Next up in our series of outdoor lighting techniques is up-lighting. Up-lighting is one of the most versatile strategies in outdoor lighting design as it is used in a variety of applications. Up-lighting is an excellent way to highlight the beauty of trees and architectural details.
A number of fixtures can be used when up-lighting, but the most commonly used fixture is the well light, or BB3 (seen here). The fixture is installed into the ground, no deeper than 12 inches. Different beams of light can be achieved by placing the fixture closer or further away from the structure and by changing the angle of the light bulb.
Grazing is a form of up-lighting that enhances the textures of a vertical space by placing a fixture only 6 to 8 inches from the surface and aiming the fixture directly upward. It is an absolutely gorgeous outdoor lighting effect on a brick, stone or stucco building as it brings out all of the details. It does not, however, work well on a siding due to the shadows it would create because the surface isn’t flat. Here’s a great image of grazing up-lighting from Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Birmingham. This outdoor lighting system in Hoover, AL included a wall that surrounded part of the outdoor living space. If you can pull your eyes away from the beautiful sunset through the window, take a look at the texture that the lighting brings out. That architectural detail of the space can now be admired at all times of the day and night.
Tree lighting is another popular form of up-lighting. As opposed to moonlighting in trees and the shadows it creates, the tree trunk and branches are the focal point in up-lighting trees. The outdoor lighting fixtures are installed near the base of the tree. Most of our clients enjoy the warm wash of light up the trees, but some have added a pale blue lens to for a more subtle look. At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we’ve up-lit trees with dramatic results. For our clients who have clients bordering their outdoor living spaces, up-lighting trees is a great way to draw the eye outward and add interest to an otherwise dark surrounding. Depending on the structure, where it is located, and what surrounds it, up-lighting can also be used for fountain or statue lighting.
The key to all outdoor lighting design is using the right techniques, with the right fixtures, installed in the right place. The designer has to consider where the excess light will go and make sure that it does not shine into the home, a neighbor’s home or property, or into any of the areas that people gather in when entertaining. At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we place temporary lights in place so that we can be sure that the system will look and perform exactly how intended.
If you have questions regarding outdoor lighting on your property, contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office. Our trained lighting designers will create a beautiful system that you’ll enjoy night after night.