You can achieve some rather dramatic special effects with your outdoor lighting when you incorporate the effects of lighting to enhance your landscape design. Careful placement of the lighting fixture in relation to your landscaping focal attentions and necessities can result in a truly breathtaking cooperative event that screams out to visitors, “Hey, lookee at what I done did do!”
The silhouetting effect is accomplished with a light that is concealed behind an object like a tree or statuary. The goal of the silhouette lighting effect is to create a crisp, clearly delineated outline that makes it stand out. The silhouette can sometimes be more vivid than the full-on display.
You’ve seen the effect of uplighting in horror movies, but maybe didn’t even realize you were being seduced by the lighting technician. For extremely dramatic shadow effects, a spotlight that shoots up from ground level can create a dreadful spectre that may serve either to entice those who look forward to engaging with the unknown or it may be scare off potentially cowardly burglars. Well lights are designed specifically to create the uplighting effect because they can be buried into your landscape and shoot their beams of light upward onto a tree.
Downlighting can create a somber effect or a diffused sense of light. If you have a small garden area to illuminate, downlighting is one of the best ways to showcase what you’ve got. Place some floodlights high in the trees and allow the branches of the trees themselves to diffuse what would otherwise be a glare.
Moonlighting is more than just a fondly remembered 1980s launching pad for Bruce Willis. The name is derived from the effect that is created by filtering downlights to an even greater effect so that the diffusion of the beam provides a similar effect to the site being illuminated only by the beams from the moon’s reflection itself. If you are a fan of film noir’s shadows, you can manipulate moonlighting to create that disorienting effect of shadows engaging in a complex interface on the surface of the ground.
By Tim Sexton