LANDSCAPE LIGHTING WORLD® FORUMS

Landscape Lighting Recommendations

Discussion in 'Ask' started by Tbwill, Aug 12, 2019.

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  1. Tbwill

    Tbwill New Member

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    We recently re-landscaped the front yard and I am looking for some lighting recommendations. We would like to highlight the large and small Japanese Maples and also provide some lighting along the walkway and in the plant areas. Any advice and fixture recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks.
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  2. Mesodude

    Mesodude New Member

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    What a beautiful home and garden (I especially love the boulders)! Using one of your photos, I highlighted the trees I think you’re planning to light. I also placed yellow ovals to indicate possible places for your path lights. I think any of the spotlights (All Star, Top Dog, Fat Boy) would be great for your trees. If you want to go really low profile, you could opt for one of the well (or in-ground) lights. Because we have landscapers and the mailman likes to sometimes take shortcuts through our front yard, I chose to put in-ground lights in areas where spotlights might get damaged.

    To decide the best places for path lights and which models would work best, you’ll want to consider the effect you want as well as what the existing lighting is like at night. Do your your porch or garage lights stay on all night? Are there streetlights in front of your house that might wash out the effects of some path lights? These are just a couple of factors to consider when deciding where to place fixtures, which type to use, and how many path lights you’ll need. Ultimately it’s a matter of your personal preference but I think it’s a good idea to place path lights where there is some change in grade (a step or curb), a curve in the pathway, or some other transition. If you want individual pools of light that are primarily focused on the path, you’ll opt for some of the smaller hat fixtures that are lower to the ground and/or with a smaller beam spread. If your goal is to both light your path and highlight certain landscape features, a higher profile fixture like the Max Spread will give you the most bang for your buck. Hope this helps
     

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    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019 at 9:44 AM
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  3. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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  4. Tbwill

    Tbwill New Member

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    Thanks for the replies Mesodude and Evan! I wasn't sure whether one uplight would take of the large Japanese Maple. Also, would the Path Light nearest the windows provide enough light to highlight the surrounding shrubs?

    P.S. since we're in drought prone California, the new turf is synthetic.
     
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  5. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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    It really depends on the effect you were going for. Typically, 2 or more fixtures would be recommended for trees with large diameters (such as oaks), or for trees that act as centerpieces in a garden/property. Rather than just tossing in a single powerful uplight (likely 120V line-voltage for larger trees), the goal on a tree is generally to cover all of the important viewing angles and simultaneously give a 3D effect per se. With your tree, a 7W LED MR16 in any one of the lamp-ready fixtures that @Mesodude mentioned would look good; to really make that canopy pop you could consider using (2) fixtures either with 5W bulbs or 3W bulbs. You could place them in a perimeter around the tree or, some designers and homeowners place one aiming up the trunk and another placed slightly further back from the trunk directed up towards the canopy.

    For path lights, the diameter of the light output would be dependent on the style of hat you chose for your stems. Our Max Spread Path & Area Light for example is our most popular classic style and has a 16' diameter spread. A good spot for another path could be just in front of that boulder to the right of the front window to help continue the flow of light in that larger garden. The most common bulb for these lights is a 3W LED with a 2700k color temperature. Wattages can vary across different fixtures/different areas of your yard but you generally want to keep the color temperature the same for the design.
     
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  6. Mesodude

    Mesodude New Member

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    Not a whole lot I can add to Evan's thorough feedback except to say that a common mistake many of us novices make is what I call the "baseball stadium" approach to lighting. That is, trying to light the entire house and/or yard-- as if you or your guests were planning to view and traverse it the same way you would during daylight hours. What I think Evan is describing is a very painterly approach where, in your own style, you highlight just a handful of your favorite landscape features. I gave you one recipe for lighting your yard but there's any number of ways you could do it. My recommendation would be to first take a walk around your garden at night. As you do, consider the garden features you'd like to see illuminated (both from indoors and outside) at night. Think about how you anticipate you or your visitors will navigate the property at nightfall. This is also a good time to identify potential nighttime trip hazards. And finally, you can think about aspects of your yard that you might want to keep hidden-- like utility panels, tree stumps, or that secret place you stash your spare house key. That's the beauty of being able to decide on your fixture type, height, brightness, and beam spread. You can choose and customize a fixture that works best for different areas of your yard. FYI, I hope when installing your fixtures, you take advantage of some of those boulders. That's a great way to keep your light source hidden so that people viewing your yard can see the effect but not the source of your lights.
     
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