An outdoor water feature like a pond or fountain can give your yard a whole new feel. So, why show it off only during the daytime? By utilizing outdoor lighting, you can give your outdoor water feature a whole new dimension. Enjoy your outdoor water feature day and night by following these tips from your trusted outdoor lighting professionals at Unique Outdoor Illumination & Mosquito Pros.
Whether you are lighting a water feature or your home, your outdoor lighting needs to be able to handle the elements. Your outdoor lighting is subjected to changes in temperature, rain, snow, wind, and more. So, you’ll need to choose lighting that can withstand the elements.
Pond Fish and Lighting
If you have fish in a pond, please consult with an expert for the best way to set up their environment. Different types of fish can react to light differently. Electrocution, the overheating of their environment, and lack of rest can occur, which can be detrimental to their well-being.
Using submersible LED lights is a good idea as they do not heat up like incandescent and fluorescent lights. However, you still need to ensure the submersible LED lights can handle the environment, are set up correctly, and are appropriate for use with fish.
Lighting Outdoor Water Features
Many variables go into lighting your outdoor water features. To get it right, it is recommended to work with a professional who knows the ins and outs of outdoor lighting. In addition, working with electricity is dangerous, even more so around water, making a professional all the more important.
Selecting the Right Type of Light
When lighting outdoor water features, you have several ways to approach them. Different types of lights can give your outdoor water feature a different look. Also, you may be limited in your selection of lighting by the space you have available.
Some of the types of lighting you can go with include:
Uplighting – Given its direction, uplighting is generally not used to highlight water. It can, however, provide a striking look to a fountain or statue.
Downlighting – With lower things like ponds and other ground-level fixtures, downlighting can provide a more natural, moon-light style look.
Combination Lighting – For the most natural look, go with combination lighting. It is the combination of uplighting and downlighting. Like natural light, combination lighting does not have just one angle.
Cross Lighting -While difficult to install, cross lighting can prevent shadows. Having a professional’s help is a good idea when using cross-lighting.
Submersible Lights – Submersible lights look cool but present an inherent danger especially in the proximity of fish. There are many things to consider when dealing with fish in a pond, and you must work with a fish expert to determine the best way to shape their environment. Also, submersible lights look darker due to the dulling effects of water.
Spot Lights – With spotlights, you can highlight aspects of a water feature while utilizing a light source away from it.
Water-Proof Outdoor Lighting
Regardless of what type of lighting you decide to use, it is critical that you utilize water-proof outdoor lighting. Not only is there a chance of water exposure to your outdoor lighting, but your lighting will have to contend with the elements.
An outdoor light’s resistance against water and solid objects is depicted by its IP (ingress protection) rating. An IP rating consists of two numbers. The first number is for protection from solid objects and goes from 0 to 6, with zero offering no protection and six being the highest level of protection. The second is a rating of protection against water and goes from 0 to 9, with zero equaling no protection and nine representing the highest level of protection.
The International Technoelectric Commission website has more detailed information on IP ratings.
In outdoor lighting, LED lights have some major advantages over traditional bulbs.
Some of the advantages of using LED lighting outdoors include the following:
Staying cool – They don’t get hot like a traditional light, so they are safer if you, a pet, or a child accidentally bump into one.
Cold weather functionality – They work great in cold weather. While Texas tends to be on the warmer side, below-freezing weather is to be expected.
Economical – They are also efficient, meaning they can save you money, especially in the long term.
Good for the Environment – Efficiently is good for the environment as well. When it comes to choosing an outdoor light, it makes sense to go with LED lighting.
Low Voltage Lighting
A much safer alternative to line voltage lights is low voltage lighting. In addition, low-voltage lighting can be more cost-efficient. Therefore, low-voltage lighting is a good idea, especially when animals and children are around.
Choosing the Right Color
There are many options for choosing a color to use with your outdoor lighting. Depending on how “cold” or “warm” a color temperature is, it can give your water feature a different feel. Certain types of lights even come with multiple color options.
Watching the Brightness
Like light placement, the brightness of your lights can impact their overall look. If you use too much light, a so-called “light bomb” could be created. A light bomb is when someone goes from an extremely dark to an extremely bright area, making seeing difficult and causing a safety hazard. For pools and ponds it is recommended that, depending on the depth and size, the lighting be roughly 200 to 400 lumens.
Landscape Lighting Design
There is a lot that goes into lighting. From designing the layout to making sure they are safe and installed correctly, a lot of work goes into outdoor lighting. It takes an eye for design and technical skills to get it set up correctly. Fortunately, if you are in the Houston area, the skilled team at Unique Outdoor Illumination & Mosquito Pros stands ready to help you get the most out of your outdoor lights. We can create a beautiful lighting setup for your outdoor water fixture.
Contact us for a free quote and transform the look of your yard.