How to Put Spotlights in a Tree

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Landscape lighting not only adds a safety feature to your home and yard, but helps to turn your deck or patio into a space that can be enjoyed both day and night. One aspect of landscape lighting that can add a great deal of interest to your yard is tree lighting. Spotlighting a tree can be particularly interesting if the bark of the tree is colorful or visually appealing in some way. Due to strong interest in home-improvement, more products than ever are available to help you with your lighting needs. Spotlighting a tree is easy to do and it can add a sense of drama and security to your night-time curb appeal.

Things You'll Need

  • Outdoor spotlight
  • Prepare for your lighting project by having a qualified electrician connect an outdoor power source for your use. Explain your lighting plans to the electrician so he can provide the correct outlets for your needs. Unless you are a skilled electrician, this is a job that should be done by a professional.

  • Decide if you want to "moonlight" the tree or uplight it. To moonlight means to secure a light high in the tree and direct the light downward, as if it were naturally lit by the moon. With moonlighting a blue-tinged, softer light is usually preferred. Mounting your spotlight on the ground, or low on the tree, and pointing the light up is called uplighting. This style is usually chosen for its brighter and more dramatic shadow-creating effect.

  • Choose from either a strap mount, also called surface mount, style of spotlight which is mounted on the tree or one that will be secured on the ground at the foot of the tree. With either style, it is important to purchase a light that will blend into the bark or the landscape. You want the tree, not the lighting fixture, to be highlighted.

  • Choose a spot light that will blend into the landscape around the tree or that is similar in color to the bark of the tree if you are going to strap mount your light.

  • Follow the manufacturers instructions for specific directions on how to mount your light. Some spotlights require nothing more than placing their staked end into the ground and pointing the light in the direction you want. Strap-mounted spotlights are much like attaching a metal belt to the trunk or limb of the tree and then adjusting the angle of the light.

Tips & Warnings

  • An alternative to paying an electrician to connect an outdoor power source is to use solar lights. A solar spotlight may cost more to purchase upfront, but that cost will be offset by skipping the electrician and not adding to your power bill.

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