What's up, Lads and Lasses?
I believe that lighting up a watergarden so that it can be enjoyed after the sun sets is 75% of the bliss that one will get out of their koi pond/waterfall. Most of the day, we're at work, not enjoying the pond.....why not light it up so it can be relished with an adult beverage and the company of those you hold dear? Plus, if you invite the neighbors over and they see your perfectly lit and accented pond, they will be green with envy, and who among us doesn't like that? ;)
The industry has turned almost exclusively to LED lights as they use a ton less power and are elevendy billion times more reliable. These lights come in an ever-expanding array of styles and output, so choose wisely. One of the great advantages of LED lighting is that you do not need to have multiple massive transformers to run your lights. Get one 60-watt transformer (like this) and run up to 55, one-watt lights. (You do not want to use 100% of the wattage capacity of your transformer, as the length of your cables takes up some of the capacity too.)
"How many lights do I need to make my pond as awesomely awesome as possible without overdoing it?"
Well...that depends. You do not want to over-light the pond. I find that subtle enhancements and allowing the pond/waterfall to look and feel different during the nighttime hours is fantastic.....It's like having two ponds; one during the day and another at night.
Here are some quick guidelines I use when installing ponds and waterfalls.
NOTE: It's easiest to remain within one brand for your lighting, as it is then easier to find replacements and/or additions that will work seamlessly with your other connection hardware.
First, Aquascape brand products:
Each drop in the waterfall/stream gets at least one puck light or 1-watt spotlight. These areas are natural focal points and should be emphasized. If the drop is wider than 18in (or so) use a second light to illuminate from underneath, behind or from the side of the falling water.
Here's a picture that I have grabbed from the web that is photoshopped really nicely (great work fellas...top notch). It illustrates the need for a second light beneath the waterfall. See how only half of the falls is glowing? I would place another puck light (or spot light) in the falls to get maximum effect.
Be sure to light up main features of the pond. If your stream has a long run, or some dramatic bends/meanders, add a spotlight or two to add some rippling water effect to the display. Light up some submerged boulders or aquatic plants.
Do not be afraid to use these lights as terrestrial lighting too. A spotlight on a shrub/boulder/tree that is adjacent to the pond will blend the effect into your landscaping and add some texture to your display. Steer clear of total illumination. You already know what the pond looks like during the day, so no massive flood lights.....I find subtle lighting works great to enhance the environment, creating a different feel then during the day.
Aquascape also carries brighter spotlights used for illuminating the pond proper. These 3- and 6-watt lights are great for shining across open water, allowing you to see your fish and to finish off the lighting of the pond.
In this photo (also taken seamlessly from the web), you see the spotlights in the pond. I personally would have them positioned facing away from the most used areas of the yard. That way, when you are looking at the pond you do not see the source of the light. You just see the otherworldly glow and lose yourself in the wonder of aquatic bliss.
Atlantic Watergardens Lights:
This brand has more variety of form and wattage than does Aquascape. They also offer color-changing lights that are pretty damned cool too.
The same guidelines apply here. The added fixtures allow you to get creative with your light placement. The color-changing lights are superb for altering the lighting effect or to just show off to the Joneses next door.
This whole line is easily used, with quick disconnects, splitters, extensions, and transformers.
(Available here) I use this product line for most of my installs and find them reliable and easy to use and maintain.
I may have missed a few links, so please explore all of the options on Midwestponds.com and search for all the lights and accessories that you may need. As always, please ask questions in the comments section or give us a call.
Everybody's pond is different, and these lighting options are flexible enough to fill your needs. So, get out there and make your pond the envy of the neighborhood! You have my blessing and advice if/when you need it.
Thanks For Reading.....