This is my first post in this forum, so thanks in advance for any help, advice etc. We are about 90% of the way through the installation of our first pool. We only know what we have read on this forum and other online web sites. It seems as though our pool company has kept us in the dark most of the way during installation. It has gone fairly smooth until the last couple of weeks. Our pool is a 38' Leisure fiberglass. We are down to having the pool tile installed and starting to doubt the integrity of our pool company. The pool has been running for about a week now, with the pool company coming out twice to add something to the water that makes the debris and dirt, concrete, powder from stamped concrete, and other foreign matter, drop to the bottom to vacuum out. It was almost clean after the second vacuuming. Now we have dropped the water level to allow the tile to be installed at the water line and grouted. During this first week, we have run the pump and filters from 10am to 10pm. We have played with the lights and the 3 Pentair Deck Jet Laminar's and have had our first issue. Both the pool lights and the laminars were connected to a single electrical toggle switch. After unsuccessfully getting the laminas to change color in the sequence we wanted, I called Pentair, as our pool company was not available to assist me over the phone. The tech help with Pentair was excellent. They also informed me that under no circumstances should the pool lights and laminars be on one switch. I could order one of their Intellibrite Controllers or just use a standard electrical toggle. I called the electrician I used through the pool company, he acted like I was crazy, when I told him I wanted separate switches for the laminars and pool lights. He told me this was the way he had been doing them as long as he had been doing pools. I insisted he install separate switches, he came yesterday and installed to electrical toggles.
My question is, are their benefits to using a Intellibrite Controller over the toggles other than just convenience. I have to say the toggle method is the most Mickey Mouse setup I have ever seen. Toggling off and on 12 or 13 times seems ridiculous. We went with a pretty basic manual setup to get into the pool with the thoughts of upgrading equipment at a later time. We were quoted $5800 plus electrical for a Pentair automated system. We have found them online since then for about $12-1400.00. We are not sure if the extras of automation is something we would benefit from or use that money to add a heat pump/chiller. We are starting to not trust our pools company as much for guidance as we did. Any thoughts or comments will be appreciated.