Lights can add a lot of ambiance and function to any type of space. When it comes to underwater lighting, there are a few things you need to know. Not all lights can be utilized underwater, so you need to know what to look for when purchasing this type of solution.
There are really only three types of locations where underwater lighting is used. The first is swimming pools whether residential or commercial such as a hotel. The second is when used in landscaping or waterscaping. There is also the matter of aquarium lighting. Each area has different considerations to keep in mind.
Lights for swimming pools are typically specified as being swimming pool friendly. For example, the unit will feature elements such as well gasketed edging, submersion proof construction, and low heat emissions. The most important factor with any type of underwater lighting is to check the ratings. For instance, a light solution may be UL listed for damp locations but not wet locations. The other matter to check is the submersion rating. Not all lights that are wet listed can be fully submerged under water. You should also consider the way the chemicals in the pool will interact with the lens of the light since certain metals are more prone to wear and tear caused by chemicals.
For landscaping, adding lights to fountains or ponds is a great way to add gentle ambiance. For this area of lighting, the key is to find solutions with the right lumen output. If you choose a powerful lumen output, you may create a blinding glare when combined with the water. The goal is to find the right lumen output for the movement of the water. For example, if the water is stagnant, opt for a gentler lumen option whereas a waterfall or fountain can have a brighter lumen since you want to draw attention to the moving water. The same considerations of ratings and codes should be used as with swimming pools. If the unit isn’t going to be fully submerged such as when placed behind a waterfall, but it has somewhat constant contact with water, it’s best to opt for submersion rating fixtures anyway. You also want to choose options where the wiring is encased inside the unit or a plug-in solution which allows you to wrap the extra cord around the fixture itself so you won’t have a hard time reaching it when it comes time for maintenance or bulb replacement.
For this area, the biggest consideration is heat. Any location where there are living things, temperature should be taken into consideration. Since lights give off a considerable amount of heat during operation, and certain types of fish and plants can perish with rising temperature, it is crucial to look at this factor when shopping for this area of underwater lighting. The best bet is to opt for LED which emits practically no heat since it is so efficient and doesn’t suffer heat loss during the conversion of energy to illumination.
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