MicroBrite – Color and White LED Pool Light

Have you ever been in a pool or spa and accidentally touched the underwater light? If so, you probably noticed how hot it was – not hot enough to burn you but enough to get your attention. This is only one of the issues that we have had with traditional pool lights, but Pentair’s new MicroBrite lights fix a lot of those issues. In this post, we will go through the benefits of the MicroBrite light and show you how it has completely changed pool lighting for the better.

Sizing & Spacing

The first thing you will notice about the MicroBrite is how small it is. Compared to traditional pool light fixtures, it is about 1/10th the size in surface area. This means that lighting can be placed in much more unique and niche areas than previously possible. Our new method involves 4 MicroBrite lights total, 3 in the pool and 1 in the spa. This light placement provides another benefit of evenly dispersed lights. Many old pools only have 1 large light, leaving 1 half of the pool looking like a Christmas tree and the other completely dark. However, the spacing of the MicroBrites gives a cohesive lighting to the pool.

Cost

You may be wondering: how much more expensive is the MicroBrite? Especially if you recommend 4 lights total! Well, because the MicroBrite is so much smaller than old light fixtures, the pricing ends up being roughly the same. This means you get a superior lighting experience for the same price!

Wattage & Efficiency

We have many customers that come to us concerned over the safety of pool light fixtures, worried they could electrocute swimmers. We helped tackle these concerns in our post on electrical safety, which you can read here. With the MicroBrite, pool owners can be even more confident in their pool safety because the MicroBrite uses a low volt system, compared to traditional pool lights that are line voltage (120V). This brings safety benefits, but it also means your LED lights are more efficient and longer lasting, with 10 times longer lives than incandescent lights.

Quality

All these benefits sound great, but they mean nothing if you are sacrificing quality, but, luckily, that is not the case for the MicroBrite. The MicroBrite is the brightest ultra-compact light around and offers uniform light display. Additionally, the wide range of color offerings help liven up your pool, whether you are having a party or just swimming with the family.

The MicroBrite allows you to customize your pool lighting how you see fit, while saving you money and maintaining the highest standard of quality. The MicroBrite has been a massive success and our recent customers have been thrilled with its performance. If you are interested in retrofitting your pool with MicroBrite lights give JZ a call at (562) 881-6000.

Prowler 920 – Robotic Inground Pool Cleaner

Nothing ruins a warm day like a dirty pool. Therefore, we always encourage the best technology and consistent maintenance to ensure your pool never gets to the point where it deters swimmers. Unfortunately, for a long time, this entailed an ugly, annoying pool cleaner constantly roaming around your pool or manually scooping debris. Luckily, Pentair’s new Prowler 920 solves all these issues.

What is the Prowler 920?

We like to think of the Prowler 920 as a Roomba for your pool. You simply plug it in, walk away, and come back an hour later to a clean pool. The cleaner uses an all-surface, high-speed scrubbing brush to clean all the way up to the tile line. You can even program the cleaning schedule to ensure your pool is regularly cleaned and ready to go whenever you want to swim.

What makes the Prowler 920 better than other robotic cleaners?

The Prowler 920 is the most convenient and efficient of all robotic cleaners. Beyond its programmable schedule, it also has fast and easy debris removal, with a top-access filtration basket. The cleaning ability is also phenomenal, as the Prowler can pick up all sizes of debris and leaves your pool tiles sparking clean. The Prowler 920 is also in the mid-range in terms of pricing, and we believe it offers the best bang for your buck.

In our opinion, robotic cleaners are the best way to keep your pool looking clean and swimmable, and the Prowler 920 is the best option on the market. If you are interested in the Prowler 920, give JZ a call at (562) 881-6000.

“SWIMiversary” — What a Brilliant Idea!

I’m ecstatic that a pool client remembers to celebrate their pool. In this case it was six years later! So glad that they are enjoying their pool that I’m sure has brought lasting fun times with family and friends.

Check out these adorable shots of the kids as they have fun and have grown along the way. Thank You Mora Family!

Fun Pool Games for Kids

We have spoken in the pat about the best ways to get your kids in the pool. In that post, we referenced pool games as one of the best ways to entice kids to swim, and this week want to share our personal favorites. No need to go buy anything – all the games below can be played with household items.

Invisi-BottleInvisi-Bottle

First, take a clear bottle, preferably with a white cap or a cap the same color as your pool plaster, remove the wrapper and fill it with pool water. Next, divide the kids into two teams and line them up in the water on opposite ends of the pool. Finally, toss the bottle into the pool and when they hear the splash, the players turn around and try to find the bottle. Once the bottle is found, simply line the players up again and repeat. It sounds like an easy task, but you will be surprised at how hard it is to find the bottle.

sharkSharks & Minnows

Sharks and Minnows is essentially pool tag. One player starts as the “Shark” at one end of the pool. The other players, “Minnows”, must jump in the pool and try to swim to the other edge without being tagged by the shark. Every player the shark tags then becomes a shark as well and tries to tag other minnows. The last minnow to be tagged becomes the first shark in the next round. The game is great for big groups of children but can also be played with as few as 4. The shark begins the game by saying “sharks under, minnows go!”

Pirates

Pirates can be played with any number of players, but it is perfect for 2 players. Grab any odd number of sticks, which can be any item from around the house. Then, line the players up on opposite ends of the pool and toss the sticks in the middle. When someone says go, the players race to find the sticks, and the player with the majority of sticks wins. Kids love the competitive nature of this game and will likely want to keep playing for many rounds.

F-I-S-H

F-I-S-H can be played in two ways. The first way is if you have a poolside basketball hoop (which kids love), then F-I-S-H is essentially H-O-R-S-E. The first player gets to do anything they want before shooting, such as shooting while jumping in the pool. If they hit their shot, the other players have to do the exact same thing. But if they miss, the next player gets to make up their own wacky shot for others to try. Any player that cannot make the first person’s shot gets the letter F. Everyone keeps playing the game and making up crazy shots until someone misses enough times to spell out the word F-I-S-H. Once a player spells F-I-S-H, then they are out and the last player in wins. If you do not have a poolside basketball hoop, you can still play F-I-S-H, but instead of basketball shots players can do creative jumps or dives into the pool, with other players trying to replicate them. Either way, F-I-S-H is a fun interpretation of H-O-R-S-E and will get kids thinking creatively.

Marco Polo

Marco Polo is probably the most famous pool game there is. But for those of you that are unaware of the rules, Marco Polo starts with one player as “it”. This player starts with their eyes closed, and the other players disperse throughout the pool. The player who is it keeps his or her eyes closed and tries to find and tag the other players in the pool. The other players are avoiding this person, but the one who is it can find the other players by saying “Marco” which they must then respond to with “Polo”. When the person succeeds in tagging another player that player then becomes it in the next round. Geico recently did a hilarious ad referencing the game.

What are your kids favorite pool games? Email us and let us know if we missed any.

Got Pool Noodle Exercises???

We have spoken a lot in the past about the health benefits of a pool and various pool exercises, such as water yoga. Swimming laps and doing water yoga will give you a great workout, but these activities can get old over time. This week, we wanted to highlight pool noodle exercises, which can still provide a workout while helping you switch up your routine. Pool noodle exercises provide a great way to work out, while not putting pressure on your joints. If you are interested in pool noodle exercises, then check out this post from In the Swim’s blog.

For those that do not have a pool noodle, we recommend buying one, as they are fairly cheap on Amazon and kids love to play with them as well.

Unexpected Benefits of Pool Ownership

Over the years, our clients have had various reasons for installing a pool – in fact, we have probably heard every reason out there. Regardless of your motive, there are often a few key value-adds that people overlook. This week we want to touch on a few of those unexpected benefits, so pool owners can keep appreciating their pools and non-pool owners can find a few more reasons to make the jump!

Healthier Life

We have talked a lot in the past about the health benefits of a pool and did a recent post about the benefits of water yoga. However, we wanted to reiterate this point because it benefits both you and your children or grandchildren. In the age of technology, kids are spending more and more time playing video games and sitting in front of a screen, but a pool is a great way to get the kids outside and exercising. Pools also offer a healthy opportunity to exercise with minimal joint pressure, so any age can find health benefits in a pool.

Keeping the Kids at Home

Whether you are a helicopter parent or not, we can all admit we get a little worried when the young ones are running around town. With a pool, every local kid will want to spend time in your backyard, so your kids can spend more time at home. Thus, you can have peace of mind knowing where they are and that they are safe. We talked about ways to get your kids in the pool here.

Cross-Generational Fun

How many activities can you think of that both grandparents, parents, and children can enjoy together? I would imagine pretty few, but here is one: swimming. With a pool, you can make sure both your kids and their kids learn to swim in your backyard. We have had many clients with adult children who were hesitant to buy a pool, but the ability to swim with their grandchildren made adding a pool worth it.

Aesthetic & Home Improvement Value

Sunset prides itself on making sure all our projects are of the highest-quality, and the customers see benefits. By comparing before and after pictures, you can see the transformational power a beautiful pool can bring, check out the video below for proof. The value-add goes beyond that though, as a pool can significantly increase your home’s market value, which we talked about here. The up-front price of a pool may seem daunting, but this increase in value and the priceless experiences along the way make it worth it.

Let us know: What benefit do you like the most about your pool?

UV vs. Saltwater Pool Filtration

I am sure in the past you have heard the debate between chlorine vs. saltwater pools – some of you may have had to choose for yourself. However, there is a new and, in our view, superior method for keeping your pool clean: UV also called Ozone. We have recently begun using BioShield, a UV sterilizer, in our newest builds, and we wanted to use this post to flush out the pros and cons of both UV and saltwater pools. In the end, it should be clear why we favor UV, and the massive benefits it can offer to both you and your pool.

First, what is a UV pool?

UV pools, and BioShield specifically, utilize an ultraviolet lamp to sterilize a pool’s water. The water filters through a tube with low temperature, energy conservative UV lamps that kill harmful bacteria and pathogens. BioShield is 99.9% effective at neutralizing bacteria and provides cleaner and safer water than most alternatives.

With this said, UV pools still contain some chlorine because a reliance on water circulation means chlorine provides a quicker bacterial remedy when needed. While this may sound off-putting, the chlorine levels are reduced by 50% or more, and even saltwater pools still contain chlorine. Even with low levels of chlorine, we believe UV offers the best solution for cleaning your pool, and we contrast the pros and cons to saltwater specifically below.

What are the pros and cons of saltwater and UV?

Saltwater Pools

Pros
Lower maintenance than chlorine pools, as salt levels remain relatively stable
Less irritation than chlorine pools
Cons
Still contains some chlorine
Greater up-front cost
Leaves white buildup on tiles
Corrosive to surfaces and equipment

Calcium build is up is 5 times worse on a saltwater pool vs a UV pool.

UV Pools

Pros
Very low maintenance
Instantly neutralizes bacteria
Less irritation than chlorine pools
Cons
Still contains some chlorine
Additional energy usage

 

We hope this comparison between UV and saltwater pools illustrated our reasoning for choosing UV, BioShield specifically, as our preferred method of cleaning pool water. The UV system is newer but gaining popularity quickly due to these obvious benefits, and we would not be surprised if everyone makes the switch to UV at some point in the future.

Pool Myths — Busted!

At some point, we have all heard a mom, whether it was yours or someone else’s, tell us to wait 30 minutes to swim after eating. Well, turns out this and many other pool “rules” are actually myths. In this post, we are going to play the MythBusters and dispel some of these widespread fallacies.

Waiting 30 Minutes After Eating Before Swimming

This is by far the most popular pool myth. This idea stemmed from the fact that after a big meal blood diverts away from your ligaments towards your stomach and digestive tract. People then assumed the risk of drowning is heightened if your limbs are not working at full force. However, while it is true blood moves to assist your digestive process, a person still has plenty of blood in their body parts to function after a big meal. This makes sense after all because, while you may feel bloated after a large meal and want to sit down, it is not like you are suddenly unable to stand. Some say not waiting to swim after eating makes you more subject to cramps, but even this is not proven. Myth: Busted – maybe mother does not know best after all.

Chlorine Changes Hair Color

Likely better known among the female community is the myth that chlorine can make your hair green. Surprisingly, chlorine has no impact on turning hair green, although it goes damage hair and make it dry and brittle. However, hair can still gain a green tint from swimming due to copper sulfate, which binds to proteins in your hair to cause a green coloring. Copper sulfate is a safe chemical and is added in most pools to combat algae, but the one downside is this green tint. If you are concerned about this effect, then there are certain “swimmer’s shampoos”. Myth: Partially Busted – chlorine is harmful to hair, but it is not the chemical causing the green tint in hair.

Chlorine Smells

Properly chlorinated pools do not have a strong chemical smell. There are only two reasons why you would ever have a chemical smell: yucky substances in the pool that mix with chlorine and form chloramines or if the pool is overly chlorinated. If your pool is clean and properly chlorinated, then you will never have the “chlorine smell”. Myth: Busted – only if your pool is kept properly clean though.

Peeing in the Pool Will Turn It Blue

Growing up, you likely were told not to pee in the pool because it would turn blue. Well for those of you that have tried peeing in the pool you quickly realized this was a lie. In fact, there is no such dye that even exists. Regardless, pools are not meant to be peed in, as urine contains bacteria that you do not want to swim in. Myth: Busted – but do not pee in pools!

Growing up, we all here our parents tell us various things that we take as fact only to find out later they are not so. We outlined a few above, but we want to know: What did your parents tell you as a child that was not, in fact, true?

Bismarckia on Fire! — Eight Wonderful Years of Tree Growth

Many of you who have been by my home know that I am a bit fanatical about landscaping, especially drought tolerant options (which we have written about herehere, and here). Years ago, we had a front triangle planter island with a Crepe Myrtle. This matched well with my previous house, but, when we switched to Mediterranean style, I decided I needed something more exotic.

That search led me to the Bismarckia Nobilis, also known as a Madagascar Blue Palm. The Bismarckia Nobilis is a very dramatic plant with greyish/green leaves that is very slow growing but will often reach 50 feet or more. I had a hard time finding a plant larger than very small 5- or 15-gallon containers in the local area, but, eventually, I found a 36-inch box in Chino, which was not an easy trip home. The troubles did not end there though, as we then had to dig out the entire planter to remove the old clay, 2 feet down, and amend the soil with gypsum, sand, grow power and new soil to continue breaking up the old clay in the bottom of the hole.

2011 – 36″ Box

2014 – 2′ Brown Trunk

2019 – 6′ Brown Trunk

You are probably wondering, why would I go through all this work for a simple palm? Well the result speaks for itself, and I have had several people stop by to see what kind of palm it is. Since 2011, the Bismarckia Nobilis has grown from the 36-inch box to a 6-foot-long trunk, but the best way to get a sense for the tree is to see it yourself. If you are in Rossmoor at Rush Park driving on Silverfox, you will dead end on Blume and you can’t miss the Bismarckia Nobilis.

While you are driving by, also be sure to check out the other fan-favorite: my Arbutus Marinus, also known as a Strawberry Tree, by our garage. It was one of the first planted in Rossmoor and has turned into a true masterpiece. We have seen the copycats plant their own, but I will take this as flattery of a great plant choice.

NHC Martial Arts & Fitness

Most of you have likely heard of or driven past the National Hapkido Center (NHC), located in the shopping center on the corner of Katella and Los Al Blvd, but you likely do not know the meaningful role NHC has played in the lives of my family.

Eddie was the first member of the family to join NHC in Middle School. He had gotten sucker punched at Junior Lifeguards and wanted to learn to kick some butt. He did learn how to defend himself, but he never expected the lessons NHC would teach him regarding respect, discipline, and self-control. It truly was the beginning of him growing into the gentleman he is today.

After a year, Eddie encouraged me to join Hapkido because he thought I would enjoy martial arts as well – he was spot on. We both worked hard to learn the extensive curriculum and conditioned our minds and bodies. In 2008, the hard work paid off and Eddie got his black belt. I got mine a year later, in 2009.

After all the years on the sideline, Alyson decided to try kickboxing with me in 2010. Like Eddie and me, she was hooked. We trained for 5 years, and, in 2015, we both got our kickboxing black belts. We continue to attend weekly kickboxing classes together to this day.

So What Is Hapkido?

Hapkido is a highly eclectic Korean martial art. It is a form of self-defense containing both long- and close-range fighting techniques. Hapkido emphasizes circular motion, redirection of force, and control of the opponent. Practitioners seek to gain advantage through footwork and body positioning to incorporate the use of leverage, avoiding the use of strength against strength.

Why NHC and What Do They Offer?

NHC is our extended family in and out of the center. Master Louis Kim is an amazing leader and helped us all to enrich our lives. NHC offers Martial Arts, Taebo, and Kickboxing, which are all explained below:

Martial Arts: focused on teaching students self-defense while emphasizing fitness, health, and safety

  • Teen & Adult: a healthy, fat-burning workout that utilizes both your mind and body to increase your energy, discipline, and fitness for a longer, happier life.
  • Children: Available for ages 4-14, NHC has been teaching children for more than 18 years in Los Alamitos.

Taebo (Aerobic Cardio): combines martial arts and aerial kickboxing to give you a total body workout while challenging your mind and will

Kickboxing: a great fat burning exercise that will help you get in shape while teaching self-defense

We encourage everyone to come join Alyson and me for a workout of Taebo or Kickboxing. If you are interested, give NHC a call at (562) 430-5263 for a free trial! You can also check out their website www.nhcfitness.com and see if you notice a familiar face in the Adult Martial Arts section 😉