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Low-voltage Fish Pond Lights and Garden Lighting

I am an absolute sucker for lighting scattered around our garden, and used underwater in the pond. It makes such a difference for viewing your fish because it literally brings the pond alive at night-time. I have the main loop of my garden and pond lights on an automatic timer to turn them on and off.

Some of the underwater lights use quite strong bulbs and the fish love the heat given off by them, to the extent that they will "sun" themselves under them, particularly in winter when the water is freezing. This never seems to have done any harm to them. I have a variety of lights in my pond, some halogen spots, some lower wattage coloured dome lamps. The dome lamps shine upwards, which silhouettes any water surface plants, the halogens shine across the pond underwater.

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Night-time in the pond.
Above: Bell water fountain and lamp set with various other single lamps in the pond.

Jims Pond Blog

To get the latest news on my ponding bio-filter and venturi experiments why not visit Jim's Pond Blog. You can subscribe to my blog's RSS Feed powered by Feedburner to ensure you get the latest updates. It will work with most Atom and RSS 2.0 compatible news reader software, such as Bloglines, Desktop Sidebar, NewsGator, MyYahoo, etc.


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They are very friendly and knowledgeable groups of people who will make you feel very welcome. There is tons of discussion going on about fish of all kinds, problems whether relating to the health of your fish or the state of your pond, and advice on filters, pumps and anything else you can think of!

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I also have a tripod stand which rests on the bottom of the pond. The 3 lamps on it are held about 6 inches below the surface and these point DOWNWARDS, angled slightward outward. These are NOT halogen, so the heat generated is gentle.

Not only does this light up the bottom of the pond, but in the cold weather my koi constantly fin themselves so they hover directly underneath the beam of light. They are sun-tanning themselves!! Well, keeping warm anyway.

Amusingly the light gets reflected off their big fins as they fan them, and its almost like you've got a pulsing police car beacon in your pond.

So anyway, the point is that the fish enjoy lighting as much as you will.

Generally the lights I use are all white lights. However one of the domes is red and the smaller goldfish and shebunkins love this, and sometimes I've seen 3 at one go trying to stay on top of it. This lamp doesn't generate any more heat than the white or green dome lamps, so I think its something to do with the colour!?

Anybody else experienced this?

Pond and Garden lighting tips:

  • Make sure you fix them well. The fish will nudge them and then they end up floating on the surface.
  • White lights will soon get coated with a layer of algae, so you should place these where you can get at them easily to clean them off. I am certain my fish look forward to me cleaning off the algae so they can get back to their tanning again
  • Plan carefully where you are going to lay the cabling used to power the lights. It is best to use some kind of armouring to protect the cable, especially if it crosses places where people will walk over it. It may be prudent to lay some channelling so that if you need to get at the cable for maintenance, or to lay additional cabling, it makes the job easier and tidier.
  • Keep some spare bulbs handy as the bulbs will eventually blow, although some of mine have been in use for 3 years and still haven't blown!
  • Make sure you get a suitably sized transformer. Usually lighting kits will come supplied with their own transformer, but you end up with lots of transformers plugged into your garage (or wherever you mains electricity supply is). I bought one big meaty transformer capable of powering many low voltage, low-wattage bulbs, and it also has a timer built into it for controlling the lights.

Below: Jaws can be seen enjoying the heat from the lamps.

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