Lighting Your Pool


All the enjoyment that you get out of your pool should never have to stop after the sun goes down. There is no better way to cool off on a sticky summer evening than to take a dip in the pool. And when others join in the fun, pool parties at night have a special electricity that’s hard to match in daylight hours. If you’re going to create a special atmosphere in and around your pool at night, you will need to think carefully through your pool lighting options, which continue to grow as the technology advances.

Issues to Consider with Pool Lighting

The first issue to consider is the location of your pool – is it indoor, outdoor or a combination of the two? This will impact the type of lighting that you use in and around it.

If your pool is outside, you might want lights that create a sort of landscape effect and tie your pool into the surrounding area, whether that be a large patio or an ample yard. To achieve this effect, lights can be placed on the pool sides, above the water, and shine across the water on to the facing edge. You can also buy any number of special-effect lights that can shoot water out of the pool and create a rainbow fountain, for instance, or rest on top of the water and produce a kaleidoscopic image. Creative pool owners can find many options for psychedelic effects on top of the water and at the pool’s edges. Almost all pool lights now come in multi-color arrangements with remote devices that can program the duration and color of the lights.

Pool lighting

Picture 1: Modern pool with lights

Lights for indoor pools have a less burdensome task. Because the area surrounding the pool is well-lit in an indoor space, any lights in the pool do not have to do double duty as ambient lighting and safety lighting.

Pool Lighting and Safety

Indoor or outdoor, you will need to decide if you want lights to be above the water’s edge or below the water. Whether you opt for above-water lights or underwater lights, you must provide enough wattage so that people can see where the edges of the pool are as they play and swim. Stroking hard underwater, a swimmer can easily lose perspective and not know where the tile and concrete begin. Lights can save you and your guests many head scrapes and possible concussions, as well as alert leapers into the pool as to where the water’s edge begins.

The right lights around the pool’s edge will also alert patrons of where water has splashed up onto the deck and created slippery conditions. This is also a vital safety issue that should be solved by your lights. True, you do not want to create a spotlight effect around your pool, but you do need enough lighting to keep people both in and out of the water in secure conditions as they can see where they are stepping, swimming and jumping.

Under water, sealed lights can have halogen, LED and fibre optic bulbs. Most designers would choose a blue or white tone for underwater lights. Among the most popular choices for that task are 300-watt, 12-volt halogen bulbs that can be replaced without emptying the pool, which saves homeowners a lot of time, trouble and water. Above the water, warm white is the preferred color for peripheral lights.

Pool lights

Picture 2: Modern hotel pool lighting

New Options for Creative Pool Lighting

Floating pool lights come in many shapes, sizes and effects, but your guests have to agree to simply look at the light decorations and not hop into the water and possibly damage them.

A final option that is growing in popularity as the technology evolves is the amazing spectacle of fibre optic lights. Pool owners love the fact that there is no heat or electrical current flowing inside the pool when fibre optics are used, and the only moving part that needs maintenance is the lights’ engine, which can be placed away from the pool.

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