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Outdoor Lighting Options to Draw Attention to Trees and Plantings in Lancaster, PA

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Put the finishing touches on your landscape with the right outdoor lighting. As beautiful as landscape features are during the day, they can become the shining stars of a nighttime scene. Here are some lighting options to draw attention to trees and plantings in Lancaster, PA.

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Put the finishing touches on your landscape with the right outdoor lighting in Lancaster, PA. As beautiful as landscape features are during the day, they can become the shining stars of a nighttime scene.  

Here are some lighting options to draw attention to trees and plantings in Lancaster, PA. 

Related: 7 MATERIALS ASSOCIATED WITH LUXURIOUS OUTDOOR LIVING IN LANCASTER, PA

Great landscape lighting lets you enjoy your landscape any time of day or night. Old-school outdoor lighting meant a single floodlight mounted to the siding, which was bright enough to attract every single insect in the neighborhood. They were too bright to create any sort of pleasing ambiance, and it cast dangerous, stark shadows and left parts of the landscape in complete darkness.

Luckily, today there are plenty of choices in light fixtures. Thanks to low-wattage LED lighting, creating an attractive and safe nightscape won’t drive your electric bill sky-high. Careful placement of fixtures lets you illuminate trees and plantings and provide enough ambient light to get around safely. 

Here is how you can use various landscape lighting techniques to emphasize the natural elements of your landscape. While there are many other techniques you can use in your outdoor living spaces, these are the ones that work best with trees, shrubs, ornamental grasses, or other natural elements.

Uplighting: place a fixture at ground level and point it up along the tree trunk to emphasize the texture of the bark and illuminate branches and foliage from below. These relatively focused beams won’t overwhelm your nightscape with too much light. Choose trees with heavily textured bark for this effect. Uplighting also works well to emphasize decorative boulders. 

For trees that have smooth bark, you can use moonlighting: place white light fixtures high in the tree canopy to create a gentle and romantic dappled effect on the ground below.

Uplighting: place uplights against the base of relatively open shrubs such as dogwoods for an interesting shadow effect. Place uplights a foot or so away from the outermost branches of dense shrubs like boxwoods or cedars to highlight the foliage. Be sure that the lights face away from any outdoor living spaces or walkways to avoid blinding people.

Conical evergreen trees such as spruces or firs can be a lighting challenge due to their relative density. Illuminate evergreen trees from a distance of 3-10 feet using a wider-angle light (the distance will depend on the size of the tree). Properly lighting a dense evergreen can mean using several light fixtures. All lights should point away from walkways or outdoor living areas.

Path lights are low stand-alone fixtures (often solar-powered) that are placed at regular intervals along a walkway. These make amazing accent lights for your softscape, too. Place them far enough apart so that they only illuminate and draw attention to a small area (you don’t want the whole landscape to be as bright as day). One light per 30 feet is a good rough placement estimate, but this depends on the size and density of your plantings, as well as any changes in elevation.

Highlight ornamental grasses in two ways: first, by using uplights that draw the eye to the wispy foliage; or second, by silhouetting tall grasses against the backdrop of a garden wall or the home’s siding.

Landscape lighting experts usually combine several techniques to achieve the most pleasing effect. Another consideration is the temperature of the bulbs you use: bright white or more amber. Warmer colors are less bright and are generally best for deciduous trees, while brighter and cooler (whiter) lights are generally best for evergreens. Outdoor lighting is a balance of science and artistry, so if you need help designing a lighting theme and choosing the right fixtures for the job, talk to our friendly experts!

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