Installing pond lights for DIY homeowners can be a time consuming procedure; follow this simple guide to get what you really want for your pond. An indoor or outdoor pond can add wonderful visual beauty as well providing a relaxing and comforting environment. The addition of lights can add real impact and take your pool from ho-hum average to an ever changing and stunning feature that will give your neighbors something worth talking about.
What Kind of Lights to Use
There are many different varieties of lights available and before you begin purchasing, you should consider what effects you want your lights to create. For soft romantic glows, you can focus on accent lighting. You can use large lights or several lights to focus on your pond as a whole.
You can have lights hung from above to cast dazzling beams down onto your pond for a softer more intimate feel, or place lighting on the ground pointing upwards into the sky, highlighting specific features of your pond.
Underwater lights add a special touch of elegance and professionalism to your pond. Take a walk around your pool or pond and decide what features you may want to enhance. Outdoor pool or pond lighting is a great way to allow for nighttime entertaining as well as enhancing visibility to protect against accidents and injuries. Now would also be the time to consider walkway or entrance lighting to your pool or pond area.
What Color Lights
After deciding your lighting goals, you must now consider light colors and take into consideration the many styles of light bulbs available. Color adds a great sense of sophistication and can be used to create or enhance a mood. You can change colors to reflect seasons or special occasions like anniversaries or new baby announcements.
Lighting kits come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors and designs. When purchasing lights, be sure to purchase kits that are labeled water resistant and are approved for outdoor and pond use. This is crucial in safe installation, do not install lighting that is not designed for pool or pond use. You may also want to check with your local zoning department for safety codes and regulations.
Be sure to follow the product directions and guidelines carefully and if you are unsure of any step, do not hesitate to ask for assistance. Kits should come with a number to contact in case of emergencies or installation questions. You can also ask your local home improvement store for any tips or hints before you begin.
Installation can be very simple and relies mostly on the style of lighting you have chosen. If you are uncomfortable with electrical wiring, you may want to choose to hire a landscaper to assist you with your set up. Depending upon your lighting choice, you may simply need to have a power outlet near your pond, then you can plug in your lights, and you are done.
For wiring that is more intricate, you may be required to run an underground conduit to your house before installation can begin. Before you begin installation of wired lights, you must check for underground power or gas lines. Most areas feature the free Digsafe service, where a specialist will come and mark all underground cables and pipes.
You will also have to consider what transformer you will need to use. A transformer is a device that will transfer electrical energy from one circuit to another. You will first have to compute the total system wattage being used before you purchase a transformer. To do this, you must multiply the amount of each fixture’s wattage by the quantity of each figure you are using.
After you have that total, you must find a transformer to handle the amount. You may need more than one transformer. If this is the case, simply divide the total wattage you need by the transformer wattage to determine how many transformers you may need.
Next, you must determine your cable length and gauge for electrical connection. This is done simply by measuring the distance of the farthest fixture to the nearest transformer.
Finally, you can begin installation. Please observe common sense and empty your pond and equipment of water when working with electrical systems. Ensure power is turned off completely before making any other step. Following the instructions, connect the transformer.
Next, lay out your cables. Finally, place your fixtures; adjust the lighting to your desired needs. Here is where you will adjust timing also. Now you can sit back, enjoy your newly redesigned pond, and relax by its warm and comforting glow.
Perhaps the easiest and most economical way to install pond lighting can be to use floating solar lights. These lights are equipped with solar cells and are waterproof. These are available as flat discs or floating globes, some of which are designed to change color.
Solar powered lights come in a variety of shapes, too, ranging from lily pads and frogs, as well as other flowers or animals. These lights are powered through solar energy, saving you money and protecting our environment. These can be purchased from $14 to $80, depending on the style and size you use, and have an average life of 100,000 hours resulting in many years of wonderful hassle-free lighting.
Regardless of your lighting choices, adding these touches will not only enhance your pool or pond, but are a great way to increase the appearance and value of your home, without spending large amounts of money.
photo of Wellington Botanical Gardens at Night by Grant Cherrington / CreativeCommons Attribution License