When considering the addition of solar lights over your pool, there are several factors we assess to ensure that they align with safety standards while providing the desired aesthetic and functional benefits.
Understanding Solar Lighting Technology: A Primer
To begin, let’s explore the basics of solar lighting. These lights are powered by photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight into electricity. They’re equipped with batteries to store energy, allowing them to illuminate after the sun sets. With LED technology, these lights are energy-efficient and have a long lifespan. It’s crucial to understand that these systems operate at a low voltage, typically around 12 volts, which is generally regarded as safe in proximity to water.
Model Specifications and Components: Safety by Design
When selecting solar lights, we look for specific models that have been designed with pool safety in mind. Key components include:
- IP68 Waterproof Rating: This is essential. The IP (Ingress Protection) rating tells us how resistant an item is to dust and water. An IP68 rating means the light is dust-tight and can be submerged in water continuously without damage.
- Shock-resistant Features: We ensure that the batteries and electrical components are sealed within the unit, reducing the risk of electric shock should they come into contact with water.
- Floatation Capabilities: Some solar lights are designed to float on the water’s surface, adding a layer of safety since they are meant to be in the water, reducing the risk of accidental submersion.
- Quality of Insulation: The wiring and any connectors associated with solar lights should be of high quality, ensuring that even if the wiring is exposed to the elements, there is no risk of short circuits or electric shocks.
Instructions for Safe Installation and Maintenance
Once you’ve selected the appropriate lights, correct installation and maintenance are paramount. Here’s what I recommend:
- Installation Height: If the lights are to be hung over the pool, they should be installed high enough to avoid accidental contact with swimmers, taking into account any possible sagging over time.
- Inspection and Testing: Prior to the initial use and periodically afterward, a thorough inspection should be conducted to ensure that all components are functioning correctly and that there is no wear on the insulation or housing of the lights.
- Weather Considerations: While solar lights are designed for outdoor use, extreme weather conditions can still pose a risk. Always check and remove any lights that can be affected by storms or high winds to prevent accidental damage or injury.
Eng. Matthew Joseph Nandirio is the Founder of walkingsolar.
After graduating from the University of Houston in 2002, matt started working as a Solar Electrical Engineer for several multi-national solar energy companies.
He has a wide range of experiences including solar system requirement analysis, planning, maintaining, debugging and even solar device development through research.
He now shares his 20 years of expertise through his articles on the walkingsolar website.
Further, he is also the author of two books on Solar Technology, “Solar Power for Villages” and “DIY Solar System for Dummies”.