Adam Clark, General Manager at leading UK wet leisure distributor Golden Coast, reveals why it is essential to get the right lighting in a pool hall, and how new innovations are paving the way for brighter, safer spaces.
Lighting is a critical part of any pool hall. The right lighting can increase the safety of a swimming pool, make a lifeguard’s job easier and cut facility costs.
Traditionally, the industry’s default position has been to use indirect lights that are pointed upward to ‘bounce’ the light off the ceiling and back onto the pool area. However, these types of lights use a lot of power and may cause issues with glare.
Nowadays, there is another option – direct LED lighting. With this approach, lights are fitted around the perimeter of a pool shining directly over the water. This position produces minimal reflection and glare on the surface of the pool.
Golden Coast has been working with world-renowned LED lighting manufacturer EVA Optic for a number of years to bring this innovative lighting solution to leisure centres around the UK.
Built to last
EVA Optic LED lighting is long lasting, as it is designed to cope with the heat and chloramines within a pool environment. Not only is it easy to install, it’s also low maintenance with a lifespan of over 50,000 hours. For the leisure centre, this means lower running and repair costs.
Importantly, EVA Optic lighting offers constant light output and flicker-free illumination, allowing greater visibility into the water for swimmers and lifeguards, ensuring a safer pool environment. LED lighting delivers greater light penetration into the water, so, for instance, if a leisure centre uses underwater cameras, they will be able to capture clearer pictures with less shadowing for more effective pool monitoring.
Lighting up pools nationwide
Golden Coast has provided many UK facilities with EVA Optic LED lighting solutions.
Recently, we supplied the newly-built £20m White Oak Leisure Centre in Swanley with a number of EVA Optic LED lights, including 34 60W 117cm EVAline linear lights around the perimeter of the 25m, six-lane swimming pool.
Around the adjacent learner pool, 10 60W 233cm EVAline linear lights were fitted, along with five EVA Optic downlights.
The EVAline modular LED system is made from clear anodized aluminium. A base module is connected to the ceiling, and a light module is connected to the base at any spot where light is needed. Because of this flexibility, EVAline is suitable for most locations and can be easily configured to the site’s requirements.
Industry guidelines state that light levels must be an average of 300 lux, with an illumination uniformity value of 0.7 or higher. The main pool at White Oak achieved an average lux of 313 and uniformity of 0.84.
Contractor TClarke was responsible for the mechanical and electrical installation at White Oak. Project Engineer, Rob Woodward, remarked: “The most impressive thing for our team was how easy the EVA Optic LED lighting is to install. It’s all very user friendly. It was far quicker and easier than installing larger indirect lights.”
White Oak is far from the only leisure centre in the UK to have experienced the transformative effects of LED pool lighting.
Opened to the public in autumn 2021, Eastwood leisure Centre in Sheerwater used EVAline modular lights around the pool and upper viewing balcony. These lights use only 2100W at just 3.34W/m2, with a total load of 1.05 W/m²/100 lux.
Despite its lower wattage, EVAline lighting at Eastwood provided powerful illumination and delivered an average lux of 333, plus a uniformity of 0.84.
Facility contractor Barrie Beard was responsible for the electrical design, supply and installation at Eastwood. Darren Stokes, Associate Director at Barrie Beard, explained: “Ever since we first installed EVAline direct LED lighting at a leisure centre a few years ago, it has been our go-to product. These lights deliver exceptional performance and quality.”
Amazing energy savings
The overhead position of EVA Optic lights means they use less energy than indirect lighting, enabling facilities to reduce their energy consumption.
At the Egham Orbit Leisure Centre, Golden Coast provided 40 LED modular lights in the main 25m pool hall, 39 EVAline downlights in the learner pool and splash zone, and 20 EVAline downlights in the hydro pool area and surrounding walkways.
Within the 708m2 pool hall, EVA direct lighting on average consumes 2400W compared to indirect lighting, which would require 8640W – more than three times the amount.
At Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre, 26 EVAline LED lights were chosen for the large pool hall, which comprises a 25m pool and a 15m learner’s pool. When designing the 807m2 space, it was predicted that EVA Optic direct lighting would require only 2760W, compared to almost twice that for indirect lighting at 5265W.
The lower wattage of direct LED lighting, therefore, represents thousands of pounds in energy savings across its lifespan.
It’s no wonder that an increasing number of leisure centres around the UK are making the switch to more efficient, effective direct LED lighting.