OT: Patio party lighting

In nice weather I entertain and BBQ in my courtyards at least twice a week. Yes, you're all welcome, bring beer or some nice cheese! Last year I had a
few temporary spotlights illuminating some of the trees but the light was too harsh in some areas and too minimal in others. The courtyards are surrounded with 8' wood fencing and there are a number of various sized trees and bushes and flower beds. I'd like more even, non-directional lighting so we can all see well enough yet still have good mood quality. I'm thinking of strings of tiny lights on the fence for a part of the solution but not many other ideas. I want to be able to leave any fixtures permanently installed. I'll probably have to make Stainless brackets and such.
Is there such a thing as an outdoor lighting control panel like with timers and dimmers and such?
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wrote:

With today's LED's and a microcontroller, the possibilities are endless. http://www.philipslumileds.com/solutions/outdoor-lighting/ http://www.philipslumileds.com/solutions/led-lighting-applications.cfm http://tinyurl.com/yl8rye3
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Try searching on Harbor Freights website for Solar LED lights. Might be close enough to what you want. The lights charge up during the day and turn on when it gets dark. No wiring required.
Dan
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On Thu, 18 Mar 2010 00:23:52 -0400, the infamous "Buerste"

Ya drink beer and cut the cheese all night with friends, do ya?

You realize that tree-spots aren't exactly night-sky friendly?

There's a whole lot of really neat (and gawdawful expensive) LED lighting coming out now. You might talk to Winnie's landscape contractor about installation. Or call lighting stores in your area and ask for catalogs and idears. (that's how it's pronounced in the Midwest, right?)

Not in -our- price range, fellow Tightwads of America member. Butcha can eBay a hermetically sealed industrial cover box for your interior controls and "do it on the patio", sir. (Depending on your codes, some demand low-voltage only.)
Go with a computerized control and do entire scene lighting skits with it. Use dimmers and indirect lighting bounced off the walls for good control of the mood. I found inexpensive dimmable CFLs on eBay which could work under the eaves and patio covers in high-voltage (120V) fixtures. About $2 each, delivered. Sconces are cool.
Are you sitting down? http://www.outdoorlighting.com/ and http://tinyurl.com/y925ou4 and http://tinyurl.com/y99bra8 , which seems to be "the one". At $85, it damned well better be, wot?
(std disclaimer "googledemall")
And there are the ever dear www.malibulights.com, who now sells LED versions at HD. (That's an overwrought, gawdawful lighting scene on their home page, innit? Harsh.)
-- No matter how cynical you are, it is impossible to keep up. --Lily Tomlin
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<snip>

At $300 per fixture, I'll blow my budget pretty fast!
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wrote:

Now you unveil the contraint of budget without quantifying same. You are a captain of industry, are you not?
Might you perhaps be trolling?
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I didn't have a budget until I saw the top-end outdoor fixtures. At the other end of the scale is $5.00/dozen Chinese crap. So, now I feel that I will stay under $300 total. What does "captain of industry" have to do with anything? And, if I was "trolling", why did you respond?
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wrote:

A captain of industry defines what he wants, then negotiates price. You know I occasionally entertain trolls. Larry J. loves to give me shit about that.
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On Fri, 19 Mar 2010 00:41:11 -0500, the infamous Don Foreman

Our captain of industry is much like me, in that he squeaks when he walks. Our fondest memory is when the Scots invented Velcro so we could hear our wallets scream when being opened, reminding us of our infrugality.
-- Adults are obsolete children. --Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel, 1904-1991) --
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I doubt I'll be perfectly happy with the first iteration. I'm sure the courtyards will evolve as the needs and ideas become more refined. I do have the sound system started, that's easy! Last year I was happy with a boombox MP3 player, this year I'll have good waterproof speakers hooked into the PVR in the family room. There I can use the cable music channels or whatever is on the 3TB of drives attached. I have no plans of video outside, we usually are able to keep ourselves amused. Thanks for the links, there ARE some books available as you pointed out.
I have 20 pallets of 100 year old pavers from a building I took down at work, With these, I plan on expanding the paved areas and building a curving wall around one of the big trees. I know that to do it right so it doesn't settle weirdly, I WILL hire a professional! Now that Obama-care is law, I'll have so much money that I won't know what to do with it all!
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On Mon, 22 Mar 2010 00:55:45 -0400, the infamous "Buerste"
Yeah, yards are definitely evolutionary things, as are gardens.

Jewelcome.

Cool! Got pics?

Watch them closely. Done right, first excavate at least 6" deep, then put a layer of compactible gravel and stomp it, then drape landscape cloth over that, then add a 2" layer of sand and stomp it, then your pavers. Fill cracks with polymorphic sand which hardens as it dries. It ain't cheap, but done right, you won't have any broken ankles or wrists the second year.

It'll be too bad about the company folding, though, when they fine you $1M for failure to ensure that your employees all had insurance.
-- If we attend continually and promptly to the little that we can do, we shall ere long be surprised to find how little remains that we cannot do. -- Samuel Butler
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scrawled the following:

All my people have Kaiser or Veteran's benefits, I have a bunch of vets. My Kaiser just went up 14%, probably due to one of the ladies having to have a series of operations on her neck vertebrae due to some kind of degeneration. She was out for a year. She and I started working at the same time during summers in high school. Now, we are old and falling apart!
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Buerste wrote:

Congressman Cliff Stearns wants you to have the facts about the Senate Health Care Bill & Veterans
The health care reform bill requires an individual to have minimum essential coverage for health insurance or that person will pay the individual mandate tax.
The health care bill only explicitly mentions TRICARE for Life as acceptable coverage.
This means that an unelected bureaucrat will determine if current DOD/VA programs like:
* CHAMPVA * TRICARE Prime/Standard/Extra * the VA Spina Bifida Program for children of Agent Orange victims * and the VA vocational rehabilitation programs, are insufficient coverage.
Veterans could be forced to buy a health insurance program on the Health Exchange in addition to their current TRICARE/CHAMPVA plans.
The House has voted on HR 4887 which would protect TRICARE, but not VA programs from the Health Care Reform Bill.
Congressman Cliff Stearns (FL-06) is an original cosponsor of HR 4894 (supported by VFW, American Legion, and Disabled American Veterans) which would explicitly protect CHAMPVA, TRICARE, and ALL VA health care related programs.
--
Lead free solder is Belgium's version of 'Hold my beer and watch this!'

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<snip>

Great, not only do you guys get screwed but your employers too.
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Buerste wrote:

Let's hope that if he or anyone in his family ever needs surgery, that the doctors walk off the job in protest.
--
Lead free solder is Belgium's version of 'Hold my beer and watch this!'

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On Thu, 18 Mar 2010 21:34:43 -0400, the infamous "Buerste"

Better than blowing Chunks, huh? ;)
I particularly like OutdoorLighting's 1KW xfmr (which would handle your yard) at only about a grand. <thud> Might's'well be Rodeo Dr, wot?
-- Adults are obsolete children. --Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel, 1904-1991) --
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