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Uplighting & Downlighting: Outdoor Lighting Strategies that Bring Your Home & Landscape to Life at Night

Have you ever looked at someone’s outdoor lighting and wondered how they achieved such a soft, warm glow that’s both elegant and inviting? You can get the same result on your property by combining two professional outdoor lighting strategies known as uplighting and downlighting.

outdoor lighting

What’s the difference between uplighting and downlighting? When you install uplighting, a lighting fixture is strategically placed at ground level and shines light upward. For downlighting, the fixture shines light down from above.

At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Northern Virginia, we recommend using both techniques to transform your home and landscape into the evening hours. But how do you know where to install uplighting and where to install downlighting?

outdoor lighting

Outdoor Lighting Strategies: Uplighting versus Downlighting

Where to use uplighting?

We recommend using the uplighting technique to:

  1. Illuminate your home’s façade: By casting a broad wash of light across your home’s facade, you can bring colors and textures out from the darkness. By narrowing the beam, you can highlight architectural elements, such as your roofline, archways, and columns.
  2. Highlight your majestic trees: Uplighting can make your trees look magical and majestic at night by accentuating their height, leaves, and branches. Whether you want to highlight one tree or an entire tree line, the results will take your breath away.
  3. Emphasize vertical structures: Do you have a pergola, trellis, or other vertical structure in your backyard? By shining light upward onto the structure, you create a custom appeal, turning your landscape into a nighttime work of art.
  4. Accentuate your garden features: Carry the beauty of a unique statue, fountain, or other garden feature into the nighttime hours with subtle illumination for a stunning effect. You won’t believe your eyes!

outdoor lighting

Where to use downlighting?

Downlighting is best used to:

  1. Illuminate low-growing plants and flowerbeds: While uplighting is recommended for taller, more dramatic plants, downlighting shines light down on the top of lower-growing plantings, gently highlighting their colors and textures.
  2. Light up your patio: Downlighting can beautifully illuminate an expansive outdoor living area, such as a patio, creating an elegant effect that is both beautiful and functional.
  3. Add lighting to outdoor seating: Use downlighting underneath outdoor seating walls or benches to cast a subtle wash of light on your patio or pathways, making the area warm, welcoming, and safe to move around.

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Northern Virginia can expertly use the uplighting and downlighting strategies to elegantly illuminate your home and landscape at night. By strategically placing high-quality fixtures throughout your property, we’ll create a beautiful ambiance and custom curb appeal while increasing the functionality of your backyard spaces at night.

If you’d like to learn more about what designer outdoor lighting can do for your property, call Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Northern Virginia to schedule your complimentary outdoor lighting consultation and demonstration. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you transform your home and landscape into the evening hours!