Pond Lighting: Making Your Pond the Focal Point

Pond Lighting: Making Your Pond the Focal Point

The outdoor lighting industry has a yearly growth of 7.8%. Good outdoor lighting provides safety in the dark, as well as a warm welcome when your guests enter your home. It can also add drama and interest to your landscape.

If you have a manicured outdoor pond, you will want to show it off in the evening with a little pond lighting. Once the sun goes down, your pond will spring to life. You can host barbeques, theme parties, and quiet evenings at home with beauty and class.

Here are some of our favorite pond lighting options.


Floating Solar Lights

Floating solar lights now come with LED options. While LED lights are more expensive, they are incredibly energy-efficient. They last longer and will save you more money than traditional incandescent bulbs.

LED lights also work well in extreme temperatures. They are generally very durable.

Floating solar lights can shift between colors, and many come with remote controls for comfortable changing. They are also maintenance-free.

Color-Changing Lights

Color changing lights beneath your pond’s surface are perfect for themed parties. For example, you can light your pond orange for Halloween.

It is important to use only waterproof lights, although even these can show algae and moss. To avoid dirt showing while your pond is illuminated, you need to keep your pond as clean as possible. A professional landscape lighting company can give you the right recommendations.

If you have fish in your pond, you should leave an area that is quiet and dark for them. This can be a cave, decorated structure, or even stones beneath a walkway. Never light up the entire pond because you don’t want your fish to get spooked.

If you have a fountain or bubbler in your pond, submersible lights can create a diffused effect that will draw your eyes to the feature at night, while the colors will add a little pizzazz. Submersible lights need to be a little brighter in wattage than downlights in order to be effective.

Waterfall Lights

If your pond has a waterfall, waterfall lighting creates a breathtaking effect. Lights can be positioned in the nooks and crannies of rocks to highlight multiple tiers. It can also be lit from above.

Your lights should fit the contours of your fountain without compromising function.

Neon LED lights are weather-resistant, flexible, and stunningly bright. Because they are unbreakable they can conform to any shape and last a long time. Neon LED is also easy to install beneath ledges.

Lighting your waterfall from beneath allows guests to see bubbles and flowing water in the evening. White, submersible spotlights that change color will brightly illuminate flowing water.

In order to create waterfall lighting that accentuates the movement of the water, lights should be aimed at exactly where the falling water hits the pond’s horizontal surface.

Colored waterfall lights may cost a bit more than plain white, but both create an impressive display. You will want to think about your tastes and budget before making a decision.


Downlights illuminate your pond and waterfall from above. They are not subject to the natural wear-and-tear incurred by submerged lights.

Downlights can be pointed in any direction over the pond’s surface. They should look natural, and not overpowering. Choose a few of the most important details and highlight them from above.

You will want to avoid the glare of “hot spots” from a single lighting source. The light shouldn’t hit anyone in the eye when they are by the pond. You will also want to make sure the bulbs themselves are safe from animals and weather conditions.

Pointing downlights onto a point should create a subtle, diffused glow. Downlights can also be used to highlight the landscape features outside the pond. It is best to angle the lights and use cooler lower Kelvin bulbs.

Aiming spotlights directly across your water’s surface will create a beautiful, reflecting effect. You can use a flashlight or trial-and-error to determine the right angles.

Tree Branches

You can install lighting in the tree branches surrounding your pond for a moonlighting effect. If mature trees flank your pond, tree lighting creates wonderful shadows from branches and leaves onto the pond. It allows both the pond and landscape to be delicately illuminated.

Lanterns and mini-halogen lamps can also create a warm glow over your pond. There is less maintenance with this type of lighting.


Uplights, also called bullet lights, are located above the water but close to the pond’s edge.

They can be pointed in any direction to highlight foliage or the pond’s waterfall. These lights tend to hold up better over time than submersible lights.

Special Features

Some pond pumps have built-in lights that allow bubbles to sparkle in the dark. These allow for quick and easy access, with no tools necessary. Pond pumps fit perfectly into existing water features.

You may also wish to install dusk-to-dawn sensors on your pond lighting. These turn your lights on at sunset and off during the day, so you are not wasting electricity. You also will not have to go searching for switches when you want to entertain in the evening.

Fabulous Pond Lighting

The best pond lighting for your landscape will depend on your budget and style. Uplights, downlights, tree branches, and fountain lighting can all help you sparkle up your yard’s evening glow. Your pond will be the envy of the neighborhood!

For more information on landscape design, contact us today.

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