Brighten your Garden with Pond Lights
Pond lighting flows rather naturally from the decision to install a pond at all. A lighted pond is certainly beautiful at night and it provides a way to show off the pond at parties and other after-hours gatherings. There are some very serious considerations one must take into account when installing pond lights. Safety concerns will be paramount. Where electrical work is concerned, if one is not absolutely confident that they have all the requisite knowledge to complete the task, a professional must be called. Electrical work, especially around water, is potentially very dangerous.
The first consideration will be what effect one wishes to create when they flip on the lights over their pond. Colored lights, underwater lights, above the water lights and much more are all viable options.
Where underwater type are concerned, consider situating them in areas where they accentuate the pond's best features. For example, if one has a particularly beautiful fountain, consider installing a light underneath that fountain to add a whole new dimension to the water flow. If one has a particularly attractive population of submerged pond plants, consider adding underwater floods that will bring this feature to life when the sun has gone below the horizon.
Above ground lighting can add a nice touch, as well. Trees and poles can be used to mount them to great effect. Pond lighting provided in this way can be indirect and can add a rather ethereal touch to a pond at night.
Colored pond lights are very popular. Don't be afraid to mix colors. For example, turning a pond fountain blue at night or a pond waterfall green can make it seem like something right out of a fantasy movie. Adding a border of lights around the edge can also make for a very nice effect. Get creative and be expressive with lighting!
Floating pond lights are available, as well, and there are few things more visually striking than seeing a Water Lilly that is actually a light floating about the surface of the pond. Many of these lights are solar powered and, not only does this make these solar pond lights much safer than those powered by the house mains, it makes them much easier to install. All one needs to do is drop them in the water during the day and turn it on at night.
Keep in mind that electricity is not the only way to provide very dramatic lighting. A ring of tiki torches can provide a very dramatic effect and can lend the pond a very magical quality. Combined with indirect, soft electrical lighting one can create a space which is very hard to leave once it's lit up to its full glory. Remember to situate them so that it emphasizes the best features of the pond.
There are many different types of lights available. What's most important is that those which are to be situated near or below the waterline are specific to the job. Installing lights which are not made for this purpose can literally be fatal. One must study up on the types of lighting available before proceeding.
Lights which are powered off of the house mains and which are approved for use underwater are contained in watertight housings and must be powered by wires which are insulated for this use, as well. Make sure to ask the company from which any light is purchased if it is approved for the intended usage.
If wiring is required to be run from the house to the garden pond, one will generally need to run a conduit along a trench. Before digging a trench, call the utility companies in one's area to make certain that one is not about to stick the spade of their shovel into a buried electrical line. This "call before you dig" procedure is standard for any home improvement project and having lines located is usually free.
If one is truly lucky, there will be a connection to the house power located near the pond and all one will need to do is to plug their light into the socket. Make certain any extension cords used are approved for underwater usage and, before the first lighting up, cut the power at the breaker before plugging anything in, just to be safe.
Remember that, when working with any house main, one must cut the power. The outlets being worked upon should be tested to make certain that no power is flowing through them before any modifications are made. Provided safety is one's first concern, lighting up a pond can be very fun.
There are underwater pond lights which are mounted into the sides of a pond and ones that can be located on a stand. The latter type are excellent choices for those who want something easy and fast but which still offers excellent results.
Consider purchasing underwater lights which make it easy to change bulbs. Adding a different color is a great way to keep it interesting. Mobile pond lights are a good choice as, if one should choose to add a new feature; it's very easy to relocate them.
Where flood lights are concerned, opt for the less-intense wattages. A pond is a place where one generally goes to relax and low light is a great way to provide a space to unwind.
Out of consideration for one's water-dwelling friends, don't leave the pond lights on all night. Fish like to sleep, too, and light makes it as difficult for them as it does for humans. On the good side of this, fish are attracted to light and one may wish to consider installing some around the edges where guests will be able to view the pond's residents. Koi and goldfish are very beautiful animals and seeing them illuminated at night brings out the shine of their scales and the beauty of their coloring. Most importantly, be safe where lighting is concerned.