LANDSCAPE LIGHTING WORLD® FORUMS

Help with Lighting Design

Discussion in 'Ask' started by Rolanam, Jul 17, 2020.

Share This Page

  1. Rolanam

    Rolanam New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2020
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    4
    Hello! I was hoping for some help with my lighting design. I already started installing the Volt lights, but any suggestions would be appreciated!

    Front of House
    On the left side of the front of the house, there are a number of hydrangeas. Not sure if I should try to shine a light on them somehow. If so, curious to hear your thoughts on how to do this.

    On the right side of the front of the house, there are a number of rose bushes and catmint (purple flowers). Should I try to shine light on these somehow?

    I used six G2 Fat Boy Spotlights (38 degrees / 5 watts) on the front of the house.

    Don't mind the two path lights on the front pathway. Those are old non-Volt solar lights that I am getting rid of (they barely provide any light).

    Left Side of House
    I used three G2 Fat Boy Spotlights (38 degrees) and two Max Spread Path and Area Lights.

    Please let me know if you have any suggestions. It's a work in process! I plan to add a lot of lights to the back of the house and different trees in the front yard.

    Thanks,
    Rolanam
     

    Attached Files:

    Evan K and Mesodude2 like this.
  2. Rolanam

    Rolanam New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2020
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    4
    Hello! I thought it would be helpful to add some pictures of the house during the daytime. Any suggestions that you can provide for the front of the house - not sure if I should try to light up the hydrangeas and the roses, and if so, how I should go about doing that. Also, we have a Japanese Maple in the backyard that I wanted to light up - not sure what the best way to do that is. Lastly, we have a number of arborvitaes and spruce trees on the side of the house - not sure how to go about lighting those up. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated! I will post after pics once all of the lights are installed!

    Thanks,
    Rolanam
     

    Attached Files:

    Mesodude2 likes this.
  3. Mesodude2

    Mesodude2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2019
    Messages:
    193
    Likes Received:
    111
    Lovely home and looks like you’re off to a good start. First, I think 5W bulbs might be a tad bright for lighting a single story (especially if the ambient light at night is fairly low). At that brightness level and beam spread , the effect is scarcely different from using floods or wall wash fixtures. With 3W (or even 2W) spots, there’ll be a visible falloff projected on the wall but the light beam will still reach your roofline. At that reduced brightness, I also think you may find that a 38° beam spread is too wide for some wall sections or too narrow for others. Bottom line: The pre-configured kits are great for many applications (particularly where aiming a light precisely is not crucial, for instance) but when you want to light your home in a way that you’re sure will best emphasize all of its unique characteristics, customizing your fixtures a la carte is the way to go, IMO.

    You also asked about lighting your foundation shrubs. I generally avoid using “shoulds” when offering lighting feedback but I do think that floodlights would be appropriate for those areas. The path lights on the left side are almost engulfed by your liriope. They’d work better, IMO, illuminating shorter ground cover or other low profile features and they’re a perfect replacement for your solar fixtures.

    Your japanese maple has a fairly dense canopy. If you wanted to uplight it, here, in fact, is a situation where a 5W might be ideal. Alternatively, you could place fixtures outside of the canopy for a more dimensional effect. I also took the liberty of pointing out some other areas to consider lighting. That column with your address is one feature. I also think moonlighting from that large tree would look phenomenal. You have so much real estate (literally) that I encourage you to experiment with a variety of lighting techniques to create your own unique plan. I’ve diagrammed a few of your photos for additional guidance and hope I’ve helped point you in the right direction.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 24, 2020
    Evan K likes this.
  4. Rolanam

    Rolanam New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2020
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    4
    Thanks very much for the guidance Mesodude2! It's very much appreciated!

    Front of House
    Just want to make sure I have this right, as this is my first lighting project. Should I replace all of the 5W lights in the G2 Fat Boy Spot Lights that are pointed at the house with 3W lights? Will that look better? Are the current 5W lights shown in my first post too bright?

    In regard to lighting the foundation shrubs with a flood light, I'm worried that the landscaper is going to run these lights over with the lawnmower. Is there another way of lighting the foundation shrubs? Should I not light them?

    Left Side of House
    Is there another light fixture that I should use to light the liriope, or should I skip lighting them? I do have G2 Fat Boy Spot Lights lighting the house behind them.

    Japanese Maple
    Is two 5W 60 degree G2 Fat Boy Spot Lights a good choice for lighting the Japanese Maple?

    Right Side of House
    What is a good lighting choice to light the arborvitaes and the spruce trees on the right side of the house? What wattage and beam angle should I use? I was thinking of lighting maybe every third tree (there are probably 12 of them). What do you think about shining one light at the tree from street side and the other from pool side so that we have light on the inside perimeter of these trees as well as the outside perimeter? Lastly, I am concerned about placing the lights in the grass because I think that there is a high likelihood that the landscaper will run them over. I was planning to put the lights in the mulch, much closer to the tree. Curious to hear your thoughts on this.

    Thanks again!
    Rolanam
     
    Mesodude2 likes this.
  5. Mesodude2

    Mesodude2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2019
    Messages:
    193
    Likes Received:
    111
    Front of house: Well, you could swap them all out and then decide that my advice was a horrible idea. LOL. But seriously, if I were starting over, I would buy a 3W or 2W and try it out in one place. Seeing them side by side is a good way for you to decide if you want to change or stick with what you have. Again, brightness is a personal judgment call. IMO, highlighting sections creates a more complex scene than fully illuminating the exterior walls. One thing to consider is removing a few inches of turf in front of your border plantings so that you have a few inches of mulched soil where you could safely stake fixtures.

    Left side of house: again, there is no one perfect formula or recipe for creating a plan. If you are feeling hesitant, it might be a good idea to first look at the gallery here on VOLT, look at LL images on the internet, or walk the neighborhood to see what projects you like or don’t like. I think it’s a good idea to light foundation plants because it anchors your house to the ground. I urge you to trust yourself and look through the different path lights. A few more to consider are below.

    Japanese maple: I think only you will know what looks best in your garden. Don’t be afraid to experiment, as you can always change things later. Have fun with the process.

    Right side of house: as I stated before, I think you should experiment with different techniques, look at some examples to see what inspires you, and also check out some of the excellent how-to articles on the VOLT site. If you look back at some of the previous responses, you’ll see what advice has been given to members with homes similar to your own. Most of all, have fun. Good luck!


    https://www.voltlighting.com/landscape-lighting-12v-floodlight-path-area-elevator/p/VPL-3024-BBZ
    https://www.voltlighting.com/outdoo...v-path-area-lighting-traditions/p/VPL-390-BBZ
    https://www.voltlighting.com/outdoo...-all-star-innovator-copper/p/BVN-VPL-3025-CCP
     
    Evan K likes this.