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What Is Landscape Moonlighting & Why Do You Want It?

Creating A Beautifully Lit Yard At Night In Your Maryland, DC, Or Northern Virginia Home

Full Moon Or Landscape Lighting?

This article can tell you about the landscape moonlighting technique! You can use it to brighten your yard in a natural-looking way, making it seem as though the moon is brightening your yard. There are only two things you need to pull off this amazing look: tall trees and a professional landscape lighting company (25’+ is a long way up).

You can learn the benefits of hiring professionals here >>

Down lighting used as landscape moonlighting, pendant light, and grazing light to brighten a back patio

What Is Landscape Moonlighting?

This lighting technique replicates the lighting of the moon, even when there isn’t one! The lights themselves are down-lights or spotlights. The minimum height is 25′ because below that the lights become easier to see and there are less leaves and branches to filter the light. Deciduous trees are best because their many leaves and branches create a dapple effect on the ground plus lights are more easily mounted in these types of trees.

Advantages Of Landscape Moonlighting

Lighting from above is more natural, what we’re used to, so people don’t normally think twice about the source. Other types of outdoor lighting don’t usually achieve this, though it is best to combine landscape moonlighting with other types. When the breeze blows and moves the leaves and branches, the shadows on the ground sway as well, creating a calm, relaxing atmosphere. It can also illuminate darker areas of your yard.

Washington DC landscape moonlighting

Placement Tips

  • Best when placed above hard, flat surfaces (patios, decks, grassy areas)
    • also great for lighting pathways and areas around them
  • Placing the lights closer to the trunk and higher up creates more shadows and lessens the intensity of the light
  • Putting them farther from the drunk and lower down allows more light through
  • If you want to highlight the trunk more, place the light lower down and just above the trunk pointing straight down
  • Don’t staple wires to the tree! It can kill or severely damage the tree plus cause problems for lighting down the line

Choose Your Lighting Color/Style

The two main color temperatures for this light type are either red or blue. Most homeowners prefer the natural light look, which is actually a warm, reddish light between 2700K – 3000K. The light more closely resembling the moon is a bluish light between 5000k – 5500k. Whichever color you choose, you’ll need professionals to install them. As for style, it’s best to use standoff hanger bolts. This prevents the tree from growing around any brackets or staples and keeps the tree safe.

*Note: color temperature is expressed in Kelvin (K). *

Landscape moonlighting technique with light shining onto walkway creating cool shadows

Landscape Moonlighting Requires Moon Men

Just because a cow can jump over the moon doesn’t mean anyone can install one in their yard. Climbing tall trees is risky, especially without the proper equipment. You don’t want to risk falling out of a tree because trust me, it hurts. Hiring people whose job it is to install lights high off the ground is best because they have the proper training, equipment, and insurance. 

Take Advantage Of Your Tall Trees

Your tall trees can now be used for more than shade and hammocks, it can help brighten your yard! The hardest part is the installation and that’s because of the height requirement. You can install other types of landscape lighting to complement this one.

You can learn how to install outdoor lighting >>

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