Choosing the best lighting for your home is an essential process. But choosing effective garden lighting, in the form of patio lights or even just a simple pond light, is an afterthought for many homeowners.
The reality is that any form of garden lighting will help to transform an outdoor area into a pleasant place at night. Additionally, not only does lighting add a certain ambiance, but it also creates a feeling of security.
On the deck or patio, lighting has a profoundly practical purpose, enabling you to use the area for entertaining or to just make it a suitable place to sit outdoors in the evening and relax or have an al fresco meal with friends or family.
If you have a swimming pool or a fish pond in the garden, outdoor lighting takes on a whole new meaning. By lighting up the water and the surrounding area, you can highlight plants and other features and enable people to see the fish at night. By installing a pool light in the water itself, you will add an even more magical element into the garden.
Finding the Best Pond Light
While landscape light fittings are normally only available from specialist landscape or light stores, outlets that specialize in fish pond supplies have various pond lights that may either be fitted within the pond, or allowed to float on the water.
First of all you need to decide where you want to install pond lighting. The options are:
- in the pond
- floating on the water
- outside the pond itself
If you want lighting out of the pond, all the landscaping lighting possibilities are possible. For example you can install:
- a spotlight that focuses on a feature next to or in the pond
- backlights behind plants around or in the pond
- uplighters that are mounted low on the ground so that they shine upwards creating a dramatic effect
- grazing lights that are aimed nearly parallel to the surface so that they accent the texture and surface color of the water in the pond
- moonlights set in the upper branches of trees so that they shine down on the water imitating the light of the moon
- ordinary lamps that simply light up the immediate area in and around the pond
The Technical Elements of Pond Lighting
Many landscape-type lighting systems operate on 12 volts, which makes it low voltage and therefore safe around water. But you will also need a transformer, and you may need an electrician to install the lights.
A typical 300-watt transformer will power 12 lamps operating at 20 watts. It is usually best to buy a system that allows more than you need, in case you want to add more lights at a later stage.
Alternatively you can buy solar-powered lights that don’t use electricity at all. There are many different options in many different styles. The beauty of solar power is that you harness the energy of the sun during the day and then use it at night to light up your home and garden.
While underwater lights are very common in swimming pools, not that many people opt for them in fish ponds. But in recent years, as low energy lighting options have become more accessible and less expensive, more and more people are now looking at the option of using LED (light omitting diode) lights in their ponds. As technology continues to improve, there are an increasing number of options available.
Solar-powered floating lights have become popular in recent years. There are those that come with their own solar panels and others that operate from a separate unit. There are also a host of solar-powered lights that look like rocks, water lilies or other supposedly natural features.
Last of all, you can buy floating candles that look amazing in ponds at night. The only problem with these is that if the wind blows, they tend to go out.