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Nightscapes of Muskoka Answers: What is Landscape Moon Lighting?

Nothing is more magnificent than the moon’s light softly illuminating your cottage’s property on a warm summer’s night. Many of us in Muskoka, Ontario, appreciate the evenings just as much as the day, and we customize our cottages around the environment’s natural beauty.


Depending on weather conditions, cloud coverage, and the property’s landscaping–a stunning nightscape isn’t always visible; this is why cottage owners incorporate outdoor lights with a moonlight effect.


What is moon lighting in landscape lighting?

Moon lighting is an outdoor lighting technique that mimics the moon’s soft glow, such as those seen frequently in the Muskoka region.


Outdoor lighting companies achieve this effect by skillfully designing and installing lights in high regions of the property (trees, the eaves of the cottage, etc.), which allows the illumination to filter through trees or other features and cast a soft downward glow.


How can I incorporate moonlighting into my cottage’s landscape?

If you’re looking to light up your cottage’s backyard, moonlighting is an ideal technique, but it does not work alone. Instead of the moonlight being the only light source, it should work in tandem with other lighting techniques to produce a unified look for your property.


Uplights compliment the moonlight effect and provide a stunning harmony to any outdoor space.


Using one or the other might result in an undesirable separation in the property. When up and down lighting is combined, it's difficult to tell where one light source ends, and the other begins. The result is seamless illumination.


If you think a moonlight effect will be complimentary to your Ontario cottage, check out our pointers for this outdoor lighting technique:


How can I achieve a moonlight effect without trees?

Typically, outdoor lights are placed at the highest points of nearby trees to create the moonlight effect. If your cottage doesn't have towering trees or trees in a convenient location, you can still achieve moonlighting.


The essential part of mimicking the moon’s light is having the light source illuminate downward; the effect won’t be convincing unless it is higher than most of your other architectural and natural aspects.


In a scenario where trees are not an option, you can consider your cottage’s roof, patio, pillars or columns, gazebo, and so on.


Layer and Hide Lighting for a Genuine Glow.

The placement of moonlights significantly depends on your cottage’s features and landscape. Typically, you will want the illumination near your favourite evening spot so you can enjoy it throughout the night.


Since the moon and star’s natural illumination is layered, that same principle is followed for this effect. Multiple lights will crisscross each other and are angled downward to create a realistic impression with your landscape lighting.


Nothing will ruin the illusion more than being able to see the light fixtures. Hiding the outdoor lights in the tree’s branches will conceal the fixtures, providing light with no obvious source other than the moon overhead.


An ideal height for placements is 20-25 feet off the ground.


What colour should my LED lights be for a moonlight effect?

Colour matching isn’t exactly easy because the moon’s light has a silvery blue undertone. Since blue-toned lights are common in commercial settings like nightclubs or other entertainment facilities, they can look unnatural in a cottage environment.


To avoid this mistake, choose a light blue tone that is delicate and low in intensity, so it produces a silvery illumination similar to how the human eye perceives moonlight.


Don’t Use Staples on Trees When Hanging Lights.

Some do-it-yourselfers will use staples to secure the cables to trees, but staples are harmful to trees and the wiring. Trees can grow large enough to swallow and destroy staples, thus ruining all of your hard work. You may even have to cut the trees to remove the wiring.


What Are Popular Light Fixtures for Moonlighting?

Floodlights are the most popular light fixture for moonlighting. These fixtures are not as stylish as deck or pathway light fixtures, but they’re hidden when creating this effect.


Illuminate Other Landscaping Elements with Moonlighting

One of our favourite ideas for moonlighting is for the glow to reflect off a water source. Having a shimmery reflection on your pool, water feature, or fountain is a subtle detail, but one that enhances an ethereal scenery.


Why Do I Need Moonlighting for My Cottage?

There are numerous advantages of incorporating moonlighting into your landscape lighting design.


Since our eyes are familiar with illumination from above, moonlighting will add an organic layer to any lighting scheme. This lighting technique is an excellent means of eliminating dark patches along walks or steps. Moonlights especially help gardens and natural elements come to life.


Also, outdoor lighting like moonlights, increase the value of your cottage and makes it more desirable if you’re looking to sell or rent.


Leave Moon Lighting to the Landscape Lighting Professionals

What aspect of putting lights in a 25-foot-tall tree and stringing power throughout your cottage's property (to code) appeals to you? Nobody likes to spend their weekends or vacations doing something that may easily result in an accident, cause damage, or fail to operate as intended. After all, cottage time is relaxation time.


Hiring a professional to install landscape lighting will guarantee the best results and keep your mind at peace.


Nightscapes can handle any outdoor landscape lighting project for cottages in the Muskoka region. Don't put off improving your home's nightscape; book a complimentary consultation today.


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