Home > Building a Pond > Solar Powered Water Features

Solar Powered Water Features

By: Dr Gareth Evans - Updated: 5 Apr 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Solar Powered Pumps Lights Lighting

There’s an obvious fit between all kinds of gardening and the environment – and nowhere is this potential more apparent than when it comes to ponds. It’s little wonder, then, that there’s an ever growing range of solar powered devices on the market to make water features greener and more eco-friendly than ever, not to mention a lot quicker and easier to install.

Lights

Solar powered lights have been around for years, but the recent advances in solar cells and batteries coupled with the growing use of LED “bulb” technology has revolutionised their usefulness and helped make them increasingly relevant for all kinds of applications. Whether you’re looking for a little of the typically gentle illumination that solar lighting has traditionally provided for your pond’s edge, or a more dramatic spotlight to pick out a particular plant or feature, there’s sure to be something to suit.

From submersible, coloured lights to add a little mood and atmosphere, to PIR-operated, motion sensing security lighting to deter next-door’s fish-eating cat, solar systems can offer a straightforward solution and at a surprisingly low initial outlay.

Pumps

Not so very long ago, cheap solar pumps were rather feeble affairs, and powerful ones were hideously expensive; in a few short years, however, all that has changed and the latest generation units provide a good balance of price and performance. Granted, if you want one that will drive a spectacularly large fountain or cascade, it’s still not going to be what you’d exactly call cheap, but prices have come down considerably, bringing them into the realistic realm of just about any pond enthusiast.

Some of the latest versions even get around some of the age-old problem of what happens when the sun doesn’t shine, by adding a battery to the unit so that the water keeps flowing. They obviously don’t offer 24 hour operation – at least not yet – but it does avoid your magnificent fountain turning into a pitiful dribble every time the sun goes behind a cloud. If you’re thinking about getting a solar powered pump, it’s vital to make sure that you check its performance to avoid disappointment. Some of the cheaper models, though excellent for small ponds or water features, don’t have anything like the power to drive big waterfalls – so check the specification carefully, especially the pump’s head and volume rating, before you buy and make sure your chosen model is the right one for the job.

Aerators

Solar aerators are a relatively new entrant to the market, but they’re wonderfully practical and very affordable accessories to consider. They work pretty much like the familiar aquarium air pumps, to add much needed oxygen to the water – and being solar powered, the brighter the sun, the faster they work, which is ideal since the warmer water gets, the less oxygen it naturally holds.

Simply place your unit beside the pond – the solar cell is usually integrated into the casing of the aerator pump – fit a few metres of standard, narrow-bore air-line, add a diffuser stone and you’re off! It really couldn’t be simpler and it’s the perfect way for any keen fish-keepers to ensure that there’s enough oxygen whatever the weather decides to do.

Like the other solar pond accessories, they’re available from garden centres, pet shops and online, as well as increasingly featuring in a number of the home shopping catalogues that regularly fall out of your favourite magazines, so it isn’t hard to get one.

Solar powered lights, pumps and aerators aren’t the ideal solution for everyone or for every pond, but they certainly have a role to play, particularly for smaller water features and especially where running lengths of cable is likely to be difficult or expensive. When it comes to convenience, they’re hard to beat; just purchase, site and stand back – it could hardly be simpler – and in addition to avoiding the need to call in an electrician, running costs are zero. Today’s range of solar powered water features offer a simple, green and remarkably cost effective alternative to traditional pumps and lighting and best of all, they’re great fun too!

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Bought a solar power 150 last week. Total waste of money due to great British climate. It has worked for about 5 minutes so far. No good for ponds because fish would die due to lack of oxygen. Would NOT recommend.
Sue - 5-Apr-17 @ 9:30 AM
Nice article. Solar powered pond pumps have improved hugely over the last few years.check out the solar powered pumps by solar solutions fountains. You really can avoid the need for mains power now...
Alex - 23-Jun-14 @ 5:14 PM
How best to fix a cast iron fountain onto a rubber lined pond?
? - 18-Apr-12 @ 9:10 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • S Milton
    Re: Pond Snails in Your Pond
    Hi, can you tell me please why some of my snails sometimes swim, or float, upside-down? They're not dead, and if I gently nudge them…
    15 July 2020
  • Shaft
    Re: What Could be the Reason for all the Fish Dying?
    I have just recently changed my uv and cleaned my filter but my pond has gone greener than before I had…
    14 July 2020
  • John H
    Re: Dealing With Silt in Your Pond
    I have a pond in the garden of approx 120 square yards. This summer nearly half the pond has dried out with the rest only having…
    13 July 2020
  • Tan
    Re: FAQ: Pond Fish Problems
    Good afternoon, I have a small pond and recently I used pond clear to make my pond clearer. As I live in a flat I can't have a electric…
    8 July 2020
  • Gordy
    Re: FAQ: Pond Water Quality
    Hi, my pond is 1month old now, I have an oase 10000 biopress filter with waterfall, and I have a few small koi, my water is clear but a…
    7 July 2020
  • Olly
    Re: Siting Your Pond
    Can I build a natural pond near a septic tank or will the water that leaves the tank poison it?affect it
    6 July 2020
  • pondguy
    Re: What Could be the Reason for all the Fish Dying?
    i have lost 10 koi in the last 2 months. I find them dead in my skimmer box at least once a week . my…
    3 July 2020
  • jovial
    Re: Fast Facts About Pond Fish
    a week ago i used anti blanketweed and all that has happened is it turned my water blue ! Will this fade?
    2 July 2020
  • Pond lady
    Re: What Could be the Reason for all the Fish Dying?
    So 2 of my fish are acting very strange. They will swim around like mad in a circle and then jump out of…
    26 June 2020
  • Bella
    Re: Ponds and Trees
    Hi I have a well established small lined pond and was thinking of planting a Youngs weeping silver birch close to it as I love these trees. Apart…
    19 June 2020