Path and step lighting are primarily used to keep anyone walking the on the path safe from tripping and falling. All obstacles and turns are illuminated to provide " wayfinding " at night. When done creatively, path lighting can set a certain mood or cause curiosity about where the pathway might lead.
This technique uses upward-facing light fixtures that light a tree from the ground up to show off its shape and structure. The wattage and count of the lights needed to achieve the desired effect grow with the height and breadth of the tree.
This lighting effect is often used to down-light a patio or other hardscape structure. Multiple light fixtures are placed at different locations high in a tree and aimed downward, providing cross lighting for the area below. The leaves and branches of the tree cast interesting shadows on patios and pathways and mimic the effect of a full moon lit sky.
Silhouette lighting involves placing a wide-coverage light between a plant or hardscape structure and an adjacent wall. This produces an effect where the object is silhouetted in black against a soft white background. Shadowing involves involves washing a tree, plant, or hardscape structure with light so that it casts a shadow on a wall or fence. If the object being shadowed is a plant or a tree, the effect can become even more interesting when the wind blows as the object seems to be dancing on the background.
This effect is used to highlight interesting textures on the surfaces of vertical hardscape structures, such as walls and stairs. Lights are placed right next to the surface with beams directed upwards, causing delicate shadows to be cast on the surface texture.
Color can be used with landscape lighting to change the entire look and texture of structures and the surrounding landscape.