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External lighting of your pool, spa, or water feature is possible with a variety of high- and low-voltage systems. For lighting the water from within, there are also a variety of options.
Low Voltage Lights
Designed like their external cousins, low-voltage fixtures employ a transformer to drop the voltage to 24 volts. As a result, the highest wattage fixture does not deliver much light, so they are used in spas or fountains where lower wattage is sufficient to light a smaller area.
Another development in water lighting is the use of fiberoptics. The hardware looks the same, but instead of running electricity to a fixture, the cord in the conduit contains thin plastic fibers that conduct light, not electricity. They terminate in a lens in the water to shed the light into the pool or spa. The light source and electricity are located safely away from the body of water. Most of these are used in smaller bodies of water because manufacturers have not yet developed fiberoptics with enough power to light large pools. The manufacturers are working towards development of the fiber optics light for large pools.
LED lighting utilizes a lamp and housing that fits into most existing pool light niches. They offer all of the benefits that other LED lamps provide (see LED Lighting) but they also add a color changing dynamic to your pool or water feature. Several companies are marketing bulbs that allow the homeowner to program the color of light that is emitted. These lamps offer different color modes that include virtually all of the colors of the rainbow in several different showings.