DIY Danger: Underwater Pool Lighting

DIY Danger: Underwater Pool Lighting
Who doesn’t love a relaxing nighttime swim in their very own pool? A well-lit dip in the water can be great with proper underwater pool lighting. That said, it’s crucial that you also understand the possible dangers of improperly installed lights.

In today’s post, let’s explore some of these potential risks.

Beware the Hidden Dangers of Underwater Pool Lighting

We’ve written in the past about the danger of electrical shocks that can occur while swimming. However, that tends to deal with situations during which you are not in control. When it comes to a home pool, safety should be your number-one priority.

When it comes to underwater pool lighting, there are several factors to worry about. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), these hazards are the most pressing:

  • Aging electrical wiring that hasn’t been inspected in years.
  • Sump pumps, power washers, and vacuums that are not properly grounded.
  • Electrical appliances that are at risk for falling into the water.
  • Faulty underwater lighting.

Today, we’ll be focusing on the wiring and faulty underwater pool lighting listed above. Without proper protection and grounded wiring, a fun day in the pool, hot tub or spa can quickly turn deadly.

Protect Swimmers from Accidental Electrical Shock 

Before we begin, it’s always important that we know how to recognize the signs of drowning. No matter what, being able to identify a struggling swimmer is crucial knowledge for every pool owner. Remember, drowning doesn’t always look the way it does in the movies. For more information, read this detailed blog post about how to recognize drowning.

As for preventing electrical accidents due to underwater pool lighting, here are some helpful tips:

  • Know how to turn off the power. It’s important to know where all the electrical switches and circuit breakers are located and understand how to turn them off in case of an emergency.
  • Know when not to DIY. Have a qualified professional electrician install your underwater pool lighting.
  • Keep everything up to code: this goes hand-in-hand with hiring a certified electrician. Before turning those lights on, be sure that all electrical wires and junction boxes are at least five feet away from the water.
  • Always keep a “fiberglass hook” near the pool. If the worst does occur and someone is being electrocuted, you won’t be able to jump in to help them. A nonconductive fiberglass hook can help pull the victim to safety without putting the rescuer in danger.

Beyond Safety: Consider Using LEDs

Basically, the best tip we can offer homeowners is to get help before attempting to install underwater pool lighting. A properly certified electrician will know how to safely set up your lights according to National Electrical Code.

Fortunately, that frees you up to choose your lighting system! These days, technology has done wonders for underwater pool lighting. We recommend using LEDs instead of traditional bulbs. They can offer a brighter lighting solution with significantly lower energy usage. You see, an LED pool light uses only a fraction of the power required by a comparable incandescent bulb. The built-in heat sinks on LEDs allow you to install significantly brighter lighting schemes than would otherwise be possible. Basically, you’re getting brighter lights for lower energy usage. It’s a win-win.