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Using Pond Lights To Light Up Your Water Feature

Lighting The Water Feature For Your Maryland, DC, Or Northern Virginia Home

Adding Another Dimension To Your Water Feature

Can you enjoy your pond if you can’t see it?

The sounds of the waterfall and animals can be relaxing, but it would be so much better to see it too.

You could certainly enjoy it more and get your money’s worth.

Our client Laura McAuliffe has the best of both, check out her finished feature below:

You can see the whole McAuliffe project in Alexandria, VA >>

Underwater lighting transforming a water feature

We want everyone to feel this way about their pond or other water feature. That’s why we offer underwater LED pond lighting!

It can make your water feature look amazing.

Before we get any further, check out our video explaining more on underwater LED pond lights:

But it’s not the easiest installment process in the industry.

Here you can learn lighting design advice, working around fish, and how to maintain them.

Let’s start with 6 tips concerning underwater pond lights.

6 Tips For Pond Lights And Installing Them

  1. Base the design off of where people stand
  2. If you have fish, don’t use too many lights
  3. Choose stainless steel or polycarbonate
  4. Flashlights can be temporary “fixture” substitutes
  5. Place lights behind/towards waterfalls
  6. LED’s are the best bulb type
Multi-tier waterfall lighting from behind the falls

Now let’s look at how you can purposefully light your pond.

Here are 5 reasons why LED bulbs are better than incandescent >>

Purposefully Lighting A Water Feature

You’ll want to have a plan before you start installing your underwater pond lights.

10 minutes of planning can save you an hour of work.

Just like in the tips section, take flashlights and use them as substitute fixtures. This way you can better visualize what it will look like.

If they aren’t waterproof you may end up moving the lights around until you get your ideal design.

Or have a lighting professional design the scheme.

Single tier waterfall lighting for your water feature

Either way, many pond owners like to install uplights to exhibit the surface of the water.

That’s where a lot of the action is.

For example, you can aim the lights down where the water splashes into the pond so the light catches the air bubbles.

You can also use the lighting to create an atmosphere.

Find out what uplights are >>

Creating An Atmosphere

You can set the mood of your pond by using lighting.

You’ll set a more relaxing atmosphere by brightening the other areas: the pond bottom, a stream, and more calm areas.

Skimming a still surface area with light can create a calm mirroring effect.

Underwater lighting for ponds with koi fish and waterfall

If you want a more lively feel, illuminate areas where the action is: waterfalls, aerators, anything with movement. This includes anything around the pond as well, like plants.

For waterfalls, you can position a light to skim the water’s surface so everyone can see the rippling water

You can make them blend right in with proper setup. Nobody should be able to easily see the wires and fixtures.

But you may find this hard if you have an incorrect amount of pond lights.

The Correct Amount Of Lights

There isn’t a correct average number of lights for ponds.

Everyone’s water feature is slightly different.

Waterfall with lights behind it

You may need to get more than you think because water breaks up light, so plan on about ⅓ more if not ½. This is especially true if the material you are working with (rocks, liner, the pond surroundings) are dark because dark materials absorb light.

It may cost more, but it can be worth it!

Speaking of costs, here is what outdoor lighting can cost you >>

Let’s get into what makes underwater pond lighting so tricky.

Underwater Lights Can Be Tricky

Water can bend light like a strongman can bend a skillet: easily

This means the light may not go exactly where you want it to.

You may have to play with the angles until you find the ideal look for your pond. Just make sure there isn’t any glare going anywhere.

The lights can reflect into your neighbor’s home or be blinding from certain angles. A night test can ensure proper placement and angle and tell you which fixtures need adjusting.

After some practice, it can become easier to find the right placement.

But you probably don’t want your pond lights interfering with your pond fish.

Lights and Pond Life

Nobody wants to accidentally boil their koi.

You won’t be in danger of that no matter how many lights you use. But, you can end up raising the temperature too much and hurt your fish.

Perfect number of underwater pond lights for fish

They don’t deal well with constant, large temperature changes. Fish also need some areas to remain dark and quiet for them to escape to. It’s hard to hide from nocturnal predators in what basically becomes a lit up fishbowl.

But done correctly, adding LED lighting can transform your pond.

You will need to maintain it to keep it looking good.

Maintaining Your Underwater Pond Lights

Like with any other landscape feature, maintenance is key:

  • Plants grow over the lights
  • Lenses get cloudy
  • Cords can get cut

And many other occurrences can happen.

You can help prevent this by maintaining your water feature lights every 3-6 months. This way they’ll have a better chance of staying bright and working longer.

This can mean spending less time and money on your pond in the long run.

You can learn about our lighting maintenance service >>

Enjoy A Brighter Water Feature

You can beautify your pond and make it safer for everyone!

Lighting a water feature could be one of the most satisfying projects you do or have done this year. It can bring your outdoor water feature to life and help you enjoy your backyard at night.

But not everyone has the time or energy to do it themselves.

Check out this guide to hiring a lighting company >>

Want To Learn About Pool & Pond Lighting?

Check Out Our Page On It!

Pool & Pond Lighting>>