Lighting can be used to convey different moods to a pond and the surrounding garden. Subtle down lighting to create a glow from behind rock work or an evergreen shrub to cast its haunting silhouette can add a placid mood while brighter and more direct lighting of a spouting gargoyle or a busy fountain can bring nocturnal life to your pond.
Underwater lighting can extend the life and entertainment from a pond well into the night, creating a focal point of both sight and sound for an evening around the barbeque, while subtle lighting can be used to delineate a path or give a lit backdrop.
Artificial lighting gives us the opportunity to direct light in ways that nature did not intend, shining light upwards out of ponds, bouncing off the underside of bridges or from beneath stepping stones. Underwater lighting also gives us the opportunity to see fish illuminated from below, watching silhouetted fish darting about in the twilight.
Underwater lighting can be used in a number of ways to add atmosphere to a pond. Simple spotlights can be used to cast shadows in the misty water. These can also usually be used outside a pond as their low wattage bulbs will not overheat and their waterproofing seals make them very weatherproof. Fixed to a block and sunk, such lights may also be supplied with a choice of coloured lenses, with the simplicity of white light often being the most effective.
Underwater lighting can also be combined with a fountain, where the jet is illuminated by a series of upward facing spotlights, or the fountain head itself is integrated into a light.
Recent innovations in pond lighting involve the use of solar panels. Charging throughout the day in sunlight and when dusk arrives the charged battery powers the light well into the night . These are available as lanterns for illuminating garden features or as floating solar lights that are free to move and glow all night.
Controlling lights – Power at your finger tips.
Lights can be controlled in a number of different ways, using a simple switch (which should ideally be located inside the house to save having to go into the garden), through to more elaborate control techniques.
- Light sensors: A simple light sensitive switch (as used by street lamps), can be used to switch the lighting on automatically as dusk approaches.
- Remote control: Some lighting units are now supplied with a remote control unit that can be used to operate and even dim the lights!