LED POND and Waterfall lighting in Pacific Palisades California

LED POND and Waterfall lighting in Pacific Palisades California

by Mike Gambino

This recently completed LED landscape lighting project features an intimate sideyard Pond and double Waterfall woodland landscape themed garden.

The landscape lighting designer, Southern CA Koi pond installers and landscape company did an awesome job installing the landscaping in this space. It is incredibly natural looking and relaxing and beautiful.

As great as this waterfall garden looked during the day there was much to be desired when the sun went down. The owner was not pleased with the low quality lighting installed during the pond installation and was interested in upgrading not only the newly installed lighting in the pond area but also the system all around the home which she inherited from the previous owner. Everything was removed and replaced with new. I was recommended by the landscape designer who is also a client as we have installed a system on her own property.

Upon my first observation of this space I was certain that this was not going to be an easy installation. This garden is a focal point and is highly visible from inside the home through large picture windows and doors from not only the upper but lower levels of the residence. So aiming and positioning of fixtures had to be precise in order to avoid project ruining glare.

Ten inch long glare shields were used on the tree lights making them virtually undetectable. Behind the lens of all fixtures are honeycomb louvres which help aid in glare control. With the exception of the fixture located right beneath the main waterfalls (which is purposefully made brighter and more intense to stand out and draw attention) most fixtures are fitted with optic lenses either frosted or prismatic or in some fixtures both. The purpose is to widen the spread of the fixtures and diffuse and disperse the light in the space to avoid hotspots.  The three underwater uplights are so well concealed that one would never know they where there unless their locations are pointed out. The five remaining uplights with bronze surface treatment blend into the the space and do not draw attention to themselves during the day or at night.

The other challenge was working around the dense and fragile plant materials like baby tears, ferns, ornamental grasses and a fine leaf Japanese Maple. The fact is that this small garden was planted entirely on a downslope with mature shade trees at the upper slope creating a great backdrop for the garden. In other words wherever there wasn’t plants there where tree roots and vice versa so we had to work very carefully to install our fixtures and power cable as not to damage the plants.

I had observed during our design consultation meeting that the previous lighting installer had black fixtures which drew the eye away during the day and competed and detracted from the natural beauty of the stone, water and plant materials in the garden.

I made it priority one to hide and integrate the fixtures inside the waterfeature camouflaged by the stone with brass MR-16 LED fixtures suitable for submersion.

We installed a total of 13 LED Gambino high performance brass lighting fixtures- 3 inside the waterfeatures themselves, 5 fixtures mounted in the trees to downlight from the top of the slope to softly illuminate plants, water and stone and 5 uplights to pick up the balance of the garden. The total garden space measures approximately 35 feet long by 15 feet wide. The client initially had concerns that the fixture quantity was too much for this small garden. However after seeing the garden illuminated the first night those concerns went away immediately.

This landscape lighting blog is published by Mike Gambino of Gambino landscape lighting inc. all rights reserved. Mike is a professional landscape lighting system designer/ builder and has been designing, installing and maintaining landscape lighting systems for more than 20 years. Mike resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife and 2 sons. To visit his website go to www.gambinolighting.com . To inquire about hiring Mike please click here .

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