Finding the right balance for aquatic center lighting can become time-consuming and usually involves some trial and error. We've tried to simplify the process by listing some suggestions below to help you choose the best solution for aquatic center lighting.
Since this area will have lights installed in close proximity to water, it is extremely important to ensure they are rated for installation in wet areas. Even though these lights are technically being used in an indoor setting, most people assume that indoor lights would be acceptable. However, these conditions actually warrant the use of outdoor lights. You will still need to check the UL listings and IP ratings to make sure you get a lighting solution that will work around pool areas.
Regardless of which type of lighting you ultimately decide to go with, you need to make sure it is correctly placed. Lighting in an aquatic center never needs to be placed directly over the pool. Even though these fixtures will be rated for wet locations, they should be placed along the outside perimeter of the pool opposed to directly overhead because it will be difficult to perform maintenance on these lights if they are over the pool.
Make sure you have a uniform, even light distribution. Uniformity is the average of the lowest lighting output and the highest lighting output. You want to choose a lighting solution that has a mixture of light to avoid having a facility that is too dim or too bright. You also need to take into account that some areas will actually need less light. For example, the lighting over the pool needs more light so swimmers can see, but the lounging areas or corridors can have lighting that is more dim.
Excess glare can cause real problems for swimmers in indoor aquatic areas. On top of creating an uncomfortable experience for swimmers, glare can actually create a safety hazard by restricting the vision of lifeguards past the water's surface. You can reduce and sometime prevent glare from becoming an issue by placing the lighting around the perimeter, incorporating diffusers, and using indirect or uplight whenever possible. Another simple way to eliminate unwanted glare is to make sure the ceiling paint has a matte finish without a sheen, so that less light reflects off the ceiling onto the water.