Natatoriums present some of the most unique lighting challenges of any indoor sports arenas. Water surfaces reflect and refract light, making it difficult for observers and referees to watch competitive swimming events. Pool chemicals and humidity can corrode metal surfaces on light fixtures in a relatively short amount of time. Lifeguards need good lighting to maintain safety in public swimming facilities. Natatorium operators strive to keep their facilities open in the face of budget cutbacks. These challenges have come to a head and have been answered by LED natatorium lighting.
Lighting engineers have traditionally adjusted their illumination systems to account for water surface glare by utilizing indirect lighting. LED has answered this challenge by producing luminaires that have special dimpled surfaces which diffuse light uniformly across an aqueous surface without creating any glare problems. The low-profile design of LED products allows them to be mounted at different angles to blend direct and indirect lighting. Most LED companies also provide customized lighting solutions, including frosted lenses and adjustable baffles that can be adjusted for different needs and applications. Lifeguards and spectators will appreciate the higher Color Rendering Index of LED lights, which creates better contrast and truer colors.
Properly installed LED natatorium lighting virtually eliminates lighting variations at swimming events. Flexible mounting systems and optics options can be specified and installed in a variety of symmetrical and asymmetrical configurations to eliminate shadows, hotspots and glare. Since there is no periodic relamping or maintenance required, the lighting fixtures can be placed in previously hard to service areas as needed for optimal performance.
The natatorium environment is a harsh mix of water vapor, and corrosive gasses such as chlorine and bromine. The best LED natatorium luminaires are constructed with corrosion-resistant polyethylene powder coated painted surfaces and stainless steel to eliminate degradation from humidity and vaporized chlorine. With a sufficient thermal management system, all optics and electronics are sealed from the environment while heat is efficiently moved to the surrounding air – without air transfer inside. Additionally, the gaskets contain chlorine inhibitors, the LED boards are coated for corrosion resistance and the LED driver electronics are likewise protected. These construction details are yet another way that the best LED products separate themselves from the competition, protect your investment and ensure a long lifetime.