Denver Tree Lighting Tips

Posted by Outdoor Ambiance on March 28, 2023

If you'd like to make a dramatic impact with your Denver home or commercial property, you can't go wrong by adding a few lights to your trees. Beautiful lighting transforms maples, firs, and oaks into impressive focal points that are sure to draw attention from guests. Not sure where to start? Give these Denver tree lighting tips a try.

Draw the Eye with Uplighting

Snow covered house and steps with lights near treesIf you've ever taken a stroll around your community park or city hall at nighttime, you've likely admired tree uplighting. Uplighting provides a powerful attention-grabbing effect when paired with trees of all sizes. This technique creates a soft, natural glow that draws focus to branches and leaves.

To uplight a small tree, place a lighting fixture at the base of its trunk and direct the light upward at a 35-degree angle. 

For medium trees, you can use a single 60-degree light, but landscapers recommend two 35-degree angled lights for better coverage. 

Trees higher than 60 feet will need several accent lights pointed at various angles:

  • One or two lights pointing up in the canopy
  • Two or three accent lights near the trunk at a 35- or 60-degree angle
  • One 15-degree accent light to highlight the base of the trunk

Downlighting for a Cozy, Intimate Ambience

As the name implies, downlighting illuminates your trees from above. With this Denver tree lighting technique, you can simulate moonlight filtering down through branches, creating a mesmerizing dappled effect. It's a great way to highlight park benches, gazebos, and other outdoor seating areas.

Downlighting works well with large deciduous trees, such as oaks and maples. For the best downlighting:

  • Place fixtures in trees at a height of 20 to 30 feet
  • Avoid positioning lights behind lots of branches for the best visibility
  • Direct lights at a 60-degree angle to start, then adjusted as needed

Whimsical Hanging Lanterns

Hanging lanterns lend a festive look to any residential or commercial property. You can buy lanterns in a wide range of colors and styles, from stately brass fixtures to subtle yet beautiful paper ball lights. You can hang any number of lanterns from trees depending on the look you'd like to achieve.

Use five to ten lanterns per tree for an ethereal effect. For a more focused and unobtrusive look, a few strategically placed lanterns on one or two branches will do. Lanterns with candles in them look romantic but can be a fire hazard, especially in dry trees. If you're concerned about safety, LED lanterns are a better choice.

Add String Lights for the Holidays and Beyond

The holiday season wouldn't be complete without festive string lights hanging from trees. Family and friends can get in the holiday spirit with a mug of hot chocolate while basking in the cheerful glow of your Denver tree lighting all winter long.

You don't need to limit string lights to the holidays, though. Try hanging warm white fairy lights in branches or wrapping a few strands around trunks for a magical look in your garden or yard. Lights strung from tree to tree create a festive mood for parties, festivals, and backyard gatherings, no matter the time of year.