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Choosing pool lighting: AC or DC?

Choosing pool lighting: AC or DC?

Are you looking for the right lighting for your pool and unsure between AC (alternating current) or DC (direct current)? No worries, after reading this blog you will have a clear answer that suits your needs. This article provides an overview of the differences between AC and DC pool lighting and delves into the practicalities of both options.

The Differences Between AC and DC
Let's start with the basics: the fundamental differences between alternating current and direct current.

Electric current (AC)
Electric current is characterized by fluctuating currents and voltages that create waveforms with a specific frequency, measured in Hertz (Hz). Transformers allow the voltage of alternating current to be easily adjusted, making transmission over long distances cost-effective. This is the standard current type in most countries. For example, Europe uses 220-240 V at 50 Hz, while the United States uses 120 V at 60 Hz. Most household and industrial appliances operate on alternating current.

Direct current (DC)
Direct current provides a constant flow of electrical charge, with the current and voltage remaining stable without fluctuations. Electronic devices such as microprocessors and integrated circuits require this stable electric current. Devices such as computers and smartphones use direct current.

Choosing between AC and DC for monochrome LED pool lights
When choosing monochrome LED pool lights (warm white, for example), you don't have to worry about choosing between AC or DC. These lights can be connected to either system thanks to an integrated circuit that converts AC to constant DC, allowing them to operate on an AC circuit. Connected to a DC circuit, they work directly, with no need for conversion.
Differences between AC and DC for color-changing LED pool lights

Color-changing LED pool lights are available in both AC and DC variants. They use the principle of three primary colors of light. However, outside pool lights with DMX control system, there are distinct differences in structure, control mode and wiring.

AC LED Pool Lights
AC lights have built-in controllers that determine color, brightness and flash mode. Light emission is modified by Pulse Width Modulation (PWM), with each color LED being turned on and off periodically.

DC LED Pool Lights
DC lights do not have built-in controllers and allocate a separate wire for each color LED. An external regulator adjusts the supply voltage to each LED according to the control instructions, changing the light color of the DC pool lights.
Profits and drawbacks of AC and DC pool lights

Advantages of AC pool lights
- Easy wiring.
- Less affected by voltage drop in larger projects.

Disadvantages of AC pool lights
- Limited adjustment flexibility due to internal controllers.
- May only be compatible with control systems from the same manufacturer.

Advantages of DC pool lights
- Customizable with controllers from different manufacturers.
- More control over lighting effects and color changes.

Disadvantages of DC pool lights
- More complicated and possibly more expensive wiring.
- Installation may be more complex.

If you are looking for a cost-effective and simple solution, AC pool lights are an excellent choice. They meet the lighting and decorative needs of residential pools in most cases.

For more personalized and precise control over lighting effects, DC pool lights are the better option. With a robust control system, DC pool lights can provide a richer and more customizable lighting experience.

At XPRO POOL Lighting, we offer a wide range of AC and DC LED pool lights. If you are interested in our products or have any questions about these two types of pool lighting, please feel free to contact us.

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