Outdoor lighting is a great way to liven your evenings whether at home or away. It will provide you an opportunity to transform your outdoor space into a relaxing, romantic paradise.
However, if not properly done, pool lighting can be a safety hazard, even a death trap.
So, what are the measures to take, as a commercial electrician, to ensure your lighting is properly and safely done?
First, installing outdoor lighting requires both standard and low voltage lines. So, the first step is to install the standard 120 volt line, followed by a low voltage line.
High voltage lines are passed through a transformer which will convert high voltage current into low voltage current, of about 12 volts.
There's been a lot of debate as to whether high voltage lights are more dangerous than low voltage lights.
Low voltage lines are certainly safer, but the key to safety lies in installation, and whether the necessary safety precautions have been taken.
Installing lighting in the pool area calls for extra safety precautions. This is because you do not want water coming into contact with live electric cables.
The outdoors are exposed to rain, snow and harsh weather conditions. You therefore need to use materials that will withstand extreme weather conditions.
You are advised to use non-ferrous materials, as these will not corrode. Cast brass, copper or stainless steel are good materials for outdoor use. Use conduit for wiring, for extra safety and durability.
Transformers must be grounded. A ground fault circuit interrupter should be installed at the bottom of the pool to capture any errant currents that may want to find their way into the water. This device should not have an outlet, as this can lead live currents into the water.
Transformers must also comply with your area's pool and spa transformers' code, where applicable.
Make sure your electrical fittings are installed a safe distance away from water, in compliance with your area's safety codes. A minimum of five feet away from the pool is considered safe in many areas.
Pool area lighting is a great way to transform your outdoor space. As the property owner, do this with safety in mind. Get a professional, licensed residential or commercial electrician to do the installation. Also have your pool inspected annually.
As an electrician, ensure that your lighting is installed in accordance with prescribed safety codes. You do not want to face a lawsuit for negligence.