sidewalk lighting options?

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Old 10-20-11, 12:36 PM
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sidewalk lighting options?

There is a very big tree in front of my house which casts a shade over the sidewalk so at night it's very dark in front of my house, I wish to get some sort of lighting to focus on the sidewalk but not use too much electricity. Thing is I have a couple of issues, I have placed links to imageshack below showing 4 shots of the front of my Home so you can see what I am dealing with:

ImageShack® - Online Photo and Video Hosting

ImageShack® - Online Photo and Video Hosting

ImageShack® - Online Photo and Video Hosting

ImageShack® - Online Photo and Video Hosting

Problem is those 2 rooms on the left and right of the stairs are bedrooms and there is a light under the awning at the top of the stairs, when this light comes on the inside of the bedrooms get bright so hard to sleep therefore I need to something I think which can work either in the yard underneath or soemthing along or on the fencing itself and not shine from the top of the stairs, any ideas please?
 
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Old 10-20-11, 04:17 PM
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Low voltage mushroom lighting comes to mind. It wouldn't take that much lighting to make it safer at night without brightness.
 
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Old 10-20-11, 04:42 PM
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Is it this you're referring to?

Low Voltage Landscape Light Mushroom - BPL301 Low Voltage Mushroom LIght: Best Pro Lighting [BPL301] - $12.50 : Best Pro Lighting:, Manufacturer and Distributor of High-quality, Low-voltage Landscape Lighting

If so, I can only place those inside the fence, will that be enough to light up the sidewalk from left to right of our property?
 
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Old 10-20-11, 05:14 PM
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Low voltage lights such as the ones you linked are a very good option for the walk to your house. If you want to illuminate the sidewalk in front of your wall/fence, a low voltage stair light might be the ticket. They come in surface mounted or recessed. As you can guess, the recessed would be much more work.

Here are some good examples: Landscape Brick & Step Low Voltage (12volt) Lighting | usalight.com However there are much more options out there. I just googles "low voltage stair lights"
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Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 10-21-11 at 06:25 AM.
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Old 10-20-11, 05:25 PM
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Where would these be placed? on the fence itself evenly spaced out?
 
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Old 10-21-11, 04:29 AM
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I am not so sure just illuminating the sidewalk itself will work, let me tell you why, sorry i did not mention this from the beginning guys, I live in a good quiet neighborhood but this past summer, one of my neighbor's kids was mugged right in front of my house, apparently 2 kids had seen him cash a check on one of the main avenues in our area and followed him on the bus to our street and since in front of my home is the darkest spot on our street that's where they jumped him.

All of the neighbors on our block who have trees in front of their homes have now placed spotlights in front of their homes which make the sidewalk bright but they all don't have my problem with the bedrooms being at the front of the house. One neighbor who is an electrician said my only options are to place bright contractor type portable lighting in the yard, those lights which are on a tripod stand, inside the fencing but this will cost a lot I think in electricity? I was also told that sensor lights use more electricity than regular lighting?

What I am thinking is maybe get some type of lighting which I can maybe place on top of the fencing on both sides of the entrance gate which will be bright enough so one can clearly see a person walking in front of the house? If I can get something like that then if a sensor will not use up more electricity than a light which will be on all night maybe that could work?
 
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Old 10-21-11, 06:24 AM
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Your options will depend on what your trying to achieve. You could put a post light(s) just inside your fence, place lights on top of the brick pillars, or some low voltage. I suggested those because I thought you wanted something subdued. They would be attached to the fence and light only the sidewalk.

A contractor type light will work, but might not be the best looking, but to each their own. Energy usage will depend on the watts used per lamp.

Sensor lights do not use more electricity then "regular" lights. Yes, the sensor does use power, but it is very minor then running a light all night.
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Old 10-21-11, 07:05 AM
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That's what I am thinking, to place a light on each of the 4 brick pillars or maybe a rope light along the metal fencing. I want something not way too bright but just bright enough or maybe something with which I can control the brightness. Regarding the sensor vs a light which be on all the time, I was told that every time a sensor turns on it pulls a lot of electricity so constant on and off of the sensor with people walking by at any given time and interval may result in more usage?
 
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Old 10-21-11, 12:37 PM
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A free standing tripod or rope lights are an invitation to vandalism or theft.

I would go with a pole light with a built in sensor or maybe just a CFL on a switch or timer. Minimal electric draw and 75 watts or so light output.

You can shield the house side of the pole light to cut bedroom glare.
 
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Old 10-24-11, 04:07 AM
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Just looking at options, what about something like this which requires no electricity, will this suffice?

Solar Power Path Deck Cap Light Fence Lamp W/ 5x5 Post | eBay
 
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Old 10-24-11, 07:12 AM
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You get what you pay for.If you want a weak light that looks "cute" but offers little or no deterrent to crime, go with the solar lights. If you want to protect people / property, then go with decent illumination.
 
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Old 10-24-11, 09:25 AM
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ok, I am looking at post lights but I cannot find any that's "low voltage"? Do they exist?
 
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Old 10-24-11, 11:51 AM
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Why would you want low voltage. You are going to have to pull wiring from some source anyway so why fool with a transformer. Were it me, I would pull 120 through a timer and then out to a post light, properly embeded in the yard.

The light should end up between six and seven feet above the ground. A CFL (fluorescent) bulb listed at 100 watts light output, would only draw about 25 watts of power and would light your whole front area.
 
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Old 10-24-11, 01:13 PM
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ok, so I get a post light like this?

OUTDOOR PILLAR POST LIGHT LIGHTING FIXTURE.OT0029X-PT | eBay

and a cfl florescent bulb like this?

Seattle City Light Residential Conservation | Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

If the above are ok, I am thinking of getting 2 pole lights, place each one in the middle of the right and left side fences, that should be enough? If yes, how do I get a sensor system for this please?
 
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Old 10-24-11, 05:42 PM
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Here is one example of a sensor.

Amazon.com: First Alert PIR725 Compact Fluorescent Bulb Compatible Motion Sensing Socket: Home Improvement

Personally, given the size of your front yard ( I would estimate 35-40 feet by 12 feet),I would place a post near the center of the right half of the yard as you face the house. I would then use either a photocell switch or a timer to turn the light on at dusk and off at dawn. If you use a photocell switch, be sure that it is fluorescent compatible. It should provide plenty of light to illuminate the yard and sidewalk and is less likely to irritate the neighbors. A light going on / off at all hours is a PITA. Again, you don't want the light up close to or on the fence since that invites vandalism or theft. As I also said, you can use shields in the light housing to reduce the light shining into your bedrooms or the neighbor's rooms.

Good Luck with your project.
 
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Old 10-24-11, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by mikehende View Post
Regarding the sensor vs a light which be on all the time, I was told that every time a sensor turns on it pulls a lot of electricity so constant on and off of the sensor with people walking by at any given time and interval may result in more usage?
Who ever told you thins is full of it. It is a light, not a motor. (Motor can draw up to 3 times the running current during start up.) A motion sensor is nothing then a motion activated switch. It is the same as a light switch. You just have to power the sensor which draws a nominal amount of current.

You could also install a remote motion sensor like this: http://www.truevalue.com/catalog/vie...013&altIndex=0
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Old 10-25-11, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by goldstar View Post
you don't want the light up close to or on the fence since that invites vandalism or theft.
Thanks for the info guys, I am guessing by your answer that I will only need just one post light? I guess I can see why you mentioned placing it in the right half of the yard, should be becuase that's where the majority of the tree shade is located? Ok, got a great start here, just can you explain why a light up to or close to the fence will invite vandalism or theft please? I was thinking a light on the fence will light up the sidewalk so would be a deterrent because anyone can easily be seen?
 
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Old 10-25-11, 06:38 AM
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What about lights in the trees?
 
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Old 10-25-11, 07:00 AM
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That would mean running cords overhead across the sidewalk I would think, not the best option?
 
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Old 10-26-11, 02:17 AM
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I'm not sure if they make them in the area flood light variety, but my porch lights have a 'two stage' motion detector in them (edit: I just looked it up, it's called Dual-Brite). At dusk the light comes on at 50% brightness, and when motion is detected it goes full brightness. You could position the light on the left or right side of the house under the eave (it should be whatever side is your driveway), so that it lights up the sidewalk, but then set the motion detector so that it only goes full bright when someone comes inside the gate or into your driveway, for your security purposes.

Something like this, with one head aimed at the sidewalk and the other aimed at your driveway. The motion sensor should be positioned down (shielded if necessary), so it only picks up motion coming into your gates.





I would recommend against using any CFL bulbs outside. Use a standard halogen tube. Like all fluorescents they are cold-sensitive, so in low temperatures it takes several minutes for them to warm up to full brightness. This is less than ideal for any motion-security application.
 

Last edited by JerseyMatt; 10-26-11 at 02:36 AM.
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Old 10-26-11, 04:23 AM
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That's the first time I ma hearing of the 50% brightness deal sounds good but I don't see how that will prevent the glare from going into the bedrooms? Also, the purpose here is only to light the sidewalk, I don't have any issues with anyone entering the property as I have sensors all around the house.
 
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