Outdoor Water Feature Lighting Ideas: Pools, Fountains and Ponds

Updated June 26, 2023

Top 12 Tips For Lighting Up Your Patio Or Deck After Dark

Enhance your backyard water features with these awesome outdoor lighting ideas for pools, fountains and ponds. 

Outdoor lighting isn’t limited to lawns and gardens. What about those water features that you love so much during the day? Having a beautiful water feature in your yard is lovely to enjoy – the sound and sight of water can have a very calming effect. Using landscape lighting is a great way to admire your waterfall or pond even after the sun goes down and seems to transport your yard to a world of sparkling magic and ethereal beauty.

Outdoor Water Feature Lighting Ideas: Pools, Fountains and Ponds

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 also 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!

Creating the perfect lighting for your water feature isn’t quite as easy as setting up a spotlight. Safety also needs to be considered since electricity and water don’t mix well so hiring a professional is imperative.

We’ve compiled this helpful list of lighting ideas for your pool, hot tub, ponds and other backyard water features.

Submersible Lighting Adds 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. Ponds and 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 water feature.

Outdoor Water Feature Lighting Ideas: Pools, Fountains and Ponds

How To Keep Your Pool Safe At Night

Oakville pool lighting is more than just about aesthetics – it’s also about safety. However, safety does not need to come at the expense of the natural beauty of your landscape lighting.

Inground well lights around the edge of your pool will dramatically increase the safety of your yard. These lights highlight the edges around your swimming area, particularly areas that may be slippery or wet.

Well lights from Nite Time Décor Oakville also contributes to the aesthetics around your pool. If you have plants surrounding your pool, the well lights can create gorgeous shadows and silhouettes to add to the ambience.

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!

Outdoor Water Feature Lighting Ideas: Pools, Fountains and Ponds


Foliage Landscape Lighting

To give your landscape lighting a natural ambiance, consider placing the landscape lighting in the garden areas around your pool. If this isn’t an option, why not plant some flower beds along the pathway around your pool? The foliage connection is a nice design element that will help enhance your outdoor lighting and tie the entire look together.

A great landscaping idea is to place an ornamental tree in the yard with a four to five foot garden bed around it. Place some lights in the planting area 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? 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.

And of course, if you have a pool waterfall, you simply cannot neglect it. Ask us for more information on how to highlight water features!

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.

Let Your Pond Looking Its Best Even At Night

Pond and Gazebo Outdoor lighting ideas

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.

Outdoor Water Feature Lighting Ideas: Pools, Fountains And Ponds

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!

Outdoor Water Feature Lighting Ideas: Pools, Fountains And Ponds

Overhead Deck Lighting

This type of outdoor lighting can give the illusion of moonlight, and we all know that swimming in the moonlight is a magical thing. Overhead lights can be mounted in surrounding trees or on gables and soffits of surrounding buildings.

In-Deck Lighting

Lights can be mounted right in your deck and pointed upwards to create an interesting effect. These lights can be installed in existing decks of all types including many concrete decks. Deck lights of this type can really help to accentuate surrounding architectural or garden features in a fresh way that is very attractive. In-deck lights can also be a safety feature by showing you and your guests where the edges of the pool deck are.

Stair Tread Lights

Stair lighting for extra security for your backyard pool and deck area

Since pool areas are often accessed with a set of stairs, why not take advantage of this and install lights under the edge of the treads. This is a great feature to have that not only looks great, but also helps improve safety for those navigating the stairs.

Adjacent Buildings


Lighting on and around adjacent buildings is usually a good and economical way to add lighting to your pool area. If this building is part of the pool area – an outdoor bar or shed for example – there are many options for lighting these types of buildings.

For a structure like a pergola, string lights can create that bistro feel, or up lights can highlight the structure’s architecture.

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.

Leave It to the Pros

Nite Time Decor Oakville has over 50 years of combined experience creating unique-to-you landscape lighting designs that will accentuate your backyard pool and water features so you can enjoy them all day and night.

A lot of thought and planning is involved in designing beautiful landscape lighting for your water features and pool which also requires professional skilled installation too.

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, so a licensed electrician is strongly recommended if you plan to do it yourself.

At Nite Time Decor, we are very knowledgeable about our products and can definitely help you find lighting options that will bring out the best in your landscape and water features. And, we will look after all of the electrical work too!

If you already have landscape lighting but would like an update, we can help with that!

Bring your pool and other water features to life with Nite Time Décor custom landscape lighting services. If you’re ready to gain the most unique and dramatic water feature lighting, contact us today for your complimentary quote and lighting demo. You’ll be happy you did!