Landscape Lighting Techniques

Having a professional landscape lighting company utilize the correct techniques ensures that you highlight your important features and create the perfect amount of lighting in your landscape design.

Highlighting – One of the most common aspects of landscape lighting. Highlighting is created by using a spotlight at the base of an outdoor feature, such as a tree, or other structure. A landscape lighting specialist will change the distance and aspect just right to get you the best highlighting possible. Sometimes outdoor features, such as trees, will need two or more spotlights to accent it properly.

Landscape Lighting Design by The Landscape Artist OnlineSilhouetting – A silhouette is achieved by placing a landscape lighting spotlight behind the feature and then aiming it towards an adjacent wall. This creates an illuminated backdrop and looks especially good in the sunset. Also, utilizing a dark outline of the object helps to showcase plants and other dense features.

Scalloping – Landscape lighting professionals will often vary the position and angle of the lighting fixture while silhouetting to create a lighting technique called scalloping. For instance, aiming a light straight up from the base of the fixture will create a cone shaped backdrop.

Shadowing – Shadowing also places the landscape lighting fixture towards the base of the outdoor feature, aimed towards a near wall. The landscape artist tries to achieve a soft shadow for best results. The effect of the tree’s movement in the wind is sure to add drama to any home at night.

Grazing – Grazing is achieved when placing a landscape lighting element close up to the outdoor feature to showcase its texture and surface. An old tree, or stone wall with a unique texture will surely benefit from this technique.

Wallwashing – Wallwashing creates a soothing and even glow that comes off the wall or facade it’s pointed towards. For best results, place the lighting fixture a few feet away from the feature, and give it a sideways angle. By shining along side the wall, it maintains an even and somewhat subtle ambient lighting for the nearby area. A wide angle flood light with low wattage is recommended for this, as opposed to a spotlight.

Moonlighting – Create moonlighting techniques by placing a large fixture with a full glare guard high up inside a tree, and angled downwards. This effect looks like moonlight shining down through the branches. It causes attractive shadow patterns on the ground to appear, plus it provides a very natural and beautiful lighting effect.

Downlighting – The downlighting technique is similar to the moonlighting technique. Place a fixture high up, inside a feature like a trellis, tree, or eave, and cast downwards over a large area. Place the light higher if you intend to illuminate a large portion of the yard, and lower if you wish to illuminate a path or garden.

Accenting – Any lighting that draws special attention to a specific feature is considered accent lighting. Specifically angled uplighting or downlighting can be used as accent lighting, to point out an architectural design, plant, or other feature. Try using a narrow beam spotlight from a hidden fixture to add a flair of mystery to your accent lighting.

Pathlighting – Pathlighting is created by placing small fixtures along the borders of walkways, driveways, and patios. It is important that the style of these path lights be considered carefully. It is also important to be sure that they are positioned to illuminate the path, but also placed so that they avoid being kicked, moved, or getting in the way of the lawnmower.