Quick Tips – Waterfall Construction

In the world of water features, there are many different tactics that contractors and homeowners use to approach building a water feature. Over the years I have encountered a variety of construction methods water features are built and through my experience have put together a list of tips that I think will help you create a natural looking water feature.

Use different sized rocks to achieve a more natural looking waterfall. But let’s be honest, when building these features moving heavy rocks can be quite the challenge.

Tip #1.

Try cutting a piece of underlayment (commonly known as geotextile fabric) large enough to hold the rock you are trying place and use it as a sling. The corners will act as handles for you to hold on to. Because the fabric is very strong it can handle the weight of heavier rocks.

 Another option to move heavy rocks by hand is to use tow straps or tie down straps. This method can be used with heavier rocks and will require more than two people to move the size rock you are working with.

If you are using large boulder and neither of the two options prove useful, you may need the help of larger equipment.

**You do not want to hurt yourself trying to move these rocks, equipment can be rented on a day to day basis at your local rental yard.

While you are placing your rocks keep in mind that you are also creating a place for water to flow. When creating your waterfall or streambed you will notice gaps forming around and behind the rocks that you have placed. Once you turn on your pump water will flow into these gaps instead of flowing down your streambed causing you to lose some of the visual effects of your stream or waterfall.  In order to avoid this, these gaps should be filled.

Tip #2.

When filling the gaps, a mortar or cement type mix can be used but this method is highly susceptible to cracking and movement. Another option is to use expandable foam, the foam will not crack or move and can fill large or small gaps in the rock placement. Typically foam is grey in color so that it will blend with most rock colors. Waterfall foam cans from Atlantic are available in two sizes – a 12 ounce can with a straw applicator or a 29 ounce can, which requires using a professional foam gun.

I highly recommend the professional foam gun if you build multiple water features during the season.

For the average one or two builds a year, the DIY 12 ounce can works great. To save on the use of foam you will only need to apply the foam in the locations that water is flowing over.

Please be sure to wear gloves and protective eyewear when handling the foam as it is very difficult to remove.

Tip #3.

A great technique to disguise the foam that you used to fill in the gaps is by covering it with smaller stones and/or gravel. You can also add a small amount of sand over the foam before it is completely dry to disguise the foam to look more like a rock.

Make sure you give the foam time to cure before you turn your waterfall on. Once the waterfall has been turned on you can add more foam to push the water in the direction you prefer at any time.

Remember this is a foam product and is not glue or a patch product for leaks. It is only used to direct the flow of water.

 

Hopefully, these tips will help save you some time and frustration (as well as your back!) and keep your water flowing in the right direction! If you have any tips of your own, please feel free to comment below.

 

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

Jim is the National Sales Manager for Atlantic Water Gardens. With 26 years of sales experience and 16 years in the water garden industry,

 

How do I sell more water features?

The question of “how do I sell more water features” has to be on the top ten list of questions I get asked. It’s a great question, and the answer is simpler than most think.

First though let me ask you, how have you sold water features in the past? Did you actually “sell” them? Or did you just answer the phone and respond to a customer request? There is a big difference between fulfilling a request and actively selling a product/service. If you take the right approach to sales, you can not only have fun selling, but it will be beneficial for you and the customer. Instead of looking at growing the number of projects you sell each year as becoming a better “salesman”, try coming at it from the direction of doing a better job of sharing what you love. As soon as you make a personal connection with your client the sales guy leaves the situation and you become a consultant or facilitator for their dream.

So what’s the first step? Easy, install a water feature at your home. If you already have a water feature you know what I’m talking about. The best way to have confidence of maintaining your pond or water feature is to live with one daily. Very soon you will find yourself telling stories about your pond to everyone you meet. Nothing helps you sell like confidence and knowledge. My grandfather was a salesman for many years. As I was growing up he always told me “if you don’t know, you can’t tell, if you can’t tell, you can’t sell”. this is as true today as it was the first time I heard it. Make sure you are living with a water feature and you will be one step ahead.

Next thing is what product or service are you selling now. How did you sell it? What process did you use? Do you have a record of who you sold to in the past? This is a great place to kick start your new venture. Today it’s even easier than ever to market to this group. Create accounts on various social media sites. Connect with your former customers, and start showing them with photos and videos the new water feature you have created at your home. Let them learn through you. By interacting each day with your water feature and sharing that on social media you will grow your business.

Sound easy enough so far? Let’s take this one step further, now that you have built your first feature and gained some needed confidence, it’s time to move forward with the business side. Look for a local business that would benefit from having a water feature installed. Make them an offer to install it at a prorated price as long as you can put a small sign with your company information next to it. This is the fastest way to increase sales, we buy what we see. You can paint a great mental image, you can show it on social media, but if they can enjoy the water feature at their favorite restaurant or coffee house, it won’t be long before they want one at home.

Finally, here is the secret to the advice above. Use a complete kit for any display you install. Some of your new leads will want to try their hand at doing it themselves. Most will want you to do it for them. Either way, if it is a ready to go complete kit, it’s consistent and easy to replicate.

Good luck with increasing water feature sales going forward. Keep in mind these are just a few starter ideas to get you moving. For more ideas and information please visit Atlantic Water Gardens University. If you have any specific questions don’t hesitate to comment, we will get back to you and lend a hand.


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!

 

Tools That Don’t Suck – The Pipe Fitting Reamer

As water feature installers, my sons and I are used to hard, dirty, sometimes dangerous work. We enjoy what we do, whether it’s digging ponds, plumbing pumps, rolling boulders or tweaking waterfalls, but we also value anything that helps make the work easier or more fun. We’re always looking for tools, apps or gadgets that save time & effort, eliminate stress, add to our comfort on the job or are just fun to use. Often a buddy will turn us on to one. I’d like to return the favor by passing our favorite Tools That Don’t Suck along to you.

FIRST, A QUICK CORRECTION AND THANK YOU – out to the The Pond Gnome Paul Holdeman for being the REAL source for the nifty little Liner Cutter featured in the last blog. Although Susan had purchased them for me and the boys on a scrapbooking site, Paul showed it to her at a charity build he graciously donated his and his crew’s time and tools for at the Virginia C. Piper Cancer Center of Phoenix in 2014. Thanks Paul!!! It was a pleasure working with you!

Chevy S-10 piled high with basins, spouts, scuppers, Colorfalls, pumps, plumbing, lights etc.

And here’s another big Thank You, this one to Sean Cudmore of Pond Creations by Sean, for turning me on to our next Tool That Doesn’t Suck. Let me set the stage. I had driven up to Boston from Long Island with everything needed for New England Grows, the Northeast’s largest horticultural and landscaping show. The F-250 was in the shop, so I made the 6-hour drive in a Chevy S-10 piled high with basins, spouts, scuppers, Colorfalls, pumps, plumbing, lights etc. literally a foot over cab height. It was snowing (surprise) so the giant hump of equipment was shrink-wrapped, tarped and strapped down with straps, bungies and ratchet ties. There was a lot of heavy stuff on that load, including a 300 lb. tiled Colorfalls display, and I was worried that stuff would shift on the way up. Sure enough, when I arrived at the convention center and started to unload, one of my favorite displays had broken.

The “skeleton” style display had two Spouts mounted one on either side of a Stainless Steel Scupper, right on the plumbing pipes that supplied them with water from the basin they were attached to. The center pipe supporting the Scupper in the middle had snapped, right at the junction of two fittings, leaving no room to piece in a coupling. I was fit to be tied. I would have to cut the whole thing apart and start over with all new plumbing. Then Sean piped up from the other side of the booth, where he was setting up a thousand-pound boulder on a FB4600 fountain basin.

“Why don’t you just ream out the fittings? Save you a ton of work, not to mention materials. Pretty sure I’ve got a 2” plastic fitting reamer in the truck.”

HUH? Really? 15 minutes later there were white shavings everywhere. And it was FIXED, good as new.

Simple tool, not expensive, comes in various sizes. LIFESAVER! A disc the inside diameter of the section of pipe you want to remove guides a pair of blades that shave the old pipe right out of the fitting, leaving it ready for a new piece of pipe. Search for ‘plastic fitting reamer’ to bring up professional models that can get quite pricey or “socket saver” for an adequate, inexpensive tool that won’t last as long but will run only you $15-$30. Fast, easy, effective and what a time saver!!!! This is a real TTDS, thanks Sean!

 


 About the Author:
Demi is the Direct of Product Information for Atlantic Water GardensDEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

The CICY Project – From Orchids to Cenotes Part 2

The first hurdle was the design. As is common in this part of the world, the architect had specified a smooth sided shallow concrete basin that looked and worked liked a swimming pool, with standard swimming pool pumps, tiny skimmers, a sand filter and pool returns. The problem? This was a lily pond surrounded by overhanging trees, in a public botanical garden with a shortage of help. We wouldn’t be able to count on anyone coming more than once a week, at best. Pool skimmers were not designed to handle the hundreds of leaves falling every day into the pool, and would have to be cleaned daily, as would the baskets of external pumps. No chlorine means algae in the water, which sand filters just don’t deal with well, and daily backwashing was out of the question. We needed circulation and filtration designed for ponds.

We decided on a huge PS15000 Skimmer with an oversize net that could handle being cleaned only once a week, plumbed to a bottom drain to add flow and improve circulation. The Skimmer would accommodate two high efficiency TT9000 submersible pumps, pushing 16000 gallons per hour for only 1100 watts. One of the pumps would supply a BF3800 biological filter stuffed with Matala filter mats, to trap sediment and provide substrates for the bacteria that would convert fish wastes to plant food. The other pump would fill a chamber made of Eco-Blox water matrix blocks set on grade, capped with four inches of gravel, that would overflow to create the waterfalls. The idea behind the Eco-Blox chamber was simple, but revolutionary. All the sediments pumped into the chamber would settle out before they could flow up through the gravel. Plants set without any soil in the gravel layer on top of the chamber would extract the nitrates in the water for their survival, starving out any algae that would otherwise flourish in the pond. Because the blocks were set on grade, a simple drain at the bottom of the chamber would flush out accumulated sediments just by opening a valve, cutting maintenance of the chamber to 10 minutes once a season.

Now that we had a workable, low maintenance solution that would handle the debris of a tropical lily pond, we could work on the design. Luckily for us, our inspiration was right around the corner. Dzibilchaltún (zee-bee-chal-TOON) was an ancient Mayan city built around a cenote (say-NO-tay), or fresh water sinkhole, that has provided water for drinking and bathing for 6000 years. Two hundred feet across and mostly only three to four feet deep, the bottom drops to 145 feet under the eastern rim, the depths visible every afternoon as the western sun slants down into the crystalline waters 15 stories down. Best of all, the center of the cenote is filled with native water lilies, in bloom when we visited. It was a sign!

We would build a cenote in the gardens of CICY.

 

Read the first post of “The CICY Project” here.

 


 About the Author:
Demi is the Direct of Product Information for Atlantic Water GardensDEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

 

Trends in Water Features

Over the years the trend of building ponds and waterfalls have been the industry mainstay, however recently the outdoor living trend has expanded the market. Block and paver manufacturers have been making it easier to grow the outdoor living market with enhanced products, from landscaping to patios, fire pits to outdoor kitchens, the options are virtually limitless!

Water feature manufacturers have seen these changes and are now creating more unique options that are easy to add to any outdoor space. Formal spillways can be added to retaining walls, pools, or even spas.

You can now buy wall spouts, stainless and copper scupper spillways and  very cool acrylic spillways that change in a variety of colors. With multiple spillway options it has added a whole new dimension to what you can do as a contractor and what you can dream about as a homeowner.

It doesn’t just stop with Formal Spillways either. The addition of lighting to your outdoor space drastically changes it’s appearance at night. Just by adding a few lights to the landscape,  steps, pillars and walls, you can beautifully accent any area to create a dramatic effect!

Although spillways are grouped into a more formal category, and mostly used in block walls do not limit your creative thoughts. Experiment with stone, wood, tile, even wine bottles! Let your imagination run free and create new and outstanding works of art.

Check out all the Formal Spillway options that Atlantic has to offer.

 

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

Jim is the National Sales Manager for Atlantic Water Gardens. With 26 years of sales experience and 16 years in the water garden industry, Jim is your go-to guy for selling water features.

Tools That Don’t Suck – Cordless (Liner) Trimmer

As water feature installers, my sons and I are used to hard, dirty, sometimes dangerous work. We enjoy what we do, whether it’s digging ponds, plumbing pumps, rolling boulders or tweaking waterfalls, but we also value anything that helps make the work easier or more fun. We’re always looking for tools, apps or gadgets that save time & effort, eliminate stress, add to our comfort on the job or are just fun to use. Often a buddy will turn us on to one. I’d like to return the favor by passing our favorite Tools That Don’t Suck along to you.

Cordless (Liner) Trimmer

TrimmerThis first tool makes the nasty job of trimming liner and underlayment easier and much safer. Most of us have had to trim wet, bunched up, sand- and mud-laden underlayment and liners. It’s a dangerous chore. Razor knives that so easily cut clean fabric in the shop dull in minutes in the field, requiring new blades constantly (until you run out). There’s always the risk of cutting too close or through a hidden fold (or yourself) while hacking away. (And let’s not even mention where the dull-but-dangerous-used-blades-that-should-always-be-safely-disposed-of turn up.)

My wife Susan, who is always looking out for me and her boys, saw this little trimmer advertised for scrapbookers. She actually thought it might work for us! I laughed at the “toy” when it arrived. I don’t laugh at this tool anymore. I have since apologized to Susan. Many times. (She likes that.)

Skil TrimmerThe original trimmer shown is 4 years old and has gone through hell. It ain’t fast, but it still chews through muddy, sandy liner and underlayment for hours on a charge, though I’m not sure exactly how many. In the field, trimming in 10 minute bursts every hour or two, it doesn’t run out for a couple of days, very forgiving for when we forget to charge it overnight. The octagonal blade with its 8 corners almost self-feeds through a single layer of liner up to 60 mil or 8oz fabric with minimal effort, and it continually sharpens as it spins. One last thing, for anyone with employees (or sons, or an aversion to seeing their own blood) – it’s almost impossible to cut
yourself.

Skil discontinued the model shown, but there are a number of similar trimmers out there, many around $45. At that price, we can afford to test them for the day that Old Red finally dies. Give these cordless trimmers a try; I think you’ll find this is one Tool That Don’t Suck. Thanks, Sue!

**UPDATE

QUICK CORRECTION AND THANK YOU – out to the The Pond Gnome Paul Holdeman for being the REAL source for the nifty little Liner Cutter featured in the last blog. Although Susan had purchased them for me and the boys on a scrapbooking site, Paul showed it to her at a charity build he graciously donated his and his crew’s time and tools for at the Virginia C. Piper Cancer Center of Phoenix in 2014. Thanks Paul!!! It was a pleasure working with you!

 


 About the Author:
Demi is the Direct of Product Information for Atlantic Water GardensDEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

What Happens to My Fish in the Winter?

Probably the number one question a prospective pond owner will ask is “what happens to to my fish in the winter? The quick answer is “not much”, but there is a little more to it than that. Truth is they really just slow down, some will say they hibernate, others will say that they go dormant, but it is more of a torpid state. Their body temperature is regulated by their surroundings, so as temperatures drop, so does their activity. On the coldest of days you will see them sitting on the bottom of the pond with their fins tucked in. If they could talk they would simply say they are waiting on spring.

“Should I do anything for my fish?”,absolutely, but it’s probably not what you are thinking. Your fish are tough and can handle the elements on their own very well. But they do need you to help out in a minimal way.

Feeding FishFirst thing is to feed them a good quality high fiber fall/spring fish food. Your fish do not handle food the way we do. They continually graze and eat to fill the pipeline. When temperatures drop, that food is stuck there to decay and cause issues in your fish. They can not empty their digestive tract after temperatures have dropped. Feeding should be stopped when water temperatures reach 55 degrees. Keep an eye on the weather, quit feeding at the 60 degree mark to be safe. If you live areas of the country that get big swings in temperature as fall approches, use your best judgement erroring on the side of caution.

Next thing to consider is your fish really need is consistency. They can handle the lower temps but they really need it to be consistent. Make sure your pond is at the very least 2 feet deep. This will give them a safe zone to be in for the winter. The warmest water is the deepest and should not be disturbed. If you have a waterfall make sure that where it enters the pond is somewhat shallow. If the waterfall drops into the deepest section of the pond it will “mix” cooler water into the “safe” zone your fish are living in. Leaving your waterfall running in winter is fine to do as long as that cooler water is being pulled from the surface zone (using a pond skimmer) and being returned to the surface zone. Big temperature swings in your pond will stress your fish and lead to health issues.

Hole In IceLastly, is to make sure there is an open hole in the surface of the pond. If you live in the colder climates, your ponds surface may freeze over completely. Even though our finned friends are not breathing as much as they normally do, they are still breathing. If the surface is completely covered in ice, harmful gasses can not escape and the pond can not re oxygenate as it normally does. Use a small pump or and air system to keep a hole open in the ice. Place the small pump on the upper shelf of the pond pointed to the surface. It should “bubble” above the surface. If you elect to use an air system (preferred), Place the air stones on the upper shelf of the pond. Both ways will help in keeping a hole in the ice. But do not put either the airstone or pump down in the safe zone. That would mix the warm water your fish are enjoying with the rest of the pond, thus leading to health issues.

If you follow these simple ideas this winter your fish will do great and be ready for spring. As mentioned before, no feeding at 55 degrees and below. As spring starts to show, be sure temperatures are consistent before you start feeding again.

Enjoy your pond this winter!


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!

Social Media Tips & Tricks

Social Media these days is rapidly changing, and sometimes let’s be honest, it’s really hard to keep up! There are so many channels and there is always an update to be downloaded, or learned and let’s face it, it’s a lot easier to share this information with each other than it is for each of us to research it on our own.

So here are a few things that I’ve recently found to be helpful in my daily social media activities.

Facebook – Creating a Pixel:

facebookNow, I haven’t yet used this little gem, but my expectations of it are quite high. From what I’ve read, once you install the pixel code in the header of your website, you can track multiple things when a user clicks on your ad like what device they are using, where they are from, the average age of the user clicking on your ad, etc.

Here is a link to a page all about the Facebook pixel if you’d like to learn more.

Twitter – Tweeting Full Videos:

Now from what I’ve heard, not very many people know about tweeting full videos, only 30 second clips. Through one of the many Twitter webinars I’ve listened to or one of the many articles I’ve read, I came across a hack on how to tweet FULL videos. Hopefully if your company uses Twitter, you can use this to your advantage.

So here are the steps:

First visit your Twitter page and click on your profile icon in the top righthand corner and select “Twitter Ads”.Select Media

Next select “Creatives” and in the dropdown menu select “Media”.

On the left side of the page under “Library”, select “Videos”.

Select VideosSelect “Upload Media” and locate the video file you want to upload.

Unfortunately there is no capability as of now to schedule full video tweets in advance . You will have to follow these same steps to tweet full videos as needed.

Upload VideoInstagram – Use the Business Page to your advantage:

Instagram recently came out with Business pages, which is helpful if you use Instagram to push your brand recognition and get your name out in the open. It provides companies with the ability to add their contact information in their profile without being very limited to the content. Of course there still is some character limitations for this Information section, but at least now you don’t have to stuff that section with your contact information, website and about info.

Another great thing that they’ve introduced for business pages is the analytics side. You can now see your post impressions, reach and engagement on each photo or video that you post.

Not only do you get to see insights on posts, but your profile also offers insights on the percentage of which gender is following and interacting with you, the age range, locations, and the average time your followers are using Instagram each day. Pretty cool!Instagram for Business

If you haven’t already switched your profile over to a business profile, I highly encourage you to do so and start looking at your insights.

Pinterest – The Pinterest Tag:

pinterestAnother great trick that I have not yet implemented but plan to in 2017 is the Pinterest Tag. Similar to the Facebook Pixel, the Pinterest Tag allows your to track actions that users take even after they’ve clicked on your pin. Track things like actions taken or events that users have encountered like if they’ve added something to their cart, made a purchase, searched for something specific on your website, the list goes on with what this tag can do.

Here is a link if you’d like to learn more about the Pinterest Tag and step by step instructions on how to implement it.

If you know of anymore tips or tricks when it comes to these social media channels, or any others that you’d like to add, please add them in the comment section below. I’d love to hear what you’ve discovered.

 


 About the Author:
Meet Shelby, AWG Graphic Designer and Social Media ExtraordinaireSHELBY SCUDERI

Atlantic Water Gardens Graphic Designer and Social Media Extraordinaire, Shelby has been with Atlantic since 2011. In addition to keeping up with social media trends and ensuring that the website and all social networks are running smoothly, Shelby also manages Atlantic’s advertising and marketing programs.

The CICY Project – From Orchids to Cenotes

It all started at the IWGS Symposium, in an orchidarium in a salt mine one hundred feet below 20150813_110344-1Kansas City. I was chatting with a lovely couple, Porfi and Beatriz, long time members of the International Waterlily and Water Garden Society, IWGS or I-Dub for short. We chatted as we ogled the 10,000 or so magnificent orchids at Bird’s Botanicals that flourished in the controlled temperature and humidity of the vast underground caverns. (If orchids in salt mines sound pretty cool to you, consider joining – the IWGS and its members are very interesting indeed.)

The subject was the artificial ponds and lakes of the Yucatán Peninsula. I’ve been traveling to Mexico for number of years, trying to help our distributors in Yucatán maintain the many large water features that are built using swimming pool technology. Unfortunately, lakes are not large swimming pools, as my friends Lydia and Nacho Barroso can attest.

As the owners of a very successful pool and spa distributorship that has expanded into every facet of water technology, the Barrosos have found through years of experience that chlorine and sand filters cannot adequately deal with the sun and heat of southeastern Mexico. The large shallow artificial lakes at every golf course, country club, condo complex and resort on the Peninsula require a different strategy. Years of trial and error have proven phytofiltration, cleaning and clearing water with plants, the best course of action. While we strolled through the cavern, I asked Porfi, who lives near the Barrosos, if he could help, and he knew just where to find aquatic plants.

Then he asked if we knew about a pond project coming up at a local botanical garden. That’s CICYhow we found out about the Centro de Investigación Científica de Yucatán, or CICY (pronounced SEE-see). I Googled it as soon as we got back from the tour. According to the webpage, CICY is “a public research institution (whose) mission is to generate scientific and technological knowledge in the areas of plant biochemistry and molecular biology, agricultural biotechnology, natural resources, materials science, water sciences, and renewable energy in order to contribute to sustainable development.” What could we do for el CICY, I wondered?

My next trip down to Merida my friends and I stopped by for a look around. They have some really cool stuff there, including a cloning lab and a huge collection of native plants, and they were about to put in a new Sensory Garden. Porfi knew the architect and the botanist in charge of the gardens, and had heard that the centerpiece of the new 20150713_092457Sensory Garden was to be a pond – would we be interested building it?

Would we ever! This was a golden opportunity to show off just what active bog filtration could do, in a public garden that would receive 150,000 visitors a year. Now to make it happen…To Be Continued.

Subscribe to receive updates on new blog posts, including Demi Fortuna’s next post on the construction of the bog pond.

Read “The CICY Project – Part 2”

 


 About the Author:
Demi is the Direct of Product Information for Atlantic Water GardensDEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

 

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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 CHUBB

Jim is the National Sales Manager for Atlantic Water Gardens. With 26 years of sales experience and 16 years in the water garden industry, Jim is your go-to guy for selling water features.