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
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 and follow his blog www.lightmakesright.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.

Lastest from ask randall

It’s not so much the size of the mirror as it is the distance between the task lights. The optimum spacing between vanity lights is 36 inches. This... read full story
Although I'm a big advocate of LED lighting, if used in a very narrow vanity light, they might not be bright enough to provide adequate task lighting... read full story
The color quality of incandescent light is the standard to which all other alternative light sources are compared. Incandescent light has a CRI of... read full story
The lumen output does not affect the color temperature of the light source. It is actually the other way around. Layers of other materials such as... read full story

Webinars

Sponsored by Access Lighting, Engineered Lighting Products, Ferguson, GM Lighting and Maxim Lighting/ET2.   This webinar has already taken place, but you can view an... read full story
Sponsored by Access Lighting, AFX Inc., Engineered Lighting Products, Langlais Group and Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting.   This live webinar has already taken place, but... read full story
Sponsored by Access Lighting, Civilight, GM Lighting, Langlais Group Inc. and Nora Lighting.   Live webinar has taken place, but you can watch the archived webinar by... read full story