the cylinder lights would be to stay with down lighting the garage pillars and light the gable by installing a gutter mounted 38 degree spotlight in each corner of the garage gable. You can run the lead wires down through the gutter down spouts.

    Uplighting the chimney by the garage would also look cool, again running the lead wire to the ground through the down spout.
     
    Mesodude2 likes this.