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Help with lighting recs

Discussion in 'Ask' started by SoonerFrog, Aug 18, 2019.

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  1. SoonerFrog

    SoonerFrog New Member

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    Hi- we just finished a bunch of work on our landscape, but realized we need some lighting to help spruce up the house at night. I really like your fixtures and I am hoping to do all LED. I have pictures of both front and back that I am looking to add lights to. I would prefer to keep them on the same transformer if at all possible. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,

    SoonerFrog
     

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  2. Mesodude

    Mesodude Member

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    Welcome, SoonerFrog. Cool architecture. Before I offer suggestions, a couple of quick questions. First, on the front of the house, what is that white band between the first and second floors? Is that raised (in other words, is this a small ledge or molding) or is that region flat? It's a bit hard to determine from the photo whether or not it has a lip. Also, I'm guessing the outlet you want to plug your transformer into will be in the back of the house? Thanks!
     
  3. SoonerFrog

    SoonerFrog New Member

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    The white section is flat and pretty much level with the brick maybe sticks out an inch. The second story actually overhangs the first floor by about a foot and a half. Yes, the plug I would like to use is near the electric panel in the back.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  4. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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    Hey there. I'd be happy to make some general recommendations. I'll try to link some products/catalogs as well.

    For the front, I'd recommend a combination of uplights, downlights, and pathlights. For the larger tree, 2 spotlights around the base or possibly a floodlight would probably be needed to really light up that canopy. For the smaller tree, perhaps just a single spotlight with a wider beam spread being used or a floodlight with a naturally wide spread (you have some options when it comes to wide trees as far as how you want to illuminate them). With that overhang you mentioned to Mesodude, I'd probably want to illuminate from the top and bottom; smaller MR11 spotlights on the bottom floor and possibly low-profile puck lights to illuminate from the open spaces on the second floor. All the uplights and path lights would be easily ground staked and the puck lights could be easily surface mounted with the predrilled holes.

    That's a nice and spacious backyard; I'm sure you'll want to use that patio area a lot so some path lights around the perimeter would help to provide some useful area light for grillin' and chillin'. For the overall scheme in the backyard living space, I'd think downlights would provide a beautiful moonlighting effect that would do well to preserve a relaxed ambiance while providing more functional light than spot or floodlights would. You could even downlight that garden bed in the way back or, use spotlights to highlight that single tree and use path lights, or deck lights mounted on the fence for subtle illumination on the back bed.

    You do certainly have a lot of options though; any particular design or type of lights you liked?
     

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  5. Mesodude

    Mesodude Member

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    Evan, I was gonna post my diagrammed photos but after seeing yours, I realized our visions are about 90% in alignment. Nice to know I'm a fairly decent pupil. :cool: I think the only major difference I have is that I've uplit most of the trees and I thought a few lights over the garage doors might be a nice touch. Btw, hypothetically speaking, if the infrastructure was there, would that be an advisable location for either puck lights or downlights?
     
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  6. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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    You make some great recommendations @Mesodude and more voices/feedback in any of our forums or groups are always greatly appreciated! More often than not, because 'most' of the homes we see on here have garage lights and I'm not one to recommend that someone install an uplight directly under a bright, line-voltage lantern, there aren't many recommendations to be made for a garage. The typical lanterns generally provide good area light as well as illuminating the walls on the outer edges so, other than path lights down a driveway (which I am more cautious to recommend given the risk/reward here) the only other thing I have in fact recommend is downlights like you mentioned. More so puck lights from the eave/overhang of the garage if possible (low-profile and good for subtle area light.) It is a tad difficult to tell from the photos but, it may be a good option for this house indeed.
     
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  7. SoonerFrog

    SoonerFrog New Member

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    I appreciate both of your inputs. I never would have thought about the puck lights on the upper walls. If you have any pictures of them installed at night, I would love to see what kind of light they put out. I have struggled with the garage because there are no existing lights and no really good way to get power over to that side of the house. What transformer would you pair for all the lights you have recommended? There will be some longer runs to get the both front and back done on the same transformer. Thanks!
     
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  8. Mesodude

    Mesodude Member

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    Hi, Sooner. I've attached a photo of a project from Volt's photo gallery section (which you can access under the Learn menu at the top of the page) which includes puck lights. In fact, I encourage you to look through the photo gallery to see examples of what lighting effects are created by various fixture types. I've found the product videos and articles on Volt's website to be extremely useful. I'll defer to Evan for transformer recommendations. Before you choose a transformer, at the very least, you'll want to determine the distance your farthest fixture from the transformer will be. Depending on your overall lighting plan, it's conceivable that having an electrician install a second outlet (on either the side or front of your house) and using two of the smaller capacity transformers is a more practical and cost effective solution than trying to power all of your fixtures with one larger capacity transformer. Just something to keep in mind.
     

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  9. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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    Here is another photo of some puck lights in use (BuddyPro Plus I believe). The quality of the camera isn't the greatest what with the hotspots. For the transformer, I'd recommend waiting until you have more of an exact idea of how many lights you will use/already have and consider if you may plan to expand in the future. Also, to @Mesodude 's point, you may benefit from having (2) smaller transformers if it simplifies the installation or say if the fixtures in the way back would be out of range of the transformer mounted towards the front of the house (difficult to tell distances from photos right now).
     

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