Creating a Moonlighting Effect
Our expert explains how to replicate the look of moonlight coming through trees, regardless of available foliage.
 
outdoor lighting
Moonlighting refers to the chiaroscuro pattern of light through leaves. Photo by Dennis Anderson.
We would like to get the moonlighting effect in our backyard, but our trees are on the small side. Is there anything we can do while we are waiting for our trees to mature?

So you want a dappled pattern of light and shadow but are just too impatient to let nature take its course? Well, I'm right there with you! Just like having dessert served before the main course, I want the good stuff right now. There are some products out there that project patterns of light, which create the illusion of moonlight moving through branches. Beachside Lighting has an MR16 projector that can cast shadow patterns, or just about anything you want to project. They are currently testing it out with the new Soraa LED MR16 that is rated for enclosed exterior fixtures. B-K Lighting is producing an integrated LED projector that is a part of its Denali Series. These fixtures can be mounted below the eaves of the house, gazebo or other outdoor structures. They can also be installed near the base of building façades or retaining walls to enliven those surfaces at night with shadows. Immediate gratification is so satisfying.

Randall Whitehead, IALD

Randall Whitehead, IALD, is a professional lighting designer and author. His books include "Residential Lighting, A Practical Guide." Whitehead has worked on projects worldwide, appeared on the Discovery Channel, HGTV and CNN, and he is regular guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio. Visit his website www.randallwhitehead.com for more information on books, upcoming seminars and the latest lighting trends.

Leave A Comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Latest from ask randall

You do have a tight powder room with an awkward ceiling line. I’m glad you’re thinking about cross illumination at the mirror. I would put the... read full story
Track lighting will provide you with a junction box, but not necessarily centered on the island. Usually track is fed from one end or the other. Here... read full story
You’re touching on what is the major transition point in LED lighting today. It’s not a simple matter of choosing one over the other, you have to... read full story
Your question is the question that I get the most. Using UL-listed components does not make a fixture UL-listed. The completed, assembled fixture... read full story

Webinars

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 Sponsored by Legrand, Lightovation and Tresco Lighting. Register for this webinar here: https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1118655... read full story
This webinar has already taken place, but you can register and watch in on demand here. Sponsored by Legrand. Webinar Overview:Learning units:AIA/CES LU (HSW) 1.0... read full story
This webinar has already taken place, but you can still watch it on demand by registering here. Sponsored by Emerson and Legrand. Webinar Overview: Learning units:AIA/... read full story

RL Tweets!

E-mail Subscriptions