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Omaha LED Retrofit
Lighting by McKay Landscape Lighting


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The 120-volt can lights on the corners of the home left the home's three roof peaks dark. Auroralight copper spotlights (AL16) along the front of the home helped illuminate those rooflines. Other house facade lighting is via 8-watt LEDs. MR-16 LED lamps uplight a crabapple (left) and a serviceberry (right). The front walk and back patio have copper path lights (PL4) with LED G4 bi-pin lamps.


For this private residence in Omaha, Nebraska, McKay Landscape Lighting (www.mckaylighting.com), also of Omaha, had installed Nightscaping fixtures with halogen lamps back in July of 2000, and had serviced the client's landscape lighting on an annual basis.

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The original 2000 lighting installation included only one fixture per tree, but the growth of the trees, such as the blue spruce (back) and the Quaking aspens (forward) now require 2 LED fixtures each. The deciduous trees and spruces are illuminated by 8-watt LEDs, the brightness equivalent of 50-watt halogens.


In the fall of 2016, the homeowners approached McKay about converting their lighting system to LED. Andrew Coleman, an outdoor lighting designer for the company who goes by "AJ," met with the homeowners to discuss the benefits of retrofitting with LEDs, what fixtures would convert to LED lamps, versus replaced or upgraded, and adding light to dark areas. The house is on two lots in a gated community, and has a large area to cover. Similar to a small arboretum, the property has a variety of tree species and plants.

The original 2000 lighting installation included only one fixture per tree. The tree canopy includes sugar and red maples, bur oaks, Colorado blue spruces, a Japanese lilac and serviceberry trees. The trees had about tripled in size from the original lighting installation. AJ saw that the single fixtures no longer adequately illuminated the trees, and so recommended two fixtures for most of the trees to get the canopies well illuminated. All of the in-ground Nightscaping 'Leveliter' well lights were replaced with new Auroralight Copper Spots (SLX16) with Halco LED MR-16 lamps, and were repositioned under the trees to for the best effect.

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All the in-ground Nightscaping 'Leveliter' well lights were replaced with Auroralight copper spots (SLX16) with Halco LED MR-16 lamps, and were repositioned under the trees for the best effect. From left: crabapple (blue spruce behind), sugar maple, red maple and a large bur oak.


The 120-volt can lights on the corners of the home left the home's three roof peaks dark. Auroralight Copper Spots (AL16) along the front of the home helped illuminate those rooflines. The original spot lamps were converted to Halco LED MR-16 lamps.

"The main goal was to highlight the beauty of the home and provide added security at the same time. We always want to spread the light around the property from the interior perimeter of the home out into the yard by illuminating select trees and highlighting dark areas," explained AJ.

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A 4-watt LED illuminates the home address. The transformer was upgraded to a stainless steel Vista 300 MT with a digital astronomical timer to replace the old analog timer.


New metal artwork had been added to the property over the years. Auroralight copper spotlights (AL16) were installed to highlight those sculptures. A little light on a sculptural piece can be quite dramatic with the combination of light and shadows.

Along the front walk and back patio area there are Auroralight copper path lights (PL4). These new fixtures required JQ America LED G4 bi-pin lamps. Most of the existing wire was reused, with new wire runs added for additional fixtures and changes.

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Auroralight copper AL16 spotlight fixtures with 4-watt LEDs at 60 degree 3000K (20-watt halogen equivalent) highlight the sculptural pieces to good effect. The larger sculpture is next to a Japanese lilac; the smaller piece is in front of a blue spruce.


The transformer was upgraded to a new stainless steel Vista 300 MT with an Intermatic digital astronomical timer. The astronomical timer replaced an old analog timer. The new one is more reliable and doesn't have to be adjusted for time changes or power outages.

The LED lamps are brighter than halogen bulbs, and have a five-year manufacture warranty with a 50,000-hour life.



As seen in LASN magazine, April 2017.






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