6 Breathtaking Spotlighting Ideas for your Outdoor Lighting Plan

Spotlights are a common feature of outdoor lighting and are used to highlight key points of the landscape. They can also be used to create interesting effects that add atmosphere to your outdoor areas. Here we’ll take a look at just some of these stunning techniques so that you can make the most of these versatile additions to your Bethel, NY home's outdoor lighting plan.

6 Breathtaking Spotlighting Ideas for your Bethel, NY Outdoor Lighting Plan

Highlight Trees

Trees are important features of landscape design, contributing height, texture, shape and a sense of age to a front or back yard. There’s no reason trees should only offer these things during the day, though. In fact, at night, lit up with spotlighting, a tree’s presence can be even more dramatic. Spotlights can be placed beneath a tree and angled upwards to light up the trunk and underside of the foliage and branches, or be directed at the tree from further away to capture the tree’s shape. For further effect, color screens can be used over the spotlight to give the trees strange and otherworldly hues.

Color Water Features

Water reacts in interesting ways to light. Moving water has the tendency to absorb the colored light while still water reflects it. Both characteristics can be used to create gorgeous lighting effects in your landscape. Waterfall and fountain features can be transformed into dancing blue or crimson flames with the addition of colored spotlights, while the shimmering surface of a pool or pond can be lit up or used to reflect a rippling pattern onto an outdoor feature or building facade.

Create Silhouettes

Silhouettes add a dreamlike quality to a landscape, like an object glimpsed through heavy mist. Silhouettes can be formed from any landscape feature or object with an interesting outline. This can be done by using a spotlight to backlight the object. The spotlight then contributes not only the pattern of the object's outline, but also additional ambient lighting to the area in front of the object.

Incorporate Shadows

When thinking about landscape lighting design, many people have the tendency to want to place too much lighting, leaving nothing to the imagination. But sometimes what is not lit can make as much of a statement as what is. Like silhouettes, shadows can introduce intricate shapes and patterns into the landscape. Trees make excellent subjects for shadows because of their organic shapes and the random patterning of branches. Downward facing spotlights can be placed in or beside trees to allow the patterns of their branches to cover a surface. Alternatively, shadows can be projected a greater distance by spotlights placed behind an object, similarly to how you would create a silhouette.

Emphasize Architectural Features

Many older buildings have decorative architectural features that are worth highlighting - especially at night. Whether it’s an ornate archway or decorative french windows, spotlights can be used to highlight sections of a building’s facade in order to draw attention to them. With the addition of color filters, this technique can be used to give a vintage building an artistic modern touch.