How to properly light indoor swimming pools?

In order to develop the ideal lighting design for a safe and fun swimming facility, there are a few factors that require special attention when lighting indoor swimming pools. Light intensity, glare, location of fixtures, ratings… Lighting controls are an addition that improves energy economy, security, and visual comfort.

Recreation Management’s Research shows that recreational facilities, particularly those with indoor aquatic features, are growing as we all become more health concerned. While promoting healthy and thriving communities, these facilities can draw in new residents and engage people of all ages, from children to elderly. Balance between the needs of the community and the rising expense of maintaining secure, hospitable, and energy-efficient facilities is a challenge for facility managers and designers.

Here are a few crucial elements to take into account when choosing or enhancing the lighting in your indoor swimming facility.

Lighting Levels

Does the lighting in use right now create a spick-and-span environment that will entice visitors to use your facility? Your facility’s use or class will decide the ideal lighting levels. Yours will it be used for competitive broadcast events, recreational activities, or something in between?

The minimum illumination intensities and uniformity ratios for various conditions are suggested by the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES). Higher amounts, however, can be required based on the facility’s particular needs. When recording in ultra-high resolution, for instance, 4K TV cameras need at least twice as much light (>150 fc), and even more light is needed for slow-motion recordings. However, the most important thing is to make sure your swimming facility has enough light to keep everyone safe.

Guidelines for indoor swimming pools lighting (1)
Positioning of Lighting Fixtures

In addition to abiding by the National Electric Code’s (NEC) regulations, it is advisable to mount fixtures safely away from swimming areas and swimmers’ platforms, slides, and other distinctive features of your facility.

Water’s Surface Glare

Lighting sources that shine directly on the pool’s surface can cause glare. Glare that blocks the lifeguard’s eyesight can lead to perilous circumstances. Swimmers, teachers, spectators, and lifeguards who are required to look at the glaring surface of the swimming pool constantly get visual fatigue as a result. Last but not least, lap swimmers do not appreciate trying to perform a backstroke while being blinded by lights. If at all possible, consider using indirect lighting in your facilities to reduce the amount of this glare.

Indirect Lighting

Install the lighting fixtures with their upward-facing lights pointed toward the ceiling. If done properly, this eliminates glare by producing a uniform glow on the ceiling and an even, diffused light on the pool’s surface. It is essential that the ceiling and wall finishes have the lightest hue with a matte finish when indirect lighting is being used. In this form of lighting setup, any impediments, such as structural joists or acoustical panels, must be taken into account.


Hot spots will be reduced even more and a more consistent light level will be achieved across the building if light fixtures can be tilted or moved to help with light dispersal. When working with a lower ceiling height or attempting to maximize the number of fixtures in an area, this option is extremely helpful.

Interior Surfaces

It is advised to choose low-sheen, light-colored finishes throughout the room. By intensifying and diffusing the brightness, this lessens glare while boosting light fixture efficiency and enhancing environmental safety.

Designers frequently request brightly colored ductwork, wainscoting, or acoustical panels, which can enhance the space’s brightness. The lighting designer must take this into consideration if bright or dark hues are used. The majority of the light will be absorbed by indirect lighting directed at a red acoustical panel, but it will also unintentionally give the room a red glow.

Lighting control system

Clearstory or window walls can let in natural light, adding to the interior space’s overall attractiveness. Facilities can maximize the use of this natural light while it is present by installing lighting controls. When it isn’t, the controls will raise the lighting to the advised levels, enhancing the facility’s overall safety and system efficiency.

By including lighting controls in your lighting setup, you can ensure that the pool area always has the proper amount of light. Additionally, they permit darkening for social occasions, timed management for off-peak hours, and may even increase energy efficiency. Additionally, the facilities managers’ smartphones can handle it all!

How to Choose the Best LED Lighting fixture

The improper lighting fixtures will quickly fail due to the corrosive chlorine air and the continual humidity of an indoor pool setting. Aluminum structure is required for LED lighting made for this environment in order to prevent rust and corrosion. A corrosion-resistant stainless steel must be used for all fasteners, hooks, cables, and mounting brackets. It must have a fully potted, WET-rated driver and power supply and an IP68-rated light source. Any other option will leave you unsatisfied!

When a swimming pool needs to be re-lit, the lighting is typically at dangerously low light levels, which makes the area unsafe and uninviting. Traditional lighting sources quickly lose their ability to produce light, making maintenance a nightmare for employees who must work around pool closures to change ballasts or relamp, which frequently results in a rainbow of colors and escalating energy expenses.

Avoid cheap LED lighting since they skimp on essential parts and quickly lose performance and life. Choose reputable manufacturers instead who will stand behind their warranty and guarantee the performance of the complete fixture, including light levels.

We Can Assist You!

Your indoor swimming pool facility may be safer, simpler to maintain, and a lot more energy efficient thanks to a great lighting arrangement, allowing you and your team to concentrate on furthering yourself and your community!

Please get in touch with our Yibai LED Lighting Applications Team at [email protected] if you have a facility you’d like us to look at.

To identify your space needs and achieve your design objectives, our knowledgeable lighting specialists will collaborate with you and your design team. Your team will receive lighting designs, renderings, and correct fixture costs from us.

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