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Buried Exterior Uplights: wall-washing and effect lighting
Recessed round lights provide great visual interest at night, whilst they are unseen during the day. Their use has been prevalent in the commercial sector for years, but now U.K. homeowners have developed an appetite for these exterior lights as they design the perfect outdoor space.
See our user guide for details of what lighting is right for your space - simply scroll to the bottom for more information.
Buried exterior uplights for highlighting and creating drama in the garden
Lighting a feature with a buried uplight is more discrete than using surface mounted spotlight and floodlights because the fitting is buried in the ground and out of sight during the day. As buried uplights are mounted in the ground they cost more due to the robust construction and water resistance required. Ground mounted fittings however are secure and more aesthetically pleasing than surface mounted lights.
So why use a buried uplight? You should be considering buried uplights to: illuminate a static object, create a decorative light effect on a static object, discreetly illuminate your features, or to ensure your lighting is not tampered with.
Buried uplights and trees? You should consider carefully the use of buried uplights to illuminate trees. Deciduous trees change shape, and colour throughout the seasons and having a buried uplight does make it more difficult to highlight different features throughout the year. Buried uplights offer less adjustment than surface mounted flood and spotlights and relocating the fitting a few feet to move the light from the trunk to the canopy is a not a small project. Old knurled trees, twisted willows and evergreens are an exception to this as they do not change dramatically throughout the year and a well position buried uplight picking out the features will enhance these features. Remember also that you can now use different colour lamps in floodlights. Try blue and green lamps in the summer and yellow, magenta or red lamp in the winter. Lamp types and intensity wattage, colour rendering and lamps life need to be considered in conjunction with the object being lit, its colour and its absorption (the amount of light taken in by a surface instead of being reflected). Also take into account that an object situated at some distance from the viewpoint must be lit more brightly than one that is close to the viewer in order to achieve the same impact.
Typical applications for Buried Uplights
Narrow trees – poplar, pine etc
Tree height 20 metres: Use a 35w metal halide fitting with a narrow beam or a 75w tungsten halogen fitting with a narrow beam.
Tree height 25 metres: Use a 70w metal halide fitting with a narrow beam or a 100w tungsten halogen fitting with a narrow beam.
Tree height 30 metres: Use a 150w metal halide fitting with a narrow beam or three 100w tungsten halogen fittings with a narrow beam.
Garden trees – Birch, Acer etc
Tree height 12 metres: Use a 35w metal halide fitting with a medium beam or a 75w tungsten halogen fitting with a medium beam.
Tree height 16 metres: Use a 70w metal halide fitting with a medium beam or a 100w tungsten halogen fitting with a medium beam.
Tree height 25 metres: Use a 150w metal halide fitting with a medium beam or three 100w tungsten halogen fitting with a medium beam.
Broad canopy trees and specimens – oaks, lime, sycamore etc
Often the best approach is to use two or three buried uplights to light the trunk and canopy separately. Wattage dependant on size of tree. Glass temperature has been a cause of concern in recent years and many new designs keep the glass temperature to 60 or 70 degrees centigrade or lower in areas where the public could touch the glass.