: Outdoor Tree Lighting
Outdoor Tree Lighting Transformations
Outdoor tree lighting is truly one of the most unique ways of bringing attention to your outdoors.
Incorporating it into your outdoor lighting theme can enhance the look of your outdoor environment tenfold.
Trees can be used as center pieces in your landscape, to add depth to your outdoor design, or as a tool to help focus more attention to other parts of your landscape.
Begining Your Outdoor Tree Lighting Transformation
Before lighting any trees there is some planning needed. You need to assess the tree's size, structure, shape, texture, and position.
Planning which trees you want to light is the key ingredient in your quest for perfection in outdoor tree lighting.
Choosing A Tree
You want to choose a tree that is structurally sound and undamaged. Pick the trees that are free of structural defects or ones that just look good.
Choosing Light Fixtures
Stake mounted and recessed outdoor lighting fixtures are the most common fixtures used in tree lighting.
Stake mounted fixtures are the most economical and flexible but can be knocked out of position.
Outdoor recessed lighting fixtures do not have the same flexability for choosing the best beam angle but are less likely to be moved out of position or damaged easily.
Distance from a tree's viewing angle is very important. You must decide at what distance and angle people will be viewing this tree.
Tree's farther away will need to be illuminated brighter than ones that are positioned closer to the viewing recipient. This is so your trees aren't faded out in the distance.
Always be flexible with the amount of light needed for outdoor tree lighting. Adjustments are common and you may need to adjust the amount of light output to your specific circumstances.
Trees can be a great focal point for outdoor accent lighting because their beauty and size can be a dominant presence to your landscape.
Lighter colored trees and foliage will reflect light much easier than darker colored ones so low voltage lighting may provide adequate lighting for smaller, lighter colored trees.
Darker colored foliage requires much more light because the light projected onto darker colored foliage is absorbed by the tree's darker colors.
When uplighting a tree, the shape and density of the tree should be heavily considered.
Uplighting a tree with a dense canopy wouldn't be too effective if the light is obstructed and can't flow up into the tree.
Instead, denser trees should be lit from the outside of their canopy. Doing so will provide a blanket of light reflecting off the thick canopy of the tree.
A tree with an open structural design or one with a less dense canopy can be uplit through the base of the tree without any problem of light being trapped within the it's canopy.
Smaller trees are much easier to light since they will often require much lower light output. Low voltage lighting can easily accomidate these smaller trees.
Larger trees may be too big to accommodate the lower light output of low voltage lighting and may require more power.
Line voltage lighting may be necessary to get the full effect of larger more mature trees. Sometimes commercial outdoor lighting fixtures may be the best alternative.
Some commercial lamps such as metal halide lamps provide an energy efficient and long lasting solution for lighting mature trees.
Creative Uses Of Outdoor Tree Lighting
Textured Wall Effect
Lighting smaller trees can be a fun way to add a creative flare to your outdoors.
For small trees positioned against a plain wall or backdrop, place a fixture in front of your tree facing the direction of the wall behind it to create a shadow on the wall behind it.
This will add interesting texture in the form of a shaddow on the plain wall background.
Place a fixture behind the viewing angle where the tree is meant to be viewed.
The light will create a bright and magnificent outline around the perimeter of the tree's shape.
Proper fixture positioning is important since your goal is not to blind onlookers in the process.
Moon Lighting Effect
Tree lighting is not limited to only lighting trees. Use your trees to light your surrounding gardens, patio, or landscape.
Mount your lighting fixtures on the tree's branches and downlight the surfaces below to create a subtle moonlighting effect.
This effect is amazingly effective at producing a subtle amount of light that is so pleasing to the human experience.
It is not necessary to drill holes in your tree, you can purchase mounting straps that adjust to fit the branchs width.
Use the changing seasons to create dramatic shadow effects on the surfaces below.
Similar to the Moon Lighting Effect, you want to mount your lighting fixtures within the tree's branches and downlight the surfaces below; except this time you want to make sure to mount your fixtures much deeper within the canopy of your tree.
Since the fixtures will be mounted higher within the canopy of your tree, the branches and foliage blocking your light's beam spread creates a textured shaddow effect.
You have so many options to play with so have fun with it. Make outdoor tree lighting your own and share any new ideas with us. We are always happy to hear from you.
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