Pools are a sign of wealth and a great relief during summer heat waves or after a trip to the sauna. But they are even better with proper lighting. Secondary sources of light not only perform a decorative role, providing an enchanting sparkle to the water and the mosaic walls of the pool, but also a technical one: lighting during the night and enhanced safety around the pool area. If your pool is not fitted with projectors and lights, you should really consider looking into it.
Functional and decorative pool lighting
It’s not easy to organize proper lighting for a pool. Be ready for some time and effort to be expended. If you are planning to set up lamps outside of the pool, you should know about the ability of light to affect the way the surrounding area appears. In general, the area surrounding the pool tends to look better after lighting is added. A well illuminated pool area will cheer up both the owner and the guests. Lamps make the territory cozier and it will no doubt become the place for everyone to relax after a hard day of work. Using these lamps, one can accentuate the elements of design that make the landscape appear bright and happy or quiet and romantic.
In order to pick proper lights for the pool, investigate the nuances of their application. Depending on the technical characteristics and the color scheme, pool lamps are typically separated into two categories. The first is classic lighting of the pool, which simply provides white light in or around the pool area. There are also lights which are more decorative and are used to paint a picture using colors and shades. These lights can be both white and colored.
Types of lighting and lamps for pools.
Lamps for pools can be used in two ways: general light, otherwise referred to as the upper source of light, or an underwater lighting system. Water is a wonderful material for experimenting with all sorts of lights due to its reflective nature. Lights which reaches the surface of the water is reflected and does not go into the deep, a rule known to every school kid. Try a little experiment, if a ray of light is beamed from underneath the water the surrounding area will be lit up by all sorts of new colors and shapes. The view created by this is astounding! Therefore the outside lighting of the pool will carry a strictly functional role, and underwater illumination will add to the aesthetics. The two types of lighting, underwater and above water typically use different technologies. Above water lights typically use halogen bulbs with high intensity output. A couple of these devices light up a significant area of the pool and the surrounding area. As practice shows these lights are usually used for public pools where the main objective is to ensure the safety of the patrons. On private residences diodes are more commonly used which work the entire night. This type of light has enough output, but is also less demanding energy wise and is quite beautiful if implemented correctly.
Oftentimes, after the final installation of accessories there is a feeling that something is missing. This is often corrected by special lamps, abilities of which include illumination of the pool through the entire mass of water. Devices like these are made from modern damage-resistant plastic or corrosion resistant stainless metals. Tempered glass is sometimes used in production of the lights in order to safeguard it from mechanical damage during accidental hits from the swimmers and water pressure.
Water and Electricity
During manual installation of lamps remember that water and electricity are very dangerous things to mix. In order to avoid problems and to have a long lasting, functional, and safe result, the lighting needs to have a high level of inner isolation from moisture, mechanical issues and dust. These technical characteristics are found in manuals and other documentations which come with the equipment. During your purchase of the lights pay attention to a characteristic named Index of Protection (abbreviated IP). This index should be at least 68. The first number in the index determines the level of resistance to dust and small objects. The number 6 guarantees complete protection from outside elements. The second number in the index shows the resistance to water that the gadget has. The eighth level means the object can be submersed in water without a time constraint attached. While buying illumination for your pool consider the importance of not electrically shocking anyone in the pool. In order to avoid this make sure all wires, lamps, and gadgets are properly sealed. At no time should live wires be making contact with the water. As an example of a precaution, low power systems such as some 50 watt underwater lighting lamps are placed only in Jacuzzis and similar pools where the maximum depth is about a meter. Power for illuminating large pools is slightly different, 100 Watts will be enough for almost 12 square meters of the pool, and a 300 Watt system will light up to 20 square meters.
Lights can be installed in various ways, some using a simple clip on system, and others a complex but sturdier method. In order to easily service and maintain lights and solve technical issues, a small “tunnel” is sometimes built around a large pool. This however is not a necessity for properly maintaining your pool. Lights can be maintained from directly inside the pool. However if a tunnel is in fact built, lamps can be installed into the inner walls of the trench which guarantees fast access. The benefit of this system is obvious; the water does not need to be drained.
Innovative Designs or Good Old Classics?
Do you want a truly sparkling fountain of differently colored drops and shades? Fiber optics can help you create a real light show. This method however, is expensive. It’s often installed because of the zero risk to human safety. Lamps of this sort are made from fiber optics, which are far less dangerous. The beauty of this system is that it can be installed far enough from the water that makes moisture completely unable to reach it. Lights for pools using this technique are decorations by themselves. Fiber optics also have an incredibly long working life. A gadget with 150 Watt in power for example can last up to 13 000 hours. If you want to look at more traditional methods, there is always a popular choice: powerful stationary projectors installed on level with the water. Oftentimes the maker will include tools for mounting such as the proper wiring that has been properly waterproofed and halogen lights bulbs rated at 50-300 Watts. Be careful! In order to power these systems at least 12 volts are required so you may need to install some transformers.
There is a golden rule for comfortable and beautiful lighting: the number and power of lights in the pool and around the perimeter should be the same! Lamps for outside lighting create a background illumination while underwater lamps are responsible for lighting the water and creating a pleasant view. Outside lamps should have 1st class resistance against condensation but its best to buy lights with 2nd class protection against water drops. As stated above, ideally halogen bulbs are used with natural lights and soft color rendering. A bold and interesting move is fixing the lamp to be on a moving base – the beam can change directions based on a trajectory.