Re: Path lighting
From: Diana Carroll (
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2012 12:22:40 -0800 (PST)
Learn from our tale of woe and make sure that your lights are close enough
to the paths.  We installed our bollards (about 3 feet high) about 3-4 feet
back from the paths.  which means they do an excellent job of lighting up
our front yards, but not so much the paths themselves.

we also we supposed to have reflectors in the light covers that directed
the light down instead of forward, but for one reason or another, that
didn't happen.  We ended up putting foil on the lights to minimize up and
forward glare, which helps somewhat, but what helps most is that we've
installed metal "hoods" of sorts on some of the fixtures.  These work great
but aren't very esthetic.  Although we've mitigated the ugliness by having
some of our more artistic folks do cool cutouts in the hoods, I really
recommend making SURE you have fixtures installed that are downward
lighting right from the getgo.

We've also had numerous electrical problems...water in the conduits and
underground shorts.  This will be expensive to fix.  So this is not an area
to skimp on.

On Sat, Jan 21, 2012 at 2:38 PM, Norman Gauss <normangauss [at]>wrote:

> Hi Bill:
> I live in the Oak Creek Commons cohousing community in Paso Robles,
> California.  We have just finished replacing our original pathway lighting
> fixtures, which were ground level lights designed to mark the edges of
> driveways and airport runways.  They were a poor selection by the original
> builders.
> Instead we replaced the old fixtures with 39 inch tall bollards designed by
> Dabmar ( .  There are many different designs sold by this
> firm, and we chose one that throws its light on the pavement and not
> horizontally, the latter which may result in light shining in pedestrians'
> eyes and people's homes.  The light source is 35 watt high pressure sodium
> bulbs, which have a very long life.  After we finished, we saw how
> beautiful
> our main walkway has become, and we received rave reviews from our members.
> We originally contacted a lighting sales firm nearby, and they came out,
> gave us recommendations for spacing and an estimated price.  No
> installation
> was included in the price.  We had to arrange that ourselves.   I did some
> searching online and located a sales firm in southern California
> ( that offered the same product for a much lower
> price.  So we ordered 11 of them, and  installed them using community labor
> and concrete.  It is important to determine the spacing of the fixtures
> before the buried electrical lines are laid.  We could not do that because
> we were merely replacing the fixtures we had at their original spacing.
> Although distance between the fixtures is too wide to provide optimum
> illumination, it is certainly better than what we had before.
> The fixtures we installed are lightly constructed and would probably be
> damaged by a snowplow.  However, we mounted them on concrete bases a few
> inches above the ground that would probably obscured by heavy snow.  There
> are heavy duty bollards available of a similar design.  I think Kim
> Lighting
> sells them
> ( .
> I hope you can use our research findings and experience to good measure.
> Norm Gauss
> Oak Creek Commons
> Paso Robles, CA
> -----Original Message-----
> From: T William Smith [mailto:twswdwrkr [at]]
> Sent: Friday, January 20, 2012 3:34 PM
> To: Cohousing-L [at]
> Cc: geoffrey.gilchrist; David Frankel
> Subject: [C-L]_ Path lighting
> Good evening,
> I am writing on behalf of Belfast CoHousing and Ecovillage in Belfast,
> Maine.  We have started building!  It will probably be a 2-3 year process
> and there are still some details to work out.  One of those details
> concerns
> the need for path lighting.  Not lighting for paths to individual houses
> but, rather, lighting along the Maine paths connecting houses to
> each other and to the Common House.   We have several concerns and were
> wondering if any of you have advice for us as we move forward.  (1) One
> concern is that we live in New England and need to have fixtures that will
> stand up to snow drifts and the occasional bump by a snow plow.  (2)  A
> second concern is the desire to be able to enjoy the glory of the night sky
> without too much ambient light.  (3) Third, we expressed an initial strong
> preference against solar fixtures (on the gorunds of strudiness), but would
> be interested if anyone has anything to suggest in this area.  (4) Finally,
> cost is, of course , an issue.
> We would appreciate any ideas or leads you might be able to offer.
> With thanks and
> For Belfast Area CoHousing and Ecovillage, Bill Smith
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