Landscape up-lighting is an easy outdoor lighting technique used to create a sense of height in a landscape design. It is also a great way to create a “barrier” or simply enhance the beauty of uniquely structured plants that you may have in your landscape.
There’s nothing difficult involved with applying up-lighting in your landscape. All you need to do is use a light source that is moderately focused, and aim it towards the sky. The placement of the light source in relation to the subject (what you wish to light up) will vary according to its shape and height.
Up-lighting can also be used as a way to enhance the texture of plants and structures. As you can see in the image above, the texture of the palm trees pops out and adds a nice effect to the overall lighting design. This effect is the result of raised areas becoming highlighted and at the same time, casting shadows over the lower spots.
To create a texturing effect like this, place a strong up-light directly beneath a subject that has a varying texture. Aim the light so that it runs parallel to the structure, highlighting the raised areas and casting shadows on low spots.
Up-lighting is not limited to just plants. Other structures like fountains, statues, walls, and fences all offer great opportunities for creative up-lighting applications.
Be creative and experiment!