Outdoor Lighting Ideas For Ponds, Pools, Hot Tubs And Other Water Features


Outdoor Lighting Ideas For Ponds, Pools, Hot Tubs And Other Water Features

Outdoor lighting isn’t limited to lawns and gardens. What about those water features that you love so much during the day? Adding some outdoor lighting to your pond, fountain, pool, or other water feature opens up many new opportunities for visual impact at night.

Water features are often focal points of yards, gardens, and patios and should be properly showcased! Highlighting your water feature can provide a beautiful backdrop for nights spent socializing or just soaking up the relaxing sounds of the water. Nite Time Décor Oakville provides you with landscape lighting design and services that you won’t forget. And neither will your friends – they’ll be talking about it for years to come!

Leave It to the Pros

We have over 20 years of combined experience with creating unique-to-you landscape lighting designs. There are a lot of electrical wires involved with adding any type of lighting, which can be a fire hazard. On top of that, combining those wires with water can make for a very “shocking” experience. We are very knowledgeable about our products and can definitely help you find the lighting options that will bring out the best in your landscape and water features.

Submersible Lighting Adds Additional Layer of Drama To Water Features

Submersible lights are placed below the surface of the water in a basin and then directed back towards the body of water. Fountains look especially beautiful when this type of lighting feature is used. Adding submersible lighting creates a shimmery effect, as well as illuminating any fountain streams. This can look very magical and be quite awe-inducing when done properly.

You can even enhance the effect by adding colour filters to your submersible. This is a fantastic way to show off creativity, as well as add a vibrant, trendy effect to your landscape.

How To Keep Your Pool Safe At Night

Make your pool a warm and inviting location for a summer dip. Whether your pool is in-ground or above ground, outdoor pool lighting will create a look that is not only warm and inviting, but safe.

As noted above, submersible lights are common in pools and are often found at various intervals in the pool below the water line. These are a fabulous feature, but don’t let your imagination stop there!


Why not place lights in the planted areas around your pool? If you don’t already have some plantings around your pool, maybe this is the year to put some in! Place an ornamental tree in the yard with a four to five-foot planting bed around it. Place some lights in the planting bed and they will cast a warm glow into the pool water.

If you have large trees in your yard, why not place one of our down lights in them so they can shine directly on to your pool! Cool beans. The natural movement of the lighted leaves create fun shadows and other elements that help diminish the feel of the city in your back yard.

Tiki Lamps can give your pool the accent lighting that your backyard has been lacking, while providing a nice amount of light to see with. The great thing about tiki lamps is they don’t have to be lit every night, only when you need them, and can be moved around the yard if desired.

And of course, if you have a pool waterfall, you simply cannot neglect it.

Keep Your Pond Looking Its Best Even At Night

Lighting up a pond can be a tricky task. However, ponds are a special kind of feature of your commercial or residential yard that can look absolutely gorgeous when lit properly.

Perhaps the first thing people think of with a water feature at night is keeping everyone safe. But this can be easily achieved without sacrificing aesthetics. Of course you’ll want to make sure the perimeter of your pond is clearly visible at night, but how can we do that and still keep things looking amazing?

We can go back to the submersible lighting idea as outlined above. Placing lights in the pond looking up or into the centre of the pond can be quite attractive, particularly in combination with fountains and other features. The downside of this is that you won’t get the natural moonlight reflecting on the surface of the water. Less is often more with underwater lighting, so this is usually used in combination with fountains, waterfalls, and sculptures.

Again, like with the pool, you can place lights in the surrounding foliage to catch the movement of the leaves while still illuminating the edges of the pond or the surface of the water. Subtle white lights are a great choice here because ground level lights can cast a glowing reflection across the water or mimic moonlight when cast down from a nearby tree.

Lighting Water Features With Surrounding Landscaping

You don’t need to overdo it. Lighting around the edge of the pond, highlighting protruding rocks, or small channels is an important safety consideration that doesn’t have to be garish or harsh. Hiding lights among rocks around the pond can be a great way to provide subdued, but effective, lighting. Many restaurants or event halls with ponds tend to have bridges over the water. Place lights along the bridge to highlight the edges of the water while creating a romantic feel.

Coloured filters on the lights can also be quite nice. Subtle blues or yellows can provide natural tones to glow from the surface. A silvery blue is great for creating that moon on the surface of the pond look that’s so appealing at night.

Avoid colours that are too bright or bold, particularly for commercial properties.

Keep Your Hot Tub Looking Romantic Even After Dark

Hot tubs are becoming more and more affordable, but they’re another water feature that needs to be lit properly to keep friends and family safe. If your hot tub is on a deck or some other raised platform, be sure the change of levels and stairs is clearly visible.

Again, surrounding the hot tub with recessed lighting is a great idea that’s both subtle and safety conscious. Submerged lights in the hot tub, coloured or white, create an exotic and romantic feel after dark.

Don’t Neglect The Pondless Patio Fountains

Some of us don’t have the space or time to maintain a pond or pool, but we love the soothing sound of water particularly at night. Many of the commercial patio fountains come with lights, but if yours doesn’t, why not add a string of (outdoor-rated) string or fairy lights? Give your small fountain that ethereal or other-world look after dark and create a nighttime focal point on your patio!

Lighting Choices For Water Features

The standard incandescent lights are still available, however investing in LED lighting will result in fixtures that are more energy efficient and adaptable. With LED you can add colour filters more easily to change with the seasons or for special holidays.

Low voltage lighting combined with water features creates a subtle and appealing visual. It’s neither overpowering or glaring but still provides enough light to answer safety concerns. Use the surface of the water to reflect the light over a greater distance instead of high-powered lights. Low voltage will get the job done, and continue to encourage safety.

Don’t hesitate to contact us about your commercial or residential Oakville landscape lighting project. Contact Nite Time Décor today for your complimentary quote. You’ll be happy you did!

Tips To Light Up Your Deck Or Patio After Dark

Tips To Light Up Your Deck Or Patio After Dark

It’s summer!! Finally! The calendar says so, so it must be true. This is the perfect time to extend your use of your outdoor space with outdoor lighting. This is a great time of year to have your friends and family over, or just to get out there yourself to enjoy these warm summer evenings on your deck or patio.

What things should you consider when planning your patio or deck outdoor lighting? Here are some of our best tips.

Things To Consider When Planning Patio Lighting

Plan First
You always want to measure twice, cut once as the saying goes. It’s no fun to come up with this grand design and then have to backtrack on things because it’s not what you needed or won’t work in that space. First, how do you most often use the area? Is it mostly for entertaining or for your own enjoyment? Do you enjoy eating meals on the patio, reading at night, or just having relaxed conversations? Once you know how you use the space, decisions on how to illuminate it will be much easier.

You’ll know how bright the lights need to be, if they need to be on all the time, or if you can double up some lights to serve more than one purpose.

Always Keep Safety A Priority

Do you have walkways or stairs that require additional lighting at night? Any steeper slopes that you or your guests need to be able to navigate at night? Any posts or pillars, doors or other obstacles that should be highlighted? Pools or ponds? Don’t compromise on safety.

Do you need task lighting? This will be brighter lighting to do work by, but you may not need it to be on all the time. Consider a light to cook by at night by the bbq, or a light for the shed or back gate.

The market for outdoor lighting continues to grow and many fixtures provide adequate safety lighting without sacrificing aesthetics.

Creating An Outdoor Lighting Plan For The Patio

What do you most love about your patio or deck area? Are there textures, architectural bits, ornaments, or landscaping details that you want to show off or enjoy after dark? Why let those details remain hidden after dark? Think back to when you first bought your home. What made you fall in love with it? Was it the textured façade? The pillars? The gazebo? The many levels to the deck?

Don’t stop with the bigger lights or fixtures. The smaller details can really make your deck or patio feel like part of your home. Stair lighting, deck edge lighting, or even ornamental lights are small things that can set your lighting apart and have a big impact on the ambiance of your outdoor spaces.

Some aspects of your patio are simply functional and some features are purely aesthetic. Balancing both is important!

What Outdoor Lighting Trends Are Popular?

Rope Lights Combine Flexibility And Aesthetics
Rope lights are versatile and with proper installation are weather-proof so you can leave them up all year long. We love these for under small overhangs like steps or the edge of a deck, bench or railing. The trend is to hide the light fixture so a deck offers many grooves and nooks to install rope lighting. LED lights are available in a variety of colours so if you’re having a themed party you can add some sparkle to the patio with these.

A close cousin of rope lights are string lights. These are fun and easy to install, they’re portable, and often fairly affordable for even a one-time use for that special party. You can also get solar-powered string lights so you can place them and forget about them for the whole season (make sure you get waterproof, rated for outdoors, string lights).

String lights offer a lot of versatility and have the added bonus of generally being easy to install. String lights are available in LED in a variety of colours. Stringing lights over a sitting area or patio table creates an ethereal outdoor ceiling.

Fairy lights are fun when wrapped around plants, posts or in a tree. Incandescent bulbs offer the sought-after soft white light. Be sure the lights are rated for outdoor use, or plan to take them down after each use.

We think these are a fun way to brighten your deck without making a years-long commitment.

Mimic Moonlight From Nearby Trees
A popular landscape lighting design feature is to add spotlights high up in a tree so the light filters down through the leaves. This muted light can add a romantic feel to the landscape with light filtering down onto your deck or patio through the waving leaves. This type of light casts a wide path, but doesn’t have to be harsh or glaring. You’re trying to mimic moonlight, not the ambiance of a night-time game at Rogers Centre.

Knowing what type of atmosphere or aesthetic you want will definitely influence your choices and ultimately create an effect you’ll love for years to come.

Natural residential patio lighting
If you want your outdoor lighting to look more natural, consider adding a mixture of Tiki lamps and natural fixtures. Tiki lamps are really fun because they add the sense of real flickering flames rather than artificial light. Placed strategically around your yard or patio, they produce gorgeous natural shadows.

Don’t feel like you have to limit yourself to soft white to create a natural look. Using soft green lighting among foliage creates the appearance of the sun or moon bouncing off the leaves. How fun! Additional lights could be subtle ambers to illuminate other natural features of your yard.

Ethereal Elegance
Want your patio or deck to have an enchanted magical feel possibly with fairies hiding in the shadows or playing among the foliage? Small pinpricks or lights hidden within foliage (gardens, planters, hanging pots, etc.) produce the appearance of a magical gathering within. Use this technique throughout your yard to extend the suspension of disbelief in your enchanted garden paradise.

Lighting Where Feet Tread Creates Subtle Ambiance
A continuing trend in outdoor lighting are fixtures that are low to the ground or recessed flush with a deck or walkway. This light isn’t so strong that guests are blinded, but by hiding the recessed lights among foliage or along the outside edge of stair treads, you create a pop of unexpected light shining all the attention on the texture, colour and shadows, or even something as basic as to highlight the safety aspects of your deck.

Pendants are very versatile. Whether you’re looking for an upcycled bohemian creation or something sleek and polished for an outdoor kitchen, pendent lights are a great option. Hang a pendant light (or two or three) from a tree branch over a table. Upcycle a hanging light for the evening over a sitting area or table for that special event.

Pergolas offer ideal structure to hang a pendant light. Hang a pendant light just for the night, or choose a style with some flair and let it stand as a focal point of the patio area during the day as well.

Stair Lights Can Serve More Than One Function
Small one and two step stairs can be more problematic than larger staircases, because people can miss that the stairs are there. Be kind and add some lighting to those one and two step changes on your decking or down to a pathway.

LED rope lights are effective used this way if an outlet is nearby. Landscape lighting can also be effective if the lights are placed in the adjacent flower bed so that light and not shadows are cast on the stairs.

Nite Time Décor Oakville specializes in helping our clients design a truly unique lighting plan for their home or business. Contact our lighting experts to learn more about our lighting services or view our gallery of one-of-a-kind designs.