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#66901 - 06/22/06 12:54 PM long distance lighting help
falcondfb Offline

Registered: 09/28/02
Posts: 37
Loc: Jersey, USA
I am bidding on a job that is different from my past experience and need some suggestions.
The first part of the project is going to require me to mount approx 3 fixtures in a tree 50 feet from the ground. These fixtures will be required to light the roof of the customers house which is approx 100 to 120 feet away from the fixture. I need to keep the beam pattern fairly tight on the roof with as little as possible splash over. I have a similar installation elsewhere on the property but the throw distance is around 80 to 100 feet. These fixtures will be straight security floods so I am not worried about beam pattern.
Given the height of the fixture and the distance I figured I would go with a metal halide fixture but I am not sure it will do the job. He understands he will have to hire a tree cutting company to change bulbs so I want to provide the longest possible bulb life. Can you recommend any specific fixtures?

[This message has been edited by falcondfb (edited 06-22-2006).]

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#66902 - 06/22/06 02:27 PM Re: long distance lighting help
Radar Offline

Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 349
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Sorry - I just have to ask: Why does this guy so determined to light up his roofs? Past problems with crawlers up there?
There are 10 types of people. Those who know binary, and those who don't.

#66903 - 06/22/06 02:29 PM Re: long distance lighting help
falcondfb Offline

Registered: 09/28/02
Posts: 37
Loc: Jersey, USA
the house is an old spanish looking estate with a slate roof. the owner is the president of comedy central

#66904 - 06/22/06 04:12 PM Re: long distance lighting help
sparkync Offline

Registered: 10/17/02
Posts: 811
Loc: NC
I didn't think the code allows you to use vegetation to mount electrical equipment or wires to. Maybe that is limited to voltage, but I'm sure you are talking at least 120 volts.???

#66905 - 06/22/06 04:28 PM Re: long distance lighting help
falcondfb Offline

Registered: 09/28/02
Posts: 37
Loc: Jersey, USA
I knew someone would bring that up, and I think you are correct. I am not sure what else to do though. I could put a 50' pole or 2 in his yard but I dont know what that will look like.

No wait, the code you refer to is for overhead spans but under 410.16 H is says it is OK for lighting fixtures, and does not give a voltage limit. interesting

[This message has been edited by falcondfb (edited 06-22-2006).]

#66906 - 06/22/06 04:40 PM Re: long distance lighting help
SolarPowered Offline

Registered: 07/05/04
Posts: 615
Loc: Palo Alto, CA, USA
Here's the instrument to use for that sort of lighting:

I believe they are approved for wet areas, as I know they are used in outdoor theatres.

The normal lamps are only rated for 300 hours, but they have long-life lamps also that are rated from much longer. Also, there is an HID version.

Edited to add: They look like they'd be horrendously expensive, but they're actually only about $275. (Edited again to add: I posted that before I saw your reply. That price is the incandescent version; I don't know what the HIDs cost.)

[This message has been edited by SolarPowered (edited 06-22-2006).]

#66907 - 06/22/06 04:51 PM Re: long distance lighting help
falcondfb Offline

Registered: 09/28/02
Posts: 37
Loc: Jersey, USA

WOW that is a crazy fixture, the HID are rated for 12,000 hours which is the least I would want to use. I had a feeling I would need to use a theater style fixture. I'll let you know what they cost.

Any other suggestions are still welcome

#66908 - 06/22/06 06:13 PM Re: long distance lighting help
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Vanity, my favourite vice....

First, a reality check.. how does he expect to change the bulbs?

While the NEC may allow branch circuits in trees, local ordinances may not. Make sure it's OK first!

To illuminate a roof, I would prefer to mount lights slightly above the bottom edge of the roof- say, maybe a foot, and angle them slightly toward the roof. This would also work if your supports extended horizontally, rather than upwards from the eaves.
Another approach, especially if the roof is a complicated one, is to have the lights in "section "A"" illuminating "section"B"".

Because of maintenance and weather issues, I'd be biased in favor of low voltage, garden-type lights. There is one style theat has a glass "mushroom" atop the spotlight. As designed, it gives a very non-directional light to things above it; I suspect that, were you to paint the top of this glass piece with silver paint, the light would be directed downward, in a soft pattern. Add another coat of paint to match the roof, and I think these fixtures would disappear.

For the sake of argument, let's say the guy is fixated on having lights IN the tree, shining down on the house.
Concern #1...just how hot will the light get? No sense torching the tree.
Concern #2....bulb changing. How about hanging the light from a frame that would let you lower it for maintenance?

#66909 - 06/23/06 12:17 AM Re: long distance lighting help
e57 Offline

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
GENTLEMEN, DON'T BE SILLY... This guy is not going to change bulbs.... He reminds his assistant that she did not think of it before him, and hire someone to do it, et cetera.

However I would suggest a very good look at the local laws about efficiency, and and any "Dark Sky Ordinance", as well as a light conversation with the planning or permit dept. before starting any work. If pricing, add that as contingincy up front.

Back to the idea, maybe wash the roof from several different lower points instead. Even from the hips and valleys of the roof itself.

Let me put on my designer lisp....

[flambouyant]Ok, what do you think about this.... (hand wave) Some good dimmable HO linear flouesants hidden coves to wash... now wait they make some decent flicker free ones now... This is not your granpas odlsmobile... It good clean light from those now... Then some dimmable halogen floods from the side, to fill, and soften... Instead of posts to mount them, we could hire out this really neat metal scupter friend of mine to make it artsy, kinda spire like thingy... (twisting hands all over) [/flambouyant]

You have no idea how many conversations I hear like that.... I cring...

Oh, heard a really great joke...

"How do tell the difference between a Designer, and an Architect? - Architect is waving one hand, Designer is waving both."

I'll add, How do you tell who the GC is, and who's the Owner? GC has the hands in the Owners pocket, and the Owner has his hands over his ears.
Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason


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