What Types of Swimming Pool Lights are Available?
There are three main types of pool lights to choose from, and each option offers its own unique benefits:
LED pool lights
If you’re looking for an unbeatable combination of energy-efficiency and longevity, you can’t go wrong with LED lighting. LED lighting costs a little more upfront than other types of swimming pool lighting – but the bulbs last for years and you’ll save on long-term operating costs. And if you want a pool lighting setup with some extra pizazz, you won’t be disappointed: When you shop for LEDs, you’ll find a wide range of color-changing pool lights, and many setups come with pre-programmed lightshows that are perfect for pool parties. If you want to keep things simpler (and cheaper), you can find battery-operated LED lighting or even floating LED lights.
One thing to consider before taking the plunge with LEDs lighting: LEDs aren’t quite as bright as halogen lights. If your pool is very large or if you want a lot of light, you may need to purchase more LEDs to achieve the lighting look you want.
A Bright, Efficient Choice
LED swimming pool lights are, hands-down, our most-requested type of pool lighting. Most pool owners give LED lighting high marks for the combination of bright light and high efficiency (fun fact: LED swimming pool lights are around 80 percent more efficient than other types of pool lighting).
Looking for a few recommendations? Here are a few of our favorite LED lighting options:
Halogen pool lights
If you’re looking for the brightest bang for your pool lighting buck, halogen pool lights might be just what you need. Halogen swimming pool lights are brighter than LED lights, and they also cost less upfront than LEDs, which is good news if you want a lot of light for a wallet-friendly price.
Before LEDs began to take over, halogen was the top choice for pool and landscape lighting. They’re more efficient than a standard “regular” indoor bulb, and they’re still hard to beat when it comes to brightness.
That said, there are a few good reasons that halogen lighting has lost ground over the past few years – especially compared to LEDs which last longer and are more energy-efficient. In addition, some pool owners have noted that halogen lights tend to run hot, which can be an uncomfortable surprise for unexpecting swimmers.
Looking for a few good halogen lighting options? Here are some of our top picks:
Fiberoptic pool lights
Fiberoptic pool lights offer an easy solution to one of the most common headaches associated with pool lights: changing the bulb(s). This is because the power source and even the light bulbs are housed out of the water – and far away from the swimming pool in a dry power box. The light travels from the dry power box to your pool via a slim, flexible cable that comprises tiny fibers (the cable connects to a fitting in the pool wall, which is where the light appears). As a result, when you need to, say, change out a faulty bulb or do anything else related to maintenance or repair, it’s as simple as opening a box – no worries about mixing electricity and water.
Although the distance between the power source and the pool makes for safe and easy maintenance, it does have a definite downside: The light tends to weaken by the time it reaches the pool, which means that fiberoptic swimming pool lights tend to be dimmer and less powerful than LED or halogens. The bulbs have relatively short lives, too. And considering that they can be just as expensive (and, in some cases, more expensive) than both types of lighting, you could be looking at extra costs.
On the plus side, many pool owners appreciate the flexibility that comes with fiberoptic cable: you can run them around the perimeter of your pool or fully submerge them. They can also be programmed to perform truly stunning light shows by mimicking softly twinkling stars or dancing, racing points of light.
Need a few ideas? Here are our top recommendations for fiberoptic swimming pool lights:
Solar pool lights
Floating solar lights are a fun, easy way to add a playful splash of color to your next pool party. Unlike their LED and halogen counterparts, solar swimming pool lights aren’t meant to light up your whole pool – but they are a great option if you’re just looking for a little something extra.
Because they’re powered by the sun, solar lights won’t drive up your energy usage or cause your electric bill to go up. They’re available at a wide variety of price points, and you can find them in fun colors and shapes, from floating, rainbow-hued globes to whimsical lotus flowers to sleek and modern, color-changing discs. And, in case you were wondering, floating solar lights work at night (most, but not all, models feature rechargeable batteries).
It probably goes without saying that floating solar pool lights are not the best choice if you’re looking for a permanent, whole-pool lighting solution. But when paired with, say, your existing LED or halogen pool lights, they add inexpensive, colorful fun to your swimming pool.