Ambient lighting, downlighting – or “moonlighting,” sometimes called – creates a beautiful and inviting atmosphere. This warm glow can make your landscape look magical. If you’re ready to give your landscape some moon-like illumination, follow these steps to make the most of this effect.
What Is Moonlighting?
Moonlighting is an effect that is caused when a light source (a lamp, candle, or fire) creates a dimmer, softer glow rather than projecting strong shadows and throwing hard-edged light. In landscaping, the same effect is created by strategically placing lights around your house or garden. Adding ambient lighting brings out the natural brightness of your home’s exterior and helps to create a cozy and comfortable feel.
As the name would suggest, Moonlighting is an outdoor lighting effect that shines a light outwards into the landscape. It typically creates a glow or reflection that illuminates various aspects of a landscaped area. Moonlighting can be done with varying levels of complexity. The term is sometimes used to describe nightlights and exterior house lights, but it is most associated with outdoor landscaping in specific areas of your property.
Create a Layered Lighting Effect
Artificial lighting can be used as an accent or a focal point in your landscape design. Moonlighting is often combined with other landscape elements like trees and shrubs. This lighting can help create a layered effect throughout your yard.
Lighting Placement Matters
You want to ensure that you are placing your light sources in areas where they will be visible from outside and won’t create any glare or shadows on your home’s windows. A tree in your yard can be tricky because leaves and branches block light from reaching your home’s exterior walls. The solution? Use uplighting under your tree instead of downlighting it. This will allow more light to reach your home and provide more of a spotlight effect than if you were trying to illuminate the entire tree. It also means that you won’t have to worry about branches blocking any light fixtures that are too low on the tree trunk or close to its base.
Is a Tree Necessary For Lighting Placement
If you don’t have enough space in your yard for trees, then consider investing in other landscape elements like evergreens or shrubs instead. These plants will still provide privacy and an attractive backdrop for lighting fixtures if placed correctly.
Choose the Right Colors
The color scheme you choose for your home can make or break its appearance. Consider using lighter shades like white, beige, and gray when selecting paint colors. These hues will help reflect light and create an inviting atmosphere for guests.
Which Trees Create the Best Effect
While each tree is unique in its characteristics, there are five basic classifications of trees to be considered when determining where lighting placement should occur. There are Deciduous, coniferous, broadleaf evergreens and the Southern live oak. Additionally, there are many landscape elements that a professional landscape designer will use to enhance the moonlighting effect by creating depth and shadowing on your property.
Adding trees or tall plants can help hide overhead lights. They can give the illusion of more space between light sources on the ground. Tall trees also allow you to place fixtures farther away without sacrificing coverage. So if you don’t have room for multiple fixtures next to each other, using them with trees will help create the effect without taking up too much room in your yard.
What Lighting Fixtures Create the Moonlighting Effect
Moonlighting is decorative lighting that can create an elegant ambiance or even provide security. The most common types are spotlights, flood lights, and wall packs.
Spotlights are focused beams of light that have been used for decades as task lighting and accent lighting in homes and businesses. They are usually mounted on ceilings or walls but can also be mounted on poles or other equipment. Spotlights come in both incandescent and LED varieties, each with benefits and drawbacks.
Flood lights are similar to spotlights but have a wider beam angle. Floodlights typically feature an adjustable lens so you can customize how much light is projected from each fixture. Flood lights come in many styles, from antique to modern. Simply choose one that perfectly matches your decorating tastes!
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Georgia Lightscapes can help design the perfect moonlight landscape for you and your family. It’s so easy – make your landscape glow like never before. Get more landscaping tips from Georgia Lightscapes by clicking here.