Adding pond lights is a great way to bring your water garden or feature to life after dark. It adds a focal point in your nighttime landscape and lets you enjoy your pond once the sun goes down.
Water and electricity are generally not compatible, so before you select your pond lights make sure they are designed with waterproof seals so they can be used in or out of the water and check your weatherproof power supply. Your outlet should have a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), if not contact a professional and have one installed. Next, measure the distance for your outlet to the desired location to make sure the power cord will be long enough.
The vast majority of pond lights will use 12-volt power and will usually come with their own in the package. 12-Volt is much easier and safer to work with then standard 115v power. However, if the lights you selected do not come with one keep in mind the number of lights you will be using and how many watts each light consumes.
Tip: It is recommended to use only 90% of the total transformer output to maximize light potential. For example: a 300-watt transformer should have a maximum of 270 watts. That would be equivalent to (5) 50-watt lights and (1) 20 watt light. Please Note: Some pond lights will come with their own transformer.
Choose the Right Lights
There are many options when it comes to outdoor lighting from halogen and LED lights, white or colored lighting and lights that are designed for your landscape or water features. Here are just a few options to help you get started:
- Color Options: Most pond lights will come with a standard white light but some will come with color filtered lenses like our LEDPro Mini 1-Watt Light Kit. It is an inexpensive way to highlight an area in your pond or landscape with the options of changing colors using interchangeable lenses.
- Soft Glow: Create a soft glow by placing a 10-watt halogen waterproof light underneath any waterfall.
- Camouflage Your Lights: The Aquascape LED Waterfall and Landscape Accent Up Lights can be used in or out of the pond. The compact, low-profile waterproof design is ideal for tucking this accent light into waterfalls and streams to blend into the landscape.
- Single Bright Light: If you are looking for a single spotlight with high intensity get the LEDPro 12-Watt Light. A great low energy cost option using only 12 watts, but with the same glow as a 70 halogen, plus LED lights lasts longer compared to a halogen bulb.
Now that you have selected the lights and checked your power supply it is time to install them. Underwater lighting is best installed when your pond is empty, like while it is being constructed or – in most cases – while you are doing your annual spring clean-out. However, if you cannot wait, you may want to consider an installation without submerged lights.
Position the pond lights so they are facing the pond or place them under the waterfall but away from the viewing area so visitors can enjoy the beauty of the lights without getting blinded. Once the light is in place use your existing plants or rocks to hide the cord, but remember to wrap some excess cord around the light so you can easily pull it out of the water when it is time to do some maintenance.
Photocells & Timers
If the lights selected came with a photocell, be sure to keep the photocell out of the water and into an area where it will not be covered up on windy days from bushes or other plants. The photocell detects darkness allowing the lights to turn on without having to flip a switch and they will turn off at dawn. For light sets that do not come with a photocell or if you only want the lights on until a certain time, you can hook up the lights quick connects to a common timer. Also, keep in mind that transformers can get very hot; so be sure to place it in a dry area with sufficient air circulation.
If the intensity of your light is fading or the bulb burned out, replace the bulbs or give those lenses a good scrubbing as they can accumulate debris or algae overtime. Do not use chemicals or household cleaning agents on your lighting. We also recommend cleaning lighting during your spring clean-out.