4- Lighting :
POND LIGHTS- introduction ..
Ideas for lighting a backyard pond
courtesy to : www.landscapingnetwork.com/ponds/lighting
Pond lights serve two purposes: safety and visual effects. Pond lighting needs to illuminate the edges of the water and light pathways or stepping stones to ensure that people can move about the pond safely at night. In addition to safety, lights can create dramatic effects and highlight certain features of a pond.
When it comes to pond lighting there are two types:
Lighting that surrounds the pond's exterior.
Lighting that is underwater.
Exterior pond lights should be subdued white lights used to make the surface of the water glow, or to accentuate a waterfall, prized plant or other feature. These lights are installed at ground level along the shoreline of the pond.
Underwater lighting is commonly used to highlight fountains or sculptures. Use underwater lights sparingly, it is easy to go overboard. If you want to see the reflection of the moon in your pond, don't use underwater lighting.
Pond Lighting Tips from a Pro
Pond lighting is a fun way of enjoying the ripples and reflections of your pond or water feature, even at night. You can keep it simple and classic by using white lights hidden among the rocks, or put colored filters on the lights to add a splash of color to your water feature. Waterfalls make a particularly good focal point. “We use underwater lights near the falls,” says Edward Snyder of Greenleaf Services, Inc. in Linville NC. “This creates a focal point that can be enjoyed from the patio or from indoors,” he says.
How To Design LED Landscape and Pond Lighting Systems :
If you would like to brighten up your yard or pond with some low voltage lighting and extend the time you can enjoy your property, LED lights really are the best choice. Not only are LED lights more energy efficient than traditional low voltage halogen lights, the LED lights last many times longer, produce less heat and are simple to install. If you are looking to add more than just a single light fixture to your yard, then designing your own custom LED system is the way to go. It may seem daunting at first, but it is really quite simple.
1. Decide How Many Lights You Need.
Determine what areas of your yard you would like to illuminate. You may just want to brighten up a small space around a bench or seating area, or you may have many different features or focal points in your yard that you want to enhance.
Here are some examples of how you can create real drama in your yard with lighting.
Highlighting a tree by placing a spotlight at the base and shining it up. This technique is also commonly used statues, fountains, sculptures or any other outdoor feature. For larger features chose 3 watt or 6 watt lights or multiple smaller 1 watt lights.
Indirect or ‘Moon Lighting’ creates a soft glow shining down from a LED fixture placed in a tree. The resulting moonlight effect is more natural and can provide interesting shadows.
Wall Washing is used to illuminate the front or side of a building to make it really stand out. The light fixtures are typically placed a few feet away from the house in a flowerbed or at the base of a tree or shrub and angled up towards the house. If the fixture is placed closer to the house it will provide more light and dark contrast on the walls, if it is placed farther away it will provide more even light distribution and a more uniform look.
There are several ways to create dramatic effects in ponds. Waterfalls can be enhanced in by shining a spotlight(s) at the front of the waterfall from the sides of the pond or just below the surface of the water to highlight the entire feature. Small 1 watt waterfall lights can also be placed within crevasses in the waterfall behind the falling water to provide a striking shimmering effect. Lights can also be placed deeper in the pond shining up towards the surface, this creates a beautiful luminous glow.
2. Choose the Right Size Transformer.
Once you have decided how many lights you will be using, you’ll need to choose a transformer large enough to provide power to all of your lights. This is simply a matter of adding up the wattage of all your lights you have chosen. Many LED lights are 1 watt, but there are also larger, brighter lights that are 3 or 6 watts or more. Simply add up the wattage of the individual lights you have chosen and take note of the total. Then choose a transformer that capable of handling that wattage.
Example: In your yard you want 1 – 1 watt waterfall light, 2 – 1 watt spotlights to light the waterfall, 1 – 3 watt spotlight to place in the bottom of the pond and 1 – 6 watt spotlight to highlight a tree. These 5 light fixtures use 12 watts in total. Therefore you need a transformer that provides at least 12 watts of power. We carry 6 watt, 20 watt and 60 watt LED transformers, so the best choice would be the 20 watt model. This will easily handle the lights chosen above, plus it is capable of handling more lights if more are added in the future.
It is also a good idea to choose a transformer that handles 10% more the total wattage of the lights you are using. This is to compensate for possible fluctuations in wattage. Aquascape transformers only consume the necessary wattage to power your lighting, so using a transformer with extra voltage will provide extra power if additional lights are added in the future without consuming extra electricity.
3. Determine the Length of Cable Needed.
Many of our lights come with 15’ power cords which is more than adequate in most cases. However if you want to run a light more than 15’ from the transformer, 25’ LED extension cables can be easily plugged in between the light and the transformer.
4. Pick the Proper Splitter.
Most transformers come with 1 outlet, no problem if you only want 1 light. If you want to use more lights, simply pick the appropriate splitter. 3 Way and 6 Way splitters are available to run systems with multiple lights. If you have more than 6 lights you can 2 or more splitters to provide enough outlets.
5. Choose Accessories.
Photocells are popular accessories because they atomically turn lights on when they are needed. Photocells turn lights on at dusk and turn them off at dawn, save electricity and also extending the life of the bulbs.
6. Install and Enjoy!
All our LED lights and accessories come with simple quick connectors that make installation simple and easy.
LED POND LIGHTING
courtesy to : fullserviceaquatics.com/pond-design/led-pond-lighting/
By : By: Mike Gannon
I’ll deny I said this, but I want to turn your pond green.
As I try to continually steer Full Service Aquatics towards becoming “greener” in our practices and products I sometimes feel like that goal gets a bit farther away with every step forward, but in a good way. The more I utilize green products and incorporate green practices and educate myself on all things green, the more I realize that there is such an enormous amount of possibilities out there that I can put into play that I feel a bit behind in my strides toward a greener way of
business and life.
The pond business for me has always been about the attempt to be green, what other job actually creates habitat and encourages biodiversity? Being green has always been something inherent in my personality. Yet when I look back on what I was doing, and how I was running my pond operations about 18 years ago I realize that I was pretty far from being green, yet just a step ahead of many others. One big difference from back in the dawn of Full Service Aquatics is that I do not use ANY chemicals (algaecides, herbicides, various medications) in my ponds any more. Over the years I have found methods to fight whatever pond battles I have by natural, sometimes organic methods.
Even in how I equip a pond has become important to me in regards to being green, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. One group of equipment that I am very excited about is the use of LED lighting for ponds. Lighting ponds is, to me, a critical part of pond design; so a pond can be enjoyed anytime of day or night. In the past, and admittedly now at times, I used non-efficient forms of lighting to achieve our lighting designs. My method of being energy efficient with these pond lights was to install timers so the lights could go on and off at specific times and not run all hours. Then I came across photovoltaic timers which only turn on when it gets dark and can be set to turn off “X” amount of hours later or when the sun comes up, whichever the client prefers. This was a slight improvement. Then I discovered solar lighting which I still employ sparingly but the technology is not perfected so the whole design lost a bit of appeal for me, and clients. More recently the advent of submersible, waterproof, all weather LED lighting has come to market and I’m psyched.
As with most new products I personally am the guinea pig for testing these products, so I installed all LED lighting in my pond. LED lighting many people know to be extremely energy efficient costing about $.08 for every $1.00 spent on traditional efficient lighting methods and who does not want to save 90+% on energy costs? The LED can deliver up to 30,000 hours of lighting (some say up to 200,000 hours, but I prefer to be a bit skeptical) compared to about 4,000 hours of lighting with traditional lighting. LED pond lighting fixtures are rugged and durable, although not recommended, they can handle being dropped…on ROCKS! LED lights are brighter too, like a lot, and have a whiter color band to them than traditional lighting. Every year the LED lighting gets better too, as technology improves, and this is only a good thing.
Most of us may have already seen the huge popularity with LED lights being used for Christmas and holiday lighting, but we can now see them in our municipal city lights, park lights; they are in our car’s headlights now; and before long we will only reminisce about the good old incandescent light bulb because LED is here to stay.
LED pond lighting looks great and makes sense economically and for sustainable reasons. Try them on your pond, you’ll love them! If you don’t have lighting for your pond what are you waiting for? You are missing out on a whole dimension of pond keeping I dare say you will enjoy immensely! Turn your pond green this season.
Common Pond Lighting Mistakes to Avoid
Ignoring Clarity: If your pond is murky, submersible pond lights aren’t the best choice. You’ll just highlight the gunk. A clear, well-maintained pond will sparkle in the light.
Creating Glare: Glare is always a big concern when lighting a pond. It’s important to position the fixtures so the light doesn’t hit you in the eye.
This takes skill and precision, especially if the pond will be viewed from more than one location.
You also want to avoid the glare of “hot spots” that come from using a single lighting source.
If I just put a light under a waterfall to make it sparkle, it looks out of place, like a glaring hot spot in the landscape.
Using Lighting Kits: Sometimes our clients happily tell us that their pond kit came with a lighting kit. Can we install it for them?
Sure, we could. We can also come back in six months when the cheap plastic and aluminum fixtures have worn out and broken down.
They’re just not high quality. You’re much better off to install high-quality brass and copper fixtures from the beginning, and enjoy your pond lighting, worry free.
Types of lighting for garden ponds
courtesy to : en.aqua-fish.net/articles/types-pond-lighting-answers
All pond keepers enjoy relaxing around the pond in the daytime, marveled by their creation, but why not add pond lighting to extend a daytime pond into an evening viewing ponds as well.
There are many types of lighting on the market today, the choice is endless but once installed pond lighting can create a wonderful sight in your garden. For all electric systems, we must be aware that they need to be installed safely, and if need be use a qualified electrician for connecting your pond lighting to the power source. Better safe than sorry.
Avoid direct sunlight if possible :
Of course there is always natural lighting that hits your pond most days of the year and this is produced by the sun. Sunlight and ponds can cause problems especially if it is too intense and for too many hours, this can cause the water temperature to rise rapidly and it will also encourage a lot of algal growth.
Some people have no choice but to position their ponds in direct sunlight and have to deal with the problems that it causes, this can be time consuming and irritating, fish do not need direct sunlight so if you can avoid this situation then it is best to do so.
Many species of fish do not have a problem with the sunlight as it supplies them with food as the algae starts to take over the pond but it should not be encouraged from the aesthetic factor.
Artificial pond lighting does not bring on the same problems that natural sunlight does so can be used for many hours in the night without any problems.
So which lighting system will you choose?
Basically the first thing that you have to ask yourself is what will I be using it for? By this I mean, is it purely for illuminating the pond or do you need it for some sort of security, or even a safety aspect.
A lot of ponds are level with the ground so illuminating the walkways clearly defines where the pond ends, and the walkway begins. Remember not to clog up the walkways with wiring etc.; this will create a bigger hazard.
A few years ago, the only lighting kits available were run from the mains, these are classed as high voltage. As mentioned above these need to be connected by a qualified electrician, all cables from the mains to the pond need to be trenched under ground if possible, if not they need to be protected from the elements with a sheath. The main disadvantage of using this form of pond lighting is that they will use more electric then the newer low voltage systems.
Thankfully the amount of low voltage systems is increasing all the time, plus a lot of the pond lighting systems are actually solar powered now which certainly makes life a lot easier.
The low voltage systems are connected to the mains, normally by a standard plug. Inline a transformer will reduce the voltage right down to 12 or 24 volts depending on which pond lighting system you are running. On my pond I did have all the wiring connected to an outdoor weatherproof junction box, purely to keep everything tidy, but this was also checked out by an electrician before I used it. The transformers supplied should have a rating on them, indoor or outdoor use. Never use an indoor transformer on an exterior socket, the outdoor ones are designed to be weatherproof but do not immerse them in the pond unless the manufacturer rates them as completely waterproof.
So let’s look at the options available:-
Spotlights are so versatile, they have so many uses. The kits can range from one light unit or a number of light units all connected to one transformer. These can be used for security reasons, illuminating the whole pond area, or they can be used to highlight certain features within the pond like waterfalls, rockeries, they can even be raised to illuminate down onto the water surface. Spotlights are usually supplied on a multi directional bracket enabling the user to point them exactly where they are required. A great accessory to these are the different colored lens covers, this can create a stunning visual display. Prices for these can range from 20 pounds (40 dollars) for a single unit with transformer, up to 100 pounds (200 dollars) for multi units.
Many of these spotlights are also designed for use under the water surface, they can be fully submerged and light up the whole of the pond, and these are very effective if different colours are used at the same time. When purchasing these you must ensure that the packaging does state that these are underwater fish pond lighting, this means that they are completely water proof and you do not run the risk of electrocution from them. Also check that they met all safety requirements. These work on the same principle as the underwater aquarium lighting but, as expected, are a lot more powerful.
Floating pond lights
As the name suggests these are used for floating on the water surface, normally the bases are shaped like a bowl for buoyancy, with the light being central on top although the newer sets have started to be available in globe like shapes. Each unit will be supplied with its own low voltage cable, and they create a good effect floating over the water, in-between the floating plants. I have seen these advertised for anywhere from 50 pounds (100 dollars) to 60 pounds (120 dollars) for a 3 unit set. These are also available in various colors so creativity is the name of the game.
Submerged lights can give a good effect under the water, but careful planning is required. If you are planning to use them, ideally they should be mounted on the correct brackets as the pond is being created, this will save a lot of work in the future. With these kits the transformer is normally okay to put under the water with the lights, but please check first that this is the case.
If not mounted properly they could free themselves, this in turn will lead to them ending up face down in the bottom of the pond.
A good point to remember with these is that the deeper the water the higher the wattage required else you will not get the full effect. These too can use the different colored light covers that are available to give your pond that special look.
I would recommend attaching this pond lighting to the sides of the pond, slightly facing upwards; in fact when I was building my pond, I used a bit of fore thought and actually built them into the side of the pond, making sure everything was still water tight of course. This way I was able to hide all of the wiring under the ground, out of sight for a tidier finish. These are normally available in sets of two, three, or four lights. Price wise they range anywhere from 95 pounds (190 dollars) up to 150 pounds (300 dollars) for a full set up.
Solar lights :
One of the newer innovations to hit the market is the introduction of the solar pond lighting. These have proved to be very popular, no wiring to worry about, easy to install, basically it’s a matter of placing the light where you want it and either rest it on the pond border, or push it into the ground for fixing with a spiked base.
Another great feature of this form of pond lighting is the fact that they have an inbuilt dusk switch; this means that as soon as the daylight fails, the light will switch on automatically.
Basically they have inside them a re-chargeable battery which is charged up during the sunlight hours, and then as night falls, the battery powers the light through to the early hours. If looked after properly the battery should give you at least 3 years of life, storing them away in the winter time will increase the life span.
Fountain head lights :
A fountain is a good feature to have in your pond, why not make it more outstanding. Adding a ring of light units to the neck of your fountain pump will give you a varied array of colors in the display. These are very easy to add, simply slide them over the neck, where they will sit in place, ready for use. Prices are not too expensive for these, they start at 30 pounds (60 dollars) up to 60 pounds (120 dollars)
So a quick recap:-
Always check your transformer to see it is rated for inside or outside use.
Plan your lighting in the building stages-it will save time and work later.
If using the higher voltage systems, get an electrician to set it up for you.
Cheap isn’t always best, buy the best kits you can afford from a reliable supplier. It will save a lot of replacing in the future.
There are so many different types of pond lights. How many do I need – and which are the easiest to install?
There are so many different types of pond lights. How many do I need – and which are the easiest to install?
Fernando – Garden City, SC
It’s true. Although it seems like it should be simple, the sheer variety of available pond lights can make it a bit daunting to choose what’s right for your needs. But in truth, that’s where it starts: decide exactly what you want to light – and how – and the choices sort of narrow themselves. So take a moment to think about what you’re trying to illuminate. A waterfall? A fountain? A spitter? The whole pond?
As luck would have it, we have options to fit all of your pond lighting needs. For submerged waterfall lighting, our Halogen Waterfall Light is fully waterproof, and exceptionally easy to install. For more generalized lighting both underwater and around the pond, our HalogenMini™ 3-Pack Halogen Light Kits are simple to install, and they offer the added appeal of colored lenses for a lively, customized look. For greater energy efficiency and exceptionally long bulb life, our LEDPro™ – 3 Pack 3 Watt Light Kit is the ideal choice. These lights can be installed in or out of the water. Because LED bulbs can last for up to 100,000 hours, they’re essentially maintenance free. Regardless which light kit you choose, installation is simple. Our transformers are designed with quick disconnect fittings – and there’s no need to recruit an electrician to get your pond wired and ready.
Once you’ve identified your specific pond lighting needs, you should also spend a moment pondering the stage of your pond’s construction – and the flexibility you’re hoping to achieve. If your pond is brand new, or if it’s currently drained, it greatly simplifies the process of installing underwater lights. If it’s not, you may want to consider an installation without submerged lights. Through some creative design, the effect can be every bit as dramatic.
If you’re planning to automate your pond lighting, you may also want to consider installing timers, or photocells that trigger lights when darkness falls – without any need to flip a switch.