Exterior Lighting Techniques
Place the light fixture at the base of a tree or fence and aim it upward for a dramatic look. Uplighting can be used effectively with trees and shrubs, fences, the side of your house, an arbor or trellis, and many other features in your yard. Uplighting accentuates the natural texture of the element, such as tree bark, leaves, or wood grain.
Install the light fixture up high in a tree, on the roof of your house, in the eaves of a gazebo, or at the top of a trellis and aim the light downward onto the area below. This type of lighting most closely mimics natural light from the sun or moon.
Place a light fixture behind a structure or bit of foliage to create a dramatic silhouette effect. An arbor or trellis can benefit from backlighting, as well as certain shrubs and flowers. The light bulb should be hidden, and the light should be aimed so that it doesn't impede your vision.
Place the light fixture in front of an object, such as a statue or trellis, and aim the light to highlight specific details or features.
Create strong shadows and emphasize the texture of the element with light aimed from the side.
Use 2 or more light fixtures aimed at the same element or feature in your yard to focus attention on that feature. Crosslighting can create a dramatic interplay of light and shadow.
Aim the light across the surface of a fence, wall, or large stone to bring out the texture. Placing the light source a foot or so from the feature and aiming across its surface will most effectively accent the feature and bring out its texture.