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Material Selection of Swimming Pool Lights
What are the common shell materials of swimming pool lights? What are the pros and cons? How to choose? This guide will give you expert knowledge about the light body and lens materials and help you make the right choice.
Table of Contents Brief
Common light body materials
ABS+UV is the most common plastic material for LED swimming pool lights.
The full name of ABS is Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Copolymers, which is currently the largest and most widely used plastic. It has good wear resistance, impact resistance, acid and alkali resistance, and salt ability.
The cost of ABS is cheaper than other light body materials. Except for light shells, ABS is also widely used in the fields of auto cars, electronics, and electric products.
“+UV” refers to Ultraviolet Resistance. Most of the pool lights are used outdoors, such as in outdoor swimming pools, water feature, and cruise ships. After ordinary ABS is exposed to ultraviolet rays in sun, the aging speed is accelerated. Material properties deteriorate, and yellowing and brittleness will appear.
Advantages of ABS+UV
Good thermal properties, high hardness, environmentally friendly, non-toxic, odorless, good electrical insulation
Low cost compared to other materials, The LED pool light which made of ABS+UV, and the price is much lower than stainless steel LED pool lights, it is the best choice for people who have a low budget
In daily use, the light body made of ABS+UV material has good corrosion resistance and anti-aging performance. Normal use for several years will not cause problems due to material aging
Disadvantages of ABS+UV
The aesthetics are general, and the texture of ABS+UV is worse than other light body materials
Anti-scratch, poor wear resistance, easy to produce marks, we need to pay attention when using it
Even if an anti-aging agent is added, it will still turn yellow after long-term use, and affect its appearance
The thermal conductivity of ABS+UV is normal, and the heat dissipation is average
SS means stainless steel. SS304 & SS316(L) are the most common stainless steel types for LED pool light.
SS304 is the most widely used stainless steel. It has good corrosion resistance to weak corrosive media such as water, air, and steam. In addition to being used in light body shells, SS304 is also commonly used in production fields such as doors and windows, tableware, and so on.
The main difference between SS316 and SS304 is the addition of molybdenum, which makes SS316 more resistant to corrosion and inorganic salts. In the field of lights, SS316 is often used in high-end, corrosion-resistant products. In addition, SS316 is also suitable for surgical instruments and marine equipment.
Stainless steel material has a unique silver metal texture, brushed surface treatment technology, and beautiful appearance
Abrasion resistance, excellent scratch resistance, and long-term use are not easy to produce wear marks
Stainless steel is a metal with excellent thermal conductivity, which helps dissipate heat from the lamp. The more power the light has, the higher the heat value. Due to stainless steel’s ability to dissipate heat, some stainless steel lights have a maximum wattage that exceeds that of a plastic underwater light of the same size
Stainless steel is corrosion-resistant and has excellent aging resistance. The lights made of SS316 material can even adapt to the complex underwater environment of ponds, lakes, and oceans
The cost of stainless steel is high than other common plastic materials and the selling price is more expensive than plastic lights
SS304 is corrosion-resistant, and its inorganic salt capability is weaker than SS316, so it cannot be used in marine and underwater environments
Other light body material
Some manufacturers use aluminum as the body material. Pure aluminum has low strength, the surface is easy to oxidize, and it is not scratch-resistant. In order to adapt to the underwater working environment, aluminum alloy is generally used and the surface is specially treated.
Advantages of aluminum alloy
Lighter than stainless steel and brass
Good heat dissipation, aluminum alloy has excellent heat dissipation capacity
The aluminum alloy has high strength, and the alumina produced in contact with air has excellent insulation ability to air and water vapor, preventing further corrosion
After the surface treatment process of painting or powder coating, the aluminum alloy underwater light can be applied to the underwater working environment
Disadvantages of aluminum alloy
The texture depends on coating technique, color, and craftsmanship
Aluminum alloys have poor resistance to salt water. Once the coating wear, the lights will easily corrode
Aluminum alloy pool lights are not cheap
Brass is an alloy composed of elements such as copper and zinc. Some underwater lights will use brass as the light body material. Brass also has excellent corrosion resistance.
Advantages of Brass
Brass has a unique golden metallic texture
Good heat dissipation, excellent brass heat dissipation
Excellent resistance to abrasion and scratching. Some valves are also manufactured using brass
With good corrosion resistance, brass alloys are often used in the manufacture of water pipes and marine equipment. In diving gear, brass exceeds SS316 in durability
Disadvantages of Brass
Expensive, and brass costs more than SS316
Heavy, high density of brass, the weight of brass in the same volume far exceeds that of plastic lights and is heavier than stainless steel lights
Common lens materials
PC is a kind of plastic, the full name is polycarbonate. Like ABS, PC has a large output and is widely used in building materials, automobile manufacturing, construction machinery, and other fields.
Advantages of PC
Lightweight and drop resistant
Good light transmittance, suitable for lights. PC light transmittance with good optical properties can reach more than 90%
It is not easy to age and turns yellow, which affects the light effect
Cheap price. PC lens, ABS+UV light body material lights have low prices
PC is a flame-retardant material
Disadvantages of PC
Not as hard as tempered glass and wear and tear can affect light transmission
Not resistant to strong acids, strong alkalis, not UV resistant
After the ordinary glass is treated at a high temperature, it is immediately subjected to rapid and uniform cooling to obtain tempered glass. Tempered glass is widely used in construction, decoration, lighting lenses, and other fields.
Advantages of tempered glass
High transmittance, up to 95% or more
High strength and excellent impact resistance. Adapt to work in deep water and high-pressure impact water flow environment
Safe, small obtuse particles formed after crushing, which will not cause human injury
Good thermal stability and can withstand large temperature changes
Strong corrosion resistance and UV resistance, suitable for complex underwater environments such as oceans
Disadvantages of tempered glass
Heavier than PC
Tempered glass will be slightly uneven, and the poor quality is more obvious. This is a natural phenomenon in the tempering process. Pay attention to selecting good quality tempered glass
Other lens material
PMMA is plastic, the full name is polymethyl methacrylate. It is a common glass replacement material.
Advantages of PMMA
High light transmittance, up to 90% or more
Lightweight, lighter than tempered glass
Anti-aging, and long-term use outdoors, the transparency changes little
Inexpensive, low selling price
Disadvantages of PMMA
The texture is worse than tempered glass
PMMA has poor heat resistance and softens at temperatures up to 70°C, while PC has a softening temperature of 120°C (248°F)
It is not flame retardant
It is not as environmentally friendly as PC, and some countries have already phased out it
How to choose?
If your budget is not high, we suggest choosing lights with ABS+UV light body and PC lens. This is the most cost-effective combination.
If your budget is sufficient, you can choose the SS314/SS316 light body with tempered glass lens brass body with tempered glass lens.
If you like the silver texture, we suggest choosing the pool light with SS314/SS316 light body.
If you prefer golden yellow, consider the pool light with a brass body. But be careful, it was very expensive.
Some aluminum alloy lights with special coating may have black, or gray. You can consider it if you like this type of color.
If you only love white, then the PC+ABS light body is your only choice. Some manufacturers’ plastic lamps are also available in other colors or matte finishes.
If you’re concerned about glare, you can choose anti-glare lenses. Some PCs and tempered glass have this function.
The working environment of ordinary swimming pool lights is relatively lower than that of water features, fountains, and oceans, and there are no special restrictions.
High-temperature swimming pools and spas need to pay attention to whether the lights are resistant to high temperatures.
The water environment of water features, fountains, ponds, and lakes is more complicated. You can choose SS304/SS316 or brass lights with tempered glass lenses.
In the ocean, the corrosion resistance and impact resistance of lights should be high. We sugegst to use lights with SS316 or brass body and thick tempered glass lenses.
In addition to the above combinations of light bodies and lenses, Waking’s underwater lights also provide a combination of stainless steel with PC and ABS+UV with tempered glass. There is no best, only the most suitable. Please choose the lights you need according to your actual situation.
If you have any questions about the material of the pool or need to purchase products, please feel free to contact us.