How to beautifully illuminate your pond with pond lighting
If you’re planning to landscape a pond in your garden or commercial property or are lucky enough to have one already, don’t keep it in the dark. Adding pond lighting will allow you to enjoy its serene beauty day and night.
However, mixing electricity and water is one of the most challenging landscaping undertakings. If you don’t install it properly or use the wrong products, you can risk electric shocks and damaging your lighting.
As lighting experts, we have put together everything you need to know about pond lighting, how to install them and what pond lights are available to you so you can stay safe and enjoy the beauty of an illuminated pond.
Table of contents
- When should I consider pond lighting?
- Where to put your pond lighting
- How do you light a garden pond?
- Pond lighting tips from an expert lighting designer
When should I consider pond lighting?
If you are installing a pond, consider pond lighting during your pond design process. That way, a lighting designer can help you plan the lighting scheme and save you time and hassle by avoiding adding them later.
However, if you have an existing pond, there are ways to add pond lighting to the landscape. If you do choose this approach, you will have to drain the pond and remove any aquatic life beforehand.
You also might consider pond lighting if you have pets or young children as a safety precaution. Illuminating the edge of the pond will help prevent accidents from happening.
Where to put your pond lighting
There are several options to choose from when deciding on pond lights. It all depends on your pond design and its setting. Think about what you want to accentuate and highlight. Use your creative license.
Around the perimeter
One way to illuminate your pond is to add lights around the perimeter, acting as a safety feature that will look delightful. You can use uplighters, spotlights, spike lights or ground lights to highlight the pond edge or accentuate flora and fauna around the pond.
Light the pond from above
If you have a wall, tree or fence nearby, take advantage of the features around the pond and illuminate it from above. Lighting the pond from above can create a magical and inviting aesthetic, giving it centre stage in your garden. Use lights like tree lights, festoon lights or wall lights.
Adding lighting to the perimeter or from above can also create a beautiful glassy mirror effect on the water’s surface so the pond pants and features will reflect in the water.
Use underwater lights
Underwater lights can transform a pond. Highlight the aquatic life swimming beneath the surface or illuminate a waterfall or water feature and capture the babbling bubbles in light.
Position your pond lights centre stage by making them a feature. Floating pond lights create the illusion that the lights are floating on the water’s surface and have a mesmerising effect on your pond.
How do you light a garden pond?
Planning and installing garden pond lighting is not easy. If you opt for lights that are going into water you need to convert the electricity to low-voltage by adding remote drivers and transformers. Therefore, you must employ a qualified electrician to install these.
LED vs. Solar pond lights
When choosing your garden lights, you have two options. You can opt for LED lights. These will provide consistent illumination, long bulb life and won’t add much to your energy bill. However, you will need a professional electrician to install them for you.
Alternatively, you can install solar lights. You won’t have to wire them into a circuit, so you won’t have to pay an electrician’s labour fee. Effortlessly install them into the ground, making them a fantastic option for illuminating an existing pond. They also do not add anything to your electricity bill as they get their power from the sun.
If they don’t get enough sun, they won’t be as efficient or light up as brightly, even with good-quality solar lights. However, pond lights are for gently illuminating the pond perimeter and highlighting design features. So you don’t need a lot of bright light. Therefore, solar lights are a viable option for lighting your pond.
Pond lighting tips from an expert lighting designer
As lighting experts, we get asked the same questions when people want to install lighting in their ponds. So, we’ve put all the frequently asked questions into a top tips bank to help you get your pond lighting right. Here is a top-tip list of 12 things you need to know when planning pond lighting.
Choose the correct fitting.
1. All underwater luminaires should be IP68 rated. IP stands for ingress protection and indicates how well-sealed the light is from water and dust/debris. IP68 is waterproof and suitable for underwater installation, but make sure the light fitting is also appropriate for the depth, as some pond lights vary. All the lights by LuxR are IP68 rated as a given.
2. We always recommend using low-voltage pond lights to avoid any electrical hazards. Place your driver and connectors at least 3 meters from the pond to protect curious children or wildlife from electric shocks.
3. Avoid underwater light fittings with sharp edges if you have fish, as they can hurt themselves.
Avoid chemicals in the water.
4. Pool chemicals, hard water and salt water can damage the powder coat finish on underwater lights. For example, if your pond chemicals are out of balance, they could cause the fittings to corrode more rapidly.
Furthermore, increasing the water temperature by 10° will double the corrosion factor if you have a saltwater pond. Only use stainless steel pond lights if your pond has any of these elements. 316 stainless steel lights are suitable for concentrations of up to 1,000 parts per million of chloride. Be aware of automatic chlorinators, as they can produce excessive amounts of chlorine. Always check with your Local Electrical Authority for pool zone installation regulations.
5. Do not use copper lights in a fish pond, as it can poison the fish.
Type of beam
6. Use a cool white light temperature as it has a blueish tint and makes the water appear cleaner.
7. Water soaks up light. So the deeper the underwater light, the higher the lumens you need the light to put out.
8. Use wide beam angles to produce an even light wash in your pond.
9. However, limit the time the lights are on if you have fish, as it can affect their natural cycle.
10. If you’re illuminating a water feature or fountain, place the light directly under where the water enters the pond. The lights will illuminate the bubbles for the best lighting effect.
11. If you already have a pond and don’t want to drill any new holes in the base of your pond, use Hunza weighted base pond lights. The heavy base allows you to place lights at the bottom of the pond without fixing them into place and avoiding leak risks.
12. Regularly maintain your lights to prevent a build-up of weeds and sludge, which limits light output.
Pond lighting at Moonlight Design
Now you know everything there is to know about pond lighting. As garden lighting experts, we have hand-selected a range of underwater lights for your pond to provide stunning and long-term illumination.
Why not browse our range of underwater lights at Moonlight Design to find the perfect luminaires to light your pond? If you’re struggling with where to place them and with installation, let us help you realise your vision by using our in-house design service.