A good outdoor lighting plan is important for many reasons. It increases safety around the house, it extends teh hours you can use outside ánd creates a beautiful nighttime landscape. There is more than adding a few path lights. You have to make a plan to get the most out of it. Discuss and try different things. Maybe even ask a landscape company to assist you. Nothing wrong with that. In this article we will discuss 5 ways to accent trees, plants and shrubs with outdoor lighting.
This is one of the most common tree lighting practices. When you make use of up-lighting it will bring a dramatic effect and will work on almost any feature of your garden. You place spotlights on the ground under the tree (or plant) to highlight the branches, leaves or trunk. You can use spotlights or well-lights for the job. If you use spotlights with a narrow beam you can place them right at the base of the tree. If you want to accent larger trees it is recommended to use multiple spotlights. With larger trees don’t place them right at the base, but place them a short distance from the tree. Make sure they are aimed about 45˚ to accentuate the texture the best. Just play with the number of spotlights and with the distance till you are happy with the result.
This is actually a downlighting technique. It creates the appearance of moonlight shining at your garden. Place the lights high up in one or more trees and aim them downwards. The light will feel natural and provides a warm atmosphere. Experiment with different light types and with the amount of lights you want to place. It is also a great way to get more light in your patio. Put some lights high up in the trees and aim them at your patio or other outdoor entertaining spot.
If you are looking for depth and less shadow, cross-lighting might be the solution. With cross-lighting you place the lights a distance away on either side of a tree or shrub and aiming them directly at the foliage. This way you highlight your most attractive garden features. Cross-lighting is perfect for making larger trees more noticeable at dark nights.
Create a silhouet of your tree or shrub. This works best with interesting odd shaped trees. Just place a good lightsource behind the tree to create a dramatic silhouette. Play with the distance and angle till you are happy with the result. To add an extra dimension; make sure you don’t see the light source from people’s view.
The shadow technique is similar to silhouetting but works the other way. Put a lightsource in the front of the tree instead of behind it. Again; play with the distance and angle of the light to get the best possible shadow that you are happy with. Fun fact; if the wind blows at night, it might look like the shadow is dancing.
Featured photo source: Houzz