8 Ways to Light Your Outdoor Trees to Improve Curb Appeal

Improve curb appeal by lighting your trees for the holidays or special events

Published: 2022-11-03 11:08:43

Adding outdoor trees to your home is a great way to improve curb appeal and add some extra shade in the summer but many overlook the variety of benefits you can receive from lighting your trees for the holidays or special events. If you're not sure how to go about lighting trees yourself, we have some suggestions on how you might make the most of your investment. Here are eight ways to light up your trees for maximum impact. 

Uplights 

If you want to show off the structure of your trees, uplights are a great way to do it. You can place them at the base of the tree and angle them upwards to cast a warm, inviting glow. You might need to experiment a bit to find the right angle, but once you do, you'll be rewarded with a gorgeous effect. Uplights are available at most home improvement stores, and you can find them in different sizes. The prices also vary, so it's easy to find something that fits your budget. When it comes to outdoor use for uplights, you’ll need to make sure you have an outdoor outlet nearby, or a way to bury electrical lines safely.  

Downlights 

Using downlights to light your outdoor trees is a great way to improve your home's curb appeal. Solar-powered downlights are a great way to light your outdoor trees without having to worry about running extension cords or using extra electricity. Place downlights around the perimeter of your tree's trunk and branches to evenly light the tree. You can also place downlights on the ground around your tree to create a gentle, ambient lighting effect. There are many options, so it's just a matter of finding the method you like the best. Downlighting will easily highlight any obstacles at night and also create a nice atmosphere for an outdoor entertainment space.  

Backlighting 

Backlighting is used to create a dramatic effect by shining a light from behind the subject. This can be done with either natural or artificial light placed behind the trees you want to accent. You can backlight from any height, but the ground is a good place to start. Backlighting is excellent for lighting outdoor trees as it can create a beautiful ethereal look and help the background fade away, drawing attention to your property.  

There are many ways to backlight a tree, so it is important to find the best method for you and your home. The best way to install backlights is to use them in conjunction with other types of lighting, such as pathway lights, or string lights to ensure the effect is illuminating rather than ominous.

Create Silhouettes

If you want your trees to stand out at night, one of the best ways to achieve it is by making silhouettes. The effect works best when wrapping trees without leaves and draping on evergreen trees. You can do this by installing small, low-wattage string lights in the tree in your desired shape. Be sure to place them all along the tree’s trunk and branches and secure them in the desired shape. You can also buy special lights that are designed to create silhouettes. 

These lights typically require an outlet, but solar powered lights can be found at most home improvement stores as well. Keep in mind some climbing is involved in this process, so be sure to take all the necessary safety precautions before starting your project. 

Accentuate Features 

How you'll accentuate features depends on the kind of tree you're working with. If your trees are big and bulky; you can make a silhouette or light it up from the ground. If it's skinny and with lots of long branches, you can use string lights to add a touch of magic.  

Around the holidays, garlands or ribbons placed near the lights can make them stand out more, just be sure you’re not placing flammable products near incandescent bulbs which run hot. LED lights run cold and should be safe to use in conjunction with other features. You can also add Christmas ornaments if it's the season.  

Use String lights  

String lights are the easiest and most common way of lighting outdoor trees. These lights are everywhere during Christmas because they're pretty, easy to install, and usually inexpensive. However, you can use string lights all the time, and not only during Christmas. Simply wrap the string lights around the tree trunk and let them dangle down. You can even wrap them around branches for a unique look. This is a popular look for weddings and important events, or just a great way to make your house stand out on your street.  

Hang Lanterns or Mason Jar Lights 

Lanterns and Mason jar lights are retro and chic, adding a touch of sophistication to any outdoor space. They’re also relatively easy to install, and you can find them at most home improvement stores. If you want to hang lanterns or Mason jar lights from your trees, you’ll need to purchase some wire or string and some hooks. You can attach the hooks to the lanterns or Mason jars, or you can tie them onto the branches of your trees. If you’re using wire, make sure it’s strong enough to support the weight of the lanterns or Mason jars. And if you’re using string, be sure to knot it securely so that the lanterns or Mason jars don’t fall and break. 
 
Keep in mind it’s best to use led or battery-operated lights inside the lanterns or jars as lit candles may pose a fire hazard.  

Consider Different Shapes 

Outdoor lights are available in different shapes, so you can find various options that suit your needs. For example, you can go from tiny string lights that look like fairy lights or large light bulbs for a retro inspired look. Lights also come in assorted colors, so you can find the perfect set to complement your home’s style. 

When it comes to outdoor trees, shape matters because you want to choose a light that will highlight the unique features of the tree. For example, if you have a weeping willow, string lights that drape down from the branches will look beautiful. Or, if you have a palm tree, choose lights that wrap around the trunk. Of course, different sizes and shapes will match your house and the rest of your landscape differently, so it's important to consider a few options before choosing one. 

Safety Precautions 

Safety is important when installing lights in your backyard. Be sure to follow these tips to avoid any accidents: 

  • Always use a sturdy ladder when hanging lights. 
  • Do not overload extension cords. 
  • Inspect your lights regularly for any damage and replace them as needed. 
  • Keep an eye out for low-hanging branches that could come into contact with the lights. 
  • Be sure to turn off the lights when you leave the house. 
  • Use weatherproof lights that are designed for outdoor use. 
  • Keep your trees well-watered to avoid any fire hazards. 
  • Have a plan for what you will do in case of a power outage. 

 If you’d like help planning your next tree-lighting project, contact our lighting design experts at your local Blingle. We’ll ensure a quick and safe process that provides the beautiful effect you’re looking for.