How to organize the lighting of fountains, pools and ponds

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The article discusses various options for lighting pools, waterfalls or fountains. The features of the electrical connection of the backlight, the use of protective devices, the principles of calculating communication lines are described. In addition, we will consider the features of the placement of such lamps and give useful tips..

How to organize the lighting of fountains, pools and ponds

A pool or fountain enlivens any garden, filling it with the movement of sunbeams, the pleasant sound of water, but with the onset of night the water loses its attractiveness. How to create the aesthetic appeal of reservoirs in the dark? It’s simple – thanks to modern technologies and the use of competent lighting, at nightfall, you can return the radiance to the water, create a unique play of light on its surface.

For these purposes, special lamps are used that can be installed under water, can float on the surface of the reservoir or be attached to the shore surrounding the reservoir. With the help of lamps, you can highlight any decorative elements: garden lilies, small fountains or waterfalls, highlight the bottom and much, much more.

Features of lanterns for illumination of reservoirs

The most important thing when creating a backlight is to ensure human safety, because water is a good conductor, which excludes the use of standard lighting devices designed to work from 220 V AC.

Most lighting fixtures are made to work at a voltage safe for humans at 12 V, and some LED models use 3.5 and 5 V. To adapt the mains voltage at a small distance from the water, transformer or switching power supplies are installed to which the backlight of the reservoir is connected.

How to organize the lighting of fountains, pools and ponds

Power supply elements for pool lighting can be completed with an additional safety block, which is equipped with differential protection that controls the current leakage that occurs in places with poor-quality electrical insulation.

The minimum admissible standard of protection against moisture for such devices is IP68, which allows them to function under water.

Principles of installing light-emitting devices in fountains and pools

Since water is a light-conducting medium with a significant light absorption coefficient, in order to create effective lighting, it is necessary to take into account a number of recommendations for the placement of light-emitting devices.

1. To ensure uniform illumination of the entire reservoir, the optimal depth of placement of lamps under water is 60–100 cm from the surface.

How to organize the lighting of fountains, pools and ponds

If you install lamps deeper than 1 m, the lighting efficiency decreases, the backlighting will be uneven, and in order to compensate for this disadvantage, you will have to increase the power of the light emitters, which will be unjustified from the point of view of energy saving.

If the lamps are installed at a depth of less than 60 cm, the illumination volumetric effect will not be achieved due to the low light scattering in the aquatic environment.

2. If the depth of the reservoir does not exceed 50 cm, there will be no sufficient effect from the use of underwater lighting, therefore it is better to apply surface lighting.

Such lighting can be organized using lanterns floating on the surface using directional lighting. So, by placing the lamps along the perimeter of the reservoir and directing the rays of light to the water jet rising from the water, you can achieve a high-quality play of light.

How to organize the lighting of fountains, pools and ponds

3. Volumetric illumination, which makes the fountain jets glow along the entire length, is achieved due to the complex illumination of water jets: the first emitter is located directly under the nozzle, the second – at the point where the jet hits the surface of the reservoir. Thus, the entire water stream is illuminated. If we use only one lamp located under the nozzle, we get the effect of a water bell..

How to organize the lighting of fountains, pools and ponds

Recommendations for performing electrical work

Constant contact with water is taken into account not only when choosing electrical lighting devices, but also during installation work. A feature of specialized lamps is the equipment with pressure seals, through which power is supplied to the lamp and moisture penetration is excluded.

Some of the devices are supplied already complete with a connecting cord connected at the factory, but most models need to be connected independently:

  1. For installation, it is necessary to use wires in double insulation, which is resistant to water.
  2. The outer part of the cable should have a round shape, which allows it to be tightly clamped in the cable gland. The place of contact of the rubber seal of the light device should not coincide with various unevenness of the cable, such as cuts, embossed inscriptions, etc..
  3. Installation should be carried out using a three-way electrical communication line, including ground and two power supply wires.
  4. The cross-section of the wires used must correspond to the load applied to them. The calculation of the wire cross-section must be carried out in accordance with the standard: 5 A load per 1 mm2 wire cross-section.
  5. The step-down transformer must be located in a place protected from moisture. To connect to the mains, you must use special waterproof sockets.

How to organize the lighting of fountains, pools and ponds

Let’s calculate the cross-section of the wire for a 20 W LED lamp (cos? = 1) and a 100 W halogen lamp with a 12V supply voltage:

  • Idiode. lamps = P / (U · cos?) = 20/12 · 1 = 1.6 A
  • Igal. lamps = P / (U cos?) = 100/12 = 8.33 A

For LED lamps, 1 mm wires are sufficient2, for a halogen lamp – 2 mm2.

The approximate cost of lamps for lighting fountains and reservoirs

Device typeParametersUnit price, rub.
Underwater lights Pondtech 985Lamp power 75 W, cable length 10 m, the lamp is equipped with a 12 V transformer6000
Floating lamp Pondtech SR-15010 W halogen lamp, 12V power supply5050
Pondtech (RGB) 992 LedThree color LEDs, 3W each; 24 V power supply8000
Recessed RGB fountain light for nozzlesColor LED power 9×3 W, supply voltage 12 V, dimensions D182xH6511532

Please note that halogen lamps heat up quickly and can burst on contact with water, and they also have a shorter working life. In addition, accidentally touching the halogen lamp housing may cause burns, so it is best to use LED lights.

Keep in mind that some of the lamps cannot be operated without water cooling, their body must be completely submerged under water, this factor must be clarified before starting installation work.

RGB lamps give a good aesthetic effect, allowing you to change the brightness and color gamut of the backlight, thereby transforming a pond or waterfall.

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