Landscape Tree Lighting: The Best Options for Lighting Your Trees and Shrubs

Whether you have a few statement trees dotting your home or business landscaping or more of a wild forest in your backyard, landscape tree lighting can make the most of your trees and shrubs.

With targeted tree lighting, you can highlight natural beauty, enhance safety and make your landscaping shine. A lighting designer can help you add value and visual interest through a landscape tree lighting plan that takes advantage of techniques such as tree uplighting, floodlights, spotlights and accent lights.

The best options for lighting your trees and shrubs

How you decide to light and highlight your trees and shrubs will vary based on your look, your location and your priorities. You can consider a variety of time- and weather-tested options for dazzling tree and shrub lights. First, it is important to determine:

  • Your goals: Do you want to increase safety and security on your property at night or create a stunning tree lighting display that draws in crowds? Or both? When you know what you want to achieve, special tree lighting techniques can help you get there.
  • Your budget: Are you looking for the basics or something more elaborate? Many tree and shrub lighting options are affordable and long-lasting, so it can pay to consult with a tree lighting expert to find the best lighting fixtures and lighting products for your budget.
  • Your landscaping: Trees are one component of your outdoor landscape lighting plan, so you will also need to consider your gardens, walkways and paths, statues and monuments, and any other features you will want to light at night. Again, a lighting pro can help you craft a plan that pulls everything together in a landscape lighting package that is both beautiful and functional.

If you have any other priorities or goals for your tree lighting project, now is the time to list and brainstorm your needs and interests when it comes to landscape lighting.

Tree lighting techniques

A variety of impressive tree lighting techniques will give your home or commercial tree and shrub lighting project the perfect combination of curb appeal and security. A lighting plan should incorporate a variety of options for the best results.

In particular, tree lighting can take advantage of the following techniques:

  • Tree uplighting: Uplighting is light that is, naturally, focused upwards to generate shadows and shapes and is ideal for illuminating trees, shrubs and gardens. By placing a fixture at the base of the tree’s trunk and shining it up towards the tree, you can capture the tree’s natural beauty and design and create an artful silhouette. It is critical to ensure that your tree uplighting fixtures are well-placed to provide a soft, subtle glow that creates ambiance rather than a bright, harsh light. TouchStone Accent Lighting’s Lupine series of uplights offers a warm glow for trees as well as adjustability and flexibility.
  • Flood lighting: The latest flood lighting options are versatile and can light up your trees and shrubs without overwhelming your landscaping. Flood lights offer safety and security as well as notable durability. TouchStone offers a Mini Flood outdoor lighting product that is perfect for small, ornamental trees as well as a MultiFlood option designed for LEDs that casts a larger beam angle to light up larger trees and shrubs.
  • Spotlights: Like a flood light, a spotlight will call attention to a specific tree, shrub or landscape feature, however, while flood lights cast light across a wider area, the beams in a spotlight are narrower, drawing attention to one element or tree at a time. A spotlight can call out a particular tree, branch, plant or shrub, for example. Generally, spotlights should be used more sparingly to focus on particular elements in your landscape lighting plan.
  • Garden lighting: A garden lighting plan can showcase your plants, produce and landscaping around the clock and can include both uplighting and downlighting to add to your garden’s natural beauty. In general, your landscape lighting fixtures should be placed so that the light source is inconspicuous and effective. Lower-wattage, energy-saving lighting products for the garden are easy to install and update from season to season.

If you are aiming for a creative look, you can also consider colored filters or holiday lighting that offers a spooky effect for Halloween, a merry effect for Christmas or a green glow for St. Patrick’s Day, for example. Your trees can be an important facet of your overall landscape lighting design.

Mix and match

Ultimately, great lighting design for trees and shrubs will incorporate a variety of lights, lighting fixtures and lighting techniques. You can add depth or shadows, create a silhouette or a focal point and increase security on your property through mixing and matching outdoor lighting techniques, while maintaining a focus on energy savings, affordability and flexibility.

A professional lighting designer can walk you through the best options for your landscape. You can also update your outdoor lighting based on seasons, changes in lifestyle or interest.

Don’t forget the LEDs

You may already be familiar with LED outdoor lighting, a modern and eco-friendly option of accent lighting that is easy to install and easy to customize. They use about 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than traditional incandescent lighting, according to Energy.gov. They do not emit UV ways and are 100 percent recyclable.

Low-voltage landscape lighting can reduce your energy usage and increase the “wow” factor in your gardens, trees and shrubs. Much more efficient than traditional light bulbs, LED lighting products for outdoor use are small in size, lending themselves to a variety of design opportunities.

Landscape tree lighting that is designed to last

When you build a tree lighting design that incorporates shrub lights and garden lights, you can turn your landscaping into a safe and impressive extension of your home or business. Consulting with a lighting designer can help you mix and match outdoor lighting techniques to create landscape tree lighting that will last and last.