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Archive for the ‘Accessories’ Category

Wi-Fi App Control for Spas & Hot Tubs

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Control your hot tub from anywhere in the world!

That’s how the tagline reads for a new generation of smart hot tub controllers that can communicate wirelessly to your mobile device. Super convenient, now that you don’t have to shuffle out in the cold and lift the lid to turn up the heat. Just pull up the app where you can view current temperature and status, and operate all spa functions like pumps, heater, lights, music – like a topside control panel, in your pocket!

All of the major spa manufacturers and spa control makers now offer wifi-enabled spa paks with the software to connect to your spa controller via bluetooth and wifi. And, most spa techs now have a half dozen or more spa manufacturer apps on their smartphones, useful for bypassing control panels, and for certain diagnostics.

Arctic has OnSpa, Jacuzzi has ProLink and Sundance has SunSmart, proprietary wi-fi modules, control software and smartphone apps that operate with their control packs. And for those spa manufacturers using Balboa or Gecko spa packs, Balboa offers BWA module and app, and Gecko has the in.Touch system.

 

HOW DOES HOT TUB WIFI WORK?

A wifi-enabled spa control has a bit of software revision to communicate with a wifi module and to your phone or tablet via the app. The module allows for direct connection from a nearby phone or tablet, and also connects to your home wifi network, for connection to the internet. Balboa uses a single wifi module, good for about 65 ft, and Gecko includes two transmitters, one for spa mounting and one for mounting next to your home wifi router.

 

ADDING WIFI TO A HOT TUB?

Well, there may be a little problem… you see, hot tub wifi modules only work on wifi-enabled spa controls, and these are still a standard feature only on luxury lines of spas, and for spas produced in the last five years or so. If you have a late brand name spa with all the bells and whistles, including Wi-Fi, see your dealer to purchase the wi-fi module kit, and you can then connect to your spa with the app.

For Balboa Controllers, only the BP line of spa controllers is wi-fi enabled as of current. The wifi module 50350 plugs into the BP500/BP600 circuit board and puts out a signal to connect with your home wifi and directly to nearby devices.

For Gecko Controllers, the in.touch remote control system uses two RF transmitters to connect to your home wifi network and to nearby devices. Gecko in.touch works with in.xe, in.xm and in.ye, in.yt controllers, with the new software revision for wi-fi.

Other aftermarket spa controllers, by ACC, Acura and Waterway for example, offer an add-on wifi module that fits select spa controls, for remote control from inside of the house or monitoring your spa while away from home.

 

HOT TUB WIFI – NOT SO SIMPLE?

Unless already equipped, you basically need a new digital spa control if you want to control your spa with your smartphone. ūüôĀ And, it must be a wifi-enabled spa controller, and you must also purchase the additional module or transmitter to connect from the spa to your home wifi and nearby devices.

If your spa control or spa pack is fairly new, it may have wifi capability, check the owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer for information.

Or maybe you’ll have to continue to shuffle through the cold, to check-on, or turn-up your spa or hot tub – the old fashioned way!

Your next spa (or your next spa control) will likely be part of the Internet of Things, and more accessible ūüôā It is a nice feature I must admit, my new Sundance has wifi and I love it! I use it to play music from my phone, thru the spa speakers, and use it inside the house to turn up the temp (and turn it down, too) or for running extra filter cycles, or to check if I left the spa light on again?

6 Hot Tub Accessories I Can’t Live Without

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Hello again! Carolyn here to tell you about some of my favorite hot tub accessories. It could’ve been a ‘top ten’ list, but I wanted to keep it shorter and made of more unique spa products.

So then, without further ado, here’s the 6 hot tub accessory items I just couldn’t live without!

 

 

MY SPA PRE-FILTER

Water where I live is not very good hot tub water. It has really high minerals, making the water hard. Plus, it looks gray, and even smells bad sometimes. Whenever I fill my spa, or top of the water level, I just screw on the Pre-Filter to the end of the hose, to ‘pre-filter’ the water, so my filter doesn’t have to.

 

MY TAYLOR K2105 TEST KIT

The Taylor K-2105 test kit is the complete DPD test kit, for Low Range chlorine and bromine. Since I also use minerals and some ozone, I keep a very low bromine level in the spa, about 0.6 ppm. The low range test kit lets me test down to 0.1 ppm levels.

 

MY NATURE2 SPA STICK

Nature2 spa cartridge is a thin mineral stick that fits inside of your filter cartridge. As the water rushes over it, copper and silver ions are released into the water, which kills bacteria and other particles in the water. Each cartridge lasts for 4 months, so I buy the Nature2 Spa 3-pack to have a year-long supply on hand.

 

MY BALBOA CONTROLLER APP

I’ve become quite attached to my tablet around the home, for playing music, adjusting the home temperature and a few lights. But the newest Balboa App is just amazing. Using our wifi enabled Balboa Spa Controls, one can view temp, change modes – everything that I can do from the topside control.

 

MY FLOATING SPA COVER

I just brought it out again recently, as I don’t use the floating spa blanket during the summer, but for winter it really helps to hold in the heat. We have 3 types of spa floating covers, a low cost bubble blanket, a closed cell foam blanket (like mine!), or the aluminized Radiant foam blanket, to help trap the heat this winter.

 

MY SPA BOOSTER SEAT

I’m a short person, ok? I can’t enjoy the captain’s chairs in our hot tub without my spa booster seat. Unlike inflatable boosters that float, this one is filled with small pebbles or marbles, to stay in place in the seat. I wish it was a bit larger, but that’s my problem, I suppose. ūüôā

 

What are some of your favorite spa or hot tub accessories? With fall already here, winter hot tub accessories will be needed, for those of you in colder climates. Would love to see some snow down here in southern California! On the other hand, I don’t think we would deal with it very well! Keep your snow!

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

Spa Steps and Hot Tub Handrails

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smart-step-with-planters

The number one spa accessory has to be a spa cover, but after that, the most important spa and hot tub accessories are spa steps and hand rails.

Like a spa cover, steps and handrails are an important safety feature for any spa owner.¬†It’s awkward and unsafe to enter or exit a hot tub without assistance from spa steps and handrails.

Today’s post then, is a buyer’s guide for spa steps and handrails.

Spa and Hot Tub Steps

Spa and hot tub steps have snap-together, no-tools required assembly. We offer many different spa step styles, the main difference is in height, and weight capacity. Added spa step features include internal storage, non-skid surfaces, and built-in or available hand rails.

Dura Step II

  • Large slip resistant treadsdura-step-II
  • Locks together in seconds, no tools
  • Strong, stable, & attractive
  • Reversible tread¬†fits round or square spas
  • Supports up to 700 lbs
  • Measures 15″ tall x 27″ wide x 26″ deep
  • 2 colors, Grey and Redwood

 

Handi Step

  • Snaps together, no hardware or tools neededhandi-step-2
  • Fits both¬†straight and¬†curved spas
  • Supports up to 300lbs
  • Extremely durable blow molded plastic
  • Multi-purpose; garage, home and camping
  • Dimensions per step: 29″ wide x 23″ deep x 14″ tall
  • Available in 12 colors

 

Signature Step

  • Dual handrails and 3 Stepssignature-spa-step-3
  • Drink holder/towel bar
  • Strong, sturdy construction
  • Easy, quick assembly
  • 36″W X 24″H X 38″D
  • Available in 5 colors
  • Our tallest spa step

 

Smart Step

  • Slip-resistant rubber tread is soft on¬†feetsmart-step-II
  • Locks together in seconds with no tools
  • Smooth dark colors resist dirt and stains
  • Reversible top¬†tread fits round or square spas
  • Holds up to 700 lbs
  • 36″W x 16-1/4″H x 28″D
  • Available in Redwood or Coastal Grey

 

Step n Stow

  • 3 Styles, Rectangular, Cake or Roundedstep-and-stow-cake
  • Quick, easy assembly with no tools
  • Steps have¬†hidden, lockable¬†storage area
  • 100 % impregnated color
  • Removable drain plug
  • Planters available (sold separately)
  • 5 cool colors available

 

Universal Spa Step

  • universal-spa-stepReversible top step fits round or square tubs
  • Maintenance free, heavy thermoplastic
  • Attractive styling complements your spa decor
  • UV Treated for long lasting sun protection
  • Anti-slip tread for added safety
  • Supports over 800 lbs.
  • 16″H x 32″W x 24″D
  • Grey, Java or Redwood colors

 

 

Spa and Hot Tub Hand Rails

Spa and hot tub rails are important to help make a safe transition from the spa to the spa step. Hand rails either screw to the supports on your spa cabinet, or are secured by a flat plate that slides under the spa.

 

Spa Handrail

spa-side-handrails-animGet a grip with¬†the Spa Side Handrail –¬†a durable, zinc-plated & powder coated¬†2-piece design with a¬†flat¬†steel plate¬†that slips under your spa cabinet (6 1/2″). No hardware or assembly are required, and no drilling into your spa cabinet.

The Spa Handrail¬†can also be used as an umbrella¬†stand for specially designed spa umbrellas. Fits on spas up to 40″ in height from the ground. Handrail is 57″ tall, overall. Includes LED light in handle for visibility and added beauty.

 

 

SmartRail Spa Railingsmartrail-spa-railing

The SmartRail features a rotating bracket that works on virtually any spa configuration, and attaches to freestanding as well as spas with a wrap around deck.

Rust-proof powder coated aluminum, and a single corrosion-free bracket with 12 screws. Foam hand grip and ergonomic figure-4 design make the Smart Rail spa handrail a feature packed winner!

10 Items that Every Hot Tub Owner Needs

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spa-accessory-umbrellaWhen I bought my first hot tub (not so long ago), I was expecting a complete package, but soon found out that I needed much more than just the tub itself! Sure, I got a starter chemical kit, but that was about it.

Over the next few months, I began to shop for the necessary hot tub accessories to be able to use my spa properly. Over the next few years, I acquired more toys, tools and conveniences.

Since I’ve come to Hot Tub Works, my employee discount has been put to good use, replacing many of the earlier spa products or add-ons that I bought.

Here’s my list of the 10 best spa products that every hot tub owner needs, or – if I were stranded on a desert island, with just my hot tub, these are the 10 things I would require.

Hot Tub Covers

A spa cover is the first thing you buy, if it’s not included in the hot tub price, and if it is – it’s probably a piece of junk that won’t last but a few years. Operating without a hot tub cover is like having a refrigerator with no door on it, or a heated house with no roof! Absolutely necessary – and about every five years you’ll need to buy a new one. When your spa cover becomes broken, waterlogged or begins to sag into the spa, take a look at why we are America’s #1 choice for spa covers!

Hot Tub Cover Lifters

spa-cover-lifter

A lifter may be the second thing you buy. I thought I could get along without one, and did for several years. Then one night, my cover broke while we were moving it off the spa. We both blamed each other, but the reality is – it’s hard Not to break a spa cover, when you don’t use a cover lifter. I hear a lot of stories about people falling into the cover, or the wind picking it up and blowing it across the yard. A cover lifter prevents both of those from happening too!

Spa Steps

Definitely didn’t see this one coming, but of course you need a way to get in and out of the spa, without making a complete, and unladylike fool of yourself! My 6’2″ boyfriend can just lean on the side and spin himself into the spa, but not little ol’ me – I needed a step. Spa steps are available in colors to match your spa cabinet, and can be plastic or redwood. You could make your own steps, if you fancy yourself a woodworker. If you do that, you may as well create some under-step storage and add a pair of attached planters!

Spa Rail

spa-rail-for-hot-tubsAs a companion to a spa step, a spa rail slides under the spa and gives a safe hand hold for climbing in and out of the spa. Especially coming out of the spa, standing up suddenly can be dizzying, and with slippery wet surfaces, it’s easy to slip and fall when coming out of a hot tub. I put a spa rail on my spa just last year, more for our “older” hot tub friends – haha, not for me! It also makes a nice towel holder.

Spa Tables

For towels, drinks, snacks, keys or phones, etc…, a spa side table can be used for so many things. You can buy resin tables that install into the side panels of the cabinet, or use a freestanding type of Console table. I have several (three!) tables that were made from rough hewn wood, kind of shabby chic, surrounding my hot tub. One of them is completely filled with plants, on the sunny side of the spa. You don’t need 3, but some kind of table within arm’s reach is a nice touch.

Spa Pillows

universal-spa-pillow

Here’s another item that you would think came with the spa, but I had to pay like $99 extra for my first set of spa pillows. They don’t last as long as you thing, after about 5 years, the foam was all cracked and dried out. Spa pillows are more necessary than you may think, and not so optional; have you ever tried to find a comfortable position with your neck on the edge of spa? You can feel every vibration of the equipment, but not in a massaging the neck kind of way – more like teeth chattering!

Chemical Storage

As Carolyn pointed out in her recent blog post about spa chemical storage ideas, having a safe place to store spa chemicals is an important accessory. It should be lockable, to keep it out of reach of children, and for the longest shelf life, store chemicals indoors, with consistent humidity and temperature levels. I use a Rubbermaid type of container – not lockable, but then we rarely have kids in our house.

Cleaning Tools

flat-skimmer-net

There are a number of cleaning tools out there, but you don’t need most of them. What you really DO need, however – is a flat skimmer net, to fish out leaves or food, or anything floating on the water. And, you also need a Grit Getter or some type of vacuum to clean the floor and seats of the spa. Other than that, you don’t need any other specific cleaning tools, except maybe a bottle brush, which is good for cleaning out the spa jets when you drain the tub.

Baseball Caps

Keep some baseball caps or knit caps near the tub for women or men with long-er hair, to put their hair up. This keeps their gunky hair products out of the spa, and keeps that bromine smell out of their hair! On cold nights, use the knit caps to hold-in that head heat, and keep your guests hot!

Spa Thermometer

duck-thermometr

Your spa probably has a digital readout of the spa temperature, so why would you need another one? For one, to double-check that your temp sensor is right, and the spa is as warm as it says it is, and secondly because it’s fun! Everyone who gets in will have to check the thermometer, especially if you get one of our cute spa thermometers.

 

~~~So, that’s it, that’s my ‘desert island list’ of my favorite hot tub gear. Is there a spa accessory item I didn’t list that you can’t do without? For Carolyn, it’s her Towel Warmer (she made me put that in!).

 

XOXO;

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

 

 

Spa Pillows and Hot Tub Cushions – Get Comfy!

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Here’s a quick post about some of my favorite spa and hot tub accessories – Spa Pillows and Spa Cushions.

Surfaces are hard and slick in a hot tub, and even though contoured seating offers some relief, by the end of a 20 minutes spa session, you could find yourself with a sore bum or stiff neck.

spa-booster-seatsSpa Booster Seat – this ingenious product stays put, because you fill it with water, to the level of firmness that you want.

Great for kids, or short people like me, to keep your head above water, but it also makes it so much more comfortable to sit in your spa.

A hot tub cushion or spa seat also has another benefit, one that all of you ladies will understand, if you happen to enjoy time alone in the spa with your husband. WATER-SEAT

We also carry the Water Seat, which has three internal compartments to fill with marbles or washed pea gravel for a spa seat that will really mold to your shape and hold you firmly in place.

 

spa-pillows-groupSpa Pillows – this is a large category, with nearly 30 different spa pillows – some generic or universal, and some made for specific spa models from Hot Spring, Jacuzzi and Sundance.

Hot tub pillows are fairly durable items, but over time, chemicals and sun can begin to break down the outer coating, and then it starts to crack. Ugly. I just replaced my pillows last year, on a 10 year old spa – so not a bad lifespan!

Some spa pillows just disappear – maybe the wind took it, or your dog buried it somewhere in the backyard! Whatever happened, if your pillows are damaged or missing, you can find most replacements on our spa pillows page. universal-spa-pillow hot tub cushion

If you don’t see the hot tub pillow for your brand, we also have 3 generic type spa pillows on top of the page, or a universal spa pillow, the type shown here with a weighted bag that folds over the edge of the spa or hot tub.

 

Get comfy in your spa! Spa cushions and spa pillows make great spa accessories, whether you sit high in the water, or sink down very low to your chin level, cushion your spa and get more comfortable!

Adding Music to Your Hot Tub

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HOT-TUB-MUSIC

Music, it seems, is therapy. According to the British Journal of Psychiatry, music therapy, when combined with standard treatments, has benefits in treating depression, anxiety and addiction. Additionally, a review of 400 research papers in the neurochemistry of music which found that music can improve the function of the body’s immune system and reduce levels of stress.

Listening to, and playing music can reduce the levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol, and increase production of dopamine. Music makes you happy, and reduces stress – just like hot water therapy.

Combining the benefits of a hot water soak for your body, and relaxing music for your ears will increase the health and relaxation benefits of using a spa or hot tub. Plus, for hot tub parties, you gotta have music!

How to Add Music to Your Hot Tub

boomboxTruth be told, you don’t need anything more than a radio or boom box next to the spa to add the element of music to your spa. That’s what I do, as I think I’ve mentioned before. I have an old portable boom box that sits next to my spa, so old that it doesn’t even take CD’s. I like to play classical music or jazz, either from cassette tape (lol, I know), or I dial in a local radio station.

Others here at Hot Tub Works laugh at me, with their wi-fi hi-fi systems, playing their bluetooth music from smartphones or tapping into their home stereo system, or even music stored on their computers in another part of the house. If you want to be fancy, here’s some ways that the true audiophile adds music to their “Club Hot Tub”.

OPTION ONE: Install a stereo. Most stereos that are built into spas are simply marine radios, or stereos made for boats. There are even pop-up speakers available that are made specifically for hot tub use. With a saw and some skills, you can cut a hole in your spa cabinet and mount a 12V marine stereo, and run wire to a few outdoor speakers that you affix to the spa shell, with small holes drilled for the wires, or set the speakers nearby.

OPTION TWO: Mount some outdoor speakers near the spa and connect them to your home stereo system, or a cheap receiver that you can place in a weather proof box, out of the elements.

OPTION THREE: Go wireless with a system like Sonos or iCast, which allows you to connect any MP3 player, or tap into your home wifi network to connect to internet radio services like Pandora or Spotify. These have portable, outdoor speakers that you can place almost anywhere around your spa. Indoor/outdoor or water-resistant Bluetooth speakers have also grown increasingly popular, and can broadcast music from any Bluetooth-enabled device.

OPTION FOUR: Go low tech, like me – and get a cheap radio that you can plug into a nearby (grounded) outlet, and turn on the radio, pop in a CD, or kick it old school and break out your dusty cassette tapes!

Of course, there are many of you who prefer peace and quiet in the hot tub. You know who you are – you don’t even turn on the blower because it’s too loud. You prefer to sit and soak, under the stars, and finally enjoy some silence.

Rock On, America…

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

Accessorize your Spa or Hot Tub

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spa-swingWhat’s the hottest and coolest accessories for your spa? You probably already have the basics nailed down – spa cover lifter, spa steps and all of your hot tub chemical, testing and cleaning supplies. So, let’s move on to advanced spa accessories ~ fun and fanciful conveniences to help you enjoy your spa or hot tub more!

A spa is so wonderful just by itself, it’s hard to improve upon the experience, but these bits of small whimsy can add up to more time together in the tub. I have all of these items at home, and they have all added something special to my spa sessions, especially the spa swing! (shown left)

Bluetooth Speaker Set

Indoor/Outdoor speakers are extremely water resistant Рnot waterproof, but they can be carefully set on the edge of your spa, or set them up on a drink table or tall side table that you can reach. These connect to any Bluetooth player, and are compatible with most smartphones. Play your dowloaded music selection through the wireless speakers, or pull up online radio and music services like Pandora or Spotify.

Side Bar Drop Leaf Spa Table

spa-drop-leaf-tablesThis is my favorite type of spa table, for use with food or drinks, keys, phones or you can place your music speakers on it. The Side Bar measures 57 inches long and 15 wide, at nearly 2″ thick.

Add some stools and it makes a great spot for dining or conversation with those not in the spa. Folds down against the spa when not being used. I have 2 of these, the one on the far side is filled with (mostly) fake plants.

Towel Warmer

towel-warmerNothing is better than a warm towel when you come out of the hot tub. The towel warmer rack is a popular option, just stand it up near the spa, turn it on, and hang your towels on it before you get in the spa.

New on the market is the Towel Spa, which heats up towels and robes in just minutes, in a small compact size that holds 3-4 rolled up towels. Impress your guests with a toasty towel after their soak. Not waterproof, this will have to be located indoors, or in a protected outdoor location.

Booster Seats

spa-booster-seatFill it with water for a soft and steady spa seat. For those that are less than 5 feet tall, today’s newer and deeper spas can make it hard to keep your head above water. And, let’s face it – many spa seats, although contoured, are less than comfortable, for sitting or other things…

Be head and shoulders above the rest with this water filled booster seat. Adjust the firmness and height of the seat by how much water is added to the seat fill valve. Comes in 3 colors to match your spa.

Color Lights

LED-spa-bulbMost spas of any age, except for the new models, have a boring white light in the base of the tub. My spa was like that too, until I upgraded the bulb to a color LED spa bulb. Now I can cycle between four colors, although we leave it on red most of the time. This LED spa bulb replace #912 type bulbs, on a 12V spa lamp. Add some ‘chromatherapy’ to your spa sessions by simply changing the spa light bulb!

Top Spa and Hot Tub Accessories

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Every year, I review the the best accessory items for spas and hot tubs. Hot tub style doesn’t change as fast as clothing fashion, but it does change! Each year, inventive manufacturers look to provide the next big product for the 5 million spa and hot tub owners in North America.

Your spa or hot tub was installed for the enjoyment that it brings as a tranquil relaxation zone. This year, our top hot tub accessories list includes items that make it easier to enjoy your spa, or add a new dimension of interest and delight. Maybe one of these items will rekindle the flame between you and your tub?

My Favorite Spa and Hot Tub Accessories

Spa Umbrella

Spa-Side Umbrella

These umbrellas, which used to cost thousands, are not in the reach of every spa owner. I have one of these over my spa – although¬† it’s not always open, I keep it folded most of the time.

Spa umbrellas are nice to block the low sun on a summer evening, or if it starts to rain while you’re in the spa you can wait out the storm safely underneath.

Spa umbrellas can also be rotated 360 degrees, to shade adjacent areas, and it pivots to an almost vertical position, to add a bit of privacy.

 

stool-and-chairs

Spa Console Table & Stools

Having a spa-side counter or shelf is helpful to store snacks and drinks, lay towels or magazines. I know many people that use more than one, a friend of mine uses 3 of them, all filled with beautiful herbs and flowering plants.

Adding stools, of course, provide a place for friends and family to sit and talk, while not getting into the spa. It’s so convenient for guests at a party. My grand children sometimes have a Sunday snack there, after their soak in the tub.

 

spa step with planters

Spa Steps with Planters

DreamMaker Spa Storage Steps¬†are another hot tub accessory that I love, even though, most of the time, the flowers in my spa steps are “artificial”. They beautify my spa entrance nonetheless! The top step also opens up for additional storage.

You can plant real plants in these if you wish, they have a drain hole in the bottom of each plant area. Some people I have heard of are using these as coolers! Great spa party idea – fill each one up with ice and a different beverage of your choice!

 

Omni-Rocks

Omni Rocks

Omni Rocks are artificial rocks that look like the real deal, but they are light weight molded faux rocks. The step is available in 2-step or 3-step for today’s taller spas. The corner rock has a lift off lid, with a storage compartment for towels, or spa care items. You can also use it as a cooler, or convert it into a planter!

The Corner Rock Planter Unit holds enough soil to accommodate a medium sized bush or bunches of seasonal flowers or herbs. Frames two sides of your spa as it hugs the corner.

 

Color Glo Raydiance - LED bulb for spas

Color Glo Raydiance LED Spa Bulb

24 LEDs fill even larger spas with dense, rich hues of intense color. 8 standard colors, and two color light shows. Rotate just by flipping the switch, or hitting your light button.

This LED spa bulb works on 12V spa light systems, with a wedge based lighting socket, and without dimming capability. It only uses 2.5 watts, but you may find it to be twice as bright as your old white light, or earlier generation LED spa bulbs.

 

waterproof-playing-cards

Water Proof Playing Cards

When’s the last time you played cards? In the tub, playing a game can be a lot of fun. Texas Hold-Em is the game we like to play in our hot tub, but you could play Go Fish, Gin Rummy or BlackJack, anything you wish.

Our Water Proof Playing Cards may seem silly, but it could be the kind of thing that gets you out in the spa more – “…how about a game of cards in tub?” I can hear you saying now…

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

Adding Audio-Video to your Spa or Hot Tub

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Marquis Spa with pop up TVA Hot Tub is a paradise – soothing, relaxing and as social as you want it to be. If you want your spa to ROCK, however, jazz it up by adding some tunes to your spa experience, or go all out and set up an outdoor TV or monitor!

Newer spas can come equipped with stereos and built in speakers, like the one shown left, with an option to add a pop-up television. Manufacturer options strike me as expensive however.

You can assemble your own hot tub audio and video equipment for much less expense. Here’s how.

ADDING AUDIO TO YOUR SPA

The Integrated Spa Side Stereo is an outdoor, waterproof receiver that’s used on spas, boats and golf carts. These are typically mounted to the spa skirt, on the outside of the spa. You’ll also need an Antenna if you plan on using AM/FM, and a 12V power supply, to connect to your spa pack.

Spa stereos can be purchased as AM/FM only, or with a CD port, iPod/iPhone dock or USB port, or even with Bluetooth wireless connectivity to your mp3 player. When shopping for a spa mounted stereo, look for Marine stereos, those meant for outdoor use in boats.

The iPod/iPhone docking stereo is another option. If you have a dry area near the tub, with a 110V outlet, plug in any iPod player and dock your device. For something fully waterproof, look at the Eco Terra Waterproof Boom Box. Slip your mp3 player inside and let the music play! This item has the advantage of portability, so you can also use it on a boat, by the pool or at the beach.

Your Home Stereo system can be your third option. If you have a home stereo, wired or wireless, a set of outdoor speakers can be attached. This is how we rock my hot tub. I have a SONOS wireless home music system, with an amplifier in the garage, connected with speaker wire to 2 outdoor, wall mounted speakers. I can control the music selection with my iPhone (being careful not to drop it in the spa!).

Spa Speakers

spa-speakers

  1. Spa Cabinet Installed. Newer spas will always have the option for an integrated stereo and speakers. If you purchased this upgrade, speakers would be mounted into the top of the spa, either round 6″ speakers, or pop-up cylinder speakers. Most spas have room on the spa shell or cabinet to retrofit such speakers. Pop-up spa speakers have some advantage in design; besides looking ultra cool, they shed water from the speaker cone.exoxgear
  2. Floating Speakers. Fully waterproof, of course, floating speakers connect wirelessly to your mp3 player via Bluetooth. Most of these available have poor reviews of low volume, short range and fast battery usage. There is one however, with better reviews, the ECOXGEAR. At only $90, this could be all you need to play music from any Bluetooth enabled device.outdoor-rock-speakers
  3. Free Standing Speakers. Outdoor speakers can be wall mounted (like mine), or can be set onto stands, or placed near the spa. With the blower running and your spa pump on high, you may want your speakers close to the spa. You don’t want to wake the neighbors! There are dozens of options in outdoor speakers, wired or wireless, although wireless speakers require a power source, using either 110V or batteries.

ADDING VIDEO TO YOUR SPA

outdoor-spa-with-integrated-tv

An integrated Spa mounted television is a high-end upgrade for today’s modern spas. These wireless monitors receive a signal from a small server that you plug into your cable box. A waterproof remote control allows you to change channels and volume. The SpaVue television is one that is used by many spa manufacturers, who build the monitor into a recessed cavity, which rises up slowly when you click the waterproof remote.

You can retrofit an existing spa with the same idea, or surface mount the SpaVue, or similar outdoor television onto the edge of your spa. Wirelessly connect to your home media, or connect with cabling of your choice.

outdoor-tv-hot-tub-2Wall mounted outdoor televisions are another option. You can mount directly to the wall, of the house or your hot tub gazebo. With this option, you can go as big as you want, and mount a full home theater style screen. However, I don’t think that I could watch an entire movie in the spa. Or at least a long movie; I tend to use the spa for less than 30 minutes at a time. For hot tub parties, as Gina blogged about earlier this week – a big screen experience could really add something.

As I stated at the outset, a Hot Tub is a paradise, all by itself. You don’t need to add music and video – you could just light a candle and use your spa to escape technology, which come to think of it – is how I enjoy my spa best.