LANDSCAPE LIGHTING WORLD® FORUMS

Soffit Lighting

Discussion in 'Ask the Landscape Lighting Experts' started by Jarrod, Mar 28, 2019.

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  1. Jarrod

    Jarrod New Member

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    I am needing a little help deciding how to illuminate a wall with two bahama shutters. I would prefer to use spot lights to uplight from the ground, but since the shutters open from the bottom I assume that would not work. My other thought was to place puck lights under the soffit above the shutters. But if I were to use puck lights I was unsure how many I would need to make it look uniform as well as if I should use the 100 Lumen (too dim?) or 300 Lumen (too bright?) puck lights. Since the puck lights are going to be visible, I am worried they may be too bright when looking at them.

    I am also wanting to illuminate the west side of my house as well, which has larger bushes (sorry I don't have a better picture). Would it look silly to use spot lights to uplight the bushes on this wall, yet use downlighting on another wall?

    Any advice would be much appreciated!
     

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  2. Evan K

    Evan K Community Admin Staff Member

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    Hey Jarrod,

    You could certainly use spotlights to uplight from the ground. My recommendation would be to use narrow beam spreads for any fixtures between windows (15-38 degrees depending on the type/style of the fixture); this would help prevent glare from possibly entering the windows at night and any shadowing from the shutters. With these there is not really a defined amount of space you should put between each light; you would want to place them where you feel they highlight the features of your house the best, and where they can fill in empty space best essentially.

    upload_2019-3-29_9-6-53.png

    The puck light method would also work and look beautiful; this installation would require a bit more planning and labor. Our puck lights are extremely thin (less than 1" in fact) but, it is hard to tell from the picture whether or not they would visible or cast any glare on the walkway. These lights would also be plotted in a similar fashion (mounted on the soffit though of course); between windows, open expanses of wall, and even at peaks of the roof line. If you went this route, I would recommend the 300L BuddyPro Plus for noticeably beautiful but, subtle lighting.

    A mixture of uplighting and downlighting on a home can certainly add flare to the lighting design. The important things are to use lights as they were intended by design and keep color temperatures the same; the rest is mainly preferential to your personal goals. For a bush of that size, I would recommend using a flood light to blanket the entirety of it and create an artistic, shadowing effect on the wall behind it.

    If you had any further questions, don't hesitate to send me another message!
     

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  3. Jarrod

    Jarrod New Member

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    Thanks for your input Evan! I agree using spotlights would definitely make the installation much easier and would be my preferred method. However, my wife wants to highlight the shutters. Do you think using spotlights on either side of them would still emit enough light to see them at night?

    I'll try and get another pic of the soffit. If going this route, I was going to mount it as close to the gutter as possible and run the wire along the gutter where it is attached to the house rather than crawling around in the attic. Since there is no option for beam spread on the puck lights, would mounting the puck lights along the soffit between windows essentially act like a flood light and illuminate the entire wall or would there be some spacing?
     
  4. Evan K

    Evan K Community Admin Staff Member

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    Always a pleasure! When it comes to artistic lighting design, a target object doesn't necessarily always need to be illuminated with light specifically to draw attention; sort of like the lines in a picture guide our eyes to the focal point, beams of light around the object can help highlight the feature. With that being said, I believe the spotlights on either side of the windows would do well to accentuate the windows and shutters. But, if you were adamant about getting some light directly on them, my main recommendation would be to avoid anything ground-based for this. Being directly under one of those windows, the light would shine into your house, reflect glare off the window, and more than likely cast an awkward shadow upwards from being under the shutter. Downlighting from directly above the shutters would do well to highlight them as well as casting interesting shadows on the gardening below. The puck light is one method that we already talked about; you would use these directly above the windows you were trying to highlight. Another option would be to use some of our rotatable hardscape lights; these are low profile, would be easy to mount directly to the soffit, and you could adjust the angle of the light hitting the shutters. I would recommend either the 12" or the 18".
     
  5. Jarrod

    Jarrod New Member

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    Thanks again for the help Evan. I think I've decided to go with the puck lights mounted in the soffit. Just one more general question though. I'm wanting to use gutter mounts to light a few gables and a dormer on the roof. Is there any difference between using a flood light or spotlight light with a wide angle bulb?
     
  6. Evan K

    Evan K Community Admin Staff Member

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    Great question. Depending on which exact fixtures you may be referencing, the difference would be the light output and power consumption. Although spotlights can offer angels considered to be "wide-floods", floodlights typically offer much higher lumen counts (brightness) and thereby consume more power as well. Floodlights are generally designed with reflective inner housings for maximum spread of the light output and used to provide bright light over a wide area or cluster of features. While spotlights can somewhat 'match' the spread, it would be more subtle light on similar applications. Spotlights also offer more control over light output with adjustable glare guards, adjustable knuckles, and customizable bulbs.