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Your swimming pool is a beautiful design feature in your backyard, and you need to be able to enjoy it at any time of the day or night. This means you will need the right lighting for your pool.

But which type of lighting to choose? And how do you create the perfect pool lighting design? Here we answer some of the most common questions we receive from our customers about swimming pool lighting, to help you highlight your pool to best effect.

What Are the Different Types of Pool Lights?

Swimming pool lighting has come a long way in recent years thanks to the latest technology. There are two main types of lighting that are used in and around swimming pools, but energy efficiency and cost are major considerations when choosing the right type of lighting for your pool. Incandescent bulbs were used for decades but they are not being installed anymore. These original regular light bulbs used large amounts of energy, so they were not particularly good for the environment. They also tended to need replacing up to three times per year, which could be a difficult job in a swimming pool.

1. Halogen Lighting

Halogen bulbs gradually replaced incandescent bulbs as the standard type of pool lighting. They lasted longer, and used up to 20 percent less energy, so they were more environmentally friendly. They also cut down the time required for pool maintenance, as they needed replacing less often.

However, halogen bulbs cost almost twice as much as incandescent bulbs, so they were a more expensive option, in spite of the savings made on household bills due to reduced energy use. They also required fairly regular replacement, and as they still used filaments, they gave the same green cast to the water as incandescent bulbs. These factors meant that halogen was still not the ideal choice for swimming pool lighting.

2. LED Lighting

LED technology has revolutionised swimming pool lighting. Cost-effective, clean, and long-lasting, LED lighting can produce the same amount of light as a 100-watt halogen bulb while using only six watts of power. This is because LED lighting is highly energy efficient, as it converts all of the energy it uses into light rather than some of it being converted into heat, so nothing is wasted.

Because of this, LED lighting is kind to the environment and cheap to run, as it uses only a fraction of the electricity required by halogen bulbs. LED lamps also last much longer, so your pool will require far less maintenance. This leaves you free to spend more time enjoying the water.

For these reasons, LED lighting has now become the standard type of lighting used for new swimming pools in Australia.

What Colours of Pool Lights Are Available?

One of the main advantages of modern LED swimming pool lighting is the amount of colour choices available. LED lighting does not use a filament to produce light, so it does not have the yellow glow of incandescent or halogen bulbs that can give your pool water a green appearance.

Instead, white LED lights are pure white, so even at night, the colour of your swimming pool will stay true to its daytime appearance, showing off your pool to best advantage after dark.

Alternatively, you can choose a red, blue, and green LED lighting system. These three colours can be combined to produce pool lighting in any colour you choose, personalising the appearance of your pool to suit your tastes. You can also change the colour of your pool lighting easily whenever you want a change of mood, or program your lighting to alternate through a range of different colours. This can be a highly effective feature for evening pool parties, helping to create an extra celebratory atmosphere.

How Easy Are LED Pool Lights to Use?

Another great feature of LED pool lighting is its level of practicality. Modern swimming pool lighting systems are easily programmable, so you can set them to turn on and off at specific times. This cuts down even further on energy wastage, saving you more money on your household bills.

Many LED pool lighting systems can also now be paired with the rest of your home automation. This offers the ultimate convenience, as you can turn your pool lights on and off, or even program your different colour choices using a simple smartphone app. Your pool can be lit in the colour of your choice, ready for you to enjoy the moment you arrive home! This is also a great way of saving time if you are preparing your home for a party or evening with friends.

How Many Swimming Pool Lights Do You Need?

This really depends on a number of factors:

  • The size and shape of your swimming pool
  • The amount of light in the area surrounding your pool
  • The design and colour effects that you want to achieve.

Obviously, a large pool will require more lights than a smaller pool. If you live in a rural area without much ambient light, your pool may also need more lighting to ensure everybody can see it, reducing the danger of accidents. This is particularly important if you have young children.

You should think about the shape of the pool when planning your pool lighting. If it is curved or L-shaped, you need to make sure all areas of the pool are well-lit. This also applies if you have any additional areas to your pool, such as a joined-on spa area. Plenty of lighting around the steps is also essential, so everyone can see to get in and out of the pool safely.

Finally, think about the aesthetic effects. Are there any areas of the pool you particularly want to highlight? For example, if your pool has a water feature, you will want to make sure this has adequate lighting so it can still look its best after dark.

Which Are the Best Ways to Position Your Pool Lights?

Your pool lighting design needs to be planned before your swimming pool is installed, once you know the size and shape of your pool and where in your backyard it will be positioned. Remember to consider how the landscaping around the pool will look when the installation is complete — you won’t just need lights inside the pool, you will also need to light the area surrounding it.

Strategically placed garden lights can highlight particular features of the landscaping, while floodlights are ideal if you have a large area you want to illuminate. Be careful not to overdo the lighting, however, as this can take away from the character of your pool, and your design features will not be highlighted so well.

You also need to think about your pool lighting design from a practical point of view. Remember, it will need to be wired into your electricity mains. Your pool lights need to be positioned in a way that makes this possible.

The best option is to consult with an electrician during the planning phase of your swimming pool project. They will be able to advise you on the most practical positioning for your pool lights as well as the visual effects that you will be able to achieve.

Which Brand of Lighting Should You Choose?

There are many different brands of pool lighting on the market, but they do not all offer the same benefits. It can be tempting to choose the cheapest option, but in the long run, this is not always the most practical choice.

Firstly, the lights have to be capable of achieving the effects that you want. Your pool is a major investment, and if it looks attractive, it will add considerable value to your home. This means it is important to give plenty of consideration to its appearance. In addition, you want to enjoy spending time in your pool, and you will feel a lot more comfortable there if it reflects your personal tastes and coordinates well with the rest of your property.

In addition, you should look at the warranties that different lighting brands offer. Repairing or replacing swimming pool lighting systems can be a difficult job that needs to be tackled by a professional, so it is essential to choose a company that will do this for you if anything goes wrong. More often than not, cheaper brands do not manufacture their products to such high standards, and do not offer particularly good warranties. Needless to mention, these might not save you money at all and could even end up costing you more.

Before choosing a lighting system, it is advisable to speak with your pool consultant. An experienced company will have worked with many different lighting systems, so they will be able to recommend the best brands to choose.

Find Out More About Swimming Pool Lighting

If you would like more information about swimming pool lighting systems, brands, and design ideas, please contact one of our authorised dealers. Enter the postcode or search by your area to find your local pool builder. Their specialist pool consultants will be happy to answer all your questions and help you choose the perfect lighting for your backyard swimming pool.

Checkout some of the swimming pools our dealers have installed by dusk with their pool lights on: