Underwater lighting for swimming pools, garden ponds and water features, has always been a tricky problem. Water and electricity do no make the best neighbors. Older lights that use incandescent bulbs, or halogen bulbs, rely heavily on rubber and silicone seals, to make joints and openings waterproof. When the bulbs need replacing, there is a fair amount of work involved in resealing the light fitting, and replacement rubber parts are often required. Submersible LED lights do away with a lot of the hassle associated with maintenance and installation.
Submersible LED lights use low voltage safety supplies, usually rated at 12V or 24V. The lights are normally high-intensity,and come in a variety of colors. Typically, a submersible light will be made up of clusters of LED's. Different color LED's can be present in the same light, and many colors can be created by alternating which color banks are illuminated at the same time.
The LED's can be positioned in many versatile ways, making it possible to use modified fixtures that are already common place in pool and pond equipment, for example using swimming pool 'aimflows' as wet niche housings. LED's give off far less heat than halogen or incandescent bulbs, so there is less chance of waterproofing failure from overheated rubber seals. Submersible LED lights are very safe for use in swimming pools and fish ponds, because the safety transformers only put out low voltage, and usually have short-circuit protection and fuse overload protection.
The lights themselves can have integrated circuitry, which can be resin-sealed, leaving just the two contact terminals exposed on the back of the light. This makes electrical connections simple, and even if the seal fails, the expensive electronics inside the light will not be affected.
LED lights use far less power than other kinds of lights, and it is easy to hook up banks of lights to the same transformer. The load is normally limited to about four lights per transformer. Many of the transformers and lights have programmable features, activated by remotes, or by switching them on and off to cycle through settings. If they are connected together to the same power source, color changes and effects can occur in unified sequences.
This means you can have your pool lights and garden mood lights working together, creating spectacular effects. For swimming pools, submersible LED lights work very well, but they cannot match the raw power of a halogen light. For this reason, it is best to plan ahead and use properly spaced groups of LED lights for large pools, to combine the lighting intensity.
Retro-fitting these lights is easy: they can be installed into existing wet-niche housings, and even attached straight onto a pool or pond wall, due to the relatively slim profile the lights have.
Because LED lights are based on electronic circuitry, and this is normally sealed away in resin, there is no user maintenance required, or even possible on the light itself. This is why most manufacturers will offer five to ten year limited warranties on their submersible LED lights.