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Lighting plan advice / help

Discussion in 'Ask' started by Mark, Aug 22, 2019.

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  1. Mark

    Mark New Member

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    Looking for some advice on getting some nice lighting around my home. I was thinking about uplighting the Palms and down lights in the other trees. Thoughts?
     

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  2. Mesodude

    Mesodude Member

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    Hi, Mark. Based on your photos, it seems you have a mind boggling variety of lighting design possibilities. I couldn't get a clear sense of the overall structure of your yard but I've attached a couple of your photos and diagrammed some of my ideas to get you started. On the side of the house, you suggested downlighting those two large trees. You could also uplight one and downlight the other. Or uplight both. On the side of the house itself, you could install a few puck lights in the soffit to gently bathe that beautiful smokey blue paint in light as well as highlight some of the shrubs below along that wall. Or instead of lighting the walls from above, you could light them from below—either directly by spotlighting from below or indirectly by backlight some of those shrubs. In either case, you’d want to be careful to avoid aiming lights into windows. Alternatively, you could spotlight or flood light onto the shrubs from the front without illuminating the walls directly. If you decided to go with downlighting/moonlighting, you might decide that this type of lighting is sufficient to create the effect you want. Depending on the overall effect you want, you could combine any number of those approaches. The same is true for the front of the house. You could illuminate those awesome columns from above with puck lights or you could illuminate them from below with spotlights (while backlighting the shrubs in front of them). If you wanted to do neither of those two things, you could indirectly light the columns by uplighting some of the small shrubs (so that they'd cast shadows on the columns). Again, there's any number of approaches you could take. Hope this helps to get your creative juices flowing.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
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  3. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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    To add to @Mesodude 's awesome recommendations, some gentle splashes or round wall washes on those shrubs on the side would cast a cool shadowing effect on the house (they would maybe need to get trimmed down a tad to maximize the visual effect). Downlighting on the shrubs from those 2 oak trees like you mentioned would also look great; running the ground wire through those root systems would probably be a pain though and you always have to think about the yard maintenance aspect in regards to exposed wire. The only other recommendations I would make would possibly be some path & area lights in the front garden bed, and 1 or 2 in the back garden bed near the screen as well; maybe an MR11 spotlight on each of those small palms or more lower-level output flood lights.
     
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  4. Mark

    Mark New Member

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    Thank you both. I hadn't considered lighting in the soffit. What Volt products would you recommend for that?

    Also, I think I was referring to moonlighting the two (non-palms). What is a good product for that?

    In regards to the tree roots, I can give it a go, but are there any strategies when running cables up the tree or ways to attach the cable securely?
     
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  5. Mark

    Mark New Member

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  6. Mesodude

    Mesodude Member

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    What a fantastic setting. This was way helpful. Will slightly tweak my recommendations.
     
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  7. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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    For soffits, I'd recommend either puck lights or linear hardscape lights. Either can really be used as they are low-profile and able to be surface mounted but, puck lights are generally used.

    Any of our downlights would be good for moonlighting really. If you prefer being able to insert/change the light bulb if needed, I would recommend the All-Star Downlight. For an integrated option I'd recommend the Woodsman. Both are offered with the tripod tree mount and come with 40-feet of lead wire standard to make the installation easier and prevent wire connections from dangling in the tree. The best way to secure the cable to the tree would be to use cable staples/clamps that screw into the tree. Never wrap the cable around the tree and always use stainless steel hardware when drilling; this allows for tree growth and prevents poisoning trees when drilling. As far as the roots go, a shovel, posthole digger and a handsaw are what I myself have used before to open up enough space under a large oak tree to install well lights. For a downlight, the wire being exposed at the base initially is obviously unavoidable; the goal would be to get the wire to come out of the ground as close to the trunk as possible to account for weed-whacking.
     
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  8. Mesodude

    Mesodude Member

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    Not a lot to add to my earlier comments. I screenshot this to give you an idea of the dramatic effect you could create at night by downlighting either or both of those large trees on the right side of your house. Basically you'll want to decide which architectural features, trees, shrubs, plants and other yard features you want to be the main stars vs supporting actors. After looking at the google cameras, I think uplighting some of those shrubs and trees around the pool would look stunning. I also think, gently illuminated, the gables over the main house and garage would look phenomenal. Again, hope this helps.
     

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  9. Mark

    Mark New Member

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    Thanks for all of the input. I think I'm going to start out with some uplighting, see how that looks then work on the moonling/downlight in the other trees.
     
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  10. Mark

    Mark New Member

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  11. Mesodude

    Mesodude Member

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    Congratulations, Mark! Unless you’re absolutely positive you’ll never want to move the fixture (or transformer) from the initial location, it’s a good idea not to trim the wires. You want to keep the wires leading to hubs or between fixtures the same length anyway to maintain voltage consistency. Here is some information to get you started on wiring your fixtures: https://www.voltlighting.com/article-low-voltage-layout-guide/p/article-low-voltage-guide
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
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  12. Mark

    Mark New Member

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    Got the kit, hooked up a few lights to see how well they work. They look great. I'm not sure about the column lighting...might just need to work on placement a bit.
     

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  13. Mesodude

    Mesodude Member

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    There's usually some tweaking before you get it exactly the way you want. The palm looks fantastic. When columns are somewhat recessed from a cap, aiming lights can be tricky. I have a similar (but less pronounced) challenge. My columns aren't set back as far and they begin about 18 inches from the ground. To compensate for the lip/cap below the columns, I bought extensions to raise the height of my spotlights several inches. To illuminate both the column and the podium below, some people install both soffit/downlights and uplights. That's always an option when you decide to add to your lighting system down the road. Thanks for sharing these, btw.
     
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  14. Mesodude

    Mesodude Member

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    One more thing...IMHO, there’s no reason you can’t achieve at least as impressive effects uplighting the sections below the columns. Sometimes doing the unexpected can have pleasantly surprising results. I forget where I found this image I’ve attached but thought you might find it interesting.
     

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  15. Mark

    Mark New Member

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    Added some uplights against the side of the house and the palms in the back.
     

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  16. Mesodude

    Mesodude Member

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    Looking good. I can't decide if I like that small palm in the front better backlit or uplit. Either way looks striking.
     
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  17. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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    It looks great @Mark ; I bet you're getting all the attention on that huge corner lot! :cool:
     
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