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Solar Uplighting for Trees and Other 3 Lighting Techniques

Without a doubt, the most exciting part about landscape lighting design is lighting trees. There are so many types of trees and so many lighting options available

Let's take a look. A nice open spacious backyard will have a lot of good lighting opportunities. To light up the nice large trees, getting the right angles and making them the focal point is really fun.

Here we introduce some tree lighting techniques, after each section, we will recommend some solar lights that are suitable to fulfil the effect you hope to create. Solar energy has many advantages over other forms of energy. It is renewable, meaning it is a clean, sustainable source of energy. Solar energy also provides a cost-effective way to generate electricity and reduce carbon emissions. Solar Powered Lights comes with solar panels, they absorb energy for a couple of hours of direct sunlight then they can have enough power for lights work for the whole night. To save even more energy, they are installed with LED lights. These kind of lights are waterproof, so they are outdoor lights safe to use in all kinds of weather.

#1. Uplights for Trees

Uplights give us a nice spread of lighting and shows the texture of the underneath of the tree. You can see the underside of the beautiful tree and all the foliage.

With a large tree, how many uplighting fixtures to use?

Generally you need at least two lights but with a lot of large trees, we did three to four on them just because of their of their size. If you just do one light on a large oak tree, you only see half the tree and it really doesn't look very good. That's why you really need multiple fixtures to be able to compensate for the various viewable angles.

Viewing Angles - Place enough fixtures around a tree to light it from multiple viewing angels

Another big concern is that you have to take into account where is this gonna be viewed from. If it is a sweeping landscape, it's viewable from almost all sides so we had to light those trees from all sides.

Hide the Lighting Source – Turn shroud so the light source is hidden as much as possible and use a hex baffle to help obscure the light source

Hex baffles are a must especially in pathway because bad glare can ruin a good install. Hex baffles are not very expensive. It's a good investment.

If you prefer not being able to see the source of the light ever, inground lights is good for you. You can even step on it. It fits virtually imperceptibly to the ground, you can't see in it.

Inground lights allow the light to start right at the base rather than if you have a stake mounted fixture light which doesn't really start until the first foot or so, so you've a lot of darkness down at the base of the trunk.

Recommended Solar Uplights

#2. Downlights for Trees

Many people will just use uplights to light up a tree, but downlighting is actually quite a good idea, especially for a sitting area.

The natural down lighting makes things feel more comfortable and inviting. It also creates a lot less contrast. When you're installing a fixture way up in the tree, here are some techniques to make it done and last there for a long time.

Directional Down Light for Lighting Up Tree Limbs and Branching Structure

The specific advantage of directional down light is when the trees have beautiful bark, it is good to see the accentuate the beauty of this one, it can be such a focal point of when you're coming in. It is installed a little bit higher and you have the underneath part lighted and then you have the downward light so it encompasses the whole nature of the tree.

Hide the source of the light – Use Shroud of the fixture or tree branches to help hide the source of the light

How to get rid of the glare from up in the tree? If the fixtures come with a pretty substantial shield which is fully adjustable, so you have to be cognizant of where the people are going to be viewing the tree from, with a shield, you can prevent the source of the light from being in the eyes. Use the branches themselves as a glare protection is a very good point. There's a lot of branches you can hide it back in the nooks and crannies, to let the tree work for you in that aspect.

Securing Fixtures to Tree – Avoid using materials that rust or corrode. Use stainless steel screws and quality uv-stable zip ties to secure wires, but leave room for adjustment.

As trees may grow, when you're securing them, you need to allow enough space for growth.

And do not just pin it as hard as you can, because it may look good for a few weeks or months but pretty soon that wire is embedded or break, so paying attention to those little things are always important. Definitely using things that won't rust or corrode, such as stainless steel components, or the zip ties that allow room for the cable to move up as the tree grows in terms of length, as well as to allow you to make maintenance plan.

Recommended Solar Downlights

Uplights or Downlights?

Consider where a tree will be viewed from when choosing whether to light from above or below and do not be afraid to mix them up for different trees. They do their own job and bring all aspects of the lighting to full bloom in this area.

#3. Pendant Lights for Trees – Use hanging pendant lights to create a soft moon-lit simulated glow around the base of a tree

Pendant lights for trees
Pendant lights for trees

The pendant lights hang from the tree and they flow in the wind and at night they'll give you the nice flowing shadows. The other purpose is to give the outer lighting. It will give us a soft general subtle lighting around the exterior.

Pendant lights create a soft, indirect lighting effect that adds a warm and inviting atmosphere to any outdoor area. The light from the pendant lights is diffused, creating a more natural, subtle effect.

Lastly, they are easy to install. Pendant lights are suspended from a pole or other support, so they can be placed at any height in order to direct the light to the desired area. This makes them very useful for illuminating a tree, as the height of the lights can be adjusted to best suit the tree's shape and size to create a softer or brighter look.

Recommended Solar Pendant Lights

#4. Try to Use Bold Color Lights For Trees

A regular LED just give a tree the warm tone but if you want to do the lighting demo, you may need to use some color. The colorize lights gave us the option to change the color on the tree and if we're looking for an exact color then we can easily adjust it to what we want. You could go bright color and make it wow such as red and blue if you wanted to.

Just remember one thing, make it subtle but yet pop. What we are able to do is just warm up the trunk of the tree by using a little bit more of the brunt of the orange scale to highlight the brown in the trunk.

When you're adjusting that hue or the saturation you will finesse that to really make all the colors pop. You can try and give yourself a high definition lighting appeal so that when you're looking at the landscape, everything has its own place but then certain things pop out at you.

Recommended Color Changing Solar Lights


Trees are key to most landscape design. They are traditionally illuminated with up lights with a special focus to ensure all areas of the tree are highlighted from various viewing angles. Use long shrouds or hex baffles when the light source is visible to your general audience. Focus on lighting the trunk and branching structure of a tree instead of the leaves. Always ensure the tree is properly pruned. When you install downlights within a tree canopy you can achieve a very dramatic moonlighting look. Because trees are vital to most landscapes, they can be illuminated with color to create fun looks and themes. I hope you learned some new techniques for lighting trees today.

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