Making a Splash!
Top Tips for Lighting Swimming Pools
Illuminated water can have a magical quality – especially at night. The effect of light
bouncing off water, the simplicity of clean-line architecture and large uncluttered spaces
are just some of the attributes that we, as lighting designers, love to exploit when lighting
pools. The lighting of a pool need not only be considered for safety, particularly with the
use of dark materials within the pool itself but with innovative techniques the pool can be
transformed to a piece of art, an ever changing delight, an inspired vision.
Whatever the type and function of the pool, from a fun children’s pool, a purposeful lap
pool or a multi-functional entertainment space, there are numerous possibilities for
theatrical light effects.
Working with water is not without it’s challenges and has to be planned carefully. The
position and type of fittings used in and around a swimming pool, are crucial to a
successful lighting scheme. Pool lighting should be discreet and easy to maintain, so
energy efficient LEDs and fibre optics are very popular, replacing traditional incandescent
or more common low voltage lamps. The advantages of LEDs include cool to touch
technology, a vast range of colours and long lamp life. However, if we really need to fit and forget, which is often the case in pools, then designers still hold string affection for
fibre topics. Fibre optics have numerous benefits, the greatest for us is that the light
source sits remotely, ensuring maintenance is easily accessible and does not interfere with
the workings of the pool itself.
Externally, using lights around a pool draws the eye beyond the water, thereby maximising
the sense of space and drama. Lighting set into the steps leads visitors safely to the pool.
The pool lights also define the space for safety, but have to be set into the side of the
pool closest to the house, ensuring it is the illuminated water, not the light source, that is
visible from the house. Uplighting can accentuate the textural quality of the surrounding
walls of the pool environment.
Energy Efficient lighting has no boundaries. Natural and artificial illuminations combine to
provide this pool (photo below) with endless creativity. The play of natural light merges
seamlessly with artificial light settings to recreate sunrise and sunset in all their majestic
forms. RGB LED colour change lamps provide magic to an ever changing underwater world.
Red stimulates and activates the circulation and vitalizes the physical body helping to
overcome tiredness and inertia.
When lighting pools, the only limit will be your imagination (and budget) !!!