According to that famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, spring is coming early this year. According the cherry tree in my backyard, spring has come really early this year. My favorite tree is already covered in light pink blooms a few months ahead of schedule. I don’t know if it will stay, but it reminded me about how much I love lighting up trees.
Truth is, anyone can light a trunk, but its takes an experienced lighting professional to light a tree. For a tree to be lit right, careful attention must be paid to accenting the unique and beautiful features of each individual tree. At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Augusta and Lake Oconee we have the necessary experience, technique, and technology to bring out the best in each and every tree we encounter.
Allow me to ‘talk shop’ for a minute – broadly speaking, there are two types of lighting used with trees. The generic terms for these are “up-lighting” and “down-lighting”, but we refer to them as “canopy lighting” and “moon lighting”. Canopy lighting is a lighting style that casts light up a tree from the ground below. Ideally, canopy lighting should accent the full spectrum of a tree, bathing both the trunk and the canopy in an elegant glow. Sometimes this can be achieved with a single light fixture but, depending on the size and type of tree, some require a few well-placed fixtures to achieve the ideal effect.
Moon lighting is a lighting style that casts light down from a tree onto the ground below. It gets its name because it mimics the silvery light of a full moon shining down through the branches with an soft glow. We often use moon lighting to subtly light sitting areas, pathways, and garden accent pieces. Again, proper lighting fixtures and placement is key to create a subtle, yet effective, look. With all tree lighting, the goal is to accent the tree or outdoor space while hiding the light source itself. Too often, we see bad tree lighting that draws attention to itself, with poorly designed fixtures and improper lighting angles. These are the kinds of ‘rookie mistakes’ that we know how to avoid.
Fact is, no tree is “one size fits all”. Some trees are fairly easy to light, others are more difficult. For example, a close wide angle lens captures the delicate broad canopy of a willow tree, while a distant focused light is needed to punch through the dense leaves of a magnolia tree. Pin Oaks have sprawling limbs (often covered in spanish moss) that look stunning with a combination of canopy and moon lighting. Some of our favorite trees to light are Crepe Myrtles, Japanese Maples, Palms and Palmetto trees. Each kind of tree requires a nuanced lighting approach to achieve the ideal effect and, after 13 years of working in the CSRA, we know how to bring out the very best in our local landscape.
If you would like learn more about how our lights can bring out the best in your trees, let us show you with a free home consultation or demonstration. Please give us a call at (706) 722-5711 in Augusta or (706) 484-9711 in Lake Oconee to set one up to today!
Pat Otis, President
Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Augusta
Outdoor Lighting Perspective of Lake Oconee