How to Select Inground Pool Lights

[MUSIC] Hello pool pals and the patriots, it’s your faithful friends,
Matt and Rob, with another chapter of Inyo Pools
Equipment Selection series. Today’s subject is the always
illuminating topic of pool lighting. -Pools have three main
genres of lighting, standard incandescent, LED
and fiber optic. Let’s focus on the basics of each, then we’ll figure out which
is the best for you and your pool. First up is the incandescent. -Incandescent fixtures are lit
by a filament or a halogen bulb comparable to outdoor flood lamps
except larger, more powerful,
and of course, under water. These lights make poolscapes sparkle
with appealing soft white glow shown by bulbs ranging
from 300 to 400 and 500 watts. If you are looking for a crisp,
clean glean to your pool, these lights will do wonders. -The incandescent’s major advantage
is its low upfront cost. For example, the Pentair Maryla
and Hayward Astral light fixtures are much cheaper
than their LED counterparts. While a lower upfront cost is nice, the downside is that
they cost more to operate and require more maintenance
like replacing bulbs. -Very true. In engineering, your design is only
as strong as its weakest part. For these fixtures, it’s the bulb. Filament bulbs
have a relatively short lifespan, sometimes as low as 2,000 hours. So every time a bulb blows, you have to pull that light on deck, change the bulb
and replace the lens gasket. Over the lifetime of a fixture,
the maintenance could cost a couple of a hundred dollars
just before labor. -Well, indeed. The incandescent lights
are only available in white. Some fixtures offer various
color lenses to spice up your pool, but these lenses
can be a pain to pop on and off. If you want color,
our next light option is probably the best for you. -LED lights have a great combination
of energy efficiency, longevity, and dazzling colors
in one little package. When compared to the standard
incandescent 500 watt light, the 5G light consumes a little
more than a tenth of the power. -LEDS are built to last. Their bulbs or modules
are generally rated for 30,000 or more operational hours. -There’s a good chance pool owners
won’t spend 30,000 hours in a pool in their lifetime,
let alone while it’s lit. So, you should get a very long use
of these lights. -But the real reason to get one
of these bad boys are the light shows that change
your pool from bleh to party. -Those samba lessons
are really paying off for you. -I knew they’d be worth it. -Yes, those hips don’t lie. Various LED models
have fun named light shows like California sunset,
northern lights, patriot dream, and supernova, the fa2
or flash colors all throughout the spectrum. -Now, it is not all fun
in the world of LED. The LED light fixtures cost
about twice as much as an incandescent light. And if you go with an LED bulb, it will run as much
as a complete incandescent light. -Plus these both are not as bright
as their incandescent cousins. The watt equivalency
falls between 250 to 300 for the brightest LED bulb. With all that being said,
LED bulbs are becoming the favorite of new pool installations as well as retrofits
for older lights. -Speaking of old, now we have
to move onto fiber optics. -It’s not 1998. -I know it’s not 1998,
but we just have to cover it. -Is that in our contract? -It is. -Okay. Well, fiber optic systems
are made of two components, an illuminator
and the fiber optic cable. The illuminator houses
the light source, which is either a halogen light
with an optional color wheel, or an LED light assembly,
which resembles a ray gun. -Pew, pew. -It doesn’t make that sound,
just so you know. -Fiber optic cable is then plugged
into the illuminator. When the illuminator is on,
the light passes through the cable. There are two types
of fiber optic cables, Side Glow, for the perimeter,
and the End Glow, for underwater. -Major drawback of fiber optics
is that it’s by far the most expensive on the list,
and a hassle to install. After the cost of the illuminator,
cable, cable tracks, and with assorted accessories
and labor, you’ll wish you had just gone
with another option. -Now we move on to the nitty-gritty
of figuring out the pool voltage. The question we get a lot
from customers is, “Does it matter if I go
with 120 or 12 volts?” That answer boils down
to personal preference and code restrictions in your area. -Fixtures operating on 120-volt
pull their power directly from a power source
with no intermediary device. But in 12-volt fixtures,
a transformer is installed on the circuit between the 120-volt
receptacle and the light. The transformer steps down
the 120 to 12 volts for a safe voltage
to protect any swimmer if there is a shortage. -Some local codes
and a large percentage of commercial installations
require 12-volt lights. But that’s not to say 120 is unsafe. Chances are, your swimming pool
is lit by 120 volt all your life. If properly bonded,
no issues should arise. -Okay. Now, we hopefully figured out which type of light we want
and we know what voltage we have. Now it’s time for the little things
like cable length, the niche, and controlling the light. -The container that holds
the light in your pool wall is called a niche. These are made of metal or plastic. -Each light has at least
two niches or nichi- -Nichies? — that are compatible
with its fixture. One for a fiberglass vinyl,
and another for gunite pools. The fiberglass vinyl models
include a gasket package to help seal the seam
around the niche. -To determine cable length
required for the installation, we need to measure
the cable’s expected travel distance from the niche to the power source. If you plan to use a junction box,
measure from the box to the niche. Make sure you the measure
height rise from the niche to the power source
as well as distance. -An important thing to remember,
pool light cables cannot be spliced or extended, so it’s best to upsize
your cord length to be on the safe side. -That’s right. If you estimate you need
45 feet of cable to reach the power source, I suggest getting
a 75-foot or longer. This allows for any miscalculations
and adds slack to the lines so you could pull the fixture up
on the deck for maintenance. -And now, finally,
how do we control the lights once they are installed? Generally, there
are two control options for your incandescent and LED lights. They are a manual wall switch
or an automated timer. Hooking up your LED bulb
or fixture to a light switch allows you to cycle through your
light shows and solid colors. If you have a pin tear on telibrate, a cool add-on is a pin tear’s
optional controller which has a dial
that you can easily set for a specific color or show. -If you prefer to be hands-off,
there are control and timer options that can automate your pool lighting
and the whole pool from a hand-held
or wall-mounted remote, or better yet, from your phone. But we will save that
for our next segment of the Selection Series
when we cover controls and timers. -But for now,
thank you for joining us. If you find these videos helpful,
subscribe to our YouTube channel and stay tuned to the next edition
of our Selection Series. [MUSIC]

5 thoughts on “How to Select Inground Pool Lights

  1. Hi there , i have a 120 volts light on my pool ,now that i have learned that people have gotten electrocuted i am scared to turn on.I had the pool built about 10 years according to code ,city inspector checked the wiring.Can this low voltage (12 volts) still electrocute you if something goes bad .And how bright are this lights? THANK YOU.

  2. My light on the wall of my in ground pool is no good I want to take it out completely,we’ve already cut off cord. The place that used to be there to screw It securely I broke so I just need s cover to shut up the hole. Any ideas

  3. Back ground music was really annoying, can you re upload this video with out background music?

  4. Great video.
    Can an LED bulb be used inside the incandescent light niche instead of the incandescent bulb?


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