August 15, 2017

Enhance Your Nighttime Landscape with Water Feature Lighting

Table of Contents

A complete landscape design plan will consider the aesthetic of the area at all times of day – in full sunlight, as well as during the evening hours. As remarkable as the softscapes and hardscapes may be during the day, without adequate landscape lighting you’ll lose the beauty of your Long Island, NY, landscape when the sun goes down. To counteract this, functional and decorative lighting should be incorporated, particularly around your water features as these can benefit greatly by having their surfaces or characteristics lit up. Waterfalls, fountains, and pools in your landscape can make stunning focal points at night: all you need is the right kind of lighting. Here are a few ideas on how to make the most of your water features after dark:

Create a Nighttime Focal Point

Water features are intended to be focal points of the landscape. Whether the element is a small waterfall, fountain or the entire pool area, lighting will enhance the construction, making it a highlight of the landscape. Since water features are sensory by nature, at night, you have the opportunity to enhance this factor with a number of techniques.

Underwater Lighting

Underwater lighting is often thought of as a component of swimming pools, but this can also be added to ponds, fountains and water courses to create a magical impression. Coupled with surprising colors, underwater lighting can add a surreal aspect to your lighting plan.

Reflective Lighting

If you’d prefer to highlight the smooth surface of a water feature rather than the body of water itself, reflective lighting is ideal. This technique plays with the reflective qualities of the water surface and can create a serene and soothing ambience. Reflective lighting can be achieved with small spotlights placed at angles that maximize the amount of reflection achieved.

Highlighting Movement

Spotlighting is also a valuable technique in highlighting the movement created by waterfalls or fountains. These are generally placed at the base of the feature and directed upward to highlight the motion of the water.

Adjust the Mood

Lighting also has the power to modify the mood of the outdoor environment. Whether you choose to play with color, intensity, or even twinkling effects, lighting is an easy way to create a dramatic effect. Water features often incorporate cool colors in their lighting to enhance the lively atmosphere of the setting. However, using warm colors to highlight fountains and water jets can create a warm and comforting mood, and can even be used to replicate the appearance of flame using water. Depending on your intentions, a landscaping design professional can advise the best and most convenient ways to engineer a modifiable light scheme for your landscape, making it a snap to switch from project lighting to a more romantic atmosphere.


One of the primary functions of landscape lighting is the safety. Being able to safely navigate your yard at night is essential, whether you’re entertaining or simply enjoying an evening under the stars with your family. For water features, this is especially true due to the slippage factor. Beyond mobility, lighting is necessary for safe evening swimming, so be sure to have your pool effectively lit to reduce these hazards.


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