Sometimes the pool is just so enjoyable that you really don’t want the good vibes to end. Extend your pool time with pool lights. We have compiled 10 pool lighting ideas to take your pool lighting to the next level. The benefits of having a place to swim are endless, so why should the fun stop when the sun goes down? In short, it shouldn’t.
The best way to continue to use the pool once the sun sets is to have pool lights installed. Even if you’re early to bed, there are still reasons why the lights could be beneficial. Things like early morning swimming, making the depths of the pool more visible, and, of course, who couldn’t use the extra dramatic flair?
- 1 10 Pool Lighting Options
- 2 Types of Pool Lights
- 3 Best Above Ground Pool Lights
- 4 Are LED pool lights worth it?
- 5 Know Your Pool
10 Pool Lighting Options
Okay, it’s time to bring the pool to life. We’re going to throw out our favorite pool lighting themes below. Following this list, we’ll explain more about the types of lighting you can use to achieve these looks. Let’s get the pool lighting party started with pool lighting ideas
1. Tiki Time
Line the outdoor space with tall tiki torches. For your pool, get some fun-shaped, solar lights to throw in. Better yet, throw in a few lily-shaped fiber optics floating lights. Accompany them with LED lights to outline the pool itself, on top and around the base.
2. Illumination Station
This theme works best in a yard that contains tall trees. Get spotlights to go at the base of the trees facing upward. Use in-ground solar lights to illuminate the walking path to the pool. Inside the water, place wall-mounted lights liberally across the pool.
3. All Wrapped Up
Use rope lights to cover all the things around the pool. Trees, chairs, statues, you name it! The brighter the better. Then, grab the brightest underwater lights you have and drop several at the bottom to light the water at the top. For extra bright water, one magnetic pool wall light on either side.
4. Light The Way
Get some lantern lights that can be mounted to the outside of a pool and place them all the way around. Use rope lights to brighten the walkway, structures, and fence. Stick some underwater lights in the water.
5. Light Awareness
Attach LED lights on either side of the stairs going into the pool and underwater lights for the ladder. Use hanging lights to make a square shape of the house that reaches out to posts above the pool. These posts do not hover over the pool but are close enough that the light touches.
6. Here Comes the Sun
Outline the pool with small solar lights that stick from the ground. Throw in several floating solar lights to glide across the water where people are. Use the same solar lights to shine on the path from the backdoor to the pool.
7. Star Treatment
Use hanging lights to draw attention to the fence going around the backyard. Get a handful of spotlights that sit on the ground and place them around the pool, at a distance. Mark the walk across with spherical solar lights on either side.
8. Rainbow Showers
Set the return hole lights to change colors in relaxation mode. Get waterproof outdoor lights and outline the outside of the pool with them on top and bottom. Use hanging lights in assorted colors to create a multi-line display of lights above the pool. Use spotlights to illuminate trees in varying colors. Add a color-changing light to the interior of the pool. Throw in a unicorn float.
9. Stuck on You
Get several magnetic lights to put in a unique order all across the inside of the pool. Put solar lights around the outside of the pool area as well as on the chairs or any other outdoor furniture. Add a spotlight to the path from the house to the pool, one on either side of opposite points.
10. Statement Piece
Invest in weatherproof fun statues to box in the pool. Use rope lights to help them appear to be glowing. Light up the steps to the pool. Add a Smartlite to illuminate the stairs without having to draw attention to the entirety of the water in the pool.
Types of Pool Lights
Alright, before we swim around which options you have to choose from when it comes to lighting up and making these themes come to life, let’s get a better understanding of the types of lighting.
LED Pool Lights
LED offers the most energy-efficient option to light up your pool. Not having to change a bulb for years is also a major win. This type comes with all the techy stuff like using an app to change the speed and color. Because they will save you money, you can use even more of them to spread around the area.
Don’t want to have them to be installed? There are always floating and battery-powered lights you can just toss into the pool. They won’t be stuck to a side, but that might add to the allure. Before you hit up an online retailer, the one thing about LED lights is that they aren’t super bright. If you’re trying to put more of a spotlight on the pool or if you have a long pool with an extra surface to focus on, it might be more of a challenge using LEDs.
Halogen Pool Lights
Where LED pool lights drop the ball, halogen lights pick it up. These guys are beaming and have a longer reach, overall. Also, if you thought LEDs were a budget-friendly option, the halogen lights come in just under LED lights. That sounds like a bright idea now, but the difference, aside from intensity, is that halogen lights don’t last as long.
So, this would be a time to decide your priority. Do you want a highly illuminated pool or lighting you won’t have to worry about for several years? Something else about halogen bulbs is they can really heat up the water. That might not be the worst thing in the world, especially if it’s away to avoid paying for a heating upgrade.
Fiber Optic Pool Lights
This is truly the most convenient option. If you’ve ever had the fear of messing with electricity around water and want to avoid any mishaps, these are a dream. The bulbs don’t operate the way the previous two do. Fiber optic lights use what is called a dry power box to feed light to the pool.
That means changing a bulb or performing maintenance on the strand of lights all takes place in one location far from the pool itself. Having a quick way to do that will come in handy since the bulbs don’t last that long. Also, due to the distance, they are less bright than the LEDs.
If that doesn’t detract you, there are some exciting ways to use them. Because of how they’re set up, the fiber optic cable can be completely submerged, so you can have lights run along the bottom of the pool. They are also fully programmable to do light shows. Those are some of the lights at the famous fountains of the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
Solar Pool Lights
These are bill-free lights! Since they are powered by the sun, they will have no impact on your power bill. Solar lights are not permanent but they come in an array of shapes and colors. You let them charge in the sun and throw them in after sunset.
They can’t put on a show like the fiber optic lights, but they are great for parties nonetheless. Tossing in a glowing ball or flower is a fun way to take the light with you in the pool, wherever you paddle.
Solar lights may not be the all-encompassing solution you were hoping for but they could make a great addition to another pool light choice.
Best Above Ground Pool Lights
While underground pools are great, there are plenty of homeowners that prefer their pools to be above ground for their cooldown needs. So, what does that mean for pool lights?
You can definitely still light up the entire above ground pool, but you might look at the options a little differently. Above ground pool LED lights are the most common but there are other types to check out.
Something else to consider is if you do any damage trying to install lights in your pool, it might void the warranty. You have to be very careful. The less invasive on an above ground pool, the better.
KingSom Floating Pool Light – Flower
If you want to add a little character to your pool, this light adds a whimsical touch to your setup. Since they float, these fiber optic lights are removable from the pool. These temporary lights are quite affordable and only need batteries to turn on. The flower shape is perfect to fit into backyard settings. Homeowners with gardens might find them especially appealing, naturally.
Ocean Blue JetLight
In addition to providing light inside the above ground pool, the color-changing options of Ocean Blue make for a total of 16 color combinations. You also have a handful of modes, such as strobe and relaxation, to ease into the pool or start a party. The remote won’t work if the LEDs are underwater, so that will impact where they are placed.
The SmartLite LED comes with brackets to mount it on any pool return jet, fitting, ladder, or deck post. Features 24 color options, and multi-level dimming. Two or more are recommended for small to medium-sized swimming pools. The battery provides light for up to 20 hours on single charge
Intex Pool Wall Light
Installation of this LED light requires one thing; magnets. To stick to the inner wall of the pool, you put one magnet on the outside and match it with the light on the inside. Not interested in magnets? It floats. Intex’s lights don’t work with metal pools but are budget-friendly.
- 110-120V LED pool light
- Magnetic mounting system
- Illuminates up to 24Ft pools
- Lights up both inside and outside the pool
- Features a color changing mode
- 26 feet cord for convenient outlet connection
Floating Pool Lights
Light up your pool at night with a floating pool light. Available in multiple colors, and powered by solar power.
Are LED pool lights worth it?
When you take into consideration all the types and what their advantages and disadvantages are, why are LED lights still the most popular? Waiting up to 25 years before needing to replace bulbs has to be one of the top reasons people make the choice of LEDs.
Brightness isn’t as much of a priority for people as not having to be bothered. A quarter of a century is an acceptable amount of time between being bothered. Ask anyone who has ever needed to change a bulb on a high ceiling.
The benefits extend to your bank account. Tests show that using LED lights in your home as opposed to regular bulbs can save you as much as 75% annually. LED pool lights aren’t the cheapest option, but they are the most cost-saving when you think about the long run.
So, if you have the money upfront to get the type of lighting you want, it will be worth it in the long run. Think of LED pool lights as an investment.
Know Your Pool
Ahead of the design phase, there are some things you should consider. As excited as you might be right now, there are some very important points for you to have sorted out before you contact a professional.
- Do you have a mental image of what you’re hoping to create?
- Have you narrowed down the desired colors?
- What color is your pool finished with?
- How big is your pool and how much of it do you want lit?
- Do you want the lights to change color? Dim? Be remote controlled? Dance?
- Have you considered the uptick in your electricity bill?
Herbert is a swimming enthusiast. Started career working as a lifeguard, and in pool maintenance. He loves to share his experience and recommendation on this blog.