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WedgetailArchitect: Naked Architecture

TIME TO READ: 4m 15s

A well-lit swimming pool provides not only a safer environment but can enhance the look of your entire outdoor space. Lighting can extend the usage of your swimming pool and highlight your property’s asset from inside your home.

Pool lighting options

There are several pool lighting options on the market to choose from with type offering different benefits and effects. Taking the time to choose the right fittings for your outdoor space will improve its functionality and visual appeal. Here we take a look at the main pool lighting solutions you should consider.

Flush-mounted pool lights

Flush-mounted pool lighting offers a seamless finish as they sit in line with the interior wall finish of your pool. You have two main choices when it comes to flush-mounted pool lights: LED or halogen fittings.

Flush-mounted LEDs:

As LED lamps are renowned for their energy efficiency and durability, these light fittings are highly popular in new pools. The downside of flush-mounted pool lights, in general, is the higher costs to install. LED light fittings also come with a more expensive upfront cost. Unlike Halogen, LED fittings also can’t be serviced and will need to be replaced in the event they fail.

Flush-mounted Halogens:

Flush-mounted Halogen pool lighting options are substantially cheaper compared to the LED products. They’re also able to be serviced so you may avoid replacing the entire fitting if your light fails. However, they use much more energy and are likely to require more maintenance over their lifespan than LEDs.

Surface-Mounted Underwater pool lighting

Surface-mounted underwater pool lights are installed on top of the interior surface. They won’t offer the same seamless finish as a flush-mounted fitting but they do come with the benefit of easy installation and cheaper to fix if there is an issue. They also provide ample light.

As they are fitted to the surface rather than built-in, surface-mounted underwater pool lights are the best option if you’re updating the lighting of an existing pool. Again, they are available in the option of LED or halogen lamps. The same advantages and disadvantages apply with LED having a higher upfront cost but use less energy, and halogen cheaper but less energy efficient. Halogen fittings, however, can be serviced whereas LED fittings will need to be replaced entirely.

One common downside of surface-mounted underwater pool lighting is that they’re more easily broken because they stick out from the wall. Often children use these as steps to get out of the pool or they can be damaged during play or cleaning.

pool lighting

Floating LED lights

For those looking for a decorative effect, floating LED lights are an ideal option. These come in a range of shapes and sizes and a variety of colours. Some products are even able to be submerged in the water.

Floating LED lights are typically powered by solar or batteries and are best used occasionally to extend their lifespan. Depending on the product, you may leave it outside all year round or store them indoors to prevent wear and tear.

Pool floodlights

Floodlighting allows you to light up large areas with a singular fitting. This can be a good option if you don’t want to install too many lights in your outdoor area, but you do have to be careful you don’t over illuminate your space and take away the ambience.

Pool floodlighting is available in both LED and Halogen fittings with many off-the-shelf product options. You’ll just need an electrician to install the lights in your desired location. Halogen flood lights are relatively inexpensive but you will need to change the bulbs more frequently than LED and factor in the higher energy costs.

Feature lights

Available as LED or Halogen fittings, feature lighting can be used to highlight particular aspects of your design such as a waterfall, feature wall or poolside planting. Depending on the visual effect you’re trying to achieve, feature lights can add colour to your outdoor space, be used to warm up the surfaces or add a cool feel.

Just as with the other lighting options, LED feature lights will cost more upfront than Halogen but save you money in power bills and replacement lamps. How often you plan to use the feature lights will help you decide which type will meet your needs best.

Garden lights

It’s not just in your pool where you can add ambience through lighting. There is a large range of garden light fittings that can help you highlight the surrounding landscape and draw your eye to the swimming pool when strategically placed. Garden lights are also a practical way to enhance the safety of your swimming pool.

With a variety of options on the market, choosing the right light fittings for your pool and the surrounding outdoor space can be a challenge. It’s not just the type of fitting you need to consider, it’s also the number and placement.

Too many fittings and you can over illuminate the outdoor space and too little may not have the desired impact. The key is to mix and match a few different fittings and strategically place them throughout the pool area. If you’re overwhelmed, engaging the help of a landscape designer or light specialist will be money well spent.

Need more advice regarding pools? Explore our Learning Library.

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