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Second floor lighting options

Discussion in 'Ask' started by fr8doggr, Jul 18, 2019.

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  1. fr8doggr

    fr8doggr New Member

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    Elevation.jpg Lighting options.jpg
    I am looking for some advice on illuminating the second floor of my home. I have attached some pictures for reference.
    I have installed 10 Volt All-Star spot lights on the ground level with 2 watt bulbs. Their position is marked by the red dots.
    In the picture "Lighting Options" I am not sure if I should add lights at the green dots to capture the gables, but that leaves the upper right side of the house dark. Or should I put lights on the purple circles, either on gutter mounts, or further out in the yard shining up from a distance.
    The second floor is really dark. I just don't know where to begin to add some light up there.
    Thank you for any guidance you can provide.

    Nick Lighting options.jpg Lighting options.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
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  2. Mesodude

    Mesodude Member

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    Hi, Nick. I'm not a lighting design expert but it looks like you're doing a pretty good job of lighting your house at the ground level. If you look back through some past threads, you'll find some examples of recommendations for houses with multiple gables somewhat like your own. I'm including one link below. I also sometimes like to look online for landscape lighting examples for houses similar to my own for inspiration. https://forum.voltlighting.com/threads/lighting-suggestions-needed-please.189/
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
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  3. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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    I certainly would not recommend installing any lighting fixtures out in the yard for the sake of lawn maintenance and the possibility of damage. Path lights along the direct edge of a driveway or path is a different story but, certainly not spotlights. A good rule of thumb is to keep ground-level spotlights or floodlights in garden beds or in the proximity of a certain feature (trees, statuary, fountains, possibly a mailbox).

    As far as the second story goes, I generally try to recommend against shining any lights directly on windows; this is for the sake of preventing light trespass into bedrooms/rooms at night and glare off of the windows on the exterior. Decorative dormers can be a different story though and some owners do angle lights directly on those types of windows or attic windows. I took the liberty of sketching out the entire layout to visually the flow. With the slight angle the photo was taken at, I'm not quite sure how much space there is in that upper eave where you only had the one light; so I was a little hesitant to recommend that light on the left side. But if there is more space than the photo suggests, it may help to complement the design on the lower eave.

    upload_2019-7-19_17-1-9.png


    If you find it difficult to use gutter mounts in a certain situation, surface mounts have also been used. The trick here would just make sure no holes are drilled into an attic space or, its properly sealed if so.

    upload_2019-7-19_16-40-40.png

    Definetely browse through the forums to see other recommendations and take a peek at our new Facebook group! The link is pinned to the top of this forum page.
     

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  4. fr8doggr

    fr8doggr New Member

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    Evan,
    Would you recommend a smaller M11 bulb and fixture on the second floor eaves on the center and left side? I think the gutter mounts on the right side would be fine with the M16s I have on the ground. But the area to be illuminated on the left and center eaves is really not that big. How would the M11s compare on a small space like that?
     
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  5. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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    It could certainly work and look beautiful. An MR11 fixture would also be more discreet and you would still be able to match the output accordingly (wattage & color temperature). Because it is for subtle, accent lighting on the second story I would more than likely recommend using a 2W LED for the MR11 bulb if you did go that route.
     
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  6. fr8doggr

    fr8doggr New Member

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    Thank you Evan. That's what I will do.
     
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  7. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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    Happy to help! Be sure to submit some photos of your completed project in our photo gallery (Share Your Story). We'll actually be having another photo contest next week.
     
  8. Mesodude

    Mesodude Member

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    Thanks for addressing this, Evan. Since I'm planning to use a fairly narrow beam spread range uplighting my house and I don't really want anything brighter than 400 lumens, I've been wavering between using minis (either All Stars or the new Lusitano) and the standard sized fixtures. Based on my criteria and assuming cost was irrelevant, are there compelling reasons I should choose something like a Fatboy or All Star over the more compact fixtures? I know I'll likely want fixtures that offer wider beam spreads and possibly output for lighting trees and shrubs, btw.
     
  9. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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    The Fat Boy is more of a budget-friendly spotlight but, it still offers the same customization options for the bulb and adjustability as the Allstar. The MR11 Allstar Mini is essentially just the original Allstar in a compact design with the same functionality. For larger trees or open expanses of wall space, MR16 fixtures are typically best; the outputs generally reach higher wattages as well as having wider spreads. MR11 fixtures are great for smaller shrubs/trees, second-story mounting, or unique niche features. You could stay at/below about 400 lumens with either style really.
     
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  10. Mesodude

    Mesodude Member

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    Thanks for the help, Evan. My main concern was sacrificing functionality in situations where I'll need the fixture to be as low profile as possible. You addressed my question perfectly.
     
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  11. fr8doggr

    fr8doggr New Member

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    Would you recommend using a 2W LED in a regular All-Star or using a 2W Led in a all-Star Mini? They are both 2700K and 38 degree spreads at 150 lumens. What would the difference be between the two fixture sizes? Also, do you think I should stick with MR16s on the gutter mounts on the right side of the second floor, or match the MR11s I will use on the left and center eaves?
     
  12. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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    Other than the difference in price and size, it is really a matter of preference in this scenario. If I was lighting my own second story, I would personally use MR11 fixtures because they are more low-profile and can have a more subtle light output (coming from someone who likes their bedrooms pitch black when they sleep :D). I would recommend MR16s for all of the spotlights on the ground except the tree maybe; if that tree will 'always' be somewhat of the smaller size as it is now, I would maybe use an MR11 on that as well. On a side note, some path lights would look great along that front walkway inside of the garden bed.
     
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  13. Lumiscape

    Lumiscape New Member

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    On the columns, how about downlights? I used MR11 bullets - not recommended for downlights - but out of the weather, under the eaves they are fine. I had some old aluminum fixtures and spray painted them to match the paint.
     

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  14. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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    Looks beautiful! Great moonlight effect.