Now that summer is in full swing, it’s time to take advantage of your backyard. Many turn their yards into a calming retreat where you can relax but it can also be the prime place to host gatherings with family and friends. Having the right landscape including bushes, trees, and flowers, as well as water features like ponds, fountains, and/or waterfalls can create a tranquil sanctuary or the perfect place to hang out. The lighting is what ties everything together. Landscape and pond lighting not only highlights your plant life, but also creates a focal point on your water features and sets the mood. Here are some tips on making the most of your pond and landscape lighting.
Make sure to choose the right products. Lighting your water features is unique because of the inclusion of water. Before you buy, it’s important to choose whether you want lighting fixtures in the water or outside because you need to use different products for each option. If you decide to go with underwater lighting, make sure the water clarity is good because underwater lights should only be used in clear water. Make sure to choose the right level of brightness, which can be tricky to determine. You should pick lighting that is bright enough to cut through water, which tends to diffuse rays of light. Also, only use underwater solid brass fixtures that come from a trusted manufacturer, as they are less likely to suffer water damage. Consult with an expert in water features to pick the right bulbs and fixtures to attain the desired effect. Another option to consider is colored lights, which add a beautiful aesthetic to any pond or landscape.
Underwater lighting allows you to get creative with your water features. If you have a koi pond, adding underwater lights can provide a focal point for guests to enjoy watching the koi after dark. Make sure to have some unlit areas for the koi to hide so they feel safe. Also make sure to get non-toxic fixtures and lighting that won’t considerably alter the temperature. If you have a regular pond then there are a myriad of choices when it comes to lighting your water features. You can use a soft low-key single light or place fixtures that highlight falling water. Underwater lighting has a way of capturing water movement and creating a magical element. A good use of both outdoor and underwater lighting is to install an above water light that softly overlaps the underwater light. This generates a fulfilling soft ambiance and has a very professional look to the effect. Research different examples of pond lighting to get a better idea of what would suit your needs.
Determining the purpose of your lighting beyond visibility will help to create a specific ambiance. If you are trying to create a peaceful sanctuary make sure to choose the appropriate lighting. Try to avoid underwater lights that are extraordinarily bright and outdoor lighting that casts too much of a glare on the water. Consider the optimum viewing angles and how this can be taken into consideration when placing lights since placement is just as important as brightness in creating the desired environment.
Lighting is not only for ambiance but a safety precaution as well. Having lighting will let people know that there is a water feature in your yard. If safety is a chief concern, you can mount flood lighting with a motion sensor. To achieve a more tranquil look, put pathway lights around the edge of the pond or water feature as a more subtle warning system that also illuminates a dim light that reflects on the water.
Remember that there is some maintenance involved in any lighting fixtures you install regardless of being submerged in water. Maintenance can range from cleaning fixtures, replacing burned out bulbs, to checking for water damage. We recommend a good inspection and cleaning in spring and fall to keep your system in check.
Check out TotalPond for your lighting needs!