Mar 09, 2022

Although adding lighting features to your landscaping appears to be a straightforward task, trust us when we say there is more than what meets the eye. The exterior property of your home not only aids you in enhancing your curbside appeal, but it also provides onlookers and guests a preview of the design on the inside of your home. Therefore, if possible, taking the time to design exterior landscape lighting can be a great way to showcase your style and make your home stand out amongst the rest of the homes on your block 

And while your home should already come equipped with downlighting and uplighting fixtures to provide visibility and highlight architectural features, if you have trees on your property then you’re in luck. Tree uplighting is a fantastic strategy to showcase your property, provide visibility, and enhance your security when installed correctly. Therefore, if you want to learn more about how you can design the perfect tree uplighting for your home, keep reading.

How to Master Your Tree Uplighting on Your Property

Regardless of whether you are a first-time homeowner or not, you want your home to feel welcoming from the first moment visitors lay eyes on your property, which is why tree uplighting is a fantastic method to create a warm and relaxing atmosphere that diffuses into your interior. However, before moving onto how you can use tree uplighting to your advantage, let’s take a closer look at what the difference is between uplighting and downlighting fixtures.

Downlighting vs. Uplighting 

For homeowners who are not familiar with landscape lighting terminology, downlighting is a type of light fixture that shines a focused light downwards onto the focal point you are trying to illuminate for a more natural, moonlight effect. On the other hand, uplighting is a light fixture typically installed on the ground level of your property to focus light in an upward direction, similar to a spotlight feature.

How to Use Uplighting on Trees

Now that we understand the difference between uplighting and downlighting, let’s dive into how you can use uplighting to your advantage when planning your landscaping design. Trees are a natural focal point on any property that can help elevate the overall look of your curbside appeal. And while you want to accentuate as many aspects of your landscaping as possible, the key to achieving a professional result is to find the perfect balance between intense and subtle highlighting to foster the overall mood you are looking for.

Lighting Ornamental Trees

Although ornamental trees are less common features on most properties, if you have some planted, then you are in luck. These types of trees are typically smaller in size and give off a delicate, elegant radiance that is unmatched, making them the perfect focal point on any landscaping project and for uplighting. Some of the most common ornamental trees are:

  • Weeping Spruce
  • Tulip Trees
  • Weeping Atlas Cedar
  • Japanese Maple

To achieve a balanced appearance, rather than utilize a harsh light to accentuate ornamental trees, try using a dimmed lighting to create a highlight that is more gentle and subtle in nature. This way, you can add to the mystic of the tree itself and create a beautiful contrast with any other trees you may have on your property.  

Lighting Evergreen Trees

On the other hand, it’s likely that most homeowners have a type of evergreen species growing in their yard, depending on the region they live in. Evergreen is a species of trees that have needles, rather than leaves. However, unlike other tree species, they do not lose their needles throughout the year. Some of the most common evergreen trees are:

  • Pine
  • Hemlock
  • Redwood
  • Fir
  • Cedar
  • Spruce
  • Yew

To strategically highlight evergreen trees, try using two uplighting fixtures positioned on two sides of its base at a 60-degree angle to create a 360-degree illumination of the natural beauty these types of trees offer.  

Lighting Deciduous Trees

Furthermore, the last type of tree species you may find in your yard are deciduous trees. Unlike evergreen trees, deciduous trees lose their leaves during the fall and winter and grow them throughout the warmer months. Some common deciduous trees include:

  • Oak
  • Maple
  • Willow
  • Aspen
  • Cherry
  • Dogwood
  • Maple 

Remember, to make the most out of your tree uplighting, regardless of its species, keep in mind the size of the tree as it will help guide you in determining how many uplighting features you will need to successfully highlight its features.

Smaller Deciduous Trees 

For smaller deciduous trees place one fixture directly at the center of the tree's base at a 35-degree angle to create one beautiful focal point. This will also look seamless throughout the year, providing you with the perfect illumination of the branches themselves and the tree’s leaves throughout the spring and summer time.

Medium Deciduous Trees

Moreover, for any medium deciduous trees, we suggest homeowners use two lighting fixtures at the base. Angle the light fixture to shine at 35-degree on each side of the trunk. 

Large Deciduous Trees

Lastly, for large deciduous trees, place a smaller accent light at the center of the trunk's base and two larger accent lights further away on either side.

Before Designing Your Exterior Uplighting

Like any other renovation, before planning your design, remember to consider the following factors that may affect your final result:

The overall budget you want to work with

Whether you want to hire a professional contractor to do the job or try your hand with DIY solutions

What type of lighting fixtures do you want to use –solar or traditional electric?

Which trees you want to highlight in a subtle manner and which you want to truly shine

Whether you want to plant any further trees and other plants to finish your design

Once you have determined the answers to these questions, you’ll be ready to start your tree uplighting renovation in no time.

Final Thoughts on Tree Uplighting

By using the tips, we listed above, you can create a beautiful ambience with ease. Tree uplighting is the perfect outdoor landscaping feature that adds the right amount of grandeur to your property while drawing the eye upwards to elongate your home and surrounding area. Therefore, whether you’re looking to update your forever home, or add property value to a home you may end up selling in the future, installing uplighting features is the perfect solution for you, without being over the top and expensive.

Need more information?

Phone: 770-521-2805


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Kimberly Buckland

Absolute Lighting installed my outdoor flood lights 2 years ago and they are beautiful! They did such a great job that I used them to setup and take down the Christmas lights for the past 2 years. I would highly recommend them. Frank always responds to questions and automatically puts me on the schedule for set up and take down of the Christmas Lights.

Graham Antin

We love Abulous lighting and have been using them for years  They are very responsive and professional and  will come back no questions asked for any follow up work  Good pricing and highly trustworthy  Frank, the owner, is a true  stand up guy.  I recommend without reservation

Allan Conlan

Frank and the team at Abulous were great to work with. They came out and retro-upgraded some previous lighting that we had done a few years back and made it look as seamless and continuous as possible. They also worked with us on the best (& most economical) way to light up a hard to reach area of our yard. They also followed up with us after we had another group of workers "disturb" some of the lighting wires and came back out and fixed everything back up again. Very friendly, dependable local resource who do great work. Highly recommend.

Mike Thomas

After reviewing multiple companies we contracted with Abilous Lighting to create outside accent lighting for our home, backyard patio, walkways, & fire pit.  Their ideas and design were the best!   It was a pleasure working with Frank Hasty, who did  the design, and his crew of Brandon & Rusty who performed the work.  All were excellent to work with.   We are very happy with Abulous Lighting.