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Looking for advice on front and backyard lighting

Discussion in 'Ask' started by Jackelantern, Nov 18, 2019.

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  1. Jackelantern

    Jackelantern New Member

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    I'm looking to get help with my house as far as lighting is concerned. I would like any input.

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  2. Mesodude2

    Mesodude2 Active Member

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    Great house, Jackelantern and thanks for all the pics. That was really helpful. You have endless design possibilities so I will just touch on a few ideas. If I were you, I'd think about the architecture and landscape features you like the most or the ones you think are the most remarkable. What jumps out at me might be very different from what you think are the most eye-catching features of your property. The first thing I noticed is that your soffits are very deep and that's excellent infrastructure for soffit lighting. I think puck lights spaced more or less the way I have diagrammed in your front yard pics would light both the facade of the house as well as the shrubbery below. I'd initially thought about some uplights for that section of the house immediately to the right of the garage but with the shrubs installed the way they are, I think that could prove challenging. I recommend a couple of gutter mounted mini spotlights to illuminate the gables above the garage and a spotlight for the tree (and possibly an area/pathlight with a beam spread wide enough to highlight the base of the tree and part of the sidewalk) near the sidewalk. In your backyard, you could evenly space uplights to show off the rich red color of your fence. Alternatively, you could uplight some of the showier shrubs (like the flowering one behind the hammock) if you want to emphasize the plants vs the fence. My personal preference would be to use both lighting techniques independently. IMO, that would create a dynamic and more interesting lighting scheme. I added a path light to the raised bed in that corner but you could also try aiming a small floodlight at that foliage for a different effect. Depending on your budget and how adventurous you're feeling, you could uplight that giant tree that overhangs your front and backyards or you could even add some downlights to create a compelling moonlighting effect. We like to enjoy the night sky in our back yard so I wouldn't necessarily recommend illuminating portions of the back of the house in the same way I would the front but you might find that idea appealing. Again, my approach is to illuminate the parts I find most interesting. There is no one perfect way to create a landscape lighting scheme. Good luck and hope this helps.
     

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  3. Jackelantern

    Jackelantern New Member

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    Wow, thanks for all the information! I really do like the ideas. But, as far as the quote above goes, do you have a good resource for the process of how to install puck lights into the soffits?
     
  4. Mesodude2

    Mesodude2 Active Member

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    You’re welcome. You could have a landscaping company install them but a roofer or electrician who’s comfortable working high up should be able to do it as well. FYI, soffit lights can usually be either surface-mounted or core-drilled (inset). The latter approach will cost more but if having extremely low profile lighting is important to you, it might be worth it to pay a little extra.
     
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  5. Evan K

    Evan K Online Liaison Staff Member

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    Awesome recommendations from @Mesodude2; as always! :D

    Beautiful home!

    I took the liberty of posting some similar but slightly different recommendations below; more of an uplighting approach overall and focus on the living area/space in the backyard.

    Lighting always looks great on pergolas but, with the solid foundation, there really wouldn't be a way to cleanly and safely run wire to the structure. The fence may look nice illuminated with some more landscaping in place but, it also looks a bit older and something you may replace in a few years? So, I would say the focus in the back yard area should be offering area light for safety and entertaining.
     

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  6. Mesodude2

    Mesodude2 Active Member

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    Thanks for your feedback, Evan. I'd considered the challenges of lighting the pergola as well. I'm fairly handy with power tools but if I were Jackelantern I might have my electrician or plumber or masonry pro choose the shortest route possible between an edge of the patio and the base of a pergola post and grind a narrow channel for a cable. That is, assuming there wasn't an existing crack that could be used (I couldn't see one from the photos). The challenge that concerned me more was, what's the best approach to lighting something that dark? My first thought was some combination of deck lights (Dojos, etc) but I wondered if that would be sufficiently bright. Then again, combined with your idea of path/area lights, however, perhaps that setup would work great.