Trees are the pillars of an outdoor landscape, and deserve special attention in any landscaping design. Outside tree lights may be sized in scale to the tree in both fixture size and wattage—making it possible to install them without harming the trees or revealing the presence of the fixtures themselves. This results in adding a very important vertical element to your outdoor lighting design that is essential to outdoor home entertainment. Guests tend to feel much more comfortable in an outdoor setting that is punctuated by layers of light rather than a single layer of lighting at ground level. In order to accomplish this, it is necessary two different categories of outside tree lights—up lights and down lights—and combine illumination that emanates from two different directions in order to create a field of architectural outdoor lighting that extends the look and feel of your home’s exterior up and outward around your trees.
Uplights are actually box floods installed at the root of the trees. These fixtures range anywhere from 100 to 400 watts in power and are installed at the base of the tree in and around the roots. These outside tree lights shine up the surface of the bark, illuminating the stature and form of the tree itself. The size of the tree itself will determine the number and wattage of the outside tree lights installed at its base. Some floods are very small and can be concealed in flower beds at the base of even the smallest of trees, giving them the illusion of being taller than they actually are. With very large oaks and ash trees, it is not so necessary to conceal the fixtures, because a massive trunk that is brightly lit will draw the eyes upward toward the branches, making the visible presence of fixtures less significant on a subconscious level.
Showcasing the natural beauty and magnificence of trees in your landscape lighting plans is only one thing we can do with outside tree lights. A very practical application exists for these fixtures as well. Down lighting fixtures that are installed within the branches of the trees themselves cast pools of light onto the surrounding Earth at the base of the trunk. This increases overall visibility, and it creates an ambient mood for nights where the moon is half quarter, less, or dark. You can make your own moonlight, so to speak, with mercury vapor outside tree lights, and you can keep them completely concealed from the line of sight and reduce outdoor lighting maintenance costs as well. This is because the fixtures tend to be very narrow, bullet shaped housings with sophisticated glare shields that focus and direct the light at precise points along the ground. This makes it possible for ILD professionals to place outdoor tree lights in virtually any part of a tree (without harming it), and then direct the light to a specific location beneath the canopy.
In some cases it may be better to use white light rather than the blue light of mercury vapor. Any type of three-dimensional sculpture, decoration, or fountain located beneath a tree looks better under an incandescent light source. Outside tree lights can be fitted with halogen lamps and installed in the same manner as mercury vapor lights and provide accent lighting, or even functional lighting, in the space between the trees. Many gazebos and patios, for example, can be brightly lit in this fashion with apparently sourceless lighting that contributes to a sense of community, romance, or celebration at night time events.
While it is possible to buy outside tree lights through retail outlets and stores, we recommend you contract a professional outdoor lighting contractor to install superior, specification grade fixtures as one of many components in an overall landscape lighting plan. Attempting to install these fixtures yourself can be hazardous to both yourself and the trees you are looking highlight. Let a professional help you instead by calling Illuminations Lighting Design at 713-863-1133 or toll free at 800-863-1184 to schedule a consultation. You can also us our online CONTACT US FORM or REQUEST ASSISTANCE DIRECTORY. These handy online tools allow you to tell us more about your project, attach files or identify an individual responsible for processing your specific request!