Landscape Design With Subtle Moonlighting

A wonderful and natural way to light up your landscape is to mimick moonlight. The moonlighting technique refers to the chiaroscuro pattern of light through leaves.

Moonlighting is achieved by placing a large fixture with a full glare guard high up inside a tree, and angled downwards. This effect looks like moonlight shining down through the branches.

A dappled pattern of light and shadow is created along pathways and over low-level plantings providing  a very beautiful lighting effect.

landscape lighting

The color of the moon may surprise you.
It turns out that the moon absorbs twice as much violet as it does red.  For this reason, the moon is slightly reddish!

At very low light levels, the human eye can no longer perceive the color red, but can perceive blues and greens.  So moonlight, which  has very low luminance level, can appear slightly blue.  But ever so slightly … as the brain easily shifts its perception to judging the moon to be white!

landscape lighting designMoonlighting and Palm Trees
Since leaves are at the tops of palm trees, mounted tree lights are used as a general light wash on the ground, or  to create shadows of neighboring trees.

Heights and Angles
To simulate the light of the moon,  fixtures are mounted at least 25 ft. high and project the light through lower branches. This illuminates the ground with the kind of dappled light that suggests the moon.

– By Harold Salkin
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Or, call Harold at 561.204.3000.