Trees are an important carrier of landscape lighting performance. However, since trees are alive, hitting them (with light) should be done with extreme caution. In addition, different trees have different characteristics, correspond to different optical performances, and are suitable for different lighting methods and installation methods. Careful consideration should be given to the design.
Marx divides nature into natural nature and humanized nature. Similarly, in terms of carrier selection, we should resolutely not light the original trees; for the humanized nature, we can selectively light it; although some belong to the humanized nature, birds and insects inhabit more , the ecosystem is relatively free, and it should not be illuminated.
Old and famous trees must not be lit up. In this regard, the “City Appearance and Sanitation Engineering Project Specifications” (GB 55013-2021) clearly stipulates that “landscape lighting should not be set up for ancient and famous trees, and the landscape lighting facilities set up around them should not affect ancient and famous trees.” This norm is a full-text mandatory norm and should be strictly implemented.
Street trees are not lighted in principle, especially not suitable for full-scale lighting. Urban roads generally have complete street lighting, and generally there is no need to light them. Too many light spots may have a negative impact on road traffic. The ground projection and the deviation of the angle of the tree lights may even cause glare. When landscape lighting is used for street trees, landscape lighting facilities are often built on both sides of the building. Under the combined action of light, the entire interface is overflowing and there is no blank space, but the overall aesthetics will be lost. In addition, urban roads are often close to people’s lives. Too much light, especially on living trees, is often prone to criticism and various complaints.
When there are many landscape lighting carriers, trees should not be a priority. Trees should be part of the blank, or part of the silhouette, to create an overall aesthetic.
二．Types of trees and lighting
Kind of tree. Plants are divided into two types: shade-loving and light-loving. Some shrubs and herbs may belong to shade-loving plants, and light irradiation will cause a series of negative biological reactions of such plants, and even cause death. Shade-loving plants should not be lit.
Tree shape. Some trees are dense with single main trunk branches and leaves, and the canopy should be illuminated by vertical poles. Some trees are of the type with multiple trunks and sparse foliage, which are suitable for lighting from bottom to top, and the light can penetrate the leaves to reach the crown. Trees with multiple trunks are also suitable for silhouette lighting (eg clumps of bamboo). Some trees have drooping branches and leaves (such as weeping willows), which are suitable for lighting the drooping branches and leaves from bottom to top.
Leaves. Different trees have differences in the transparency, gloss and color of the leaves, so they should be treated differently when lighting, and the lights should be tested repeatedly. Deciduous trees reflect temporality and seasonality, and have different aesthetic expressions in different time periods, and should be the first choice for landscape lighting. Using two-color temperature to express seasonal changes is a common technique used by some designers, but for deciduous trees, we do not have to use two-color temperature to express the season, the tree itself already expresses the season
Tree shadow. Divided into ground shadow and wall shadow. The shadow of the earth is often realized by moonlight illumination (remote projection), the wind blows the trees, the lights sway, and it has a natural flavor. Wall shadow is often achieved by lighting the trees on the side of the wall. Parallel lighting is the first choice. When the angle between the normal direction of the beam and the normal direction of the wall is too large, the tree shadow will be distorted. You should be careful, but you can still use it when you need to create an exaggerated and weird atmosphere.
In contrast, decorative lighting does not represent the trees themselves, the trees are only the carrier of the lighting installation, and the same effect can be achieved by setting up a shelf and wrapping the lights. Therefore, decorative lighting does not actually belong to tree lighting.
The author is not opposed to the lighting of trees with colored lights, which can create fantastic effects when used properly. But most of the tree lighting I have seen are failure cases. Color lighting should be consistent with the positioning of the surrounding environment, and should not be too bright or too vulgar or too fast. In the case of uncertainty, white light lighting is still recommended. IPL lighting, sometimes it will give people a dreamy feeling
Not all trees need to be lit, and not all trees can be lit in the same way. The author prefers the bottom-up white light landscape lighting method of deciduous trees with sparse branches and leaves. Designers can experiment and list the lighting methods of different tree species, tree shapes, and leaves.
In order to avoid damage to trees and to avoid occupying the living space of other creatures, the non-contact installation method should be preferred, and lamps and cables should not be installed on trees in principle.
The installation method should consider glare and cleaning issues. Beams directed at people, cars and windows are not allowed. Firmly fixed lamps and installation methods should be preferred (such as making a stable foundation). In some places, the lamps are easy to roll over, and the beams are easy to face cars and people when they deviate. The author does not recommend using them. Anti-glare measures are necessary under certain conditions.
四.Impact of needs and perspectives
In most cases, the landscape lighting is seen from the exterior of the building. When the building landscape lighting is relatively complete, the trees do not need to be illuminated to prevent the light from being overfilled and overflowing. But in some cases, there is also a need to appreciate the external landscape lighting from the inside of the building. When there are fewer external carriers, landscape lighting can also be used for trees. However, for landscape lighting in public spaces, especially as a government-invested project, people who are engaged in outdoor activities in public spaces should be the main targets, and there is no need to think too much about this demand. For some courtyards and external spaces attached to buildings, the owner may have certain considerations.
Our new item