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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.

Common light body materials

ABS+UV

ABS+UV Body Material

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

SS304/316

stainless steel body material

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.

SS304/316 advantages

  • 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

SS304/316 disadvantages

  • 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

Aluminum alloy

aluminum alloy pool light

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

brass pool light

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

PC Len

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

  • Poor texture
  • Not as hard as tempered glass and wear and tear can affect light transmission
  • Not resistant to strong acids, strong alkalis, not UV resistant

Tempered glass

Tempered Glass Len

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

  • Good texture
  • 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

PMMA Len

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?

Your budget

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.

Your preference

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.

Your usage

If you’re concerned about glare, you can choose anti-glare lenses. Some PCs and tempered glass have this function.

Compared to water features, fountains and oceans, ordinary pool lights have relatively low requirements for the operating environment and 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.

Epilogue

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.

Are you looking for a professional underwater light supplier? Contact us now!

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