ISSUE 98  |  Hardscape The Easy Way

10 Easy Pieces: Landscape Up-Lights

November 18, 2013 4:00 PM

BY Janet Hall

Put your garden’s best features into focus with landscape up-lighting. We’ve rounded up a collection of pole and surface mount up-lights perfect for illuminating trees, garden walls, and other garden elements that deserve attention or need nighttime navigation.

The lights we feature require an electric power source and wiring (we recommend consulting an electrician when embarking on your path-lighting plan). For surviving outdoor elements, lights with durable copper or brass housings are recommended. Most lights are available in low-voltage options which are safer, easier, and less costly to install. For a thorough landscape lighting primer, we recommend the All About Landscape Lighting feature from This Old House.

Directional Pole Lights 

With their multi-directional head and lens, these versatile lights can be used as an up-light, down-light, or wall wash providing optimal lighting for practically any outdoor situation.

Above: Made of heavy-duty copper, the Infinity Light has a 6-inch multi-directional head and lens. Made by Laguna Lightcraft and available for $123.90 at Boxhill.

Above: With a fully adjustable head that allows for 360-degree rotation, the versatile Hunza Pole Spot PS can be aimed in any direction to light up a tree, stairway (or down for pathway lighting). A good choice for gardens with variable lighting needs. Offered in solid copper (as shown), modern stainless steel, or powder-coated aluminum; $180.62 at Louie Lighting.


Above: The low-voltage LED Volt Innovator Top Dog Pathway Light features heavy duty brass construction with a bronze (as shown) or copper finish. It combines the durability of a sealed spotlight with the features of an adjustable path light; $54.97 through Volt.

Above: The Hinkley Nexus line of landscape lights offers swivel light heads that come in different sizes. They can be paired with various stem lengths to accomplish a variety of lighting applications. The Nexus LED Accent Light (L) measures 17.8 inches in length (just the head), and the Nexus LED Mini Accent Light measures 11.75-inches; $149 and $119 respectively at Y Lighting. (Note that the Nexus Base Extension Rods are sold separately.) 

Above: The SPJ Lighting Directional Pathlight can shine light down, up, or in-between. It is made of solid brass and is available in nine finishes, including matte bronze as pictured; $165.60 at Louie Lighting.

Surface Mount Up-Lights 

These versatile, durable, compact fixtures project a narrow beam – good for precisely lighting garden features you want in focus. Their low profile keeps them inconspicuous during the daylight hours. 

Above: Laguna Lighting’s basic up-light, the Rocket Lighting Fixture offers a range of wattages and beam spreads. Made of solid copper with a brass ratchet swivel to direct the light, it has a 2-inch head and a 7-inch pole (nearly a surface mount). Available in three finishes including antique brown patina as shown; $121.80 at Boxhill.


Above: The Evergreen Outdoor Cast Brass Directional LED Up-Light is a surface-mounted landscape light that comes with a plastic gravity stake for easy installation; $69.50 at Alcon Lighting.

Above: The ROC Lighting Architectural Spotlight is machined from military grade solid aluminum designed to withstand harsh environments. Available in black, white, bronze, or silver anodized (as shown); $79.50 at Alcon Lighting.


Above: Made of die-cast solid brass, the Corona Lighting Directional Brass Up-Light is $64.95 at Alcon Lighting.



Above: The Hinkley Bullet Spotlight has an elongated angled shade to focus the light coming out of the lens. Available in bronze with cast aluminum construction (as pictured) or matte bronze with solid brass construction. Priced from $54.44 to $187.78 depending on finish at Lumens. 

Above: Easy to adjust, the Hadco Copper Bullyte features a natural brass swivel arm with a brass locknut, and a fully-rotatable shroud in solid copper. It comes with a mounting stake and is $123.08 at Lightology. 

Developing a landscape lighting plan? See our earlier Pathway Lighting feature.