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How To Design LED Landscape and Pond Lighting

How To Design LED Landscape and Pond Lighting Systems

If you would like to brighten up your yard or pond with some low voltage lighting and extend the time you can enjoy your property, LED lights really are the best choice. Not only are LED lights more energy efficient than traditional low voltage halogen lights, the LED lights last many times longer, produce less heat and are simple to install. If you are looking to add more than just a single light fixture to your yard, then designing your own custom LED system is the way to go. It may seem daunting at first, but it is really quite simple.

How to Design LED Landscape and Pond Lighting

1. Decide How Many Lights You Need.

Determine what areas of your yard you would like to illuminate. You may just want to brighten up a small space around a bench or seating area, or you may have many different features or focal points in your yard that you want to enhance.

Here are some examples of how you can create real drama in your yard with lighting.

  • Highlighting a tree by placing a spotlight at the base and shining it up. This technique is also commonly used statues, fountains, sculptures or any other outdoor feature. For larger features chose 3 watt or 6 watt lights or multiple smaller 1 watt lights.
  • Indirect or ‘Moon Lighting’ creates a soft glow shining down from a LED fixture placed in a tree. The resulting moonlight effect is more natural and can provide interesting shadows.
  • Wall Washing is used to illuminate the front or side of a building to make it really stand out. The light fixtures are typically placed a few feet away from the house in a flowerbed or at the base of a tree or shrub and angled up towards the house. If the fixture is placed closer to the house it will provide more light and dark contrast on the walls, if it is placed farther away it will provide more even light distribution and a more uniform look.
  • There are several ways to create dramatic effects in ponds. Waterfalls can be enhanced in by shining a spotlight(s) at the front of the waterfall from the sides of the pond or just below the surface of the water to highlight the entire feature. Small 1 watt waterfall lights can also be placed within crevasses in the waterfall behind the falling water to provide a striking shimmering effect. Lights can also be placed deeper in the pond shining up towards the surface, this creates a beautiful luminous glow.

 

Aquascape LED Pond Lighting Diagramaquascape--led-pond-light-diagram

2. Choose the Right Size Transformer.

Once you have decided how many lights you will be using, you’ll need to choose a transformer large enough to provide power to all of your lights. This is simply a matter of adding up the wattage of all your lights you have chosen. Many LED lights are 1 watt, but there are also larger, brighter lights that are 3 or 6 watts or more. Simply add up the wattage of the individual lights you have chosen and take note of the total. Then choose a transformer that capable of handling that wattage.

  • Example: In your yard you want 1 – 1 watt waterfall light, 2 – 1 watt spotlights to light the waterfall, 1 – 3 watt spotlight to place in the bottom of the pond and 1 – 6 watt spotlight to highlight a tree. These 5 light fixtures use 12 watts in total. Therefore you need a transformer that provides at least 12 watts of power. We carry 6 watt, 20 watt and 60 watt LED transformers, so the best choice would be the 20 watt model. This will easily handle the lights chosen above, plus it is capable of handling more lights if more are added in the future.

 

It is also a good idea to choose a transformer that handles 10% more the total wattage of the lights you are using. This is to compensate for possible fluctuations in wattage. Aquascape transformers only consume the necessary wattage to power your lighting, so using a transformer with extra voltage will provide extra power if additional lights are added in the future without consuming extra electricity.




3. Determine the Length of Cable Needed.

Many of our lights come with 15’ power cords which is more than adequate in most cases. However if you want to run a light more than 15’ from the transformer, 25’ LED extension cables can be easily plugged in between the light and the transformer.

4. Pick the Proper Splitter.

Most transformers come with 1 outlet, no problem if you only want 1 light. If you want to use more lights, simply pick the appropriate splitter. 3 Way and 6 Way splitters are available to run systems with multiple lights. If you have more than 6 lights you can 2 or more splitters to provide enough outlets.

5. Choose Accessories.

Photocells are popular accessories because they atomically turn lights on when they are needed. Photocells turn lights on at dusk and turn them off at dawn, save electricity and also extending the life of the bulbs.

6. Install and Enjoy!

All our LED lights and accessories come with simple quick connectors that make installation simple and easy.

 

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