A home swimming pool is a big enough investment for you to want to be able to use it at any time of day, and underwater pool lighting can be a great boon to both convenience and safety for night time swimmers. However, swimming pool lighting technology has moved on since the early days of simple halogen bulbs, and you now have a number of options when it comes to effectively lighting your pool underwater. Choosing the right lighting type for you can save you a lot of time, effort and money in the long run, so make sure to weigh up the options thoroughly before dropping your hard-earned dollars.
Essentially similar to the regular light bulbs in your home, incandescent pool lights can be an effective and surprisingly inexpensive lighting solution. Incandescent underwater lights are available in a variety of wattages and brightness levels, and high-capacity bulbs produce enough light to illuminate expansive pools with ease. They are also deceptively simple and can be installed quickly.
However, incandescent bulbs lack the power-to-light efficiency of their more modern contemporaries, and much of the energy used to light them is expended as waste heat. As such, lighting large pools with incandescent bulbs can place a significant draw on your home power usage, not to mention your wallet once the bills come in. Incandescent bulbs also tend to break and burn out more frequently than more modern alternatives, and frequently uninstalling and reinstalling your lights to replace bulbs can be a real hassle.
The last word in energy efficiency, LED lights provide excellent lighting with a fraction of the power used by incandescent bulbs. LED lighting units range from large whole-pool lights to tiny units suitable for steps and awkward corners, allowing for maximum light coverage and safety. They are also available in a variety of colours, allowing you to achieve some stunning mood lighting and visual effects.
However, LED lights tend to be considerably more expensive than equivalent incandescent lights -- given that they produce slightly less light than incandescent bulbs, lighting larger or deeper pools thoroughly with LEDs can become very expensive. LEDs also produce waste heat that is not easily dissipated due to the compact construction of LED lights, so you should make sure that underwater LEDs are installed with heat-resistant sealants to prevent warping and leaks. Finally, LEDs can be very difficult to replace once they burn out, and you may need to hire professional pool lighting services to replace them. However, LEDs are extremely reliable and long-lived, so this will rarely become a problem.
Fibre optic lighting
Fibre optic lights have an unusual configuration, with the actual light source held above ground in watertight housing. The light is then transmitted into the pool using fibre optic cables. As such, fibre optic lights are extremely easy to maintain, and replacing a burnt out fibre optic light is a simple matter of opening the housing and exchanging bulbs. The flexible nature of fibre optic cables allows for diverse and versatile lighting arrangements, with a variety of colour options available.
However, fibre optic lighting is generally much more expensive than incandescent or LED alternatives. They can also be expensive to run, as the above ground light source produces a significant amount of heat and must be ventilated with a powered fan.