Illuminating your Outdoors

Illuminating your outdoor space can be tricky. How many lights do you need? Where do you place them to get the best lighting during the evening? Where and what are the best aspects to highlight in a water feature?

In a pond or waterfall you need to be very careful with the placement of light. Even in the water, light can be blinding to someone who is looking into your pond. A good rule to follow is always place the light facing away from the viewing area.


In this picture the lights highlight aspects of the pond but are facing away from the main viewing area. These lights are small enough to be placed in the water and to be hidden within the rocks around the edge of the pond.

The amount of lights you use is completely up to yosol_lights_beautyu depending on how bright you want your water feature to be at night. If you have a lot of focal points that you want to highlight, use as many lights as needed to illuminate the area. You should want to focus on the main aspects of the water feature that draw the most interest.

For example, you would not want to place a light into a stream that is flat with not a lot of water movement. By placing the light on the falls of stream beds and waterfalls, you create a more visually interesting feature at night.

The shadows cast on buildings from the movement of water and light will create a very dynamic effect that will make a lasting impression.

Another tip for light placement is to stagger the lights throughout the landscape or area to create balance. The goal is to move the viewers eye through the entire space, using too much light in the foreground will prevent viewers from experiencing the entire water feature.

Do you have  any other tips or questions on light placement? Post them below.

About the Author:
Jim is the National Sales Manager for Atlantic Water Gardens.

Jim has 26+ years of sales experience and 16+ years in the water garden industry

My Pond Looks Great, Now What?

A few months ago we started with the question that I hear more than most. That was, how does my pond work anyway? In that blog I gave the basics of the biology in your pond and even compared it to a goldfish bowl. Basically they work the same way. We can do so much more with a pond because of biological filtration and plants.

Clear pond Well, Atlantic Water Gardens National Sales Manager, Jim Chubb and Director of Product Information, Demi Fortuna, both followed that blog post with articles on biological filtration and how bogs work (plant filtration). By now you should feel pretty good about how your pond works and how to keep it looking clean, clear, and natural. Some might be even getting ready to ask the follow up question of, “I have done all this, but I still have to do a pond clean out every year, why?” That is not only a good question, but the answer is the next step in the solution to keeping your pond clean and clear as possible.

Let me explain, you have set Spring time, pond with Algae. Atlantic Water Gardensup everything you could to put the water feature on the right path. All the biology is working for you and it is simple to see that the plants growing and out competing the algae for nutrients. You end the summer season happy, coast along until winter and wait for spring. Then what happens? You guessed it, there are algae blooms of every kind and your frustration level is through the roof. You thought you had this covered. What Happened?

You probably forgot the last step, harvesting. Huh? Harvesting, what am I a farmer? Indeed you are, or at least you need to be. You see, all that time and attention that you gave led to great plant growth. Those plants are full of nutrients and need to be cut and removed from the water feature before they start to die off and decay in the water. By trimming plants back and covering the pond with a net at the end of the season each year, we are removing nutrients, preventing leaves and other organics from getting into the pond. We are simply getting it ready for the next season. By doing this you complete the cycle and prevent all the nutrients from reentering the pond all at once in the spring.

So many water feature owners over look this last step. Yes, they will cut back ugly plants that the cold weather has taken its toll on. But by then the damage has been done. Look at your floating plants, in season they are bright green and beautiful. If you pick one up it has long roots that stretch way out from the bottom to the plant. What is difficult to see though, is that as soon as we see night time temps start to drop, the plant starts to change. First it is the growth rate, then it’s the root system. In a floating plant there are a ton of nutrients in the root system. As it gets colder it starts to drop its roots. When the weather maintains the cold temperature the floater finally starts to turn brown and is usually removed. But it was the root system that did the damage. All those nutrient loaded roots are now at the bottom of the pond decaying and getting ready to spring into action next spring. Your marginal plant do something similar and need to be trimmed as well.

So, make a note and be sure to trim plants back before the weather turns cooler, cover with a net to keep leaves and falling debris from getting in there as the season changes. And you will be one step ahead for next spring.

About the Author:

Sean is the Regional Sales Manager for the Southeast for Atlantic Water Gardens. Fish Geek and water feature enthusiast, Sean has managed one of the largest aquarium stores in the Southeast while running his own pond maintenance company.SEAN BELL

Sean is the Regional Sales Manager for the Southeast for Atlantic Water Gardens. Fish Geek and water feature enthusiast, Sean has managed one of the largest aquarium stores in the Southeast while running his own pond maintenance company. When it comes to water features, Sean is your guy!