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How to install a pool light

Are you installing pool lights for the first time, or do your old lights need an upgrade? Modern energy-efficient pool lighting will light up your outdoor area while also being light on your electricity bills.

Pool lighting helps to keep your family and friends safe around your pool, but the installation itself can be hazardous if it's not carried out by a qualified professional.

Why do you need pool lights?

The most important reason to install pool lights is to improve safety around your pool, especially at night. Without proper lighting, people and pets could fall into the pool or injure themselves on slippery poolside surfaces. Even with good lighting in place, children should never be allowed in or around a pool without supervision.

As well as safety, pool lighting has aesthetic benefits. Well-chosen lighting can transform summertime pools when the sun goes down. If you have a spa pool, the right lighting can enhance the therapeutic experience. Your pool lights can also extend to other areas of the garden to create whatever mood you want.

What types of pool lights are there?

Pool lights can be installed flush with the pool wall or protruding. While flush lights have a sleeker finish, they don't produce as much illumination, so you may need to install more of them to achieve the light level you want.

With incandescent bulbs no longer on sale in Australia, today's pool owners have a choice between LED lights or halogens

LED pool lights are the more economical option, being 3 to 5 times more energy efficient than halogen bulbs and lasting 10 times as long on average (50,000 hours). They're also available in a wider variety of colours, including colour changing sequences, to make it easier to set the right tone in and around your pool.

Halogen lights may be less efficient, but they have the advantage of brightness. Their more intense light illuminates pools and surrounds more clearly, with the downside that these bulbs also produce significant heat that can melt the seals over time. This means they may have to be replaced each year.

How many lights do you need?

The number of lights you need depends on several factors. The main one is the size of your pool. You can calculate the level of lighting needed as 5.4 watts per square metre – so around 200 watts for an 8.5m x 4.5m pool.

A lighter-coloured pool will reflect more light and needs less illumination than a darker pool. If your pool has an irregular shape with curves or corners tucked out of sight, these may require separate lighting.

Can I install a pool light myself?

Under the Electrical Safety Regulation of 2002, you can only install a pool light in Australia if you're a licensed electrician. Working with electricity around water is a major safety hazard that requires training and experience.

You should also check that the pool lights you buy are manufactured in compliance with Australian Standards.

How much is a pool light?

LED lights are usually more expensive per fixture than halogens, but you'll save money in electricity costs and won't have to replace them so soon. If you're buying a pool for the first time, check whether lights and other essentials are already included in the pool package.

For a wide range of summertime pools, equipment and accessories, search Clark Rubber's online catalogue or find your nearest store.

Onsite Pool Care