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LED vs Incandescent Swimming Pool Lights

Lighting is important in any aspect of design. Outdoor design is no exception. From decks to pathways, outdoor lighting can make or break the mood and function of your space. The same is true when installing pool lighting. Picking the right kind of lights can be the difference between an outdated, dimly lit water feature, and a pool that invites you to dive in. Today’s market offers homeowners two main types of pool lights to pick from: LED lights, or incandescent.

While generations past may be stuck comparing LED and incandescent lights, most contractors now agree that there is simply no comparison. LED lights are the present and the future. Incandescent lights are quickly becoming a mainstay of the past. Like all outdated technology, incandescent lights were once great. However they have quickly been outpaced in function, style, and performance by LED alternatives.

While many may still look to incandescent lighting as a more affordable solution, it is often not worth the savings in the long run. Especially when comparing the price of the initial installation to the costs over the long term. If you’re thinking about installing lighting around your new pool, here are some main factors to consider before picking a type of bulb.

Why You Should Light Your Pool

Before you understand why certain bulbs are better than others, you may be wondering why it is necessary to light your pool at all? After all, many homeowners assume they swim only during daylight hours, or during peak summer months. While this may be true for some, often it is a result of limited pool function. Mainly, as a result of lack of accommodations such as lighting.

Where pools without lighting may only be functional during daytime hours, great pool lighting extends your features usability. Suddenly, late night swims are possible. The more you use your pool, the more cost effective your investment becomes. Extending the usable hours of your swimming pool is not only convenient, but makes sense in order to get more for your money.

Additionally, adding lighting provides extra safety to the space. Tripping hazards are dangerous anywhere. Combine this risk with open water, and it’s not a chance worth taking. Lighting key areas around your pool will ensure you and any company you may have are safe when navigating your pool deck during PM or early AM hours.

Benefits of Choosing LED Pool Lights

Contractors don’t suggest LED style lighting for no reason. From long term cost, to function, to flexibility, LED lights outperform their incandescent competitors.

1. Cost Effective

To understand why LED lights save you money, you should understand a little bit more about how LED lights work. All bulbs produce light by way of energy measured in watts. Incandescent lights use electricity and a filament that produces significant heat. The average incandescent bulb uses 100 watts of energy per hour, for every hour that it is on.

In comparison, LED lights use no filament. Instead, electricity is passed through a microchip which illuminates the bulb and produces very little heat. This means, by comparison, they run on very few watts. As a result, they expand far less energy per hour of illumination.

From here, it doesn’t take a scientist to understand the savings. The less energy used, the less you will be charged. While incandescent lights may be cheaper per unit up front, they cost you more money to operate over their lifespan.

Not to mention, the amount of energy they require means they will burn out faster. Repurchasing an incandescent bulb one or more times makes it inevitably less cost effective than paying more up front for LED installation.

2. Brightness and Vibrancy

Now that you understand how LED lights use less energy, we can talk about how they provide increased brightness at the same time. One of the main draws to LED lights is their inherent brightness and vibrancy. Light perceived by the human eye is measured in lumens. The higher the lumens, the brighter a light will be perceived.

A typical incandescent bulb produced between 1,400 and 1,750 lumens per 100 watts. In comparison, a standard LED bulb producing the same lumens may only use 14 watts. This means even a slight increase in wattage produces a big jump in brightness for LED bulbs. Some LED lightbulbs may produce a light that is over 5,000 lumens.

For most, the upfront cost of a great LED bulb is worth it for the increased functionality and long term savings.

3. Reduced Maintenance, Heightened Durability

Not only does reduced energy expenditure mean great savings, but it also means reduced maintenance and heightened durability. Incandescents may seem hands off--until they burn out. Replacing pool lights frequently can be a huge pain. Outdoor lighting isn’t as simple as changing a bulb in your room. This is especially true when half of these bulbs are under water.

Not only is changing incandescent bulbs a hassle, but the heat they produce can take a toll on the gaskets. This can result in additional service to your lighting grid later on down the road.

In comparison, LED lights use far less heat and last a much longer time. While you may find yourself replacing incandescent lights once a year, LEDS can stay put for up to 30,000 hours. If you're lucky, you may never find yourself replacing a bulb at all. This hands off approach is a huge benefit to the updated technology. For most homeowners, the less they have to worry about in their outdoor living space, the better.

4. Eco Friendly

Now more than ever, outdoor design is moving in the direction of sustainability. This means doing the most you can with your outdoor space while creating the smallest energy footprint possible. As you can imagine, LED bulbs play into this equation seamlessly.

Using a fraction of the energy to run, LED lights are an environmentally friendly staple in outdoor landscaping. This means you are not only saving money and getting a better product, but you are making a positive impact on the planet as well. That’s something everyone can get on board with.

5. Customizable

At the end of the day, there are still going to be some people who don’t care much about stats. Energy efficiency, cost, and durability aren’t as important to them as aesthetics. Thankfully, lighting is one of the few areas where the more energy and earth-friendly option is also favorable in appearance.

Not only are LED pool lights brighter than their incandescent counterparts, but they offer the homeowner more options as well. A great lighting design is one that fits your style, needs, and individual space. Incandescent bulbs may look alright in many spaces, but they don’t offer a great deal of flexibility. LED bulbs solve this problem.

If you’ve ever seen a modern, upscale lighting design, it’s probable that LED lights are at play. With LED bulbs, you can choose from a wide range of tones, brightnesses, and even colors. Those dreaming of a custom lighting landscape can tweak the specs of LED bulbs to their heart's content.

Go classic, with bright, neutral lighting. Or, have a blast picking from an endless range of colors. Many LED bulbs are even color changing. Connect these bulbs to your phone or control panel to set a different mood every night.

Whether you're planning for holidays, parties, or just feel like mixing things up, almost anything is possible with a great LED install. Incandescent lights simply don’t measure up.

LED Lights Are The Future

While it may still be possible to create a beautiful lighting design with incandescents, it is quickly becoming less practical. As the industry continues to move forward, incandescents will become more and more obsolete. This will make repairs and replacements more costly and inconvenient.

For a lighting design that will move forward with you, choosing LED lighting is the smarter option. Energy efficient, eco-conscious, and completely customizable, there’s not much not to like.

This being said, many different brands of LED lighting are currently on the market today. Speaking with your pool contractor to find the best fit for your space will leave you with a lighting design that can take you from this decade to the next in style.

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