New Market Needs for Watertight and Submersible Luminaires, Part 1: A Case for Hydrel LED Luminaires


Water in the sea can be choppy or calm, which is an altogether different wet environment than pools, fountains or parks. Outdoor lighting for wet applications as described above can guide you safely home, light your path or protect you from hitting a solid surface. But these environments require watertight and submersible lighting.


Hydrel® was founded in the early 1960s to address lighting for a wide breadth of wet environments. The company was acquired by Acuity Brands in 1999 and after decades of successful project installations, the Hydrel brand is known today as one of the most reliable underwater lighting luminaires. 

Today Hydrel is used in some of the most demanding national and global outdoor projects.


Hydrel is used in wet applications where lighting is needed for pools, fountains and water features to wet-dry environments found in outdoor spaces like parks, commercial building facades and live/work/play developments.

Acuity Brands, as it continues in its Expanding the boundaries of lighting™ efforts, is innovating the Hydrel family line by taking products through a major transformation rooted in its commitment to the Hydrel design philosophy, to thoughtfully develop durably constructed and dependable luminaires that prevent water intrusion or allow flow through for water management. Hydrel’s product offerings have expanded from its oldest luminaire design, the in-grade series to flood lights, bollards and other form factors to meet and anticipate the market needs for outdoor architectural lighting.  

The time-tested performance of the product has also been preserved while incorporating new features and luminaire designs as a part of this transformation. The recently added linear flood light has been evaluated by putting it in a tank of water for over a week to keep the same sealing standards before being released to the market, and Hydrel’s bollard luminaires for pathways/walkways have optional motion sensing technology.

Wherever possible, the Hydrel team evaluates new technologies and looks to enhance the products with innovations.  It has incorporated new technologies to increase light output over the life of the luminaire. Within those technologies is the capability to specify products with the Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) and Digitally Multiplexing (DMX) control system for dynamic color changing and diming. These technologies provide a high-quality output and color changeable LED lighting systems that offer more color options for underwater and outdoor lighting. From static cool whites to amber hues, RGB and every possible color combination possible, the Hydrel luminaire can make it happen. Imagine the creativity and festive inspiration color changing can provide in outdoor spaces.

Read part two, which discusses the future of Hydrel.

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