Tests prove I need Help

Discussion in 'Ask' started by Posi, Nov 14, 2019.

Share This Page

  1. Posi

    Posi New Member

    Oct 21, 2019
    Likes Received:
    street view.jpg My plan is to find the correct products from Volt Lighting to correct my shortcomings. I have used box store LEDs to start my project. I have 9.8-watt spotlights on the five trees. The birch trees, as well as the one to the left of the house, have 3-watt LED well lights as fill from behind. For the house, I used 3-watt 200 lumen spots to softly wash the brick. Ther are four wire runs using a mix of 12ga, 14ga, and 16ga wires.

    The power source used is a 200watt power supply with a built-in timer and 12v/15v outputs.

    What concerns me the most? Colors are not consistent. The wall lights look too soft with hot spots. Do you feel the tree spots are too powerful? The tree to the immediate left of the house has a baffle over both the spot and well light to reduce glare. This has reduced their output. My entry door is only lit when I have the porch light lit.

    Located in the eves of the house are 30w 120v downlights at each corner as well as a wall-mounted porch light.

    Can you offer any recommendations that would send me in a better direction? street view.jpg Night view.jpg
    Mesodude2 likes this.
  2. Mesodude2

    Mesodude2 Active Member

    Oct 18, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Hi, Posi. First of all, terrific house and what a fantastic setting. The good: I actually think you’ve done a great job lighting the house. Brightness is a matter of personal taste. My mindset is, when you don’t have to compete with street lighting or lighting from surrounding properties, you can create stunning lighting effects using less light than you might first think. I wouldn’t go much brighter (if at all) than you have with your uplights on the house. It also looks like your lights are aimed almost perfectly. I think you’ll find that Volt offers a huge variety of lenses and filters that can help you mitigate problems like glare and hotspots.

    One of the biggest issues, imo, is that your lighting lacks dimension. One way to address that is to either uplight that driveway side of the house as well or add soffit lighting (like you have in the front) to downlight that side. Then, when you view the house from the roadway or a distance, you’ll get a more expansive view of the house’s architecture. Another issue is that because there is no area lighting, as lit, your house appears to be floating (the same is true for the trees). Basically there are these pockets of light spread out throughout your property with nothing tying them together and nothing anchoring the house to the ground. That, too, is a fairly easy fix. I can’t see them well in your photos but in addition to the border garden at the mailbox, it looks like you’ve got lots of interesting planting areas going on beneath those trees. Consider installing some path lights with a generous beam spread and locate them where they can illuminate both the edges of the asphalt and driveway as well as the plantings beneath the trees. This would show off the plantings and eliminate the illusion that the trees are floating in space.

    In addition to the much brighter soffit lighting, as you pointed out, it appears you’ve got at least a couple different light color temperatures going on. It could be my eyes or my monitor but it doesn’t look like all the spotlights on the house are matching color temperatures either. Decide on which color temperature you like the most and then choose bulbs of the same color (so that the house is lit uniformly).

    IMO, that seems like a lot of lighting on your trees (especially the smaller ones). For the large trees, I might flank the trunks with a couple of 3W spots or three 2W spots evenly spaced around the tree trunk. For the smaller trees you might be able to get away with one (or two at the most) 2W or 3W spotlights or well lights. The way you have them lit now, I don’t think the overall brightness is the issue as much as the effect created by having one or two really bright light sources lighting the entire tree. Finally, I bet one or more of those tall conifers in front of the house would look stunning all lit up. Again, this is just one person’s perspective. Others might have different ideas and suggestions. Hope this helps.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
    Evan K likes this.
  3. Evan K

    Evan K Online Liaison Staff Member

    Jul 27, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Definitely a beautiful property!

    I would agree with @Mesodude2 on a number of points. For starters, judging from a photo, it is hard to say whether the brightness may be too much or the color temps are not matching. For the most part, I believe the overall brightness of the system is ideal for the home and for the color temperature you should decide on one and verify that all the products you have match (whether integrated or using bulbs). The only circumstance where differing temps may not look off would be if you had one style in the frontyard (3000k for ex.) and a different color in the backyard layout (2700k for ex. for a warmer light).

    Some fixtures could certainly be added and possibly moved to add dimension to the design. As Meso said, I would recommend considering some LED path & area lights along the walkway.

    To help with the front door, you could consider relocating one of the lights on the small tree in the middle to the dark wall space by the door (it does seem bright/oversaturated from the photo). With the one fixture still on the tree, you could install it in front of the tree and angle it to where the shadow of the tree is cast on the middle portion of the home; introducing a different lighting technique that can add even more dimension. I went ahead and posted a photo to help illustrate.

    Attached Files:

    Mesodude2 likes this.