LED Pool Lights vs Fiber Optic Pool Lights Which Inground(Underground) Pool Light is Better?
When purchasing an inground swimming pool there are some accessories such as heaters, security covers, and automatic vacuums that can be added or changed over time. You do not have that flexibility with an inground pool light. It's a one- shot deal. Let's take a moment to compare led pool lights and fiber optic pool lights, the two most popular products on the market today to find which inground pool light could work better for you.
Firstly, we should be aware of the similarities and differences of LED Pool Lights and Fiber Optic Pool Lights. Both the two inground lights are used to illuminate the pool and provide a variety of colors to enhance the atmosphere. But that's about all the two inground pool lights have in common as they use two entirely different methods to illuminate the pool water. Led pool lights are designed so the actual light bulb is submersed in the water and contained in a niche, or housing, which is installed in the pool shell. The light bulb is sealed so no water or electricity can get in or out and the cord travels from the bulb to a switch where the light is operated. Fiber optic pool lights are designed so the light source is placed in a weatherproof box located on top of the pool patio. The light from the light source travels through fiber optic cable from the light source to a special fitting installed in the pool ground or wall where the fiber optic lighting cable ends. The light is emitted from the end of the cable and illuminates the pool. With a basic understanding of how each inground pool light works, let's compare led pool lights and fiber optic pool lights. We'll look at 5 different categories to see the advantages and disadvantages of each type of inground pool light.
# 1: Difficulty Level of maintenance the light bulb
Led pool lights: Many people have the misconception that you need to lower the water level to change the bulb of an inground pool light. Not true! The sealed housing that contains the bulb is removed from the light niche in the pool wall and then brought above water level where the bulb is changed. The entire process is simple and takes 15-30 minutes.
Fiber optic pool lights: Because the bulb of fiber optic pool lights is located in a dry box on patio level, the bulb is very easy to access and can be changed in less than 5 minutes. If you use LED Light Source, the lifespan can be up to 30000~50000hours. That is about 3~5 years.
Advantage: Fiber optic pool lights
#2: Initial and lifetime cost
Led pool lights: Initial cost is typically $400-$900. The only component of the system that will need periodic replacement will be the bulb which ranges anywhere from $200-$400 depending on the unit. Bulbs will typically last 7-15 years in led pool lights.
Fiber optic pool lights: The initial cost is typically $900-1500 on new construction. Because this system is above water level a fan is needed to cool the bulb. An electric motor is also used to rotate the color wheel that causes the light to change colors. These components do fail over time and will need to be replaced. The bulbs of fiber optic pool lights will typically last 3-7 years at a replacement cost of $200-$300.
Of course, you can choose our new and green technology using LED Light Engine as light source. Normally the rated power can be 12W,16W,18W,27W,36W,45W,75W,100W and 120W. Brightness of 45W LED light engine source can well compete with 150W Metal Halogen Light Engine Source. And there’s no need to use a fan to cool the Light Engine Source.
Advantage: Led pool lights or Fiber Optic Pool Light with LED Light Engine
Led pool lights: A full size led pool light will illuminate a large residential pool very well. Smaller led pool lights like the PAL 2000, which we use, will require 2 lights on a pool 15x34 or bigger to illuminate the entire pool. Lights are usually installed at opposite ends of the inground pool to illuminate the pool as evenly as possible.
Fiber optic pool lights: It is mainly used for Ambience lighting such as Ceiling Lighting, Contour Linghting etc.
Advantage: Led pool lights
# 4: Size and location of lighting components
Led pool lights: The components are a standard light switch and transformer (if low voltage) located at the pool equipment or more convenient location, and the light which is installed at the pool. The transformer is mounted on a post or wall along with the switch and can be as close at 10' from the pool or as far as 50-100 feet from the pool. Many lights come with limited cord length. The PAL 2000, for example, comes with 69' of cord.
Fiber optic pool lights: The dry box, or illuminator, is about 1'x1' in size and must be located within 10'-12' of the pool unless custom length fiber optic cable is purchased at approx $20/ft. This does present a design challenge if the light is wanted on an end of the pool with a significant amount of patio.
Advantage: Led pool lights
Led pool lights: Despite what some people may think, modern submerged pool lights are safe. Tens of thousands are installed every year without incident. Many led pool lights are low voltage. Instead of having a 110 volt fixture, a transformer converts to 12 volts which is about the same as a car charger.
Fiber optic pool lights: Have literally no electricity in the water. All of the mechanicals are located in the illuminator box at patio level.
Which inground pool light is better? After having installed literally hundreds of both types of inground pool lights we have come to the conclusion that it depends on the project itself. Sometimes we can use LED pool lights or fiber optic pool lights only. But sometimes we can use them both. Please feel free to share your project with us so that we can offer some suggestions.