Are you interested in making your backyard pool safer? Do you love taking the occasional pre-dawn dip or indulging in a late-night swim? Have you been looking for an easy way to take your pool parties to the next level?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it sounds like you’re in the market for pool lighting.
Not sure what you want? No worries. On this page, we’ll guide you through some key decisions and considerations – and we’ll also take a deep dive into some of the most popular swimming pool lighting options available today.
Key Considerations and Decisions
The good news is, when it comes to swimming pool lights, there are tons of great options out there to choose from. Of course, that also means that it can be hard to figure out what pool lights will work best for you. Do you want a multicolored light show or do you prefer to stick with a classic white light? Are you looking for high-tech “smart” lighting, or do you prefer to keep things simple?
Here are a few things to consider when starting your search for the perfect swimming pool lights:
Color (or not)
White light is a great choice if safety and visibility is your top priority. It’s also simple and classic if you’re looking for a low-key way to showcase your swimming pool’s design. If you prefer something with more of a “wow factor,” color-changing pool lights might be the way to go. You can find swimming pool lighting in every color of the rainbow, complete with fun, pre-programmed “light shows.”
Believe it or not, the color of your pool finish impacts the appearance of your swimming pool lights. Light- to medium-colored interior surfaces reflect light while darker finishes absorb light. Therefore, if you have a light- to medium-colored interior surface, you can select either colored or white lights. But if your pool uses a darker finish, your best choice is to go with a white light. Otherwise, you risk your finish absorbing the colored light and creating a murky effect.
You might be wondering how many pool lights do I need? The number of lights you need depends on the size of your swimming pool. 15’ x 30’ pools only require one light. 20’ x 40’ pools require two lights. 20’ x 42’ pools and up require three or more lights.
Today’s swimming pool lights are available with a variety of fun and convenient features, from smartphone integration to dimmer switches and more. What’s more, many color LED pool lights can be programmed to put on entertaining, colorful “light shows” that add an extra element of fun to any backyard gathering.
In addition to color-changing pool lights, you can also choose from a wide variety of high-tech innovations: There are remote controlled swimming pool lights and even “smart” pool lighting that you can operate with a phone app or through your home automation system.
Cost and energy consumption
If you’re looking for a “green” choice, you can’t go wrong with energy-efficient LED lights or solar-powered pool lights. If you’re looking for the lowest purchase price, halogen lighting is the way to go (although halogen lighting will cost a little more over time to operate).
Inground vs. above ground
Your lighting needs and options will depend largely on whether you have an inground or above-ground swimming pool:
If you need above ground pool lights, you have several options including magnetic lighting kits, wall-mounted kits, and kits that allow you to install lights via your pool’s vented return line.
If your pool is inground, you’ll likely be looking at built-in, wall-mounted options. If your in-ground pool has features like stairs, ledges, or tanning shelves, you might want to add specially designed accent lighting in addition to your main pool lighting.
What Types of Swimming Pool Lights are Available?
LED pool lights
Halogen pool lights
Fiberoptic pool lights
Solar pool lights