Pool Illuminators: LED Lights vs. Fiber Optic Lights

Swimming-Pool-LightAs if in-ground swimming pools weren't cool enough, there is the lighting. A well maintained pool with great lighting is just an amazing place to be. When you want to have an evening or late night swim, there is nothing like the ambiance of quality pool lighting. When it comes to outfitting your pool with lights, there are two popular and common options: LED or fiber optic.

Since both lights serve the same purpose of illuminating the pool, both are theoretically suitable for any pool, but naturally one has to be better than another. The question is, which light is more advantageous overall for the pool and pool owner in terms of cost, installation, and maintenance? Here is a quick breakdown.

LED Lights

LED lights illuminate the pool by being submersed in the water inside a housing installed in the pool shell. The light bulb is sealed to protect it from water and electricity getting in or out. Finally, the bulb contains a cord that runs from the bulb to a switch to operate the light. LED lights require periodic replacement but the bulbs typically last seven to fifteen years. They cost anywhere from four hundred to one thousand dollars in initial cost and between two hundred and four hundred to replace the bulb. The bulb itself is fairly easy to replace since it is housed in a sealed container. The housing is removed from the pool wall and the bulb is changed–simple.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of LED lights beyond their lifespan is their brightness. There are different sizes of LED pool lights depending on the size and shape of the pool. Large LED pool lights illuminate the entire pool well whereas the smaller sizes may require two lights to fully illuminate the pool. Submerged LED pool lights are also safe since they feature a voltage transformer that converts the voltage to around 12 volts and can be mounted virtually anywhere around the pool–near or far.

Fiber Optic Lights

Fiber optic lights differ in multiple ways from LED lights, with the most notable difference being their brightness potential. Fiber optic lights are installed by mounting an illuminator containing the bulb away from the pool and running a fiber optic cable from the box to the pool wall. Light travels through the cable and comes out the end of the cable to illuminate the pool. Since all of the mechanical components of this setup are away from the pool and there is no electricity in the water, these cables are considered the safest. Unlike LED lights, fiber optic lights require more equipment, setup, and are slightly more expensive at between nine hundred and fifteen hundred dollars for an initial setup. The bulbs also last three to seven years and come with a replacement cost of around two to three hundred.

Fiber optic pool lights are not as efficient in their illumination as LED lights. It has been found that an LED light at one end of a pool illuminates the pool better than two fiber optic lights at each end. This is because two cables doesn't equal more lighting power since the light is coming from a single illuminator. Fiber optic pool light setups require that the illuminator box be within ten to twelve feet of the pool, so positioning is limited unless a separate custom cable is purchased.

When looking at the two pool light setups, the performance, flexibility in positioning, lifespan, and cost make LED lights the better option for cool pool lights. Fiber optics can be more maintenance and have a higher initial cost and don't have the illumination power of LED. So when you want to make you pool shine, go with LED.

If you have troubles with your pool lighting installation, you can find professional electricians at acesydneyelectricians.com.au

Ben Vaughn enjoys going out for a late night swim when the pool has the proper lighting. Ben writes for Arc Blue Electric, a top Salt Lake City electrician, about electrical problems facing every homeowner.

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