What You Need to Know: Solar Water Features
Water features are a fantastic addition to both indoor and outdoor spaces. The therapeutic effect of water on your senses is well-documented, and if your water feature is situated outside or in a pond, it’s a great attraction for wildlife too.
Here at Pond Planet, we’ve compiled a handy guide on everything from picking to placing your brand new solar water feature.
How Does a Solar Water Feature Work?
In the case of most solar water features, the solar panel will ordinarily be connected straight to the water pump. When exposed to sunlight, this panel will generate a voltage which is then directed towards the pump, this powers the submerged impeller inside, which in turn produces the jet or spray of water.
Unsurprisingly, solar fountains perform best in countries that enjoy unbroken sunshine. In countries that typically experience more cloud cover such as the UK, a solar water feature may produced varied results – especially in the case of low budget solar pumps.
One way to counteract this is it to purchase a water feature which includes a backup battery system; the Hozelock Solar Cascade Fountain and the Pontec PondoSolar 600 are both affordable and reliable designs which offer this feature.
Picking Your Feature
There are many aspects that you’ll ponder while picking your solar fountain, and much of this process will be down to your opinion and personal tastes, so we’ll break it down into just three key points to consider; appearance, sound and size.
- Appearance – Perhaps the most obvious, but worth mentioning nonetheless! Looks most certainly matter when it comes to deciding which water feature is for you.
You’re going to want to complement your horticultural hard work with something that stands out in your garden pond for all the right reasons. Therefore, picking an aesthetically pleasing design is the first of our recommended steps.
- Sound – Often overlooked, the sound of your solar fountain is just as important as its appearance.
Water fountains offer different tones and intensities depending on the height and power of your fountain; you don’t want your solar water feature to sound like you’ve got a bath running – and you won’t want a faint trickle either!
You’re going to spend time listening to your fountain, and ultimately you’ll want it to have a relaxing effect, so we highly recommend taking the time to listen to a solar fountain before making your final decision.
- Size – While grandiose fountains look amazing, most of us don’t have the luxury of owning a manor house!
We recommend scaling up where your solar water feature will be situated, taking into account the location of your pond, planting and any other garden features too. You’ll want your solar fountain to complement your garden’s design – not overpower it.
Placing Your Solar Water Feature
The placement of your solar fountain is another important step you’ll need to consider before enjoy its features.
It probably goes without saying, but you’ll want your fountain to be placed in a spot which is likely to enjoy the most sunshine. This way, you’ll be getting the best performance and most enjoyment out of your water feature.
The mise-en-scene of your garden is another important consideration. Placing a water feature among existing planting and pond accessories is a fantastic way to integrate the fountain seamlessly into your pond or garden design. Situating the feature away from overhanging plantlife such as trees or bushes is also something to consider, as you’re likely to encounter leaves falling into the water.
If you’d rather your fountain be a focal point of the garden, pathways and strategic pot planting are clever ways to direct attention to your water feature, while LED garden lighting is also a great means of highlighting any facet of your outdoor space.
Setting Up Your Water Feature
Once you’ve found the ideal location for your solar fountain, you’ll be all set to get installing. This is a simple process, but you’ll need to allow the solar water feature some time before you can start enjoying it.
Your solar fountain will of course contain its own set of instructions, but here’s 3 simple steps of the general installation process to get you started:
- Connect the solar panel to the housing
- Place the solar panel in direct sunlight for at least 8 hours initially to charge
- Connect the water pump to your feature, ensuring that the pump is fully submerged in water
Did you find our advice helpful? Are you planning or have you finished a design of your own?