Arbor Care: Tree Lighting

With the holiday season just around the corner and guests beginning to visit your home and community, we understand the importance of making sure the landscape of the community is looking its best! One of the largest and most important assets of a community’s landscape is its trees. Here at ELS Maintenance we have an entire division of our company dedicated to Arbor Care and this team has shared some great tips when it comes to the choice between up-lighting or down-lighting your trees this holiday season!


Up-lighting a landscape is a common practice where landscape lights are mounted at ground level, shining the light upwards. This is great for tall structures or elements such as large trees as it shows off the bark, branch structure, and leaves while illuminating the entire tree or element. Up-Lighting creates depth of flat surfaces in a landscape and provides safety and security by brightly illuminating tall structures. It is also great to use when attempting to add contrast to a landscape and/or show off a specific element, such as a large tree.


Down-Lighting involves placement of a light fixture in an elevated spot, such as high up in an existing tree or beneath the eave of a home. This is often a really great choice if the end goal is to provide soft, subtle light to a landscape or if there are shorter trees or plants that would be good to illuminate. Down-lighting adds a layer of depth to the exterior of a landscape and provides a warm light that is welcoming and subtle. This type of lighting works best when used to light up shorter/smaller trees and elements or for safety measures to light up a walkway or seating area. It is important to keep in mind that when it comes to trees, down-lighting may not always be the best option as wires are often placed in branches-causing later issues with trimming and potential electrical hazards.

While both up-lighting and down-lighting practices have their own benefits, we recommend using a combination of the two to perfectly highlight a beautiful landscape of various plants and trees. This, if done correctly, will add a wide variety of angles of light as well as increase property value and improve safety.

For all of your landscape lighting questions or for more information about what ELS Arbor Division can do for your HOA community or commercial property visit us at or send us an email for more information to [email protected].

602.243.1006 | | 3329 E. Southern Ave., Phoenix