Bright Ideas

Swimming Pool Lighting: A Short Story

Posted by Alafiya Shabbir on Aug 16, 2016 5:01 PM
Meet Peter Lyng. Peter is the Facilities Manager at the Quinte Sports & Wellness Center in the City of Belleville. The facility houses an Aquatic Centre, which conducts recreational and competitive programs for children, adults, and seniors, so it has to be able to serve a wide range of swimmers. The Centre has three swimming pools, and Peter has a problem.


Quinte Aquatics Centre, after a lighting remodel by RAB Design Lighting

Peter’s got a mandate to make the facility as green as possible, without breaking the bank. Right now, approximately one-third of his annual budget is dedicated to electricity costs, despite the fact that the pool lighting isn’t performing the way he wants it to.

You see, Peter’s previous lighting solution was 35 HID (High Intensity Discharge) lighting fixtures, with two 400W lamps in each one. What this meant in practical terms was that he was getting only 40-50 fc (foot candles) of light when he needed 56 fc to host competitions, while consuming an incredible 30,800 watts per hour. The lighting was patchy and creating a lot of glare on the surface of the pool. In fact, the issues with lighting colour, intensity, and distribution were affecting the experience of the Aquatic Center users, and Peter wanted to do something about it.


 “Something” ended up being a lighting consultation with yours truly. RAB Design Lighting sent a team of experts to go figure out how to solve Peter’s problems. We came in, took a look at the facility, and assessed his situation ourselves. Here’s what we looked at:

  • the floor size and layout
  • mounting height
  • reflectance off the walls, ceiling and water
  • the impact of sunlight coming through the windows
  • ambient temperature and humidity levels
  • the need for enhanced visibility to provide a safe environment

We concluded that the solution to his problems was nothing short of a herd of Buffalos.

buffalo.png                                                                          "Buffalo", by RAB Design Lighting


Four weeks later, the swimming pool looks transformed. Sarah, an Aquatics Supervisor, says it looks like the pool is being lit with natural light. The swim team loves it, lifeguards are getting better visibility under the water, and Peter’s noticing 55 fc even on the darkest side of the pool. His switch to LED lights is also going to save him $5,000 a year in maintenance costs, and cut his power usage down to 14,440 watts per hour during competitions, and 7,350 watts per hour during regular use (for reference, this is significantly less than before… and significantly more cost effective). Here’s what it looks like now:


With the switch to LED, Peter managed to accomplish all of his goals. To recap, these were:

  • Be more green
  • Cut down on the electricity and maintenance bills
  • Provide a better experience for patrons of the Aquatics Center

And with a life of over 100,000 hours, Peter can live happily ever after with his new lights.

If you liked Peter’s story and want to know more about how RAB Design Lighting changed the way the Aquatics Center functioned, check out the full case study below. Find out more about the assessment process, the layout logic, and the installation plan to see what a difference light can make!


Belleville Pool Case Study


Can you relate to Peter’s story? Do you want to know if your indoor pool or sports arena could use a lighting facelift? If so, feel free to contact us for a free lighting consultation, and we can help you transform your space too!

Topics: Indoor Recreation Facilities, Swimming Pool