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The Bright Ideas Blog

Design inspiration and outdoor lighting tips and advice for homeowners

Making your Outdoor Living Beautiful through Pond Lighting

Adding a splash of beauty to your outdoor living space can be as simple as lighting your pond. Weather it’s the therapeutic sound of running water, or observing fish in their natural element, ponds have always been a wonderful solution for bringing a real sense of atmosphere to any outdoor living space.

Lighting your pond with beautiful landscape lighting will extend the enjoyment it brings you into the night.

It’s important to consider the style or type of pond you are looking to light. Is there a waterfall or small stream? Which features of your pond excite you the most? The features of your pond that are the most exciting will be the best place to start. These pond features are what you’ll want to capture and highlight with light.

  1. Waterfall 

Waterfalls are a very popular feature in people’s ponds. Therefore, I’d highly recommend taking full advantage and lighting your waterfall if you have one. There are different ways to light a waterfall. One method that produces some stunning results is to use an underwater light.

Pathway-pond-lighting-Salt-Lake-City-Utah-1At the base of the fall, place/submerge an underwater light fixture. Aim the fixture up so the light will hit the middle of the fall.

Pro Tip: consider light refraction when aiming your light. Water will bend the light down slightly, so be sure to adjust the aim of your fixture so the fixture will hit the target correctly.

When the falls are running, the light will be broken up by the cascading water. This will produce a beautiful effect not unlike the flickering of a campfire.


  1. Stream

When it comes to water features, your landscape lighting should follow the action. Streams are a great place to highlight where this action is taking place. There are different ways a stream can be lit, but if there is a tall tree in close proximity to your stream, it should be utilized to down light the stream.

Water-feature-pond-orb-lightingWhat is down lighting? Down lighting, often referred to as moon lighting, is when you mount a light fixture up high in a tree or other elevated location, and aim it down onto a target. The light is soft and not overwhelming (mimicking moon light).

Down lighting a stream is a great way to add some drama and elegance you your pond’s stream. This soft moon light will reveal where the sound of babbling water is coming from, and also reveal over parts of the pond. Down lighting can also be used to throw a gentle wash over the rest of the pond as well to create beautiful effects.


  1. Bridge

In addition to beauty, landscape lighting also can provide task or safety lighting. If there is a bridge that crosses over your stream, or extends out over the pond itself, it can be a good idea to bring lighting here so no one takes an unexpected plunge. Lighting a bridge is a total art form in and of itself. It rare that any one approach is used to light a bridge. If the bridge has a railing or guard, post lights can be a great solution.

A post light is mounted to a post where the light will shine downwards so you can see where you are walking. These are often used for the railing around people’s decks. Post lights can be used for applications other than decks. Lighting your bridge not only adds safety, it also adds beauty.pond-pathway-water-and-water-feature-lighting-holladay-utah-3



Don’t be intimidated, adding lighting your pond can be a lot of fun. Try going out at night with a flashlight and experimenting with different effects before you commit to having lights installed. Place the flash light where you think light should be and see how it looks (just don’t stick your flashlight in the pond if it isn’t waterproof).

Remember, the only limit to what can be created with outdoor lighting is your imagination. So have fun! Consult with a professional lighting designer if you’re at a loss for where to get started. They can be a great resource. Plus, they love talking about lighting design. They can help you create a beautifully lit pond.


Landscape Lighting Makes All the Difference

At Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah, the art of outdoor illumination is a real passion we work to perfect. Designing elegantly bespoke landscape lighting systems is simply all we do. For over 15 years, our award winning team of designers and craftsmen have striven to bring the best outdoor lighting experience possible to people’s homes and businesses across the Wasatch Front and beyond.

Located in Midvale, Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah installs, maintains, and repairs lighting systems throughout Utah's residential areas, including Salt Lake City, Park City, Draper, Davis & Utah Counties.

If you have an upcoming project you’d like help with, call us at (801)440-7647 for more information, schedule a free consultation, or feel free to simply fill out a contact form on our website, www.utahlights.com

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