Taking a Dip in the Fiber-Optic Pool

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Fiber-optic lighting for the patio spa is gaining popularity, mostly because the wiring remains far away from the water and the typical system is lit entirely by a single 150-watt lightbulb which can be changed without draining the pool.

Fiberstars, based in Fremont, Calif., offers a pool-lighting package through contractors that typically costs $800 to $1,200. The system is simple: A small box 15 feet from the pool houses the bulb and the reflectors. Fiber-optic lines run underground from the box, surfacing where traditional lighting would normally be installed. Those going for a "Star Trek" effect can opt for glowing tubes mounted along the pool's rim. If you're more curious about the extremes of mood lighting, try experimenting with individual or rotating color filters placed in front of the light source. Psychedelic, baby.