The Evolution of Pool Lighting

 In Custom Pool Design

For many years, standard pool lighting was a single, 12-inch, 500-watt incandescent light bulb. If your pool was particularly large, or you wanted super brightness, a second bulb was added. Aside from the 1- or 2-bulb approach, owners and builders alike didn’t think much about lighting. But swimming pool and landscape lighting has evolved significantly over the past five years and lighting is no longer an afterthought. For many of our clients, lighting now takes center stage and helps them to create and customize the atmosphere in their backyard. The evolution has been driven, in part, by efforts to use greener technology but also by a heightened consumer interest in landscape design and architecture.

The Tech Side

In pool and landscape design, incandescent lighting is quickly being replaced by LED lighting, and our clients love the results. LED lights use a fraction of the energy to light a swimming pool; in fact, one standard incandescent light consumes 500 watts, while many LED lighting options consume less than 30 watts giving off the same amount of light.

The Design Appeal

LED lights emit a cleaner, clearer blue color as opposed to the yellowish light that is given off incandescent bulbs. We all know the difference when we see LED headlights in a car, right? Well, the difference in a swimming pool is even more dramatic. Because the water reflects the light, the effect is magnified; pool water looks noticeably bluer, brighter and cleaner in a swimming pool with LED lighting.

LED lights also come in up to five solid colors and with the technology to deliver multiple “shows” in which the lights will change colors slowly or flash rapidly. The timing and color features can be set to reflect a specific mood for entertaining and are a huge hit with our clients who have young children.

Finally, LED lights do come in 12″ diameter fixtures, but quite a few manufacturers make them in sizes as small as 2″ in diameter. Many of our clients prefer to install several smaller, subtler lights rather than a single large bulb, and LED lighting gives them that option.

In addition to lighting swimming pool and spa interiors, we use LED lights to illuminate retaining walls, staircases, walkways, decks, and service counters. These small, powerful lights frame the structure of your swimming pool landscape and create and elegant ambiance in your backyard. The unobtrusive designs maintain the integrity of the masonry design while ensuring that guests can navigate safely to and from your swimming pool in the evening.

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