No one likes to swim in a dark pool in the evening so light up the pool and everyone will enjoy the backyard so much more. In this blog I am going to discuss the different types of lighting options for new and existing inground pools.
It is a lot easier to install inground pool lights at the time of the installation because you need to have a hole in the pool wall for most pool lights. To install a traditional pool light with the pool niche after the pool is built is much more complicated because you you have to tunnel under the deck, cut a hole into the pool wall, and run the light cord through the conduit to the a junction box outside of the pool deck.
But, there are still options for pools that do not have a light niche, such as using Fiber optic lighting, in strands that can be run along the pool coping, or in small cups that can be wall mounted more easily than a 12" large regular pool light wall niche.
Inground Pool Lighting
Pool lights from Pentair and Hayward are available in both 12v or 120v and you have the option of stainless steel face ring or plastic face ring. I recommend the plastic face ring for anyone that has a salt water chlorine generator on their swimming pool. When using a 12v pool light it requires a 300 watt transformer to step the light voltage down to 12v. When ordering a pool light make sure the cord is long enough so it can be wired to your junction box or power source. If the cord is too short there is no way to add extra length to the cord.
Amerlite incandescent - Pentair Amerlite incandescent light uses an R-40 bulb, similar to a flood light bulb. This is a light that features a stainless steel light housing, with a stainless steel face ring and a tempered glass lens. This light is available in both 120v and 12v with a variety of different wattage: 100w, 300w, 400w, and 500 watt.
LED color lighting - There are several different manufacturers that offer the LED Color Changing pool lights - Jandy, Hayward and Pentair. An LED pool light is much more energy efficient compared to a traditional pool light. The LED Light uses up to 86% less energy than incandescent lights and last up to 10 times longer. Typically with an LED light you can deliver a payback in about 2 years with energy and the maintenance savings. With the LED lights there are also many different options for length of cord typically 30, 50, 100 or 150ft long. This is the length from the light niche to the junction box, plus about 4 feet.
You can view the LED lights we have available from both Hayward Color Logic and the Pentair Intellibrite 5G White LED light. The Bright White LED pool lamp is great for public pools required to have white lighting, or for someone who just likes a pure white color to the pool. Same options available on the White LED lights as for the Intellibrite 5G Color LED pool lights.
Fiber Optic lighting - There are 2 different styles of fiber optic lighting the in pool lighting and perimeter lighting. For the in pool lighting you install a few gunite, vinyl or fiberglass lens housing for the fiber optic light to go into. The fiber optic pool light is installed into the lens housing and attached to the light is a fiber optic cable the higher the number of strands in the cable the brighter the light will be in your pool. The most popular strand and the brightest would be the 325. Once the in pool fiber optic light is installed in the pool wall you feed the fiber optic cable back through a rigid light conduit. The fiber optic cable is then wired to a light source normally called an illuminator box. Inside the illuminator box there is a color wheel that rotates and gives you the ability to change the light to different colors.
The second type of fiber optic lighting is perimeter lighting, mostly used for decoration and ambient mood lighting. The translucent cable normally is installed under your pool coping of your pool or spa; if you have a double track coping the fiber optic cable would get installed into that track and go around the entire perimeter of the swimming pool. The cable, makes a continuous run all around the entire pool with the cable and makes an exit thru the back of the skimmer. From there is runs to the illuminator box or light source.
Pool Deck & Patio Lighting
Small Down lights on steps or walls - If you have retaining walls, or steps as part of your outdoor pool and patio, using down lights on the steps are good for safety, and they also look very cool. Retrofitting down lights can be tricky on solid concrete steps, but if you have wood or stone steps or capstones, wires can usually be hidden easily.
Small Up lights on feature trees - these can be solar powered spotlights, that can be used to illuminate small landscape areas you are especially proud of, statues, water features or sitting areas. Outdoor lighting has really come a long way in recent years, with a lot to choose from.
Pathway lighting - Another good choice for solar powered lights, pathway lights come in a variety of types from vintage and classic to modern. Just stick them in the ground, hide the cord in the dirt, and stick the solar collector in a sunny spot, at one end of the run.
Tiki Torches - This is a very inexpensive way to light up around the pool area and also your backyard. Just be careful that you have nothing flammable near the Tiki torches; that could be very dangerous. It's best to keep the flame height around 6 ft, or above most people's heads.
I hope that this gives you some ideas about how to light up the night - in and around your pool! Let me, or any of the SPP Pool Experts know if you have any inground pool lighting issues that you need help with - call us at 800-983-7665.
SPP Pool Expert