Pond Lights: Lighting in and Around your Water Garden or Water Feature

Pond Lights: Lighting in and Around your Water Garden or Water Feature

Adding lights to your water feature adds hours of enjoyment to be had while being able to take advantage of sights and feelings that you would typically miss out on during the day. Landscape and pond lighting can create elegance, dimension, mystique, magic, safety, and an intimate ambience. Night time brings about a whole new world when it comes to your outdoor space

Highlight, Spotlight, or Wash Light:

Deciding what to light up, and how, is not always an easy task. Too much light can be blinding, while not enough can just leave you wanting more. But strategically placed soft lighting can create just the right atmosphere.

Highlighting can be accomplished with underwater pond lights. Putting the lights behind the waterfall, inside a fountain, and inside the pond will give the appearance that the water itself is glowing; making it mysterious and eye-catching from a distance.

Something to keep in mind - water diffuses light. So, cloudy water will be more difficult to see through. You will want to have your submersible pond lights be 30-50% brighter than the lights outside of the pond. Pro tip, be sure to leave dark places under water for your fish. This will allow them to rest and hide from predators.

Use Atlantic’s LED Ring Lights under waterfalls or inside fountains. They are low profile and lay flat which makes it easy to incorporate in water features and hide. They also have a light spread of 120° to highlight a wider area. Warm white lights can give off a soft glow like fire light, while color changing lights can give off an atmosphere for a party.

Aquascape’s LED Pond Lights are available in various sizes to accentuate the underwater life in your pond. These LED pond lights come with a pivotal base which makes getting the right angle that much easier. They can be used inside or outside the water for different affects and are compatible with almost any 12V quick-connect lights.

Spotlighting is the art of showcasing something special; like statuary or a night blooming waterlily, with a narrow, direct lighting.

A strategically placed spotlight can also create movement in the surrounding environment. A spotlight set halfway underwater in a stream will cause the light and shadows to dance like a campfire. A spotlight shining on just the right place in a pond can reflect ripples on a wall as if the sun or moon were shining on it; or make you feel like you are under water yourself.

Atlantic’s Spotlights come with a weighted base and a garden stake for placing them in just the right spot, outside or submersed inside the pond. They come with a 20-foot power cord and feature a quick connect system making it easy to install just about anywhere in your landscape.

Wash lighting shines a light on everything. By installing a flood light in a tree above the pond, or on a structure near-by, it will light up your water garden like day-time.

It can also cast a reflective appearance on the pond water surface, turning it into a mirror for the landscape around it. This type of lighting is also good for scaring away nocturnal predators when placed on a motion sensor.

LED vs. Halogen:

Halogen pond lights are almost a thing of the past. The energy they use creates excess heat that is not needed in a pond or garden. Installing them under water will allow them to be cooled but the heat from the bulb may promote algae growth on the lens itself, thus restricting light output. Some halogen lights may even overheat causing bulbs to short out quickly. This makes maintenance a more common occurrence.

LEDs (light emitting diode) are rapidly becoming more popular. They use less energy but can give out the same amount of light as its halogen counter-part. Whereas a 50W transformer could power no more than two 20W halogen lights, it can handle up to ten 5w LEDs.

In fact, many LED pond lights come in sizes equaling 1W, 3W, or 5W - what a difference! LED technology uses up to 90% less energy than halogen. For example; a 20W halogen bulb is closely equivalent to a 3W LED. Running at cooler temperatures allows for LED lights to last much longer than halogens, also making maintenance less often and much easier.

Things to Consider when Adding Lights to your Water Feature

When you start your plan for lighting your landscape, keep these few pointers in mind:

  • Key in on focal points with narrow direct beams.
  • Light up an entire area with wide light beams.
  • Consider your vantage point, and angle light beams away from your field of vision so they do not blind you or your guests.
  • Installing pond lighting, waterfall lights or fountain lights during construction may make it easier, but lights may be added any time.
  • Keep your pond’s ecosystem well balanced when lighting under water to see your fish activity with clarity.
  • Low voltage (12V) landscape lights without quick connect systems may be connected together in a circle (looped) with wiring to get an even flow of electricity to lights further out from the power source.
  • Select a transformer large enough to power the number of lights you wish to install. You may want to leave some room for adding on in the future.
  • Make your night light haven easily maintainable by installing a photo cell or timer to automatically turn your lighting on and off for you at the right times.
  • Some lighting may also come with a remote or downloadable app to put the control right at your fingertips.