Beneath the Surface: Exploring Underwater Lighting Innovations

Beneath the Surface: Exploring Underwater Lighting Innovations

March 19, 2024

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In this article, we will explore some innovative ways to use underwater lighting in landscape design.

Underwater lighting offers limitless opportunities for creativity and innovation in landscape design. From illuminating pools and water features to accentuating marine habitats and underwater gardens, the use of underwater lighting enhances the beauty and allure of outdoor spaces. The lighting inside the pool adds to the lighting outside it to achieve this aim, while also enhancing the water. In addition to aesthetics, underwater lighting also serves practical purposes, enhancing pool safety during the evening hours. By providing ample illumination in and around the pool, swimmers can enjoy a safe and secure experience.

The fixture chosen to light a pool determines the type of outer casing needed.

First of all, we recommend paying great attention to the materials used.

Stainless steel in particular AISI 316L, is the perfect material for underwater use, thanks to its corrosion-resistant properties. In addition to stainless steel, thermally conductive techno polymers are well suited to use in lighting fixtures for swimming pools because of their ability to tolerate various corrosive agents in the water. They resist not only substances such as chlorine but also the sulfur present in thermal pools.

When the thermally conductive techno polymers are combined with an all-glass cover, the luminaries also become suitable for installation in salt water, which means not only sea water but also swimming pools where sterilization is carried out using salt instead of chlorine.

Your lighting needs and options will depend largely on whether you have an in-ground or above-ground swimming pool:

If you need above-ground pool lights, you have several options including magnetic lighting kits, wall-mounted kits, and kits that allow you to install lights via your pool’s vented return line.

If your pool is in ground, you’ll likely be looking at built-in, wall-mounted options. If your in-ground pool has features like stairs, ledges, or tanning shelves, you might want to add specially designed accent lighting in addition to your main pool lighting

What types of Underwater Lighting fixtures are available?

There are three main types of pool lights to choose from, and each option offers its own unique benefits

LED pool lights

If you’re looking for an unbeatable combination of energy efficiency and longevity, you can’t go wrong with LED lighting. LED lighting costs a little more upfront than other types of swimming pool lighting – but the bulbs last for years and you’ll save on long-term operating costs. And if you want a pool lighting setup with some extra pizazz, you won’t be disappointed: When you shop for LEDs, you’ll find a wide range of color-changing pool lights, and many setups come with pre-programmed light shows that are perfect for pool parties. If you want to keep things simpler (and cheaper), you can find battery-operated LED lighting or even floating LED lights.

One thing to consider before taking the plunge with LEDs lighting: LEDs aren’t quite as bright as halogen lights. If your pool is very large or if you want a lot of light, you may need to purchase more LEDs to achieve the lighting look you want.

Halogen pool lights

If you’re looking for the brightest bang for your pool lighting buck, halogen pool lights might be just what you need. Halogen swimming pool lights are brighter than LED lights, and they also cost less upfront than LEDs, which is good news if you want a lot of light for a wallet-friendly price. Before LEDs began to take over, halogen was the top choice for pool and landscape lighting. They’re more efficient than a standard “regular” indoor bulb, and they’re still hard to beat when it comes to brightness. That said, there are a few good reasons that halogen lighting has lost ground over the past few years – especially compared to LEDs which last longer and are more energy-efficient (the average lamp life of halogen is around 1200 hours when handled correctly. LED is 20,000 hours plus). In addition, some pool owners have noted that halogen lights tend to run hot, which can be an uncomfortable surprise for unsuspecting swimmers.

Fiber optic pool lights

Fiberoptic pool lights offer an easy solution to one of the most common headaches associated with pool lights: changing the bulb(s). This is because the power source and even the light bulbs are housed out of the water – and far away from the swimming pool in a dry power box. The light travels from the dry power box to your pool via a slim, flexible cable that comprises tiny fibers (the cable connects to a fitting in the pool wall, which is where the light appears). As a result, when you need to, say, change out a faulty bulb or do anything else related to maintenance or repair, it’s as simple as opening a box – no worries about mixing electricity and water.

Although the distance between the power source and the pool makes for safe and easy maintenance, it does have a definite downside: the light tends to weaken by the time it reaches the pool, which means that fiber optic swimming pool lights tend to be dimmer and less powerful than LED or halogens. The bulbs have relatively short lives, too. And considering that they can be just as expensive (and, in some cases, more expensive) than both types of lighting, you could be looking at extra costs.

On the plus side, many pool owners appreciate the flexibility that comes with fiberoptic cable: you can run them around the perimeter of your pool or fully submerge them. They can also be programmed to perform truly stunning light shows by mimicking softly twinkling stars or dancing, racing points of light.

Solar pool lights

Floating solar lights are a fun, easy way to add a playful splash of color to your next pool party. Unlike their LED and halogen counterparts, solar swimming pool lights aren’t meant to light up your whole pool – but they are a great option if you’re just looking for a little something extra

Because they’re powered by the sun, solar lights won’t drive up your energy usage or cause your electric bill to go up. They’re available at a wide variety of price points, and you can find them in fun colors and shapes, from floating, rainbow-hued globes to whimsical lotus flowers to sleek and modern, color-changing discs. And, in case you were wondering, floating solar lights work at night (most, but not all, models feature rechargeable batteries).

Floating solar pool lights are not the best choice if you’re looking for a permanent, whole-pool lighting solution. But when paired with, say, your existing LED or halogen pool lights, they add inexpensive, colorful fun to your swimming pool.

Whether opting for LED, halogen, fiberoptic, or solar lights, each choice brings its own unique benefits, allowing homeowners to create mesmerizing environments that captivate the senses. With careful consideration of lighting needs and options, anyone can transform their outdoor oasis into a captivating masterpiece, where the magic of underwater lighting truly shines