Successfully lighting a landscape will take a lot of work and attention to intricate details. Lighting a landscape means choosing the suitable types of lighting and the features to highlight. It might be overwhelming for a regular homeowner, but don’t worry because there are professionals who can help you with the decision-making.  


To know what part of your landscape is best lighted on, go grab a high-powered flashlight and play with the light. See what landscape features looks cool with the lighting, and what’s not. The following are the landscape lighting effects that you can do.  

Up Lighting 

The basic form of landscape lighting is up lighting where you create a drama and unique look on the tree or any tall structure. You can highlight the tree’s trunk or the underside of a tree’s canopy on smaller or larger trees. With this effect, you should use well lights and spotlights.  


This is another Irvine landscape design highlighting effect that will emphasize the amazing shapes of your landscape that are hidden during daytime. To create a silhouette, place the lighting behind the features or shapes you want to highlight. Make sure to place the light toward where the main vintage point is, hiding the source of light. This lighting effect does well with well lights and spotlights.  


Shadowing is the reverse technique of silhouetting. You place the light between the item being lit and the main vantage point. The source of light should be aimed at the item. This will successfully work when you have a flat surface of wall behind the features you’re highlighting to catch the shadows you want to create. If you want a moody and softer effect, you can do so. You can achieve this effect with well lights, spotlights and flood lights.  

Moon Lighting 

If you have larger trees on the landscape, you can highlight them using the moon lighting effect. The source of light is placed up in the tree, facing down to create washing light on the branches and the ground. It’s better if you have an open-branched tree, because the effect is even more impressive. Use spotlights as your light source.  

Pro-tip from us, if you have evergreens which are extra-large, you can highlight them with spotlighting effect and moon lighting by placing 2 spotlights half quarters of the way up the tree. The one should aim down and the one up to create a dramatic effect.  


If you have a hardscape-heavy landscape, grazing is the best option. This effect involves placing the light close to the flat surface like a wall or something, and then aim up and down the surface to create a shadow play and dramatic light. You can see this effect on restaurant and hotel designs.  


Most of the time, simple lighting won’t do. The space will need a more ambient lighting. You can wash the space with light, like a wall or hedge. Use a wide-beamed light placed between the surface and the main vantage point to cast a gentle and even light over the whole area.