How Do You Illuminate A Tree?

How do you illuminate a tree?

How to change the spooky look of your yard or garden as darkness spread its wings? You need to learn the art and science of illumining a tree using different types of landscape lighting fixtures.

Uplighting is a good way to illuminate trees and beautify areas of the yard. Find out how to accent a tree with different types of exterior landscape lights.

There are many different types of outdoor lighting fixtures available nowadays. Proper use of these lights on your yard or garden not only illuminates trees but also makes the home welcoming. It also enhances security and takes the aesthetic appeal of landscaping into new heights.

How to accent an average tree with exterior landscape lights?

When you think about accenting a tree using exterior landscape lights, you have to think about the size of the tree. For illuminating a tree of average size from one side only, you need 1 or 2 landscape light spot fixtures.

Place each fixture a foot away from the tree. If you want to highlight the trunk, look for lights with a specified beam spread range. The experts recommend accent bulbs with a 10 – 15 beam spread for illuminating the trunk of an average tree.

When it comes to highlighting the foliage and branches, choose bulbs with wider flood beam spreads. Additionally, to accentuate the attractive features of a full tree, many people combine different beam spreads harmoniously.

Large trees need to be illuminated using an increased number of landscaping light fixtures. It is always advisable to use 3 to 4 light fixtures to accent a large tree from all sides.

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Learn the art of creating a dramatic effect using different lights on a narrow or small tree

You have to search for innovative ideas to illuminate a tree in an inimitable way. Directly underneath a narrow tree, place an in-ground light to create a dramatic effect.

Smart up-lighting methods like this one transform the appearance of a narrow, lean or small tree. Facing upwards, place in-ground lights directly near the trunk. This lighting method helps a small tree create a striking impact irrespective of its diminutive size.

Transform your space with smart use of spotlights

If you want to cast more shadows and achieve a pronounced effect, use a spotlight above the branches of a tree. This up-lighting method is a good way of creating a unique texture.

The most suitable way is to position the light at a 45-degree angle upwards. Highlight the trunk and foliage and create a dramatic background easily. It is not a good idea to spotlight windows. A spotlight shining directly into a window does not create a good ambiance. It is a nuisance for your neighbor.

If there is a tree located near a window, focus on another tree to illuminate or try to downlight it.

Keep your lawn looking good to further accentuate your landscape lighting by outsourcing your lawn maintenance needs.

illuminate your trees
Tree lit up with a downlight.

Different ways of downlighting within and around a tree

Downlighting involves placing a small spotlight on the tree trunk to achieve a moonlight effect within and around. Based on the direction in which the light angle is set, the effect is created against the root system or within the foliage.

If you want to create a more natural and even fuller moonlight impact, use multiple lights pointing downwards and upwards on a tree trunk. Attach a swiveling spotlight pointing downwards within the foliage of a tree to create delightful shadows on the surrounding place.

The light needs to be pointed directly onto a tree branch. It is a very good option if you have a tree with lots of loose foliage. Many people plant a spotlight high up and slightly away from the tree by keeping the angle at 30 degrees. This method of approach makes the tree a focal point and creates a natural-looking diffusion of light.  The warm glow makes the place more inviting as well.

Silhouette a tree to create subtle effects

How do you illuminate a tree? Many experts recommend the technique of silhouetting these days. It is a unique approach to illuminate a tree. If you have a tree that is located near your home wall, you can illuminate the wall by placing a bright spotlight in front of a tree. The tree creates a dark, dramatic shadow on the wall.

If you place the spotlight below and light facing upwards, the shadow looks bigger than the real size of the tree. To create a more refined and subtle effect, you can place the light above facing downwards. Multiple lights can be used to create softened individual shadows.

Silhouetting a tree can be done in many different ways. Instead of a wall, you can use a fence or garage as a backdrop. Isolating focal trees is another way of silhouetting a tree. If you have 3 or 4 trees in front of a fence, garage or wall, a flood light can be placed closer to the tree you are planning to silhouette.

Selecting a focal tree, you are creating a distinct silhouette against the garage or wall behind it. This is a more refined and appealing option than silhouetting many nearby trees together.

Creative use of fairy lights and lanterns

light up your landscape trees with lanterns
Lanterns lighting up a tree.

There are many different types of fairy lights available on the market nowadays. These products can be termed as an all-year-round option to illuminating your tree and garden.

You can hang lanterns and fairy lights on the branches of a tree. Hanging fairy lights lend a special charm and twinkling light to your parties and events. You can find highly attractive LED lights and solar versions on the market today. Your creativity is the only limitation.

Fairy lights can be used on a tree to make it a dramatic focal point in your garden. Beautiful lanterns can be used to accent your trees uniquely. These lighting fixtures can be evenly next to trees. When you decide to select lanterns for outdoor use, you need to make sure that all fittings come with an excellent IP rating.

Illuminating a tree next to a pond helps you create a dramatic and eye-catching display. If you use lanterns and fairy lights creatively, the tantalizing reflections will add depth and magic to your exterior setting.

Plant pots are a good option for smaller spaces

Many people have to deal with space constraints in their yards and gardens. If you have a small garden that contains only spindly trees, you won’t be able to use the same decorative lights used for large trees.

The most suitable option for such spaces is illuminated plant pots. You can come across some unique products exclusively designed for these types of gardens.

Love this blog post, but don’t have any trees to light up? No problem, we can plant them for you. We have a tree and shrub planting service.

Wrapping Up

All the methods mentioned above are guidelines to illuminate a tree in an inspiring and aesthetically pleasing way. If you search for an answer to this question, how do you illuminate a tree, you will come across various types of concepts and ideas. There are many different types of lighting fixtures available on the market.

It is always advisable to do your research on different types of lighting fixtures and tree illumination concepts before taking a decision. Experiment with different ideas to identify the exact methods that work best for your tree, yard and garden.

D Boone

D Boone

Love the outdoors. Unlucky in real estate but lawn and gardening I can excel at.

One thought on “How Do You Illuminate A Tree?

  1. This is a great article, thank you. In my garden, I have a very large tree and the mains supply is around 30ft away at a trellis. Also at the base of the tree I have a shed that I don’t want to illuminate. Would a wide spotlight on the trellis pointing at the upper part of the tree work?

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