Summer is here and the water should be warm enough to enjoy night swimming in the coming weeks and months. But of course, you have to make sure that your pool is well-lit at night so that you’ll actually see what’s in your pool (nothing from the black lagoon hopefully!) at night.
Check your Pool Lights
The first thing to do to prepare your pool lights for summer is to check if they actually work. If you have had LED lighting installed recently then you shouldn’t worry about this step as they’re rated to last for a long time. If you have halogen (or other older types of lights) then you should check them before the season rolls in. It’s pretty simple, just turn the switch on, see if they light up. If they don’t then it’s time to replace them.
Cleaning your pool lights
Once you’ve determined that your pool lights still light up, check the light quality. The light should be clear and true. If it looks hazy or dull, then you should give you pool lights a good clean as scale and algae may have found its way in between your pool light lens and the lens cover. To do this, we need to remove the light fixture so we can clean it on the surface.
To remove your lights, make sure that the power is completely off, remove the screw from the top of the light fixture (don’t lose the screw!) and bring it up to the surface. Once poolside, give the pool lens a good wipe down with a non-abrasive cloth with a little bit of detergent. This should be more than enough to remove any build up and algae growth. Just be very gentle with it as to not scratch the lens.
It is worth noting though that algae growth and residues inside the lens part is a sign that there is a leak in your pool light assembly or seals. It is not recommended to take apart the lights yourself as improper reassembly can cause shorts and can be very dangerous (water and electricity don't mix!)
So if a gentle clean isn't cutting it or if the cover is looking worse for wear, then we seriously urge you to consider replacing your pool lights as soon as possible and to discontinue use of the lights in the meantime.
Clarify your pool water
Floating particles and other debris in your water can affect the light quality as well! Suspended particles in the water will diffuse the light, giving your pool a hazy appearance even if your lens and lens covers are clean.
How to clarify your pool water if you’re using a sand filter
If you’re using a pool sand filter system, there are two things you can do to remove microscopic particles in the water. The first way, which is our favorite, is to pop a Crystal Cube Pool water clarifier into your skimmer or pump basket and it should take care of those tiny particles that would usually just go through your sand filter and cause pool water cloudiness.
The second method, which is more involved, requires your to floc your pool. Floccing your pool is a rather time-intensive task, but if your pool has accumulated a lot of particles during the winter then it might be a good idea to do a “one time, big time” treatment so that you’ll have clear pool water the entire summer. Just don’t forget to pop a clarifying cube into your pump or skimmer basket once done to capture all of the new particles.
How to clarify your pool water if you’re using a cartridge filter
Flocculants and clarifying cubes don’t really play well with cartridge filters so we don’t recommend using them. The best way to clarify your pool water if you’re using cartridge filters is to make sure that your cartridge filter is performing at its maximum level. To do this, give your filter cartridge a soak in some filter cleaning solution to remove all of the trapped dirt and debris. For more information on filter cartridge cleaning, don't forget to read up on our blog post on how often should your clean your filter cartridges.
Conclusion and Recommendation
That’s it! With clean lenses and clean water, your pool should be a gleaming crystal at night during those summer night swimming sessions. In fact, you don’t even need to swim at night to enjoy your pool lights during summer, much like our friend Walter here:
Now if you still have an old halogen light, you might want to think about replacing them with LED pool lights before the summer rolls in. Halogen lights have notoriously short lifespans and it may be time to replace the older ones soon, and you wouldn’t want them to go out in the middle of the summer, cutting any fun time short. While LED lights are kind pricy, they actually pay for themselves in the long run through their very low energy consumption and longevity.
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Happy swimming :)