Springtime is the start of swimming pool season here in Atlanta, Georgia. As homeowners are opening their pools, the images of summer start bubbling up. You may be planning pool parties, barbecues, and poolside hosting. Or you may be looking forward to a relaxing solo swim. Whatever you plan on doing with your pool this season, don’t forget lighting. It’s your pool and you should be able to use it anytime you like. But without proper lighting, your pool closes at sunset. So keep the fun going and make sure you have the right swimming pool lighting for the area around your pool this spring.
Bring Your Pool to Life
A pool is a great place to spend time in the summer, day or night. With warm summer evenings on their way, there’s no time like the present to start planning out your nighttime swimming experience. With proper outdoor lighting, you can bathe your pool area in the warm glow of elegant LED light. Good lighting can bring your pool to life after dark. Outdoor lighting can also highlight specific areas of your pool or spa that you want to show off. If you have a water feature, don’t forget to light it to bring out its nighttime beauty.
And while you’re spending time on your pool, don’t forget to highlight the garden and area around your pool. Pool time is a great time to enjoy the landscaping around your home. So make sure you have great landscape lighting to make the most of your property at night.
The first thing you need to consider when lighting your pool is how you get to your pool. No one wants to be caught blindly stumbling down a dark pathway to get to their pool. So good pool lighting includes a safe pathway to your pool at night.
Some pools are located right outside of the house. If this is the case, path lighting may not be an issue. But many homeowners have pools that require a short walk, or at least some stairs, to get to them. If that is the case with your pool, path lighting is the place to start.
Path lighting can be simple and subtle or it can be a feature all on its own. For simple and subtle path lighting, choose fixtures that blend into the scenery. Low fixtures that spread light out along the ground provide a safe path without intruding too much. The main thing to remember is not to place the path lights too closely together or too evenly. Path lights that are bunched up close in even rows can feel more like a landing strip than an elegant garden, so place them with care. Effective path lighting should be like stepping stones, pulling you from light to light along the path.
If you want to go for a more flashy look, you can use attractive fixtures that stand a couple of feet off the ground. There are hundreds of styles to choose from, and there is no rule that says you can’t mix and match. Well coordinated lighting fixtures can be an added feature of your garden. But whichever type of fixture you select, make sure to use the lights as a guide. You can also use the lights to highlight your favorite bush or flower bed along the way.
If there are steps leading to your pool, it is absolutely necessary to light them. Dark steps or stairs are a falling hazard. There are a few ways to light your steps. One popular method is to run a strip of LED lights underneath the lip at the edge of each stair. This hides the lights while creating a soft glow that illuminates each step. Another method is to place a small fixture on the vertical face of each step that faces downward, illuminating the step below.
If your stairs have a railing, you can choose to light the steps from the rail instead of the steps themselves. There are many options for rail lighting. One possibility is to use lighted post caps. These are special caps placed on the posts in your rail that have built-in fixtures. They general shed a soft light downward, illuminating the area below. Another option is to use strip lighting along the underside of the rail. Similar to lighting hidden beneath the lip of a step, this lighting style is hidden from view. It creates the effect of a warm wash of light without any obvious fixtures.
Another option for lighting steps is to use path lighting. This is perfect for small sets of steps along a pathway. For just two or three steps along a garden path, path lighting is all you need. There is no need for extra lighting on the stairs. Finally, if you have lit the whole pool area with some kind of ambient lighting, it may be sufficient to light the stairs or steps.
Lighting Your Deck Area
Around a pool, safety is always a concern. There are many ways to make your pool safer during the day. At night, an added concern is adequate lighting in the deck area around your pool. While lighting should not be overpowering, you need to be able to clearly see the edge of the pool and any obstacles that might be in your path. There are a few ways to do this.
One way to light your deck area is with downlighting. If there is a deck above your pool or if you have high trees, that’s a perfect place to hide some lights. Avoid strong light from a single source, as that will cast harsh shadows. Instead, identify two, three, or more places to hide your fixtures. Shine the light from different directions to get an even light.
Another option is to use warm wash lighting similar to the lighting on the facade of your house. Wash lights that light up the wall of your home facing the pool will also reflect plenty of light onto your deck area. If the reflected light is not quite enough for safety, you can add a few bullet lights to highlight features around the pool. Just like the facade of your home, bullet lights can focus on pillars, architectural features, or landscape features.
Another unique way to light your deck area is with artificial moonlight. This lighting effect can create a great atmosphere for nighttime swimming. Slightly cooler lights can be hidden high up in a tree or even installed on the side of your house. With a few lights from different angles to avoid harsh shadows, you can cast a light reminiscent of a full moon. This gentle and relaxing light is perfect for setting the mood while keeping swimmers safe.
Don’t Forget the Landscape
Landscape lighting is always a great way to accentuate your garden and bring it to life at night. If you will be spending time outdoors at night enjoying your pool, that’s a perfect reason to focus on your landscape. Highlighting your favorite bush, tree, or water feature can provide a great backdrop to your pool.
If you want to learn more about the best way to light up the area around your pool this spring, give us a call. You can contact us online or call us at 678-828-2999. We’re happy to answer all your questions about outdoor pool lighting. We will work with you to design a lighting scheme that will make your pool a joy to use at night. Remember, it’s your pool and you should be able to use it when you like. We’re happy to help with all areas of lighting, so call us today to get started!