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Pond Lighting 101: How to Pick the Right Lights

    Pond owners today have a wonderful selection of underwater lighting fixtures available to them that are simple to install and offer an incredible experience at nighttime. Many of these lights are also suitable for outside the water, so you can use them to illuminate your trees or pathways as well.

    Your lighting setup can be as big or complex as you like, but everything starts off with the same basic system.

    Pond Lighting 101

    The Basic Pond Light Setup

    A few years ago, lighting systems were a little more complicated. You had to worry about voltage drop and line size and things like that. Today, everything is LED, which means everything is easy to use, and you don’t have to worry about those calculations.


    At the heart of all of our lighting systems is a basic transformer. The wattage of the transformer determines how many lights you can hook up to it. 

    A 60-watt unit can handle up to 60 watts of lights: ten 6-watt lights, 20 3-watt lights or even 60 1-watt lights. Most of our systems start with a 60-watt transformer. You would need a lot of lights to need anything bigger.

    The transformer plugs into your house current and takes the 120 volts coming in and knocks it down to 12 volts. That power comes out of the transformer through a cable, which is where you’ll plug in your lights.


    Some transformers include a photocell that senses darkness, giving you the option to have your lights automatically turn on at dusk and off at dawn. They also usually have a timer switch on the back if you prefer to have your lights on only at certain times.

    If your transformer doesn’t have a photocell, you can buy one separately.

    Splitters and Extension Cables

    If you plan on having more than one light, you’ll need a splitter. A splitter is kind of like a plug-in strip for your lights, letting you plug multiple lights into a single transformer. (Color lights require a different kind of splitter than the white ones we offer, so make sure to grab the right one).

    In addition to a splitter, you may also need an extension cable if you have an extra large water feature or need to reach landscaping 30 or 40 feet away from your pond.

    Choosing the Right Lights for Your Pond

    Let’s talk a little more about the lights themselves. You have different wattages, different colors, different shapes … How do you know which is right for your yard?

    Below, we’ll walk through our most popular lights and how we like to use them.

    Soft White Pond
    & Landscape Lights

    Soft White Pond
    & Landscape Lights

    1-Watt Spotlight / Bullet Light

    Our most popular unit is the 1-watt bullet light. We use it in just about every water feature we build. These little fixtures are great for adding accent lighting directly under a small waterfall. Like all of our lights, they also work well outside the pond. Try using one to light up small trees on your property to add even more nighttime interest.

    3-Light Spotlight Kit

    The 3-Light Spotlight Kit is a DIY friendly option for adding a few small spotlights to your water feature.

    It includes three pre-wired 1-watt LED fixtures, adjustable stands and landscape stakes, a 6 watt/12 V transformer, and a quick-connect photocell with timer.

    The lights in this kit come pre-wired for small ponds and waterfalls, it is not compatible with adding additional fixtures.

    1-Watt Waterfall and Up Light

    The 1-watt waterfall and up light provides the same subtle illumination as the 1-watt spotlight, but in a more compact form. Its low-profile shape makes it a great option for hiding in rocks or tucking into small spaces.

    3-Watt Spotlight

    These bigger lights are perfect for larger waterfalls that you want to light up from 3 to 5 feet away. They can also go deeper in the water – 2 to 3 feet – and give you 10 to 12 feet of light shining through your pond.

    For a 10-by-15-foot pond, two or three 3-watt lights would offer great general illumination. They also beautifully light up larger trees in the landscape.

    6-Watt Spotlight

    Do you have a larger, deeper pond – maybe 4 feet deep and 30 feet across? Then you’ll probably want to include some 6-watt lights. The 6-watt light is the largest fixture we offer, and it’s perfect for adding dramatic underwater illumination or taller mature trees that are 50 feet or even taller.

    Color-Changing Pond
    & Landscape Lights

    Color-Changing Pond & Landscape Lights

    We offer three sizes of color-changing pond lights: the 2-watt waterfall and up light, the 4.5-watt spotlight and the 8-watt spotlight:

    2-Watt Color-Changing Waterfall and Up Light

    4.5-Watt Color-Changing Spotlight

    8-Watt Color-Changing Spotlight

    Like the white lights, color-changing lights require a 12V transformer to operate. They also require a Smart Control Hub.

    To control your lights, connect them to the Aquascape app, or purchase a Color-Changing Lighting Remote.

    If you plan to have multiple lights, you’ll also need a Color-Changing Light Splitter.

    Smart Control Hub

    Color Light Remote


    Fountain Lights

    Fountain Lights

    Our fountain lights fit inside many of our most popular fountains, illuminating the center of the water feature. 

    Combine them with some spotlights shining on the side to create a truly eye-catching display.

    White Fountain Light

    White Fountain Light Kit

    Color-Changing Fountain Light

    Color Fountain Light Kit

    Lighting Instructions & Troubleshooting

    Instruction Manuals

    Pond Light Troubleshooting

    Lights are dim or won't turn on:

    • Check for loose connections
    • Make sure the outlet is receiving power
    • Make sure the ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is not tripped
    • Check to verify that the lights are receiving the correct voltage
    • Verify that the photocell is functioning properly. (It might need time to reset if you have experienced a recent power outage).
    • Verify proper transformer loading
    • Verify that long cable runs are not causing voltage drop
    • Color-changing lights: Verify that the Smart Control Hub is properly paired, or re-pair the device
    • LED bulbs have an expected life expectancy of 40,000 hours. Bulbs cannot be replaced.

    Lights won't turn off:

    • On the 60watt transformer there is a small switch on the back with 4 positions. Position “A” means lights will stay on all night. “B” – lights stay on for 4 hours after dark. “C” 6 hours, “D” 8 hours …
    • If you have experienced a recent power outage, your transformer may need a day to reset itself.
    • Verify that the photocell is functioning properly by covering the “eye” with dark electrical tape.   When in position “A” the lights should come on within a minute or two.  When you remove the tape, and the eye  senses light, they should turn off within a minute or two.
    • Color-changing lights: Verify that the Smart Control Hub is properly paired, or re-pair the device

    Device won't pair (color-changing lights only):

    • Make sure the outlet is receiving power
    • Make sure the network name and password are typed correctly
    • Make sure you have adequate wireless coverage to connect the device
    • Reset the device to factory defaults
    • Make sure the GFCI is not tripped
    • See our light pairing guide for more troubleshooting instructions