How a Hotel Used LED Indoor Pool Lighting to Improve Light
A hotel in Nebraska contacted Access Fixtures for help upgrading to LED indoor pool lighting. The owners of the hotel were renovating the entire building and wanted to take the opportunity to improve the lighting in the indoor pool area. At the hotel, the room that housed the pool had adequate light from the outdoors during the day, as most of the outside wall was made of glass. This gave guests the feeling of being outdoors and the comfort of being indoors year-round, even during cold Nebraska winters. The lighting fixtures in the pool area were used primarily for nighttime ambiance and for days when rain or snow limited the amount of outside light.Shop Indoor LED Pool Lighting
Typical Methods for Lighting an Indoor Room with a Pool
As with all indoor pool lighting, this project presented a number of unique problems, primarily due to the location of the lights. Indoor pools typically have direct or reflected light coming from the ceiling or surrounding walls. It is common for ceiling fixtures to be pointed up; light is then bounced off of the ceiling to the pool below. In all variations, the objective is to achieve even, ambient lighting that does not blind the swimmers or cause glare while the pool is being used.
At the Nebraska hotel, the old light fixtures were mounted on the ceiling and provided direct lighting. They were 150w metal halide luminaires similar to the Access Fixtures vandal resistant light fixtures most commonly used in a parking garage or as canopy lighting. The luminaires were not visually appealing in the hotel and caused significant glare in the pool area. We imagine they had originally been installed to cut costs—while they weren’t terribly attractive and didn’t provide the best max/min ratios, they were an affordable, temporary solution.
Considerations When Selecting Lighting for a Room with an Indoor Pool
Maintenance—These costs can sometimes rival the cost of the fixture itself. This is especially true in the case of fixtures in hard-to-reach locations that may require special equipment to access. The Nebraska hotel’s light fixtures were located directly above the pool, which made maintenance extremely difficult and dangerous. They had to either implement staging or platforms over the pool or drain the water completely. There was also the constant fear of breaking or dropping any part of the fixture while over the pool; any glass or mercury in the pool would initiate an enormous cleanup operation. Obviously, the hotel owners wanted to do anything possible to avoid these complications.
Environment—Locations with indoor pools almost always have high humidity and chlorine levels. Any light fixtures must be able to endure the chlorine and moisture in the air. Even though the pool was indoors, the environment essentially demanded that the fixtures be rated for outdoor use.
Glare—Glare is always a concern. In this case, the hotel owner needed light fixtures that could provide direct lighting with little to no glare.
Aesthetics—Unattractive fixtures or poor lighting in a pool can be huge turn-offs for hotel patrons. Well-designed fixtures that provide sufficient lighting invoke feelings of comfort, cleanliness, and professionalism in a hotel. The Nebraska hotel wanted to get rid of the vandal resistant garage lighting and replace it with attractive luminaires that could throw soft and steady light.
Energy—This is often neglected. The hotel owners had some freedom here, as the fixtures were only being used for a few hours each day. Electricity prices in their area were also reasonable, which made it easier to find them a solution.
Choosing the Best LED Indoor Pool Lighting Solution
If we just consider maintenance, the first point in the above list, LEDs are the obvious answer. When the hotel owner found that LED luminaires were rated for 100,000 hours of life, he sprung for them. This rating meant the virtual elimination of costly labor and the hassles of repairing lighting in a room with an indoor pool.
When considering the environment in which the fixtures would be placed, the hotel owner determined that an outdoor-rated luminaire would be best. If the lights were able to survive on the outside of a building or at a beach hotel, they would certainly be able to operate near the indoor pool. We showed the hotel owner flush-mounted ceiling fixtures and wall-mounted fixtures, all of which were rated for outdoor use. Their housings were manufactured using corrosion-resistant, die-cast aluminum and had a powdercoat finish over a chromate conversion coating. All of these fixtures were sleekly mounted and threw ample, consistent light. We also alleviated concerns about glare by recommending an opalescent, polycarbonate lens that would soften the light and obscure the LEDs inside.
With maintenance, environment, glare, and aesthetics handled, we had one final concern—energy use. We custom-built 63w LED systems for these fixtures. Since their previous 150w metal halide lamps and ballasts used 180w, the super-efficient 63-watt LEDs would help reduce energy use by 65 percent.Shop Indoor LED Pool Lighting
The hotel owner opted for a 63w LED square luminaire in architectural bronze with the white opalescent polycarbonate lens. The fixture is designed for use as a wall pack or a flush-mount ceiling fixture. In either position, it looks, well, pretty great.
To avoid unnecessary electrical costs and finish work, Access Fixtures recommended a one-for-one solution. This meant the new fixtures would be located exactly where the old ones were and no additional electrical work or finish work would be necessary. By using the LED fixtures that were approximately equivalent to their old 150w metal halide lights, the hotel owner was able to achieve even and desirable light distribution.
Access Fixtures can provide LED indoor pool lighting solutions for unique locations like this one. There are very few locations we can’t light. If your lighting project has particular requirements, an Access Fixtures lighting specialist will find you an optimal lighting solution, too.
Contact Access Fixtures today at (800) 468-9925 or via email at [email protected].