Pool equipment – lighting, covers, cleaning, features
Maximise your investment by installing pool lights.
Many of us do not have time to swim during daylight hours. Installing underwater pool lights allows you to swim safely and enjoy your recreation time in the pool at night.
Your pool is a feature of your garden. Without lights, your pool feature becomes a black hole at night. A comfortable ambience can be created using lighting. At night your pool can be transformed from a swimming centre to a tranquil, relaxing entertaining area.
Underwater lights are available in two styles. You can install a Surface Mounted Light or a Flush Mounted Light, commonly known as a Niche.
The Surface Mounted Light is installed on the side of the pool wall. Which brand of light you choose will help to indicate how far the light will protrude from the pool wall.
The Flush Mounted Light is installed inside the pool wall and exposes only the faceplate of the light, therefore it sits flush against the pool wall with minimal protrusion.
Once you have chosen the exterior of your light, you will then need to decide whether the pool light internals should be a Halogen globe or an LED.
The difference between Halogen and LED
When choosing Halogen lights, a higher wattage always produces a brighter light – the only way to produce more light is to use more power. By comparison, one of the key benefits of high quality LED technology is the ability to deliver more light while using less power (compared to Halogen technology).
As technology evolves, lights are becoming brighter while their energy consumption remains the same or even reduces. Therefore, it is possible for an advanced 10W LED light to have a noticeably higher light output than a less advanced 20W LED light. The technical term for this is Luminous Efficacy – how many lumens of light are produced for every Watt of power used. A common mistake is selecting an LED light based on lumens or watts alone. LED light selection should be based on Luminous Efficacy to ensure that you get both a bright and efficient LED for your application.
There are a number of different types of cleaning systems. It’s simply a matter of choice (of which there are basically four) to find the one that fits your requirements and your budget.
You could of course choose to manually vacuum your pool on a regular basis – but by far the most popular choice today is to use one of the many portable cleaning systems or a built-in cleaning and circulation system.
In most cases, these systems are designed to plug into the pool’s skimmer box and are powered by the filter pump. They vacuum the floor in a random pattern, picking up debris and placing it in the skimmer basket for later emptying.
Most manufacturers usually recommend they be removed during swimming times.
These cleaners are designed in most cases to use a separate boost pump. They take some of the filtered water from the pool return line, boost the pressure, and return it to the cleaning system. This filtered high-pressure water is then used to jet into every corner of the pool. Pressure cleaners use venture action to vacuum debris into a bag for later emptying. This method puts no load on the filter system that makes it especially useful in very leafy locations. Most manufacturers recommend they be removed during swimming times also.
Electrically propelled cleaners – Pool Robots
As the name suggests, these cleaners are independent devices, operating under their own low voltage power. They travel the entire floor of the pool, sweeping and vacuuming debris, which they pick up and carry in their own body. They have their own pump and drive motor as well as a small built-in filter, which cleans the water before returning it back into the pool.
These cleaners are a very popular choice now as they can climb and clean the wall surface but still may not get into the corners of your pool. These robots are only typically used while no one is in the pool.
In-floor cleaning systems
Sometimes claimed as the “The Self Cleaning Pool”.
An in-floor cleaning system is central to a low maintenance pool – the ultimate in pool ownership. Not only do they clean the entire pool, including steps, seats and swim out areas, but they also improve heat distribution, chemical distribution and general circulation.
Some in-floor cleaning systems require a separate pump, while the most energy-efficient systems operate from a single pump in conjunction with the pool’s filtering system. All in-floor systems pump water through a valve to sequential groups of pop-up floor and step nozzles. Water returns to the pool through these nozzles and directs debris towards collection points for removal.
Once installed, an in-floor cleaning system is virtually maintenance-free and will generally keep your pool spotless. Some pool owners prefer to turn the system off during swimming, however, there is no requirement to do so, as there are no hoses in the pool.
These systems are the most expensive but do provide a superior result in keeping the pool clean. However, there is no such thing as a fully automated swimming pool. You will always be required to monitor or in some cases assist the pool and its equipment to maintain crystal clear water.
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