Hey, Dave Kelly here, a member of the Aquascape pond squad and also known as The Tech Guy. Today, I’m going to show how you can expand the enjoyment of the outdoors into the evening hours with the installation of an Aquascape LED Lighting System. The first step of any successful landscape lighting project is selecting the proper light fixtures. For this particular project, we’re going to use several different styles of Aquascape LED lights to illuminate the pond and waterfalls as well as up light the trees in the background surrounding the water feature. What’s great about the Aquascape LED light compared to traditional landscape lighting is that these can be fully submerged. This allows you the option to light the water feature from above and below the water.
On this project we’re going to submerge several three-watt spot light fixtures in the pond. At night the beams from these lights will provide a soft glow throughout the pond. They will pick up the colors of fish as they swim through the path of the lights. The lights can be installed in the pond on the mounting stand provided or the light fixture can be completely removed from the mounting hardware and disguised between the rocks in the pond. A simple tip when positioning the light is to make sure that you aim the light away from the main viewing area. This helps prevent the lights from inadvertently shining into someone’s eyes. Once the light fixture’s installed in the desired position, the electrical cables can be run up and over the side of the pond. We will make all of our electrical connections a little bit later in this project. We are now going to use the Aquascape waterfall and landscape accent light up light our waterfalls. The flat base of this light provides a stable platform that keeps the light in position beneath the fast flowing water. This will give the waterfalls a beautiful shimmering effect at night. For really tight spaces the fixture can even be removed from the base and tucked into position.
Now that we have all our pond lighting installed below the water, let’s take a look at a few other key focal points that we want to illuminate above the water. The Aquascape spotlights are ideal for up lighting trees and plants as well as highlighting areas like streams and waterfalls. This small one-watt spotlight works great positioned alongside the perimeter of the waterfall, highlighting the rushing water and the accent stones surrounding the falls. Install the stake provided in the fixture holder and pushed firmly in the ground. Final adjustments can be made once the light is staked into position.
One technique that makes a dramatic effect on the waterfalls at night is to use a combination of a spotlight shining from above the water and the waterfall accent light from below the water. We’re going to use the larger three-watt and six-watt spot lights to up light the trees in the background of this project. Up lighting the trees, shrubs and other plants surrounding the water feature will help provide visual depth to the nighttime landscape. Selecting the proper low voltage transformer to power your lighting system is as simple as using a little math to add up the total amount of light watts used in the installation. For this project, we are installing a total of 21 watts of LED lights. We recommend adding an additional 10% to compensate for any fluctuation wattage or just jump to the next size transformer. Having a transformer with extra space will give you power in case you want to expand your lighting system in the future. It is recommended to locate the transformer as close to the light fixtures as possible in order to avoid voltage drops caused by long electrical cable runs. Hang the transformer from a secure object such as post or the side of the home. Wiring the Aquascape 12-volt lighting system is a snap with the easy to install Quick Connect system. Each light includes a durable quick connect electrical connectors that allow the entire lighting system to be installed without any tools or difficult wire splicing.
Aquascape offers a variety of quick connect lighting accessories to choose from including splitters and extensions and even electronic photocell timer that allows you to completely automate your lighting system. Of course Aquascape lights can also be incorporated into any existing 12-volt landscape lighting system by removing the quick connects and using commercial available low voltage outdoor wiring connectors. On this project we’ll use an electronic photocell with digital timer that will turn the lights on at dusk and then turn them off and one of the programmable intervals. We’ll be running two 25-foot extension cables one along the front of the pond and one around the back. These particular extensions have a quick connect at every five-foot interval allowing you to connect lights at a number of locations along the extension cable. Additional three-way and six-way splitters can then be used to connect multiple light fixtures. Once all the lights are installed, the cables can be buried out of sight.
Now that the electrical connections are completed, you can plug in the transformer into a GFCI outdoor electrical outlet. Check to make sure all the lights are working and make any final adjustments to the position of lights to maximize their effect in the landscape. Aquaescape’s energy efficient LED lighting system can help you add an entirely new dimension to your outdoor lifestyle. Their versatility provides you with many ways to use them in water feature and landscape setting