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Topic # 101533 3-May-2012 14:57 Send private message

I have a path hugging the front of the house, and I'm trying to decide on the best way to light it. The path is concrete, sloped and includes two minor flights of stairs (as indicated in red below).




- As an experiment, I tried putting a spot where the last light was positioned (as indicated by 'A'), but the angle was blinding to anyone coming up the path, and both the stairs were cast into darkness.
- I've considered low wall mounted lights, but wiring would be impossible and I don't want to make holes in the brickwork.
- I've considered low voltage bollards and underground wiring on the far side of the path, but that would be very expensive, and there is no convenient exit point to run wires out of the house.

Now I'm thinking the best (and cleanest looking) approach would be recessed cans in the eaves. The eaves are large, and I can run all the wiring through the ceiling cavity. What are my chances of getting away with just three recessed fittings ('B')? It needs to be something that wont set fire to the wooden soffit.



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  Reply # 618906 3-May-2012 15:02 Send private message

Oubadah: I have a path hugging the front of the house, and I'm trying to decide on the best way to light it. The path is concrete, sloped and includes two minor flights of stairs (as indicated in red below).




- As an experiment, I tried putting a spot where the last light was positioned (as indicated by 'A'), but the angle was blinding to anyone coming up the path, and both the stairs were cast into darkness.
- I've considered low wall mounted lights, but wiring would be impossible and I don't want to make holes in the brickwork.
- I've considered low voltage bollards and underground wiring on the far side of the path, but that would be very expensive, and there is no convenient exit point to run wires out of the house.

Now I'm thinking the best (and cleanest looking) approach would be recessed cans in the eaves. The eaves are large, and I can run all the wiring through the ceiling cavity. What are my chances of getting away with just three recessed fittings ('B')? It needs to be something that wont set fire to the wooden soffit.




What about path lighting in the ground, or even uplighters, washing up across the walls of the house or plants. They can produce a more subtle light, for lighting the path.

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  Reply # 618907 3-May-2012 15:08 Send private message

I can't see the diagram, domain blocking at work. How about solar lights though?

Can you bury low voltage wiring yourself?




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  Reply # 618910 3-May-2012 15:20 Send private message

Option B look good. Depending on how far out your eaves hang it could work quite well. Though technically you'd shadow the steps as you went to walk onto them. Looks good though.



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  Reply # 618967 3-May-2012 17:04 Send private message

timmmay: How about solar lights though?


I haven't see a solar powered solution that would provide the kind of output I'm after, plus I would like to have these lights controlled by a timer/sensor system that controls my entrance lights.

timmmay: Can you bury low voltage wiring yourself?


The problem with underground wiring to bollards is that one side of the path is flush against the wall of the house, and a shallow field drain (plastic perforated tube in a gravel bed) running along the other side. And as I said above, there is no convenient point at which I could run a power supply line out of the house it'self.

Jaxson: Option B look good. Depending on how far out your eaves hang it could work quite well. Though technically you'd shadow the steps as you went to walk onto them. Looks good though.


I'm not sure what kind of recessed lighting I could use though, some kind of CFL based can? Halogens/standard incandescents would be too hot for my liking...



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  Reply # 619034 3-May-2012 19:53 Send private message

Have you considered using radium?

"Radium was formerly used in self-luminous paints for watches, nuclear panels, aircraft switches, clocks, and instrument dials"

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  Reply # 619163 4-May-2012 05:58 Send private message

Option B with recessed down lights. If I remember I'll take a photo of mine this weekend. Don't worry too much about the steps if the end light is really close to them (as in the picture).

Not supposed to use CFL or LED outside, they have electronic circuits in them which is not outdoor rated (moisture), and also not sealed enclosure rated (gets too hot). But nothing stops you from using them outdoors.

EDIT:  I mean not supposed to used na indoors CFL or LED bulb in an outdoors fitting, obviously you can if the specific bulb/fitting combination is sold as outdoor rated.




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  Reply # 619198 4-May-2012 07:58 Send private message

Forget solar...have yet to see any system that puts out anything significant.

We have the recessed down-lights ("cans") around the outside of our house and find them quite effective. They don't cast too far out but will light up around 3 meters out from the house effectively, and we are using good quality low consumption bulbs. You could turn your larger floodlight out to pick up where the down-lights beam stops to light up the whole area. Ease of installation is a bonus.







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  Reply # 619223 4-May-2012 08:27 Send private message

Jaxson: Option B look good. Depending on how far out your eaves hang it could work quite well. Though technically you'd shadow the steps as you went to walk onto them. Looks good though.

You should get enough splash off the side of the house to make this not such an issue.



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  Reply # 619491 4-May-2012 13:39 Send private message

Niel: Option B with recessed down lights. If I remember I'll take a photo of mine this weekend. Don't worry too much about the steps if the end light is really close to them (as in the picture).

Not supposed to use CFL or LED outside, they have electronic circuits in them which is not outdoor rated (moisture), and also not sealed enclosure rated (gets too hot). But nothing stops you from using them outdoors.

EDIT:  I mean not supposed to used na indoors CFL or LED bulb in an outdoors fitting, obviously you can if the specific bulb/fitting combination is sold as outdoor rated.


There's this kind of thing: http://www.electricaldirectltd.co.nz/ecommerce.php?func=14&DCI=62&DPT=p&DPI=1077&S=d2937f5d6b8b961b8439aa21f3cbc000

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  Reply # 619617 4-May-2012 15:39 Send private message

Oubadah:
Niel: Option B with recessed down lights. If I remember I'll take a photo of mine this weekend. Don't worry too much about the steps if the end light is really close to them (as in the picture).

Not supposed to use CFL or LED outside, they have electronic circuits in them which is not outdoor rated (moisture), and also not sealed enclosure rated (gets too hot). But nothing stops you from using them outdoors.

EDIT:  I mean not supposed to used na indoors CFL or LED bulb in an outdoors fitting, obviously you can if the specific bulb/fitting combination is sold as outdoor rated.


There's this kind of thing: http://www.electricaldirectltd.co.nz/ecommerce.php?func=14&DCI=62&DPT=p&DPI=1077&S=d2937f5d6b8b961b8439aa21f3cbc000


Yes, that is an outdoor bulb which is partly what I covered in the edit.  Normal glass bulbs can be used outdoors but you see many people incorrectly using indoors rated CFL for outdoors fittings.

Regarding solar, the number on issue is that a solar lamp needs to be positioned where the sun can charge the batteries and this is where you also get most moonlight (and streetlight).  That is not where you need the light.  Second is they are for decoration, not for illumination.  Both can be addressed by a remote panel which you can increase in size to drive larger/more lamps, but then you can just as well go with a low voltage hard wired installation which is cheaper and does not require battery replacement.




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  Reply # 619644 4-May-2012 16:13 Send private message

Niel: Yes, that is an outdoor bulb which is partly what I covered in the edit.  Normal glass bulbs can be used outdoors but you see many people incorrectly using indoors rated CFL for outdoors fittings.


I tried two Philips tornado CFL in lanterns on the front porch. One only lasted about a month, but the porch area was very dry and lantern never got hot so I think it was our dirty power that killed it.

That said there has been a very old Philips indoor CFL ('four sticks') in the back outdoor stair well (similar conditions to the porch) and it has been in operation for an eternity. I noticed that it's made in Holland whereas the new one is Chinese, so that's probably the difference there. I wonder how much more durable modern CFLs would be if you rebuilt the ballasts with quality components.






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  Reply # 619723 4-May-2012 18:23 Send private message

We have 2 of those old philips in the loos at work that have done 11 hours a day for at least 10 years. Take forever to warm up now tho.

If you are putting recessed into the eave get the IP ones so that you dont leak air in




Richard rich.ms



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  Reply # 619755 4-May-2012 19:12 Send private message

richms: We have 2 of those old philips in the loos at work that have done 11 hours a day for at least 10 years. Take forever to warm up now tho.


When it dies, I'm going to be very interested in comparing it's innards to the modern one.

richms:If you are putting recessed into the eave get the IP ones so that you dont leak air in


Did a quick google, but I'm still not 100% on what you mean by 'IP'. And leak air into where? The loft? It's a tile roof, so the whole thing is basically one big leak. :)

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  Reply # 619779 4-May-2012 19:42 Send private message

IP = ingress protection (see Wikipedia for full explanation). The down side of an IP rated fitting is that you will not get airflow to cool your lamp as it will be closed off. And you are not supposed to use indoor rated CFL or LED with an enclosed light fitting as the components can overheat and die prematurely.




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  Reply # 619781 4-May-2012 19:44 Send private message

Ip rating for water ingress etc.




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