Home' Outdoors : Outdoors and Gardens 2014 Contents 128 SCOOP Outdoors and Gardens 2014
It’s one thing to enjoy a view of the pool during the day, but it’s something
else entirely to be able to experience it once the sun goes down.
Whether you’re enjoying a balmy summer’s night entertaining
alfresco, or a cold winter’s evening rugged up poolside, the ambience
of pool lighting is instantly relaxing and mesmerising, and well worth
investing in. Finding a lighting professional with superior design skills
and technical knowledge, one who is involved from the very beginning
of the pool-design process, is key.
But with more lighting options than ever on the market come
more decisions. From LED, halogen and fibre-optic to wall-mounted,
flush-mounted and multicoloured options, it’s important to know
what’s right for your individual pool design.
“Gone are the days of lighting pools with one big surface-mounted
light from one end,” says Gerry de Wind of Mondoluce. “What’s trending
now is multiple blades of light shining across the pool, with colour
temperatures of blue and cool white providing the most defined effect.”
Halogen is still one of the most widely used types of lighting, but
LEDs are now gunning for the lead position thanks to raised consumer
awareness of their energy efficiency. While known to be the more
expensive of the two, LEDs can use up to 90 per cent less power
than halogens, and offer superior long-life capability.
When it comes to landscape lighting, it’s time to consider the
best elements to highlight. Think wall lights, path lights, step lights
and in-ground lights. However, be sure to speak with your contractor
about each light’s position in terms of where you will most likely be
seated when they are switched on. Some in-ground lights may need
small coverings to shield eyes from blinding beams.
Even with our nation’s beautiful climate, maintaining an ideal 25-degree
water temperature requires a little outside help. If you’ve invested in a pool
you may as well maximise the benefits and make your summer last longer.
By now we’re realising the multiple benefits a bit of sunshine can have
on our energy consumption, household bills and ecological footprint.
These days, the most economical way to heat a pool is through solar
heating, requiring no power if installed with a co-existing filter pump.
That being said, the amount of heat available is dependent on the amount
of sun, which should be considered.
After a simple installation process where a multi-tube solar collector is
mounted on the roof for maximum sun exposure, pool water is circulated
to absorb its heat before being pumped back into the pool.
“The efficiency of a solar heating system for your pool is extremely
high, as it is not trying to convert the sun’s heat to some other form of
energy,” says Malcolm Roux of Pool Solar & Spa. But be warned: do your
research on the best system for you. “Over the years, the company has
seen some fancy and expensive products for pool solar heating. Most of
these systems work for a while before they pack up, leak, and/or require
expensive surgery. A good-quality and properly installed solar heating
system should give you many years of trouble-free service.”
For those concerned about the visual impact of a solar system on the
roof, there are options. “A colour-matched solar collector, such as the
Venetian Solar system, offers you the ultimate solution to the standard,
black, flexible and panel systems available on the market today,” says
Malcolm. “Here, the black section of the collector faces the sun to enable
optimum heat absorption, while your eye sees only the co-extruded
coloured strip, creating the ultimate illusion of full colour.”
Another efficient and reliable option is gas pool heating. With a fast
heat-up time and the ability to be closely regulated, gas heaters provide
year-round heating regardless of weather conditions. In addition, gas
heating has been known to experience fewer problems with wear and
tear compared with other heaters. When considering which gas heater to
choose, remember to think about the size of your pool, how long you’re
willing to wait for heat-up time, the ideal temperature you want to reach,
and how far your budget will stretch for purchase and installation.
Working by drawing in air from the space around them, electric heaters
are considered a very effective and consistent form of pool heating,
particularly in spring and summer when the air is warmer. While they are
relatively cheap to purchase and install, the high energy costs associated
with heating large pools is a deterrent. However, in the case of a spa that
contains much less water, electric heating can be very effective.
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