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Landscape Moonlighting Technique

The landscape moonlighting technique is when you want to create the effects of the moon. This technique creates a shadowing effect that resembles the moon.

To achieve the best tree moon lighting effect you need to choose large trees that are at least 25 foot or higher.

Deciduous trees with large canopies are prime candidates for moonlighting. The inner branches of these large trees make it much easier to place the lights you might need to recreate the moons natural light.

Moonlighting Tips

  • To achieve the right effect you might have to use numerous lights.
  • Hard and Flat surfaces (turf, large patio, driveways) benefit the most from moonlighting.


landscape moonlighting effect







The picture to the left shows placement of lights to create more shadows and a lower light effect.

Place the lighting fixtures close to the trunk and higher up in the tree.
landscape moonlighting







For more light and less shadowing, mount the lights towards the edge of the canopy and closer to the ground.
landscape moonlighting






If you are wanting to highlight the tree trunk place a light low and just above the trunk pointing to the ground.

This helps the eye connect the tree to the ground.

Lamps to use for Moonlighting

A 20 watt (bab) lamp with a 60 degree spread works very good when trying to give the effect of the natural moonlight. When placed 25 to 30 foot in the tree the light will filter through the trees leaves and branches creating a soft light and pattern on the ground below.

By using the wider beam light, your are defusing the light and it is not as pinpointed as if you were to use a smaller beam spread light.

A draw back to moonlighting is the maintenance part, you will have to climb up to do your annual landscape lighting maintenance.





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