Swim Safe with Low Voltage Lights
We’ve all been told mixing electricity with water is something you just never do. But, prior to the development of Low Voltage, High Intensity LED Lights the only way to make a light bright enough for underwater use was to use halogen, mercury vapor, metal halide or HID bulbs which are all powered by 120VAC (Alternating Current). AC power is what is found in most houses and is the current used to power most lighting and appliances in your house. DC (Direct Current) power is what is found in most cars and boats and is the current used to power most lighting and appliances using a battery. Typically, AC voltage can kill you whereas DC voltage is typically completely safe in and around water. The object of this article is to provide the basic differences in AC voltage vs DC voltage without getting too deep into differences between the two power sources.
There are a lot of Underwater Dock and Pier lights being sold today. HID, Mercury Vapor and Metal Halide lights are very bright, but they use 120VAC in the water to power them which can be deadly to you and your loved one’s if there is a malfunction. If the power-cord is cut or damaged or if the light malfunctions in any way, anyone in the water could be seriously hurt or killed. While GFCI outlets do offer a limited amount of protection, GFCI outlets are prone to malfunction when used in outdoor environments.
Fortunately, with the advent of low voltage, High Intensity LEDs, Underwater Lights can now be just as bright without using AC voltage to power them. Low voltage, high intensity LEDs produce more than 3X the lumen’s per watt than high voltage incandescent lights which means they are less expensive to operate and are Safe to Operate in the Water.
If you decide to purchase an underwater light, remember, AC voltage in the water is a tragedy waiting to happen. Choose an underwater LED light which operates on low voltage and keep everyone safe! Your family and friends who may be swimming in the water have no knowledge about the lighting choices you have made, so choose low-voltage lights and keep everyone safe!