What Is Moon Lighting And Why Does It Remain So Popular?

Updated April 30, 2024

Moon Lighting Tips for gazebo and your landscape lighting

What Is Moon Lighting And Why Does It Remain So Popular?

There’s nothing more beautiful on a breezy spring night or warm summer evening than moonlight whispering in soft beams through tree boughs to your deck below. With landscape lighting, you won’t have to worry about clouds blocking your moonlight ever again with a simple technique. Read on for our tips for getting this beautiful permanent moonlight.

Moon lighting imitates the natural light of the moon in your yard. This type of lighting is subtle, elegant, and creates a ton of ambiance.

What Is Moon Outdoor Lighting?

Moon Lighting Tips for your landscape lighting

Moon outdoor lighting, generally speaking, isn’t used for security or for task lighting – it’s soft, utilizes the natural movement of the trees so you’re looking for that sweet spot of providing light without being bright or harsh.   Light cast down from above, often filtered through trees and other features, results in a soft, full moon glow, regardless of the actual moon or the weather. As such, a tree with a large canopy is the best candidate for a moonlighting installation.

One of the reasons moonlight is so beautiful is its subtlety. The soft glow from a round silver sickle creates ambience and romance in a way that bright yellow outdoor lighting cannot. So, when you’re mimicking the moon with your Nite Time Décor landscape lighting, imitate its softness as well. Use low voltage landscape lighting to create your moonlight effect.

Create A Layered Design For Natural Effect

Where the “moonlight” looks most natural and gorgeous will depend heavily on your home’s unique features and landscaping. You’ll want the effect somewhere close to a heavy traffic area, so that you can enjoy it while relaxing on the deck. If you’re choosing a tree, pick a tall, full tree to make it look like natural moonlight has been caught in its boughs.

The moon and stars produce amazing natural light at night, but it’s a layered light. To create a realistic effect with your landscape lighting, you want several lights criss-crossing each other in your tree, angled down to the ground. One light won’t get the shimmering moonlight effect, and will be too harsh a light source.

Residential Landscape Lighting: Moonlighting Effect

Placement For Best Recreated Moonlight In Your Yard

When recreating moonlight, the effect is diminished if guests can see the fixture casting the light (because it’s obviously not the real moon). Attaching the fixtures within the tree hides the mechanics from view, offering light without a visible source other than the moon above. A good height to use is about 20-25 feet up into the tree. The dappled shadows on the ground, particularly in the lower, silvery blue tones will make your guests forget about lighting fixtures.

The other benefit of securing the fixtures high in the tree is that you avoid the glare that comes from lower angled lights. Bright, lower placed lights are harsh and stark on the human eye, and certainly would not create the moonlight effect that you want to achieve with your outdoor lighting.

Moonlighting doesn’t always have to be from trees. Sometimes it can be from the tops of your roof, patio, or gazebo in order to create a layered and beautiful moonlighting effect. This will always depend on your unique lawn design. A Nite Time Décor specialist can help you figure out what areas are best for your moonlighting locales.

What If You Don’t Have A Tree

Many of our tips for moonlighting refer to placing lights in trees and taking advantage of the natural movement of the leaves to create a dapples or filtered light. But what if you don’t have a large tree, or a large tree in the right place? That’s OK. Moonlighting doesn’t always have to be from trees.

Choose a location that has a considerable amount of height over the rest of your lawn. Moonlight effect won’t be believable unless it’s higher than most of your other architectural and natural features. Consider the tallest feature you have on your lawn that is within reach of high traffic areas such as your roof, patio, pillars or columns, gazebo, etc.

Take Advantage Of Other Landscaping Elements

If you have any water sources – whether it’s a pond, pool, fountain, or otherwise, moonlighting can create a fantastic effect on a reflective surface. Moonlight glimmering on water has been the source of poetic imagery for generations, so why not include that lovely ethereal scenery in your yard? Position your fixtures so that they’re in an architectural or landscape feature close enough to the water to create a shimmering design on its surface.

Shine lights from your trees or shrubbery nearby so that the water glistens off of the surface.

Pool and waterfall landscape lighting ideas

Choosing The Right Colours

Moonlight has a silvery blue tone to it that can be difficult to mimic with outdoor lighting services. The best way to imitate the tone is with slightly blue lights. Be careful with the shade of blue you choose, though. If you use too much blue the illumination will appear artificial, tacky, and provide a nightclub vibe. A light blue tone will do the trick, by creating a silvery blue tone that is closer to how the human eye perceives moonlight.

Choose a blue that is subtle, silvery, and low. When this filters through branches or onto the ground, the colour will hit the human eye in much the same way that moonlight does, creating the same colour perception.

Low Voltage Outdoor Lighting

When you are trying to imitate moonlight you need to use low voltage, softer lighting. You don’t want something that’s too bright, because it won’t look natural. If you do want bright lighting for security purposes, use these in other areas of your property in which you don’t want the natural feel. For example, you could use bright lighting on pathways or cast onto textured walls, rather than use the bright lighting for the down lights in your trees.

Don’t over light and use too many fixtures. Only install as much lighting as will build a light glow across your lawn. You want it to illuminate your yard enough to protect against intruders, but not so much that it will be bright and overwhelming. It’s a hard balance to find, but a Nite Time Décor specialist can help you out.

What Kind Of Fixtures Are Used To Create Moonlighting?

Flood lights are the most common products used. These will need to be placed at different angles and areas of the tree, depending on what you want to highlight. For lighter and less shadowing, ask your outdoor lighting service to mount the lights near the edge of the canopy and closer to the ground.

If you want to highlight just the tree trunk, place a light lower in the tree, just above the trunk and point it straight at the ground.

Moon outdoor lighting trees

Does Moon Lighting Harm The Trees?

Some DIYers will use staples and hammer the wires to the tree. This isn’t terribly professional looking but it is effective in the short term. However, the staples do cause injury to the tree. The staples aren’t great for the wires either. Trees grow. A couple of years after installing those moon lights, the tree may have grown enough to damage or destroy all that hard work and now you have to cut into the tree to remove or replace the wires.

We use specially designed hangers that keep the wires secure and intact without harming the trees at all.

Leave It To The Pros

What part of hanging lights in a 25 foot tall tree (that’s a really long way up!) and running electricity across your yard (to code) sounds fun or easy to you? No one wants to spend his or her weekends or holidays engaging in something that could easily lead to an injury, cause damage, or fail to work as you want it to. This should be the time to relax, after all.

The best way to get landscape lighting in the Oakville, Mississauga, Burlington and Hamilton areas to fit your needs is to hire a professional. Seasoned experts can tell you exactly what fixtures will provide the most appealing aesthetic effect for your lifestyle and needs, and how to enhance the usefulness of your yard after dark, as well as the safety, security, and curb appeal of your home.

The warranty and lifetime maintenance is another huge benefit and the peace of mind knowing it was done properly and professionally the first time and won’t cause damage to your landscaping!

For any outdoor landscape lighting job that needs doing, we can do it for you! Don’t wait to enhance the night time beauty of your home. Contact Nite Time Décor for your complimentary quote, more information, or to book a consultation.