The right lighting can really bring your pool to life, especially at night. There are many different options for pool lighting, so we'll cover each one in this article, the benefits of the drawbacks of certain types of pool lights, as well as some design inspiration and installation tips.
Ready to get started? Let's get started.
The main advantages
Okay, let's start with some of the main "advantages" of lighting your pool area, both inside and outside.
Whether you're looking to spend a relaxing evening with your family or entertaining with a few guests, the right lighting can really set the mood. I encourage you to consider lighting styles for two areas - inside the pool and around the pool deck. Both are truly essential, in my opinion, no matter what kind of backyard ambiance you want.
At night, pool lights are an essential safety feature, so you and your kids can know where the ledge is and what the surroundings are like. Without them, you could risk your child tripping over something in the pool.
If you have motion-triggered lights, your pool lights can provide a great security feature to deter burglars. The bright lights can alert you that you are inside and you can react faster.
The only real negative or "caveat" to pool lights is the extra cost on your electric bill. You also need to consider the potential cost of pool light troubleshooting and subsequent maintenance. However, if you're investing in a pool, you don't have to worry too much about the extra monthly cost of pool lights.
Types of pool lighting
You can choose from several different bulb types for pool and deck surround lights. This also applies to replacement bulbs or other pool lights that may be floating around the pool.
LED lights are very inexpensive to run and are available in a variety of colors, depending on your style. Keep in mind that if you are running a commercial pool, you may need to run white lights depending on your code.
Halogen lights have limited color options, but the bulbs are usually easier to replace than LED lights. They also use more energy (and therefore cost more to run) than LED lights.
Fiber optic lights
Fiber optic pool lights are versatile, but not as energy efficient as LED lights, so they may only last a few years.
Pool Lighting Design Ideas
This is a great basic setup between the pool and the surrounding deck. The pool wall lights accentuate the water nicely and the pool deck lights are facing the fence and illuminate the surrounding area.
These in-pool lights are much higher on the wall than our previous example, which will create a slightly different effect on the water. I also like how the lights on the surrounding decks accentuate the view.
Here, you have a lot of different angles and colors of light coming in from the house. This creates a very unique effect on the pool.
Another option for pool deck lighting is to place the lights in recesses along the exterior walls. This creates a very cool "halo" effect around your pool area and illuminates some cool features. I also like the pool lights on the stairs.
If you have a spa or hot tub area, you can very strategically use the lighting in that area to help illuminate the larger pool area.
Installing Pool Lighting
For pool lights on the pool wall, you really need to consider these during the initial design phase of your pool. I would encourage the same lighting timing around your pool deck, but if your pool is already built, you can design and install these. I just think the lighting around your pool has such a big impact on your broader backyard environment and energy that it's worth considering ahead of time if you can.
Often, your main pool contractor can install the lighting without a problem. They may subcontract to specialists based on your design preferences, so be sure to ask them about their lighting plans during the initial design phase to ensure you can get an accurate cost quote.