Quality swimming pool lighting can make a big difference in your ability to enjoy your swimming pool after the sun has set. When it comes to in-pool lighting, you have two main choices: LED and fiber optic lighting. While both options will do the job, the one you choose will be directly related to your main purpose and desired ambiance for your pool area.
LED In-Pool Lights
LED pool lights are unlike fiber optic ones, in that their bulbs will be fully submerged in your pool water. In-pool LED lighting comes in a variety of colors and sizes, ranging from white to colored and large to accent sizes. If your pool currently has incandescent lighting, you can fairly easily switch out those lights for LED ones, saving you up to 80% on your electric bill as well as offering those specialty options we just mentioned.
Thanks to protective housing shells, your in-pool LED lights will be well protected; however, as you can imagine, changing light bulbs can be a bit tricky. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of doing so or the added cost of hiring a professional, fiber optic lighting might be a better choice for you.
Fiber Optic In-Pool Lights
With bulbs outside the water, this type of lighting emits lights through fiber optic cables. The effect can be quite stunning, with options ranging from in-floor lighting that appears to mirror the starry night sky to added lighting to illuminate water features such as deck jet fountains. (You can see some stunning ideas of some impressive fiber optic lighting here.)
Colors of Pool Lights
Did you know that all light has a color? Yes, even if we’re talking basic white lights. If you hire a professional lighting designer, that person should be well versed in the color temperature of lights and different types of light. But if you’re going the DIY route, you need to understand a few things about these things; otherwise, you could spend a pretty penny on having new lighting installed, only to have it fall short of establishing the ambiance you had in mind.
Brightness and color temperature are measured in degrees Kelvin (K). Residential outdoor lighting tends to use between 2500 and 4000K. Within that range, when you see a higher “light temperature,” you’ll know it will produce a cooler, whiter light, while lower temperatures produce warmer, amber-colored light. To illuminate architectural features, you usually want something in the warmer end of the range (approximately 2700K or lower), while for plants, you’ll want something a bit cooler (3000K or higher).
If you use downlighting (also called “moonlighting”), pointing down to trees and other plants, 4000K is recommended. But be sure that glare shields are used, so the light points directly down. Warmer tones such as 2000K will offer the appeal of a camp fire’s glow or candlelight and might be ideal for a rustic or intimate setting.
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