When it comes to lighting a pool, you have a lot of choices. You can either use surrounding lights to illuminate the area or use something closer to the water.
For many people, this decision boils down to safety. They want to be able to see the steps and decking if they’re hanging out at the pool at night. Or they want to prevent potential accidents from children or non-swimmers falling in.
Others have plenty of surrounding lighting, but enjoy the atmosphere floating pool lights can create.
Whatever your reasons for wanting pool lighting, we think we’ve got you covered with this list. Check out our top ten picks and let us know what you think.
The 10 Best Pool Lights
#1. Loftek LED Light Ball
- Lighting Takes Shape: Vibrant, multicolored LED light with high-quality, eco-friendly acrylic housing in a cool 16 inch sphere shape.
Loftek LED Light Balls are so much fun. They’re big 16-inch glowing balls about the size of beach balls that can be thrown in the pool, lain around the yard, or even used indoors.
These make great party decor for nighttime while keeping the area lit up for nighttime safety.
Each ball is rechargeable and comes with its own remote control for changing between various colors and programs. They are eco-friendly, non-toxic, and waterproof so they’re safe for all types of use.
#2. WYZM Pool LED Mood Light and Speaker
- 3D Stereo Sound: True wireless stereo technology support two wireless speakers play music synchronously through a Bluetooth connection,form left and right channel stereoscopic meat for meat music, 360° surround high definition sound without any noticeable distortion even at maximum volume crash the dancing, meeting your indoor outdoor requirement.
These little mood lights put off more than a nice glow. They also blast your favorite music via a Bluetooth connection to your own device.
The suction cup design holds them firm to almost any smooth surface, and they’re great for pools, showers, tubs, and more. Powered with a lithium battery, they can play music for up to 8 hours and can be immersed in up to 3 feet of water.
Great sound paired with color changing LED lights make this a great little item to keep by the pool or take with you wherever you go.
#3. Garden Deco Light Balls
- INCLUDES: 12 Light Up Orbs with LED Lights- Each ball is 3 inches in diameter (about the size of a baseball)
These are some of our favorite pool lights of all time. They’re festive and colorful plus they provide plenty of light to help with pool safety.
Each package comes with 12 3-inch light-up orbs that you can program with one of seven different color settings.
These baseball-sized lights can be floated on top of the water or laid around the yard for a fun addition to your decor.
4. Color Changing LED PAR56 Pool Light Bulb
- Read carefully the bullet point and the description before placing an order.This is the 120 voltage light,Not suitable for the 12V housing. Pay attention to the size of the light :Diameter:6.69",High:5.9".please check carefully the size of your fixture you bought and make sure the diameter of your fixture is bigger than the light.
If you already have light fixtures in your inground pool, these are great replacement bulbs to give your pool some pizzazz. They’re also remote controlled so that you can be the first one in your neighborhood to have a smart pool.
Because these are LED, they burn up a lot less electricity than a lot of other bulbs. And they’re equipped with a temperature function that allows them to power down if they get too hot. This not only saves energy, but it also saves the life of the bulb.
#5. Magnetic Pool Wall Light
- Color-changing pool wall light: the GAME waterproof Magnetic LED color-changing pool wall light is a powerful and colorful 3” LED light for pools. It includes an easy-to-use remote control and features 12 colors and 4 modes.
For your above ground pool, we recommend these magnetic pool wall lights. They’re waterproof and submersible so you can place them anywhere on your pool wall you’d like.
Each unit is 3 inches in diameter and looks a lot like a pre-installed light once you attach it to the wall.
With the remote control, you can switch between 12 colors and 4 different modes for stunning visual effects. And they run on AAA batteries so there’s no hassle with keeping them maintained.
#6. Pentair Amerlite Underwater Pool Light
If your pool has niches built in for pool lights, these are the ones you want to install.
Each comes with its own stainless steel shell, face ring, and uni-tension clamp so it's ready to install in the proper casing.
The prism lens covers offer superb light diffusion and are available in blue, red, green, amber, and clear.
#7. Pentair Hayward 120V LED
- Colorful Color & Memory Color: 7 static modes, 8 animation modes, Including color transition, color fade, color changing and color jump. The bulb has a memory function that will display the previously saved color mode the next time it is turned on. Let your swimming pool shine instantly.
These color-changing light bulbs are replacements for the Pentair Hayward lights you may already have installed in your pool. They can be controlled by remote or by switch and even have color memory so that they will return to the last-used mode.
The company that makes these is focused on long-lasting high-quality pool products and they’re backed with an unconditional guarantee. Plus, they’ll save you money because they’re programmed to stay cool and use very little energy.
#8. Intex Magnetic Pool Wall Light
This is another light we highly recommend for above ground pools. What’s great about them is that they light up both the inside and outside of the pool for optimum safety.
The way it works is that magnets hold the pieces together on the wall so that one side of the light is on the outside and one on the inside. This creates a really bright environment for safe nighttime swimming.
Instead of running on batteries, though, these are actually corded, which has its benefits. For one thing, they last longer and there are no batteries to replace. However, you do have to make sure you have the proper power source for them.
#9. Roleadro LED Pool Light
- Make your Swimming Pool Colorful: Multiple color and multiple combination colors. 7 static modes, 5 dynamic modes, 10 speed levels for 5 dynamic modes. You can choose any mode you prefer by remote controller, Roleadro Led pool spotlight made your life more colorful.
Roleadro LED lights are made specifically for inground pools and are power cord operated instead of battery powered.
Consider these lights when you want something super bright that won’t use a lot of electricity. Their special Epileds chips maximize the glow while remaining very energy efficient.
As a bonus, these lights can be remote controlled to switch between several different colors and color-changing modes.
#10. Toveenen 120V 40Watt Pool Light
- The brightness of all colors is up to 2x brighter than other cheaper bulb. All colors can fill the whole pool.
The Toveenen pool light is made to replace the incandescent bulbs in your already-installed light fixtures. They’re designed to last longer and shine brighter than almost any other bulb.
They’re also programmable with 16 different color-changing light shows to add a festive glow. And they use a lot less energy than light-guzzling incandescents. Not to mention the fact that you’ll need fewer of them to light up your pool.
Benefits of Using a Pool Light
There are a lot of obvious reasons for using pool lights, but there are also some you might not have thought of.
For one thing, you can extend your pool time safely into the night. Pool lights will keep the water and surrounding area visible to avoid potential mishaps.
And since we mentioned safety, it can also save someone’s life if you’re able to see immediately if a non-swimmer or young child accidentally falls in.
Pool lights also add a sense of drama to your backyard. They can set the mood for entertaining, family fun, or even a little romance.
Another benefit is the way they can highlight special features in your pool. This can include waterfalls, fountains, and special architectural elements.
Types of Pool Lights
There are probably many more types of pool lights than you ever realized. And depending on the type of pool you have, you will always have several different options.
The first thing you need to know about is the kind of actual light your fixtures will use. These come in three different types: Incandescent, halogen, and LED.
Incandescent lights were the first type of pool lights created. They were not energy-efficient and only provided a harsh white light.
Next we have halogen lights. They solved the problem of energy-efficiency somewhat, but still only put off white light.
Finally, we have the LED light. These are the most cost-effective, energy-efficient lights on the market today. And they provide a variety of colors and programmable options.
Now onto the various fixture types…
Flush-Mounted Underwater Lights
Flush-mounted lights are installed and mounted on the interior of the pool walls. You will usually only see these in inground pools as they need plenty of room for their housings on the backside of the bulbs.
Just like they sound, these are almost flush with the wall surface.
Surface-Mounted Underwater Lights
These types of lights are a good option for people who want the look of flush-mounted lights where they weren’t originally installed. They’re much cheaper to put in later than flush-mounted or they can be retro-fitted in existing fixtures for more updated features.
These lights do stick out a little from the surface so they’re a little more easily broken than flush-mounted lights, but they still offer the same attractive quality.
Floating lights are just what they sound like and we’ve given you a few good options in our list if you want to try them out.
If you don’t have lights installed in your pool and would rather not go to the trouble or expense to do so, these are great alternatives. But even if you already have lights, they still make great decor and give you some added ambience.
Floating lights come in a lot of different varieties, but most of them are LED. That means they usually come in a variety of colors and can even be programmed to change colors while they float.
Magnetic lights are designed for above ground pools and they stick to the metal siding either outside or inside the walls.
Fiber Optic Lights
Fiber optic lights were a big deal before LEDs became so popular. They burn super cool so there’s no risk in getting burned and they use very little energy.
These are installed in a box outside the water where light travels from the bulb to the fitting inside the pool.
LED Pool Light vs. Fiber Optic Pool Light
You don’t see a whole lot of fiber optic pool lights anymore because LEDs have kind of taken their place. But it’s good to know the difference in case you come across them.
Fiber optic lights do have their advantages. Like we said, they burn cool and use very little energy, but LEDs win in almost every category, including those two.
Fiber optic lights are typically quite a bit more expensive to install than LEDs. They also use up a little more energy because of the fan needed to keep the lights cool.
LED lights tend to last a lot longer than fiber optics. They can last up to 15 years, while fiber optics will need to be replaced within 3-7.
For brightness, LEDs win again. Fiber optics just don’t have the same punch as LEDs, no matter how many you install.
4 Considerations for Choosing the Best Pool Lights for You
Desired level of brightness
Different types of lights put off different amounts of brightness. For example, while floating fiber optic flowers may set the mood for a romantic evening, they’ll do very little to add safe visibility in the water.
Why you want the lights
If your objective for pool lights is strictly safety, then you might prefer flush-mount or surface-mount lights that are very strategically placed. You will probably also prefer halogen or LED bulbs to fiber optics.
But if the purpose for your lights is simply to set a mood, then you can look at some of the more fun options. Floating lights come in all sorts of shapes and colors and can give a pool a whole new ambience.
Size of pool
The size of your pool makes a big difference in the types of lights you choose. It also might determine how many you need.
If you’re installing lights, check the details to see how much space they’ll illuminate. And if you’re using floating lights, get the appropriate sizes for your pool.
In other words, 16-inch orbs might be much too large for a small pool or spa, but the small 3-inch ones could be perfect.
Type of pool
The type of pool you have is probably the most important factor when choosing pool lights. For above ground pools, you can easily install magnetic or floating lights, but flush-mount lights are not possible.
For inground pools, you wouldn’t be able to use magnetic lights since there’s no metal for them to stick to. But you have a lot of options when it comes to installed or other types.
Features to Look for in the Best Pool Lights
Each type of light is different, so there are different features that each should have. But just in general, there are a few things to look for that will help you make a good choice.
This one probably goes without saying, but if you’re not careful, you can get duped. Some lights are designed for outdoors and can be placed near the water, but not all are made to be immersed in it.
The more durable the lights, the longer they will last. The only way to really know how well anything like this will hold up is to find out what other people are saying.
Check online for reviews of the product before you buy. If you can’t find any, it’s probably best to stick to something a little more tested.
Ease of use and installation
It’s easy to get overwhelmed looking at all the many choices you have in pool lights. Just make sure that your pool is equipped for what you buy.
For example, you can buy a surface-mount kit to install lights on your swimming pool wall, but without proper knowledge, this is a big task.
Also, consider how easy the lights are to use. Floating lights are usually remote controlled and easy to operate, but some of them have to be turned on one by one.
Top Tips for Lighting Your Pool
Consider the environment
Pool lighting is a great way to highlight architecture or special features in and around the pool. Make sure it’s installed in a way that complements it rather than distracting from it.
Also, if the rest of the yard is dark, think about adding some landscape lights. Getting to the pool should be just as safe as getting in it.
Placement is everything
Just as important as having enough lighting is the placement of it. Swimming pool steps, sidewalks, and patios are ideal areas to illuminate.
When in doubt, hire an electrician
Many pool lights don’t require any electrical connections at all. They are either battery or solar operated.
But if you want wired lights that require more complicated installation, it’s best to call a professional just to be safe.
Pool Light FAQs
How difficult is it to install pool lights?
Most of the pool lights we’ve recommended in this article require little to no installation. Floating lights, for instance, can be inflated, switched on, and tossed in the water.
Are LED pool lights worth the money?
In our opinion, LED lights are totally worth the added expense. They are more cost efficient than most other types of lighting and they last a whole lot longer in most cases.
Are LED pool lights safe?
LED pool lights actually are very safe. Floating LED lights are battery or solar powered and burn very cool, so there’s no risk of burning or electrical injury.
And mounted LED lights are just as safe as any others as long as you have them properly and safely installed.
How long should a pool light last?
This very much depends on the type of lighting you have. LEDs typically last much longer than most at around 5-7 years. Others might have a life closer to 3-4 years.
Hopefully we’ve helped you make a decision about which swimming pool lights will meet your particular needs. You have a lot of choices, but if you stick pretty close to our top ten list, you definitely can’t go wrong!