Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Light a Tall Outdoor Tree

By Paula Ezop ; Updated September 21, 2017

Tall trees are an important, stately element of landscape design. The addition of vertical lighting emphasizes their beauty and presence even more. What is most important is that the lighting be placed at the base of the tree, and not on the tree itself.

Placing vertical lighting at the base of the tree brings out its size and stature without harming the tree in any way. The number of flood lights that you use is dependent upon the size of the tree. As a general rule two or three flood lights should suffice.

Assemble the flood lights. Most flood lights come unassembled, and you will have to attach the base of the floodlight to the garden stake, by inserting the screw and placing the wing-nut on the end of the screw and tightening it. Make sure that the flood light is in the vertical position (so that it can shine upright onto the canopy of the tree).

Position the flood lights evenly around the tree. Stick the stake/flood light into the ground, making sure that the flood light is focused up towards the canopy of the tree.

Determine whether you need to run an extension cord to the flood lights. If your tree is in close proximity to the outdoor outlet you will not need an extension cord. If you need an extension cord – run it from the outlet to the flood lights, and plug the flood lights into the extension cord.

Plug the flood lights or the extension cord into the outdoor light timer, and plug the outdoor timer into the outdoor electrical outlet.

Test the lights to make sure that they are all working, and then set the timer. View the lights during the evening hours to see the effect that they create in your landscape design


Things You Will Need

  • Flood lights -- 100 watt
  • Flood light ground stakes
  • Outdoor extension cord
  • Outdoor light timer


  • Make sure that your lighting is not offensive or intrusive in any way to your neighbor's home -- that it does not shine in any of their rooms.

About the Author


Paula M. Ezop’s inspirational column "Following the Spiritual Soul" appeared in "Oconee Today," a Scripps Howard publication. She has published her first book, "SPIRITUALITY for Mommies," and her children's chapter book, "The Adventures of Penelope Star," will be published by Wiggles Press. Ezop has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northeastern Illinois University and has been writing for 10 years.