Unlike other traditional lights which require bundles of cables and drain a lot of power, LED lights are much simpler to use and easy to install. The cluster of these miniature size lights are fixtures made in such an efficient way that they are capable of illuminating any area of your choice. Installing LED lights in your residential or commercial application will help keep environment green, save your energy cost and above all, makes you a smart owner who follows latest technology trends.
Every lighting technology has some attributes that determines its nature and requirements of installation. Similar is the case with LED, you need to think, decide and plan precisely to get LED fixtures properly installed in your place. LEDs uses are versatile and so its type and specifications are also varied in accordance to the application. LEDs are applicable in both dry and wet areas, knowing the proper fixture available for each will surely make your installation process easier.
So let’s have a look at different type of LED lighting products available to decorate your desired region:
- LED strip lights: These lights are in the form of a long run cable that have LEDs mounted in it. This row of LEDs are often used to illuminate sides, boundaries and edges of windows, decks, pools and many similar objects.
- LED light fixture: Such type of lights have a cluster of LEDs enclosed in one unit. They provide adjustable angle and directed lighting with high lumen rating. They can be fitted beneath a cabinet, underwater pool surface and roof top application.
- LED light bulbs: Look similar to traditional incandescent and CFL bulbs, but provide a brighter and more consistent stream of light using very low power. They are efficient and used to replace any conventional bulb fittings.
All these types of lights come in different voltages and current rating, and can be AC or DC. For wet application they come in waterproof form and greater intensity to enlighten under water features. Pentair, Zodiac, Philips are some of the renowned brands that provide these cool lights for all possible applications.
Some general steps that must be followed prior to any type of LED light installation are described here. These are common outlines that results in safer and effective LED set ups at your residence.
Determine the run limit for LED fixture: Run is actually a section of strip light that glows continuously with a single power source. Observing its limit according to your application will result in a safer installation.
Provide constant power supply (recommended 12V): Fluctuation in power supply results in reduction of LED lights life. Feeding it with a constant low voltage supply will improve the capacity and protect against power surges.
Use right gauge wires: Gauge or thickness of wire is an important factor that must be considered in large LED installations. Wire should have a low voltage drop in order to transfer electricity to the fixture efficiently.
Follow the instruction manual of LED kit: This one is really important for a safe and perfect installation. The manual contains the essential warning and safety information along with the well-defined steps to install an LED fixture. So it must be read out for a proper installation.
LED lighting technology is becoming common to use for dramatic swimming pool lighting. As it is not heated up and resistant to shock, it would be a preferable to use for underwater application. The installation tactics for lighting swimming pool with LEDs are somewhat different, but installed in a similar way like normal pool lights. It will prove durable and economical for wet applications and at the end result will look very attractive if placed properly.
The steps to consider while installing LED lights in your wet areas are:
- The junction box that houses all essential connections and wiring should be located at least 8 inches above the ground and at least 48 inches from the edges of the pool.
- All the light fixtures and metal objects are properly electrically bonded within five feet of the pool.
- The wet niche or underwater lens is suitably installed at least 18 inches below the surface of water in the pool. It must be grounded well via AWG ground connector.
- Install each light fixture spaciously to illuminate water with equivalent brightness and make careful electrical connections.
- From safety point of view the pool lighting circuit has a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) for line voltage fixture and has a relevantly rated circuit breaker.
All these steps discussed here will lead you to complete LED lighting installation for both wet and dry area. Finally, after completing the installation, testing is performed to check the validity and performance of LED lighting.
Testing: The overall electrical system can be verified with a qualified test kit provided by the manufacturer. The inspection must be performed by skilled and certified personnel to ensure that system meets applicable requirements and specifications.
There are many popular brands available in LED pool lightening market that gives you brilliant multi-colors with spectacular effects. Some of them are Pentair’s IntelliBrite pool lights, Zodiac WaterColor LED light systems, Pentair Color LED IntelliBrite Lights. These all are pre-programmed and can be controlled remotely. Opting for these high-tech LED lights will surely enhance your pool light experience.
Pros and cons of LED light installation
- Easy to install and replace: The level of difficulty installing the LED lighting is very low. They easily fit and can be replaced without much effort. Also, for underwater application you don’t have to drain out your pool water.
- Low initial cost: Installing LED lights are a cost-effective choice. The cost typically ranges from $400-$900.
- Even and cool brightness: LED lights create cool and pleasing aura without any glazing effect. Also, it spreads light evenly in the surroundings.
- Safety: LED lights are operated with the same voltage as a car charger, so there is no risk of shock or any electrical incident.
- Periodic replacement of bulb: ideally an LED bulb typically lasts for 7-15 years and also the only part that needs periodic replacement. The cost for replacement will range from $200-$400.
- Dimmer: LED doesn’t work with standard dimmer. Highly rated dimmer must be required to dim the LED light bulb.
- Difficult to choose: manufacturers provide different shades of same color under the same Kelvin rating. This makes it difficult to buy the desired color in LED.
Tips for installation
- Purchase the LEDs according to the kind of light fitting install in your application area.
- Use standard quality transformer in case of 12 V DC LED lights installation.
- Power sources and wiring must be perfectly isolated, especially for underwater application to prevent shock.
- Installation must be carried out by trained and certified professionals.
- Always go for energy star rated product for optimum performance.
LED lights are significant energy savers and rate-cutters, opting to install LEDs will never let you down in terms of service and performance. At the end, LED installation is easy to carry out, requires less maintenance and will serve for a long lifespan.
By Andrey Vasin
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