US20090094734A1 - System and apparatus for backlighting swimming pools - Google Patents

System and apparatus for backlighting swimming pools Download PDF

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Publication number
US20090094734A1
US20090094734A1 US11871251 US87125107A US20090094734A1 US 20090094734 A1 US20090094734 A1 US 20090094734A1 US 11871251 US11871251 US 11871251 US 87125107 A US87125107 A US 87125107A US 20090094734 A1 US20090094734 A1 US 20090094734A1
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US
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
light
pool
liner
portion
swimming
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11871251
Inventor
Patrick W. Diebel
Robert E. S. Abell
Richard R. G. Chaplin
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CANADIAN GENERAL-TOWER Ltd
Canadian General Tower Ltd
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Canadian General Tower Ltd
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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04HBUILDINGS OR LIKE STRUCTURES FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSES; SWIMMING OR SPLASH BATHS OR POOLS; MASTS; FENCING; TENTS OR CANOPIES, IN GENERAL
    • E04H4/00Swimming or splash baths or pools
    • E04H4/14Parts, details or accessories not otherwise provided for
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04HBUILDINGS OR LIKE STRUCTURES FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSES; SWIMMING OR SPLASH BATHS OR POOLS; MASTS; FENCING; TENTS OR CANOPIES, IN GENERAL
    • E04H4/00Swimming or splash baths or pools
    • E04H4/0018Easily movable or transportable swimming pools
    • E04H4/0043Easily movable or transportable swimming pools mainly made of panels
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04HBUILDINGS OR LIKE STRUCTURES FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSES; SWIMMING OR SPLASH BATHS OR POOLS; MASTS; FENCING; TENTS OR CANOPIES, IN GENERAL
    • E04H4/00Swimming or splash baths or pools
    • E04H4/14Parts, details or accessories not otherwise provided for
    • E04H4/141Coping elements for swimming pools
    • E04H4/142Coping elements for swimming pools with fixing means for sealing foil
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04HBUILDINGS OR LIKE STRUCTURES FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSES; SWIMMING OR SPLASH BATHS OR POOLS; MASTS; FENCING; TENTS OR CANOPIES, IN GENERAL
    • E04H4/00Swimming or splash baths or pools
    • E04H4/14Parts, details or accessories not otherwise provided for
    • E04H4/148Lighting means
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F21LIGHTING
    • F21SNON-PORTABLE LIGHTING DEVICES; SYSTEMS THEREOF; VEHICLE LIGHTING DEVICES SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLE EXTERIORS
    • F21S4/00Lighting devices or systems using a string or strip of light sources
    • F21S4/20Lighting devices or systems using a string or strip of light sources with light sources held by or within elongate supports
    • F21S4/22Lighting devices or systems using a string or strip of light sources with light sources held by or within elongate supports flexible or deformable, e.g. into a curved shape
    • F21S4/24Lighting devices or systems using a string or strip of light sources with light sources held by or within elongate supports flexible or deformable, e.g. into a curved shape of ribbon or tape form, e.g. LED tapes
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F21LIGHTING
    • F21SNON-PORTABLE LIGHTING DEVICES; SYSTEMS THEREOF; VEHICLE LIGHTING DEVICES SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLE EXTERIORS
    • F21S8/00Lighting devices intended for fixed installation
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F21LIGHTING
    • F21SNON-PORTABLE LIGHTING DEVICES; SYSTEMS THEREOF; VEHICLE LIGHTING DEVICES SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLE EXTERIORS
    • F21S8/00Lighting devices intended for fixed installation
    • F21S8/02Lighting devices intended for fixed installation of recess-mounted type, e.g. downlighters
    • F21S8/024Lighting devices intended for fixed installation of recess-mounted type, e.g. downlighters intended to be recessed in a wall or like vertical structure, e.g. building facade
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F21LIGHTING
    • F21SNON-PORTABLE LIGHTING DEVICES; SYSTEMS THEREOF; VEHICLE LIGHTING DEVICES SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLE EXTERIORS
    • F21S8/00Lighting devices intended for fixed installation
    • F21S8/02Lighting devices intended for fixed installation of recess-mounted type, e.g. downlighters
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F21LIGHTING
    • F21SNON-PORTABLE LIGHTING DEVICES; SYSTEMS THEREOF; VEHICLE LIGHTING DEVICES SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLE EXTERIORS
    • F21S8/00Lighting devices intended for fixed installation
    • F21S8/03Lighting devices intended for fixed installation of surface-mounted type
    • F21S8/032Lighting devices intended for fixed installation of surface-mounted type the surface being a floor or like ground surface, e.g. pavement
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F21LIGHTING
    • F21SNON-PORTABLE LIGHTING DEVICES; SYSTEMS THEREOF; VEHICLE LIGHTING DEVICES SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLE EXTERIORS
    • F21S8/00Lighting devices intended for fixed installation
    • F21S8/03Lighting devices intended for fixed installation of surface-mounted type
    • F21S8/033Lighting devices intended for fixed installation of surface-mounted type the surface being a wall or like vertical structure, e.g. building facade
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F21LIGHTING
    • F21WINDEXING SCHEME ASSOCIATED WITH SUBCLASSES F21K, F21L, F21S and F21V, RELATING TO USES OR APPLICATIONS OF LIGHTING DEVICES OR SYSTEMS
    • F21W2121/00Use or application of lighting devices or systems for decorative purposes, not provided for in codes F21W2102/00 – F21W2107/00
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F21LIGHTING
    • F21WINDEXING SCHEME ASSOCIATED WITH SUBCLASSES F21K, F21L, F21S and F21V, RELATING TO USES OR APPLICATIONS OF LIGHTING DEVICES OR SYSTEMS
    • F21W2131/00Use or application of lighting devices or systems not provided for in codes F21W2102/00-F21W2121/00
    • F21W2131/40Lighting for industrial, commercial, recreational or military use
    • F21W2131/401Lighting for industrial, commercial, recreational or military use for swimming pools
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F21LIGHTING
    • F21YINDEXING SCHEME ASSOCIATED WITH SUBCLASSES F21K, F21L, F21S and F21V, RELATING TO THE FORM OR THE KIND OF THE LIGHT SOURCES OR OF THE COLOUR OF THE LIGHT EMITTED
    • F21Y2113/00Combination of light sources
    • F21Y2113/10Combination of light sources of different colours
    • F21Y2113/13Combination of light sources of different colours comprising an assembly of point-like light sources
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F21LIGHTING
    • F21YINDEXING SCHEME ASSOCIATED WITH SUBCLASSES F21K, F21L, F21S and F21V, RELATING TO THE FORM OR THE KIND OF THE LIGHT SOURCES OR OF THE COLOUR OF THE LIGHT EMITTED
    • F21Y2115/00Light-generating elements of semiconductor light sources
    • F21Y2115/10Light-emitting diodes [LED]

Abstract

Lighting systems and apparatus for a swimming pool, having a sidewall sized and shaped to define a perimeter of the swimming pool, a liner for covering the sidewall and a bottom of the swimming pool so as to create a watertight cavity for receiving water, the liner including a light-transmitting portion, and a backlighting apparatus for mounting to a generally continuous surface of the sidewall between the liner and the sidewall and configured to transmit light through the light-transmitting portion of the liner to illuminate the swimming pool. In some embodiments, the backlighting apparatus includes a housing configured for mounting on the surface of the sidewall between the liner and the sidewall, the housing having a light-transmitting front cover configured to align with the light-transmitting portion of the liner, and at least one light source sized and shaped to fit within the housing for emitting light through the front cover to illuminate the pool. In other embodiments, the backlighting apparatus includes a rear sheet portion for mounting on the surface of the sidewall between the liner and the sidewall, a light-transmitting cover sheet portion connected to the rear sheet portion, and at least one light source provided between the rear sheet portion and the cover sheet portion for emitting light through the cover sheet portion and the light-transmitting portion of the liner to illuminate the swimming pool.

Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD
  • [0001]
    The invention relates to lighting apparatus for pools, and in particular to systems and apparatus for illuminating swimming pools.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0002]
    Systems and apparatus for illuminating pools, such as swimming pools or hot tubs, have become common and desired features for a number of different reasons, including facilitating swimming in reduced or low lighting conditions as well as providing increased aesthetic appeal. The systems and apparatus often include one or more electrical devices that are powered by an electrical power source to provide the desired illumination.
  • [0003]
    However, there are some risks associated with providing such electrical devices in close proximity to the water commonly found in pools, most notably the risk of electric shock to persons using the pools. As a result, pool lighting systems are typically subject to government regulations. For example, one common requirement is that the electrical components of a pool lighting system be either completely waterproof or else be positioned at a certain distance away from the pool water to minimize the risks of electric shock.
  • [0004]
    There are generally two types of pool lighting systems that have been developed in response to the challenges associated with illuminating pools. The first type provides underwater lighting, where one or more components of the system (such as a lamp) are provided with waterproof seals and are located near or below the waterline of the pool. The second type provides above water lighting, where the components of the system are located above the waterline, preferably at a substantial distance from the water, to minimize any risks of electrical shock.
  • [0005]
    One example of the first type of system is an underwater light described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,587,599 (St-Hilaire). St-Hilaire discloses a porthole assembly adapted to be mounted in an opening provided in a wall of a swimming pool. The assembly includes a lamp unit holder ring mounted to the outer face of the pool wall, and a transparent cover plate disposed on the inner face of the pool wall in direct contact with water in the swimming pool. Screws are used to secure the holder ring and the cover plate to the swimming pool wall in a watertight arrangement with the transparent cover plate so as to prevent pool water from contacting the screws. The porthole assembly may be mounted to the wall of an above ground swimming pool as well as to an in-ground swimming pool.
  • [0006]
    One problem with lights such as that of St-Hilaire is that during installation of the lights, the pool liner must often be cut and a hole formed in the wall of the pool. This can increase the complexity and costs associated with the manufacturing and/or the installation of the pool. Furthermore, since the cover plate is in direct contact with the pool water, the cover plate must be sealed over the porthole using a gasket or another sealing means to protect the electrical components behind the plate from exposure to pool water. Such seals can be cumbersome, and are often problematic when removing the cover to service or replace the lamp unit, as repeated removal of the cover can weaken or damage the gasket or seal. Furthermore, the gasket or seal may not be fully effective in preventing leaks, and over extended periods of time water may seep into the lamp unit, damaging the electrical components or resulting in increased risk of injury to persons using the pool.
  • [0007]
    One example of the second type of lighting systems is an above water light described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,903,933 (Stegmeier). Stegmeier solves some of the difficulties presented by the first type of lighting system by positioning the light above the water line away from direct contact with the pool water. Stegmeier discloses securing elongated lengths of track lighting in a coping face of a liner type swimming pool. The track supports elongated longitudinal lengths of fiber optic strips above the interior perimeter of a pool wall away from the surface of the water.
  • [0008]
    However, above water lights such as Stegmeier also have their disadvantages. To avoid direct contact with the water, the light fixtures of such lights are provided above the water surface and are generally visible to an observer, even when they are not in use, which may be undesirable. Furthermore, such lights may not provide sufficient illumination to the pool during use, particularly the underwater portions of the pool, given the distance of the light from the water. While greater illumination can be achieved using larger fiber optic lights, these types of lights can be unsightly and have a negative impact on the aesthetics of the pool.
  • [0009]
    Accordingly, there is a need for a pool lighting system and apparatus that provides improved illumination without negatively impacting the aesthetics of the swimming pool.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0010]
    One aspect of the present invention is a lighting system for a swimming pool, comprising a sidewall sized and shaped to define a perimeter of the swimming pool, a liner for covering the sidewall and a bottom of the swimming pool so as to create a watertight cavity for receiving water, the liner including a light-transmitting portion, and a backlighting apparatus for mounting to a generally continuous surface of the sidewall between the liner and the sidewall and configured to transmit light through the light-transmitting portion of the liner to illuminate the swimming pool.
  • [0011]
    The backlight apparatus may comprise a housing configured for mounting on the sidewall between the liner and the sidewall, the housing having a light-transmitting front cover configured to align with the light-transmitting portion of the liner, and at least one light source sized and shaped to fit within the housing for emitting light through the front cover to illuminate the pool. The housing may comprise a rear wall providing a mounting surface for mounting the housing to the surface of the sidewall, wherein the at least one light source is secured to the rear wall.
  • [0012]
    Another aspect of the present invention is a backlighting apparatus for a swimming pool having a sidewall defining a perimeter of the swimming pool and a waterproof liner for covering the sidewall comprising a housing for mounting to a generally continuous surface of the sidewall between the sidewall and the liner, the housing comprising a light-transmitting front cover configured to align with a light-transmitting portion of the liner, and at least one light source shaped and sized to fit within the housing for emitting light through the front cover and the light-transmitting portion of the liner to illuminate the swimming pool.
  • [0013]
    Other aspects and features of the invention will become apparent to those ordinarily skilled in the art upon review of the following description of some exemplary embodiments.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0014]
    For a better understanding of the embodiments, and to show more clearly how they may be carried into effect, reference will now be made, by way of example, to the accompanying drawings, in which:
  • [0015]
    FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a corner section of a swimming pool having a lighting system installed according to one embodiment of an invention;
  • [0016]
    FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of a section of the swimming pool of FIG. 1;
  • [0017]
    FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a section of the swimming pool of FIG. 1 showing the liner removed;
  • [0018]
    FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the section of the swimming pool of FIG. 3 showing the liner having a decorative pattern;
  • [0019]
    FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the pool wall and liner of FIG. 4 showing the liner being backlit in low ambient light conditions;
  • [0020]
    FIG. 6 is a perspective view of LED modules for use as a lighting source for the lighting system of FIG. 1;
  • [0021]
    FIG. 7A is a front perspective view of a panel for forming a swimming pool having a lighting system according to one embodiment, shown with the light sources attached but without the cover;
  • [0022]
    FIG. 7B is a rear perspective view of the panel of FIG. 7A shown with the cover and light sources attached;
  • [0023]
    FIG. 7C is a side elevation view of the panel of FIG. 7A with the cover and light sources removed;
  • [0024]
    FIG. 7D is a front elevation view of the panel of FIG. 7A with the cover removed;
  • [0025]
    FIG. 8A is a rear perspective view of a panel for forming a swimming pool having a lighting system according to another embodiment with the pot-lights and cover shown;
  • [0026]
    FIG. 8B is a side elevation view of the panel of FIG. 8A;
  • [0027]
    FIG. 9A is a cross-sectional view of a section of a swimming pool incorporating a backlighting apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0028]
    FIG. 9B is a perspective view of the section of the swimming pool of FIG. 9A;
  • [0029]
    FIG. 9C is a cross-sectional view of a section of a swimming pool incorporating a backlighting apparatus according to another embodiment;
  • [0030]
    FIG. 10A is a perspective view of a backlighting apparatus according to another embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0031]
    FIG. 10B is a cross-sectional view of a section of a swimming pool incorporating the backlighting apparatus of FIG. 10A; and
  • [0032]
    FIG. 10C is a perspective view of the backlighting apparatus of FIG. 10A provided on a roll.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0033]
    Referring to FIG. 1, illustrated therein is a corner section of a swimming pool 10 having a lighting system shown generally as 12 made in accordance with one embodiment of an invention. It will be appreciated that while specific reference is made to swimming pools, the systems and apparatus described herein could be used with other artificial pools, such as hot tubs, ponds or other man-made pools.
  • [0034]
    The lighting system 12 comprises a plurality of vertical sidewall members 20 sized and shaped to define a sidewall of the swimming pool 10, a liner 14 for covering the sidewall and a bottom B of the swimming pool 10 so as to create a watertight cavity for receiving water W in the swimming pool 10, the liner 14 having a light-transmitting portion 16, and a backlighting apparatus 21 located behind the liner 14 and configured for transmitting light through the light-transmitting portion 16 of the liner 14 to illuminate the swimming pool 10. As described in greater detail below, the backlighting apparatus 21 generally includes a housing 28 having an opening proximate the liner 14, one or more lighting sources 22 located in the housing 28, and a light-transmitting cover 24 for closing the opening of the housing 28 to protect the light sources 22.
  • [0035]
    Sidewall members 20 of the lighting system 12 generally comprise a plurality of vertically oriented panels extending upwardly from a ground surface G to define a generally continuous outer perimeter P of the swimming pool 10. The sidewall members 20 define the overall shape of the swimming pool 10, and act as a support for the liner 14 and the backlighting apparatus 21.
  • [0036]
    The sidewall members 20 can generally have any desired shape according to the design of any particular swimming pool 10. In some embodiments, the sidewall members 20 can have a generally planar shape, for example exemplary first sidewall portion 20 a and second sidewall portion 20 b, as shown in FIG. 3. Planar sidewall members 20 can be configured to provide the swimming pool 10 with a generally rectangular shape, as shown in FIG. 1. In other embodiments, the sidewall members 20 can have curved or other shapes according to the particular design of the swimming pool 10. For example, the swimming pool 10 can have a circular or a kidney shape formed using sidewall members 20 having various curved shapes.
  • [0037]
    To maintain their vertical alignment with respect to the ground surface G, the sidewall members 20 can be supported from behind in some embodiments using backfill 26 and one or more braces 27. Each brace 27 comprises a longitudinal member extending from an upper end 27 a, where the brace 27 engages the sidewall portion 20 at an angle, to a lower end 27 b having a foot portion 27 c resting on the ground surface G. The braces 27 can be provided at predetermined spaced locations along outer perimeter P of the swimming pool 10 according to the design of the particular swimming pool 10 to provide for even distribution of the loads on the sidewall members 20. The backfill 26 and braces 27 assist in providing lateral support for the vertical sidewall members 20 to stabilize the swimming pool 10 when water is added.
  • [0038]
    It will be appreciated that in some embodiments, the swimming pool 10 can be an in-ground pool, while in other embodiments, the swimming pool 10 can be an above-ground pool. Accordingly, the configuration of the sidewall members 20, the backfill 26 and the braces 27 will vary according the type of swimming pool 10 being provided.
  • [0039]
    In some embodiments, the upper end 20 c of the sidewall members 20 can be covered by a finishing trim 62 for protecting the sidewall members 20, and/or backfill 26, braces 27 and backlighting apparatus 21. The finishing trim 62 can be any suitable resilient material, such as a galvanized steel or plastic, and can be designed to provide the swimming pool 10 with an aesthetically pleasing look. In some embodiments, such as where the swimming pool 10 is an in-ground pool, instead of the finishing trim, the upper end 20 c of the sidewall members 20 could be covered using another suitable cover, such as a permanent or semi-permanent walkway formed of a concrete, patio stones, or other material.
  • [0040]
    As best shown in FIG. 3, the sidewall members 20 each generally include an inner liner contact surface 23 that is shaped for receiving the liner 14. For example, the first sidewall portion 20 a has a first liner contact surface 23 a, and the second sidewall portion 20 b has a second liner contact surface 23 b.
  • [0041]
    The liner 14 is typically a continuous and flexible watertight membrane or sheet that is made of a plastic, such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a rubber, or other suitably resilient material. In some embodiments, the liner is between 0.012 to 0.030 inches thick. It will be appreciated that in other embodiments the liner 14 could be of different thicknesses according to the needs of a particular application. For example, where it is desirable to have a more rugged liner 14, the liner 14 could be made of a thicker plastic material.
  • [0042]
    The liner 14 is generally shaped and sized to overlie the sidewall members 20 (engaging with the liner contact surfaces 23) around the perimeter P of the swimming pool 10 and rest on the bottom B of swimming pool 10. In this manner, the liner 14 functions so as create a watertight cavity for retaining water in the swimming pool 10.
  • [0043]
    The liner 14 includes at least one light-transmitting portion 16 located so as to register at least partially with the lighting system 12 so that light emitted from the lighting system 12 can pass through the liner 14, backlighting the liner 14 and illuminating the swimming pool 10.
  • [0044]
    The light-transmitting portion 16 is generally a portion of the liner 14 having material characteristics such that a predetermined amount of light can pass therethrough. For example, in some embodiments, the light-transmitting portion 16 can be a transparent portion of liner 14. In other embodiments, the light-transmitting portion 16 can be a translucent portion of liner 14.
  • [0045]
    In some embodiments, the liner 14 can include one or more decorative patterns 18, such as a tile motif or other design. In some embodiments, the light-transmitting portion 16 and decorative pattern 18 are at least partially aligned, such that light passing through the light-transmitting portion 16 will illuminate all or a portion of the decorative pattern 18. The decorative pattern 18 may include portions of varying light transmittance, including various colors and shades as well as portions that are translucent, transparent, or opaque, which may further enhance the aesthetics of the swimming pool 10.
  • [0046]
    In some embodiments, the liner 14 may be fabricated from a clear or colored vinyl sheet (such as PVC), which may then be printed or dyed with any desired colors or patterns. For example, the liner 14 may have a solid color or pattern 44 on a majority of the liner 14 and the decorative pattern 18 printed on one or more locations. In other embodiments, the liner 14 can be provided without any decorative pattern. For example, in some embodiments, the liner 14 may comprise clear, white and/or colored portions, or be partially or mostly opaque.
  • [0047]
    With reference now to FIG. 2 in particular, the lighting system 12 generally includes the backlighting apparatus 21 connected to the sidewall members 20. The backlighting apparatus 21 is positioned behind the liner 14 (on the side of the liner 14 away from water W in the swimming pool 10) such that the backlighting apparatus 21 is protected from exposure to the water W by the waterproof liner 14, which extends upward past the waterline WL to a location proximate the finishing trim 62.
  • [0048]
    The backlighting apparatus 21 generally comprises the housing 28 having an opening proximate the liner 14, one or more lighting sources 22 located in the housing 28, and the light-transmitting cover 24 for closing the opening of the housing 28 to protect the light sources 22. As shown in FIG. 2, the opening of the housing 28 is generally sized and located to register with at least a portion of the light-transmitting portion 16 of the liner 14.
  • [0049]
    In some embodiments, the housing 28 is generally rectangular in cross section and includes opposing horizontal top wall 30 a and bottom wall 30 b that extend rearward from the opening, away from the liner 14 and into the backfill 26. A vertical back wall 31 connects the top wall 30 a and bottom wall 30 b.
  • [0050]
    In some embodiments, the housing 28 can be provided as a separate fixture that is secured in an aperture provided in the sidewall members 20. Alternatively, the housing 28 can be a recessed portion of the sidewall members 20 that is integrally formed within the sidewall members 20. For example, the top wall 30 a and bottom wall 30 b and vertical back wall 31 may be recessed within the sidewall portion 20 where the sidewall portion 20 comprises a panel made of stamped metal or extruded piece of plastic, as discussed in more detail below.
  • [0051]
    The backlighting apparatus 21 also includes one or more light sources 22 for generating light, the light sources 22 being located in the recessed portion of the housing 28. The light sources 22 are configured to emit light towards the opening of the housing 28 though the light-transmitting portion 16 of the liner 14 to illuminate the swimming pool 10. The light sources 22 are mounted on track members 25 that are secured to the vertical wall 31.
  • [0052]
    The light sources 22 can include any suitable type of electrical lighting, for example strip or fluorescent lighting, incandescent bulbs, light emitting diode modules (LED modules), or fiber optic strips. The light sources 22 can provide light of a particular color or several colors, which can enhance aesthetics of the swimming pool 10 or improve illumination. The light sources 22 can be powered by a low-voltage, high-current power source (not shown) so as to reduce the risk of injury from electric shock to persons using the swimming pool 10.
  • [0053]
    In some embodiments, it is generally desirable that the light sources 22 provide a generally continuous distribution of light around at least a portion of the perimeter P of the swimming pool 10. To facilitate this, the housings 28 of the backlighting apparatus 21 of each sidewall member 20 are generally provided in alignment with each other, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. For example, as shown in FIG. 3, first housing 28 a of the first sidewall portion 20 a is generally aligned with second housing 28 b of the second sidewall portion 20 b, and can be said to generally define a “channel” C running along the entirety of the first sidewall portion 20 a and second sidewall portion 20 b.
  • [0054]
    Similarly, as shown in FIG. 1, “channel” C can be continuous through corner section S of the swimming pool 10. In this manner, the lighting system 12 can be provided around the entirety of, or at least a portion of, the perimeter P of the swimming pool 10, to provide continuous backlighting of the light-transmitting portion 16 of the liner 14. The “channel” C also provides a conduit for housing any electrical wiring necessary for connecting the light sources 22 to an electrical power supply (not shown), such as a residential or commercial power supply, or an alternative supply such as a wind turbine or solar generator.
  • [0055]
    In some embodiments, as shown in FIG. 3, “channel” C is generally horizontal with respect to the ground surface G. It will be appreciated that channel “C” can be disposed at an angle with respect to the ground surface G, and may not run continuously around the perimeter P of the swimming pool 10, but may only extend along a portion of the sidewall of the swimming pool 10. In some embodiments, a plurality of channels can be provided.
  • [0056]
    Each backlighting apparatus 21 also includes light-transmitting cover 24 for positioning at the opening of the housing 28. The light-transmitting cover 24 is preferably made of a panel of translucent or transparent material, such as a polycarbonate or acrylic glass (i.e. polymethyl methacrylate), to allow the light generated by the light sources 22 to pass easily therethrough for backlighting the liner 14. In some embodiments, the cover 24 may be tinted to illuminate swimming pool 10 with a particular color of light to further improve the aesthetic appeal of the swimming pool 10.
  • [0057]
    As shown in FIG. 2, the walls 30 of the housing 28 may include one or more ledges 32 located proximate the liner 14 for receiving the cover 24. The ledges 32 typically have a depth corresponding to the thickness of cover 24 such that the cover 24 will rest generally flush with the outer liner contact surface 23 of sidewall members 20 (such as 23 a and 23 b, as best shown in FIGS. 2 and 3) to form a flat continuous surface for receiving the liner 14. In some embodiments, the light cover 24 can be attached to the ledges 32 of the sidewall members 20 using a bead of adhesive 33 or removable fasteners, such as screws or snap fittings, which can inhibit the cover 24 shifting after the liner 14 has been installed in the swimming pool 10.
  • [0058]
    Once in place, the cover 24 generally serves as a rigid protective barrier for protecting the light sources 22 while providing a continuous surface for receiving liner 14. Since liner 14 is positioned between cover 24 and the water W in the swimming pool 10, it is not necessary to completely seal the cover 24 to the sidewall members 20 or to any other part of the backlighting apparatus 21 to prevent water from leaking into the housing 28 and contacting the backlighting apparatus 21, as the waterproof liner 14 covers and seals the backlighting apparatus 21 from pool water W.
  • [0059]
    The lighting system 12 thus lends itself towards relatively simple installation, without the need to cut holes in the liner 14 during installation. Furthermore, lighting system 12 can also provide aesthetic appeal by providing illumination of the swimming pool 10 without having any light apparatus visible to an observer when not is use.
  • [0060]
    As best shown in FIG. 2, in some embodiments the light-transmitting portion 16 has a mid-point 16 c typically located at the water surface WL when a pre-determined amount of water W is in the swimming pool 10 such that during use, an upper portion 16 a of the light-transmitting portion 16 lies above the water surface WL while a lower portion 16 b of the light-transmitting portion 16 lies below the water surface WL. This configuration allows light from the backlighting apparatus 21 to be directed concurrently both above and below the water surface WL to provide a desired illumination of the swimming pool 10.
  • [0061]
    In other embodiments, the light-transmitting portion 16 may be located entirely above or below the water surface WL during use, according to a desired lighting application. For example, lighting the swimming pool 10 entirely from above the water surface WL may enhance the aesthetics of the swimming pool 10, while lighting the swimming pool 10 entirely from below the water surface WL may enhance illumination of the water W of the swimming pool 10 for facilitating swimming in low ambient light.
  • [0062]
    Generally, the sidewall members 20 can be formed of any suitably rigid material sufficient to resist deflection and define the perimeter P of the swimming pool 10 when water W is provided. In some embodiments, the sidewall members 20 comprise one or more panels members formed of a suitable material, such as a concrete (including gunite or shotcrete), sheet metal (such as galvanized steel), thermoplastics (such as a polycarbonate), thermosets, or composite materials (such as carbon fiber or fiberglass).
  • [0063]
    As described in greater detail below, in some embodiments, the sidewall members 20 can be formed using one or more interconnected pre-formed panels. For example, turning to FIG. 3, exemplary sidewall members 20 a, 20 b can each be separate panel members that have been interconnected to form a portion of the sidewall of the swimming pool 10.
  • [0064]
    FIG. 3 also shows the light-transmitting cover 24 covering the light sources 22 and connected to the exemplary sidewall members 20 a, 20 b. In some embodiments, the cover 24 can be provided as a continuous member extending across multiple sidewall members 20 a, 20 b. In other embodiments, each sidewall portion 20 a, 20 b can be provided with its own light-transmitting cover 24, which may be particularly advantageous where the sidewall members 20 are of a curved shape.
  • [0065]
    It will be noted from FIG. 3 that the cover 24 and liner contact surface 23 form a generally flush surface, in this case a planar surface, for receiving the liner 14. In other embodiments, the cover 24 and liner contact surface 23 may form an uneven, non-planar surface. In such embodiments, this uneven surface can be accommodated by providing the liner 14 having a corresponding non-uniform cross-section.
  • [0066]
    Turning now to FIG. 4, a section of the swimming pool 10 is shown with the liner 14 installed. The liner 14 covers the light-transmitting cover 24 of the backlighting apparatus 21, preventing any water W in the swimming pool 10 from engaging the backlighting apparatus 21. The liner 14 also provides the light-transmitting portion 16 in alignment with the backlighting apparatus 21 to allow the light emitted by the backlighting apparatus 21 to pass through the light-transmitting portion 16 to backlight the liner 14 and illuminate the swimming pool 10.
  • [0067]
    In some embodiments, the liner 14 can include the decorative pattern 18, shown here as a tile mosaic. For example, as shown in FIG. 4, the decorative pattern 18 may extend horizontally around the perimeter P of swimming pool 10 as a strip that is generally coincident with the light-transmitting portion 16 of the liner 14. In one embodiment, the decorative pattern 18 may include two tile strips 18 a, 18 b, a series of large diamonds 18 c, a series of small diamonds 18 d positioned within the large diamonds 18 c, and tile borders 18 e surrounding the large diamonds 18 c. The large diamonds 18 c are located between the two tile strips 18 a, 18 b, which in some embodiments are separated by approximately 10 cm. The arrangement of large diamonds 18 c, small diamonds 18 d and tile borders 18 e can be continuously repeated between tile strips 18 a, 18 b around the perimeter P of swimming pool 10.
  • [0068]
    In some embodiments, each portion 18 a, 18 b, 18 c, 18 d, 18 e of the decorative pattern 18 can be a different color or have varying light transmittance properties. In other embodiments, different decorative patterns may be used, for example, decorative pattern 18 may feature waves, snowflakes, fish, flowers or other aesthetically pleasing patterns instead of a diamond pattern.
  • [0069]
    During use of the lighting system 12, the backlighting apparatus 21 illuminates the swimming pool 10 by backlighting the liner 14, which can provide increased aesthetic qualities to the swimming pool 10 as well as facilitate use of the swimming pool 10 in low ambient light conditions, such as at night. For example, as shown in FIG. 5, when the lighting system 12 is operated in low ambient light conditions, the light-transmitting portion 16 of the liner is illuminated, providing the swimming pool 10 with a desired level of illumination. In some embodiments, the varying light transmittance provided by the decorative pattern 18 can be visually appealing to an observer.
  • [0070]
    Turning now to FIG. 6, illustrated therein is a strip of LED modules 40 that may be usable as a light source 22. Each LED module 40 includes an LED body 42 connected to one or more LEDs 44. LEDs 44 can be any color of LED according to the desired needs of a particular lighting application. For example, in some embodiments the LEDs 44 could be white, green, blue, red or any other desired color.
  • [0071]
    As shown, multiple LED modules 40 can be connected together and coupled to an electrical power source (not shown) by wires 46. It will be appreciated that, during use with the lighting system 12, the wires 46 of the LED modules 40 can be provided in the “channel” C to connect to the power source. In other embodiments, the housings 28 of the sidewall members 20 can include one or more openings that allow the wires 46 to pass through the sidewall members 20 and into the backfill 26 to be coupled to the electrical power source. In some embodiments, the LED modules 40 could be OSRAM SYLVANIA™ LED modules.
  • [0072]
    Turning now to FIGS. 7A to 7D, there is shown a panel 50 for forming the sidewall members 20 of the swimming pool 10 made in accordance with one embodiment of an invention. The panel 50 includes a front wall 52 (shown here as a flat, generally planar portion), which generally provides the liner contact surface 23 for engaging the liner 14. The panel 50 also includes a pair of opposing vertical side flange members 54 (as best shown in FIG. 7B) extending rearwardly from side edges 52 a, 52 b of the front wall 52, a bottom flange member 56 extending rearwardly from bottom edge 52 c of the front wall 52, and a top flange member 58 extending rearwardly from a top edge 52 d of the front wall 52 The side flange members 54 are connected to the top flange member 58 at upper edges 54 a, 54 b, and to the bottom flange member 56 at lower edges 54 c, 54 d.
  • [0073]
    The side flange members 54, bottom flange member 56 and top flange member 58 assist the front wall 52 in providing rigidity to the panel 50, with the bottom flange member 56 generally resting on the ground surface G, and the upper member 58 generally defining the top of the sidewall portion 20 during use.
  • [0074]
    In some embodiments, the top flange member 58 is wider than the side flanges 54 and the side flanges 54 include a rear protrusion 64 extending rearwardly from the side flange members 54 to accommodate the wider top flange member 58. The rear protrusion 64 can provide additional support to the top flange member 58 and to the finishing trim 62 during use, as well as facilitate interconnection of multiple panels 50.
  • [0075]
    As best shown in FIGS. 7A and 7C, the front wall 52 of the panel 50 also includes a recessed portion 80 having opposing top wall 82, bottom wall 84, and a rear vertical wall 86 offset rearwardly from the front wall 52. The top wall 82, bottom wall 84 and rear wall 86 of the recessed portion 80 cooperate to define the housing 28 of the lighting apparatus 21 for receiving the light sources 22 and the cover 24. As shown in FIGS. 7A and 7C, the recessed portion 80 is proximate the top flange member 58. It will be appreciated, however, that the recessed potion 80 could be located at different locations in the panel 50.
  • [0076]
    The side flanges 54 have cut-outs between the top flange member 58 and the bottom flange member 56 to register with the recessed portion 80. In some embodiments, the side flange members 54 comprise a plurality of through holes 60 which allow multiple panels 50 to be connected side by side (using lag bolts or other suitable fasteners) to form the perimeter P of the swimming pool 10. In other embodiments, the side flange members 54 can be fastened using any other suitable techniques, such as by the use of slotted tabs or other techniques.
  • [0077]
    In some embodiments, the panel 50 (including the front wall 52, side flange members 54, bottom flange member 56, and top flange member 58) is made of sheet metal, such as 18-gauge galvanized steel. The panel 50 can be made by cutting, folding, and joining the sheet of metal (such as by welding, brazing, bolting or riveting) to form the front wall 52, the side flange members 54, the bottom flange member 56, the top flange member 58 and the recessed portion 80, using techniques as known in the art.
  • [0078]
    In other embodiments, the panel 50 can be formed of any other suitable material. For example, the panel 50 could be formed of a molded thermoplastic or thermoset, a carbon fiber, or a fiberglass. Furthermore, as described above, while the panel 50 shown is generally planar in shape, other configurations, such as curved panels or panels having built-in corners or other shapes could also be provided.
  • [0079]
    Turning now to FIG. 8A and 8B, a panel 50 a is shown according to another embodiment having pot-lights 72 as lighting sources 22. Panel 50 a is similar to panel 50, and includes similar features including a front wall 52, side flanges 54, bottom flange 56, top flange 58, holes 60, rear protrusion 64, and recessed portion 80 a including top wall 82, bottom wall 84 and vertical back wall 86 a. In this embodiment, back wall 86 a of panel 50 a includes a pair of circular openings 71 for receiving the pot-lights 72.
  • [0080]
    The pot-lights 72 comprise a fixture having a forward portion 74 that extends forwardly through the openings 71 from the rear wall 86′ and into the recessed portion 80 a. The pot-lights 72 also include a rear portion 76 that extends rearwardly from the openings 71 in the back wall 86 a of the panel 50 a into the backfill 26. The pot-lights 72 are spaced apart a pre-determined distance D (as shown in FIG. 8A) to provide illumination of the light-transmitting portion 16 of the liner 14 that is generally uniform across the light-transmitting portion 16 of the liner 14 during use. In other embodiments, the pre-determined distance D can be larger or smaller to provide non-uniform lighting of the light-transmitting portion 16 of the liner 14.
  • [0081]
    Referring again to FIGS. 1-4, installation of the swimming pool 10 will now be generally described according to one embodiment.
  • [0082]
    First, a suitable ground surface G must be provided. In some embodiments, such as where the swimming pool 10 is an in-ground pool, the ground surface G can be prepared by excavating soil from a particular location to a pre-determined depth. In other embodiments, such as where the swimming pool 10 is an above-ground pool, excavation may not be required.
  • [0083]
    In some embodiments, it is generally desirable that the ground surface G be level to provide a uniform depth to the swimming pool 10. In other embodiments, when different depths are desired in different regions of the swimming pool 10, the ground surface G can be provided with different portions having different elevations and slopes according to the design of a particular swimming pool 10. For example, it may be desirable to provide the swimming pool 10 with a deep end having a deeper ground surface G and a shallow end having a shallower ground surface G. It will of course be appreciated that varying the depth of the swimming pool 10 at various locations may require the use of sidewall portions 20 having different sizes, shapes, and lengths to provide a generally uniform upper surface around the perimeter P of the swimming pool 10.
  • [0084]
    After preparing the ground surface G, the sidewall members 20 are erected vertically to define the perimeter P of the swimming pool 10. In some embodiments, such as where the sidewall members 20 comprise one or more panels 50, the panels 50 can be interconnected by joining adjacent flange members 54 using fasteners in holes 60, or other suitable techniques.
  • [0085]
    Once the sidewall members 20 have been erected vertically, braces 27 can then be installed to provide lateral support to the sidewall members 20. In some embodiments, backfill 26 can be provided behind the sidewall members 20 in additional to, or as an alternative to, the braces 27 to provide additional structural support.
  • [0086]
    Once the sidewall members 20 are erected and sufficiently supported, the lighting system 12 can be installed. In some embodiments, the lighting sources 22 will then be installed in the housings 28. In some embodiments, such as where the lighting sources 22 comprise LED modules 40, this may require running electrical wires (such as wires 46) from the lighting sources 22 to an electrical power source via the “channel” C or an alternative pathway, such as through the backfill 26. Once the lighting sources 22 have been installed, the cover plate 24 can then be placed over the opening of the housings 28 and secured in place using, for example, adhesive, screws, snap fittings, or other suitable fasteners.
  • [0087]
    After installing the lighting system 12, the liner 14 can be installed in the swimming pool 10. The liner 14 is installed over the sidewall members 20 by engaging the liner 14 with the liner contact surface 23 such that the light-transmitting portion 16 registers at least partially with the lighting system 12. Liner 14 is then secured in place by attachment to the perimeter P of the swimming pool 10 using techniques as known in the art. Once the liner 14 has been installed, the swimming pool 10 can be filled with a pre-determined amount of water W.
  • [0088]
    In some embodiments, there may be several light-transmitting portions 16 located at different locations on the liner 14 such that the lighting system 12 provides illumination to the swimming pool 10 by selectively backlighting different light-transmitting portions 16 of the liner 14.
  • [0089]
    When there is a need to service the backlighting apparatus 21, such as to replace the light source 22, the backlighting apparatus 21 can be accessed by detaching liner 14 from the liner contact surface 23 of the sidewall portion 20. For example, the liner 14 can be pulled back to expose the cover 24, which can then be removed. The light sources 22 can then be accessed for servicing and replacement via the opening in the housing 28.
  • [0090]
    In some embodiments, one or more of the walls 30 a, 30 b, 31 may include a reflective coating to enhance illuminative characteristics of lighting apparatus 10. Walls 30 a, 30 b, 31 can also have a non-planar shape to assist in directing the light generated by the light sources 22 towards the light-transmitting portion 16 of the liner 14. For example, the walls 30 a, 30 b, 31 may be elliptical or parabolic in shape to focus light towards the light-transmitting portion 16.
  • [0091]
    In some embodiments, the walls 30 a, 30 b, 31 may be configured to direct light at a slight downward angle towards the bottom B of the swimming pool 10 to assist in improving illumination of the swimming pool 10 in low ambient lighting. In other embodiments, the walls 30 a, 30 b, 31 may be configured to direct light at a slight upward angle away from the bottom B of the swimming pool 10.
  • [0092]
    Turning now to FIGS. 9A and 9B, illustrated therein is a backlighting apparatus 121 made in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. Backlighting apparatus 121 is configured to be mounted on a generally continuous surface of a sidewall 120. This allows the backlighting apparatus 121 to be used, for example, with existing pools without modifying the sidewall 120 of the pool. In some embodiments, the backlighting apparatus 121 could used for retrofitting of a conventional pool to provide backlighting by mounting the backlighting apparatus 121 on the surface of an existing vertical wall of the pool.
  • [0093]
    As shown in FIG. 9A, the backlighting apparatus 121 can be mounted on the generally continuous surface of the sidewall 120 between the sidewall 120 and the liner 14 of the pool. The generally continuous surface can have various shapes and configurations, for example, it can be a planar or curved surface, but generally provides a continuous surface lacking any discontinuities in the area where the backlighting apparatus 121 is mounted, i.e. the generally continuous surface does not have a recess or other similar features.
  • [0094]
    Since liner 14 is positioned between the backlighting apparatus 121 and the water W in the swimming pool, it is not necessary to provide a waterproof seal between the front cover 124 and the rear wall 125 to prevent water from leaking into the backlighting apparatus, as the waterproof liner 14 covers and seals the backlighting apparatus 121 from pool water W.
  • [0095]
    The backlighting apparatus 121 generally includes a housing 123 for mounting on the sidewall 120. In some embodiments, as shown in FIGS. 9A and 9B, the housing 123 includes a front cover 124 and a rear wall 125. Generally, the backlighting apparatus 121 also includes light sources 122 located within the housing 123 between the front cover 124 and the rear wall 125. In some embodiments, the rear wall 125 may also include an upper flange 128 for facilitating mounting the housing 123 to the sidewall 120.
  • [0096]
    The front cover 124 is generally made of a light-transmitting material that allows light generated by the light sources 122 to pass through the front cover 124 and the light-transmitting portion 16 of the liner 14 to illuminate the pool. In some embodiments, the front cover 124 can be movable to provide access to the light sources 122. For example, as shown in FIG. 9A, the front cover 124 can be hingedly connected to the rear wall 125 at a hinge 126 allowing the front cover 124 to be pivoted from a closed position (as shown in FIG. 9A) into an open position for accessing the light sources 122.
  • [0097]
    The hinge 126 can be provided at an upper end of the rear wall 125 above the waterline WL of the pool, such that the weight of the water W acting against the front cover 124 tends to secure the front cover 124 in the closed position without the need for a latching mechanism. In other embodiments, such as where the hinge 126 is provided below the waterline WL of the pool, one or more latching mechanisms could be used to secure the front cover 124 in the closed position to protect the light sources 122 when the pool is being used.
  • [0098]
    The hinge 126 can be any suitable mechanism for providing a hinge joint, such as a piano hinge, a bolted connection or a flexible portion provided in the housing 123 between the front cover 124 and the rear wall 125.
  • [0099]
    In some embodiments, the front cover 124 can be made of a rigid transparent or translucent material, such as a rigid plastic or glass, which provides a high level of protection for the light sources 122. This may be desirable where there are concerns that the light sources 122 could become damaged during use of the pool. In other embodiments, the front cover 124 can be made of a more flexible material, such as a resilient plastic or rubber, which may provide reduced levels of protection for the light sources 122. This may be desirable where the light sources 122 are sufficiently durable such that a reduced level of protection is acceptable, for example, where the light sources are durable LED modules.
  • [0100]
    In some embodiments, the rear wall 125 may support the light sources 122 and may provide a mounting surface for mounting the housing 123 to the sidewall 120. The rear wall 125 can be secured to the sidewall using any suitable attachment techniques such as using an adhesive, glue or similar material, or using bolts, screws or other fasteners. Mounting the rear wall 125 in this manner allows the rear wall 125 to be mounted to the sidewall 120 at a desired location in a permanent, semi-permanent or temporary manner, as desired. For example, the backlighting apparatus 121 could be mounted using a permanent adhesive during retrofitting of an existing pool at a person's home. Alternatively, a temporary adhesive or bolts could be used where the backlighting apparatus 121 is being used at a temporary exhibition, such as at a trade-show.
  • [0101]
    In some embodiments, the rear wall 125 may not be secured to the sidewall 120, and the upper flange 128 may provide the mounting surface for gluing or otherwise fastening the housing 123 to the sidewall 120. Alternatively, both the rear wall 125 and upper flange 128 could be used for mounting the housing 123 to the sidewall 120.
  • [0102]
    In some embodiments, for example as shown in FIG. 9C, a housing 123 can be provided without a rear wall 125. In such embodiments, the housing 123 may be mounted to the surface of the sidewall 120 using only the upper flange 128. As shown, in some embodiments, the light sources 122 could be secured to the front cover 124 using brackets 127. In other embodiments, the light sources 122 could be affixed directly to the surface of the sidewall 120, for example by using an adhesive or other fastener.
  • [0103]
    The light sources 122 can be any suitable light source, for example fiber optic strips or the LED modules 40, as described above.
  • [0104]
    During use, the housing 121 is generally mounted on the sidewall 120 between the sidewall and the liner 14 such that the front cover 124 is in alignment with the light-transmitting portion 16 of the liner 14, as shown in FIG. 9A. This allows light from the light sources 122 to pass through the front cover 124 and the light-transmitting portion 16 to illuminate the pool.
  • [0105]
    In some embodiments, the liner 14 can be a pre-existing liner provided with the pool. In such embodiments, the light-transmitting portion 16 may not be a distinct part of the liner 14, but might simply refer to any part of the liner 14 that cooperates with the light sources 122 to allow light to pass from the light sources 122 through the liner 14 to illuminate the pool.
  • [0106]
    In some embodiments, the front cover 124 may include one or more patterns thereon, such as regions having different light-transmitting properties or different colors. Thus, the backlighting apparatus 121 can be used to provide a desired pattern of illumination having different light intensities and/or colors.
  • [0107]
    In some embodiments, the backlighting apparatus 121 may be mounted in a pool wherein the sidewall 120 is made of concrete or gunite, and where no pre-existing pool liner is present. In such embodiments, liner 14 can be added to the pool to protect the backlighting apparatus 121 from the water W.
  • [0108]
    In some embodiments, the backlighting apparatus 121 can be used to illuminate a portion of the swimming pool. In other embodiments, one or more backlighting apparatus 121 can be used to provide a generally continuous distribution of light about the perimeter of the pool.
  • [0109]
    Turning now to FIG. 10A to 10C, a backlighting apparatus 130 is provided according to another embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment, the backlighting apparatus 130 comprises a light source, such as a plurality of LED modules 40, provided in an opening defined by a rear sheet portion 132 and a cover sheet portion 134. In some embodiments, the rear sheet portion 132 and cover sheet portion 134 are made of a flexible rubber or plastic, such as PVC, with at least the cover sheet portion 134 being made of light-transmitting material.
  • [0110]
    In some embodiments, the rear sheet portion 132 and cover sheet portion 134 can be provided as separate sheets that are secured together to form the opening therebetween. The backlighting apparatus 130 could then be assembled by providing the LED modules 40 in the opening between the rear sheet portion 132 and the cover sheet portion 134, and then securing the rear sheet portion 132 and cover sheet portion 134 together, such as by heat-welding along seams 136, or using an adhesive, or otherwise. In some embodiments, the seams 136 of the backlighting apparatus 130 may be waterproof and may inhibit water from entering between the rear sheet portion 132 and cover sheet portion 134 and contacting the LED modules 40.
  • [0111]
    In other embodiments, the rear sheet portion 132 and the cover sheet portion 134 could be provided as a single sheet of material that is folded over and secured together to define the opening. In yet other embodiments, the rear sheet portion 132 and cover sheet portion 134 can be provided as a continuous tube-like sheet having an opening therein.
  • [0112]
    During use, the backlighting apparatus 130 can be permanently, semi-permanently or temporarily mounted on the sidewall 120 of a pool to provide for illumination of all or a portion of the pool. As shown in FIG. 10B, in some embodiments, the backlighting apparatus 130 is mounted on the sidewall between the liner 14 and the sidewall 120 so that the cover sheet portion 134 is at least partially in alignment with the light-transmitting portion 16 of the liner 14. In this manner, light from the LED modules 40 can pass through the cover sheet portion 134 and the light-transmitting portion 16 of the liner 14 to illuminate the pool. The backlighting apparatus 130 can be mounted to the sidewall 120 by any suitable techniques, such as using glue or adhesive, screws, nails or other fasteners.
  • [0113]
    In some embodiments, the cover sheet portion 134 can have a pattern thereon, such as regions with different light-transmitting properties or colors, allowing the backlighting apparatus 130 to provide pool lighting and other aesthetic effects.
  • [0114]
    In some embodiments, as shown in FIG. 10C, the backlighting apparatus 130 can be provided on a roll 140 to facilitate transportation. As shown, wires 46 protrude from one end 142 of the roll 140. This can facilitate connection of the backlighting apparatus 130 to a power system for powering the LED modules 40.
  • [0115]
    A person installing the backlighting apparatus 130 on a sidewall 120 of a pool can cut a desired length from the roll 140 and then mount that length on the sidewall 120. Where two or more lengths of the roll 140 need to be joined, for example where a single roll 140 is not long enough to accommodate a particular pool, the rear sheet portion 132 and cover sheet can be partially removed from an end of the length to expose the wires 46, allowing the wires 46 to be connected together to complete the electrical circuit.
  • [0116]
    In embodiments where the backlighting apparatus 130 is mounted in a pool and directly exposed to the water W (e.g. the backlighting apparatus 130 is not provided between the liner 14 and the sidewall 120 of the pool), silicone or some other sealant can be used for waterproofing of the electrical connections and to seal any gaps in the seams 136. For example, the seals may protect the connections of the wires 46 and the LED modules 40 from exposure to the water W.
  • [0117]
    In some embodiments, a backlighting apparatus such as backlighting apparatus 121 or backlighting apparatus 130 can be mounted on another part of the pool as opposed to the sidewall 120 of a pool. For example, the backlighting apparatus 130 could be mounted to the bottom of a particular pool.
  • [0118]
    What has been described is merely illustrative of the application of some embodiments of the invention. Other systems, apparatus and methods can be implemented by those skilled in the art without departing from the present invention, the scope of which is defined by the following claims.

Claims (20)

  1. 1. A lighting system for a swimming pool, comprising:
    a) a sidewall sized and shaped to define a perimeter of the swimming pool;
    b) a liner for covering the sidewall and a bottom of the swimming pool so as to create a watertight cavity for receiving water, the liner including a light-transmitting portion; and
    c) a backlighting apparatus for mounting to a generally continuous surface of the sidewall between the liner and the sidewall and configured to transmit light through the light-transmitting portion of the liner to illuminate the swimming pool.
  2. 2. The lighting system of claim 1, wherein the backlighting apparatus comprises:
    a) a housing configured for mounting on the sidewall between the liner and the sidewall, the housing having a light-transmitting front cover configured to align with the light-transmitting portion of the liner; and
    b) at least one light source sized and shaped to fit within the housing for emitting light through the front cover to illuminate the pool.
  3. 3. The lighting system of claim 2, wherein the housing comprises a rear wall providing a mounting surface for mounting the housing to the surface of the sidewall, and wherein the at least one light source is secured to the rear wall.
  4. 4. The lighting system of claim 2, wherein the housing comprises a flange providing a mounting surface for mounting the housing to the surface of the sidewall.
  5. 5. The lighting system of claim 2, wherein the housing is mounted to the sidewall using an adhesive.
  6. 6. The lighting system of claim 2 wherein the light-transmitting front cover is made of a rigid material.
  7. 7. The lighting system of claim 2 wherein the light-transmitting front cover is made of a flexible material.
  8. 8. The lighting system of claim 3, wherein the light-transmitting front cover is hingedly-connected to the rear wall and is movable from a closed position to an open position.
  9. 9. The lighting system of claim 1, wherein the backlighting apparatus comprises:
    a) a rear sheet for mounting on the sidewall between the liner and the sidewall;
    b) a light-transmitting cover sheet secured to the rear sheet; and
    c) at least one light source provided between the rear sheet and the cover sheet for emitting light through the cover sheet and the light-transmitting portion of the liner to illuminate the swimming pool.
  10. 10. A backlighting apparatus for a swimming pool having a sidewall defining a perimeter of the swimming pool and a waterproof liner for covering the sidewall, comprising:
    a) a housing for mounting to a generally continuous surface of the sidewall between the sidewall and the liner, the housing comprising a light-transmitting front cover configured to align with a light-transmitting portion of the liner; and
    b) at least one light source shaped and sized to fit within the housing for emitting light through the front cover and the light-transmitting portion of the liner to illuminate the swimming pool.
  11. 11. The backlighting apparatus of claim 10, wherein the housing comprises a rear wall providing a mounting surface for mounting the housing to the surface of the sidewall.
  12. 12. The backlighting apparatus of claim 10, wherein the housing is mounted to the surface of the sidewall using an adhesive.
  13. 13. The backlighting apparatus of claim 10, wherein the light-transmitting front cover is made of a rigid material.
  14. 14. The backlighting apparatus of claim 10, wherein the light-transmitting front cover is made of a flexible material.
  15. 15. The backlighting apparatus of claim 11, wherein the light-transmitting front cover is hingedly-connected to the rear wall and is movable from a closed position to an open position.
  16. 16. The backlighting apparatus of claim 10, wherein the at least one light source is configured to provide a generally continuous distribution of light around at least a portion of the perimeter of the swimming pool.
  17. 17. The backlighting apparatus of claim 10, wherein the light-transmitting portion of the liner includes a decorative pattern having portions of varying light transmittance.
  18. 18. The backlighting apparatus of claim 10, wherein the light-transmitting portion of the liner is positioned proximate a water line when the swimming pool contains a pre-determined amount of water, such that an upper portion of the light-transmitting cover is above the waterline and a lower portion of the light-transmitting cover is below the water line.
  19. 19. The backlighting apparatus of claim 10, wherein the at least one light source comprises a least one LED module.
  20. 20. A backlighting apparatus for a swimming pool, comprising:
    a) a rear sheet portion for mounting on a generally continuous surface of a portion of the pool between the portion and a liner of the swimming pool;
    b) a light-transmitting cover sheet portion connected to the rear sheet portion; and
    c) at least one light source provided between the rear sheet portion and the cover sheet portion for emitting light through the cover sheet portion to illuminate the pool.
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US20120317711A1 (en) * 2011-06-16 2012-12-20 A&T Europe S.P.A. Light system for demarcating a field in a swimming pool, for example a water polo field
DE102012007999A1 (en) * 2011-07-26 2013-01-31 Jolanda Blum Water basin with illuminated curbs
EP2701139A1 (en) * 2011-05-17 2014-02-26 Pioneer Corporation Light-emitting device and block for light-emitting device
CN103718293A (en) * 2011-07-27 2014-04-09 格罗特工业有限公司 Lighting device utilizing light active sheet material with integrated light emitting diode, disposed in seam and/or in low profile application
WO2014128667A1 (en) * 2013-02-25 2014-08-28 Koninklijke Philips N.V. Lighting device comprising a roll

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WO2011098576A3 (en) * 2010-02-12 2011-10-13 Led-Lichterwelt Inh. Karin Wallenta Wall border strip with led band
EP2701139A4 (en) * 2011-05-17 2014-11-19 Pioneer Corp Light-emitting device and block for light-emitting device
EP2701139A1 (en) * 2011-05-17 2014-02-26 Pioneer Corporation Light-emitting device and block for light-emitting device
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DE102012007999A1 (en) * 2011-07-26 2013-01-31 Jolanda Blum Water basin with illuminated curbs
US20140215707A1 (en) * 2011-07-26 2014-08-07 Hans-Robert Blum Water basin with illuminated edge stones
CN103718293A (en) * 2011-07-27 2014-04-09 格罗特工业有限公司 Lighting device utilizing light active sheet material with integrated light emitting diode, disposed in seam and/or in low profile application
EP2737528A4 (en) * 2011-07-27 2015-02-25 Grote Ind Llc Lighting device utilizing light active sheet material with integrated light emitting diode, disposed in seam and/or in low profile application
WO2014128667A1 (en) * 2013-02-25 2014-08-28 Koninklijke Philips N.V. Lighting device comprising a roll
CN105026822A (en) * 2013-02-25 2015-11-04 皇家飞利浦有限公司 Lighting device comprising a roll
US9841169B2 (en) 2013-02-25 2017-12-12 Philips Lighting Holding B.V. Lighting device comprising a roll

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