Fiber optic pool lighting
We always get asked how to design a colorful swimming pool using fiber optic lighting. We have actually come up with some basic guidelines to assist you. Before we go into details of how to plan and estimate how much the project will cost, for an average swimming pool installation plan on spending $1500-$5000 for the fiber optic illuminators, mounting track, cables and any other accessories you may need. This price will depend on the perimeter length of your pool and the type of cable that you choose to use. The nice thing is that by purchasing materials from us and by doing some of the labor yourself it can also save you thousands of dollars on installation costs.
One thing you will need to understand is that fiber optic side glow lighting is that it will not light up your water. It is meant to be used for accent lighting and to enhance the mood in your back yard oasis that you have worked real hard for and want to enjoy.
Now, some of the basic things you will need to do before making a purchase is to decide where to place the fiber optic illuminator. If you can place the fiber optic illuminator inside a temperature controlled environment it will help save you some money and it will also help to extend the fiber optic illuminator life because in the long run the fiber optic illuminator will not be exposed to the elements, temperature changes, moisture and humidity.
If you can not place the fiber optic illuminator inside, do not worry because we do sell UL listed outdoor fiber optic illuminators. You will also need to check with your local building inspector on how far you can place the illuminator away from the water. Building codes differ a little from state to state, but in most cases we find that 10-12 feet is the minimum distance that an illuminator has to be placed from the water. Bear in mind that fiber optic illuminators do have electricity to power the light bulb and color wheel and you want to make sure the illuminator is far enough away from the waters edge to ensure you have a safe swimming pool.
Once you determine where the fiber optic illuminator is going to be placed, then you will need to do some basic measurements. You will need to measure in feet the distance from the illuminator to the waters edge then around the complete swimming pool and back to the illuminator. We are providing a very basic diagram listed below.
If the distance is 100 linear feet or less, you will need to have a 150 watt metal halide fiber optic illuminator. If the distance is 101-200 linear feet, we recommend that you use a 250 watt metal halide fiber optic illuminator. If the distance is greater than 200 feet, then we recommend using multiple 250 watt metal halide illuminators placed every 200 feet. Here is a very basic diagram listed below.
Once you have the measurements, the next choice to make is the fiber optic cable size. Typically we recommend either the SV23 or the SV42 size cable since we have mounting track specifically made for pool fiber optic lighting. The larger the cable, the brighter the light will be, but there is a cost difference between the two cables and that is purely your own personal financial decision. Please note that most of our pool lighting photographs showing fiber optic side glow cables are showing the SV42 fiber optic cable.
The last thing you will need to do is to simply measure the perimeter of the swimming pool to determine the linear feet of mounting track you need. You can cut the mounting track with a saw if you need shorter sections.
So in summary you will need to have the following materials:
1. Fiber optic illuminators (150 watt metal halide or 250 watt metal halide)
2. Fiber optic side glow cable (SV23 or the SV42)
3. Mounting track for your swimming pool
4. Hot Knife (To make the final cable cut and install the cable in the illuminator)
All of the materials for fiber optic lighting can be found in our fiber optic side glow cable category.
Now we will suggest some simple installation tips that will also help in setting up your fiber optic lighting system as well. If you have any questions on these tips, please feel free to contact us.
You should have your fiber optic mounting track available to your pool builder before they start the pool. You should have your pool builder install the mounting track when building your pool. Also, before pouring concrete, plan on having the builder place some conduit between the illuminator and the swimming pool so the fiber optic cable can be run under the ground between the illuminator and the swimming pool.
Plan on having your electrician installing a dedicated circuit for the fiber optic illuminators and make sure your electrician has the detailed data sheet for the fiber optic illuminator so they can plan on the proper amount of amps. Last but not least, make sure you have enough fiber optic cable. Remember, once a cable is cut it can not be fused back together.