Whether in-door or above-ground, every pool needs a set of durable lights. Apart from adding to the overall atmosphere, pool lights also present a necessary safety precaution. The risk of accidents significantly increases after nightfall when it can be hard to tell where the decking ends, and the water begins.
To shed some light on the matter, we compiled a list of the best pool lights on the market. Apart from detailed product reviews, we also included a buyer’s guide to help you with your selection.
OUR TOP PICK
These stunning LED pool lights can make any evening memorable, whether it’s a special occasion or a quiet night in.
Each of the 12 light orbs can be set to transition between different striking colors. The pool lights are battery-operated and incredibly easy to use, allowing you to switch between the multiple hues with a push of a button.
The floating lights are beautiful in their simplicity, with a subtle aesthetic fit for any environment. For example, the LED glow bulbs can make for a striking DIY centerpiece. You can also set them up as an alternative to candles for a romantic dinner date.
Either way, you’ll be able to create a dazzling environment, whether indoors or outdoors, thanks to the slick design and seven vibrant color settings.
The LED floating lights are also waterproof, adding to the product’s versatility. However, you should refrain from submerging them in water for extended periods. For a long-lasting product life, it’s best to remove it from moisture when not used and let it dry.
- Seven color settings
- Versatile design
- Easy to use
- Not entirely waterproof
If you have a pool with built-in light niches, this is the perfect choice for you. Due to the prismatic tempered glass lens and stainless steel face ring with a uni-tension clamp, the Pentair Amerlite is the gold standard for underwater lights.
The stainless steel shells are available in red, blue, green, amber, and clear and provide excellent light diffusion.
Because of the incredibly resistant material of the casing, the Amerlite system is a pretty durable product. However, there’s one small catch – the pool lights can only be installed in full-sized niches.
If your pool has any of the following slots – Pentair, American, PacFab, and Purex – the Amerlite lights are an absolute must-have.
- Stainless steel shells
- Prismatic-tempered glass
- Incredibly durable
- Require full-sized niches
Another top-notch Pentair item, the 36W RGB LED Pool Light Bulb, acts as a replacement for the Hayward Light fixture. The lights come with an array of striking color transitions between multiple static and animation modes.
Since it can be operated with a remote or a switch, the lighting system is straightforward to use. In addition, the bulbs come with an advanced memory feature that can revert to the last color setting used, allowing for a quick setup.
Much like other Pentair products, the lights are long-lasting, high-quality pool items that come with an unlimited warranty.
The system comes with both high-brightness LEDs and an independent authentication driver for optimal cooling. In addition, the drive has a fully filled silicone heat dissipation system, ensuring that each bulb has an incredible lifespan.
Also, because they’re set to consume extremely little electricity, the LED lights can even save you some money down the line.
One thing to remember is that the product isn’t suited for AC/DC 12V. So before placing an order, make sure your setup meets the required system voltage parameters.
- Energy efficient
- Multiple color settings and animation modes
- Color memory feature
- Not compatible with AC/DC 12v
The Intex Magnetic Pool Wall lights are perfect for above-ground pools since they illuminate both the interior and the surrounding area for maximum safety.
Optimal light diffusion is made possible by the magnetic mounting system that keeps the components fixed to the wall. As a result, the bright atmosphere is ideal for late-night swimming sessions or pool parties. Apart from providing extra security, the four-color mood lighting also creates a fun atmosphere.
Instead of being run on batteries, the pool lights are powered by a 26-foot power cord. One significant advantage of cording is the longer lifespan. Next, you just need to make sure you have the appropriate power outlet for the pool lights.
- Components held in place with magnets
- Incredible light diffusion
- Powered via cord
- Require a specific power outlet
Since they’re made with sturdy, water-resistant materials, the Roleadro LED lights are a perfect choice for in-ground pools. Like the previous entry, the lights are powered by a 26-foot power connector rather than batteries. You can easily switch between various colors and active and static modes, thanks to the user-friendly remote control.
As mentioned, the light shells are made with high-grade stainless steel and a special silica gel blue circle. Thanks to the excellent waterproof sealing material, the system has an impressive lifespan. However, the remote controller isn’t water-resistant, so try not to leave it in a moist environment for an extended period.
Also, once the pool lights are submerged, the water can somewhat affect the radio waves. In that case, the optimal control distance should be less than one meter.
Finally, to properly install the lighting system, you’ll have to purchase an electronic transformer for 12v since it’s not included in the box.
- Top-notch waterproof casing
- Multiple color settings
- Requires an electronic transformer
- The remote isn’t waterproof
The bottom line is lighting is an essential aesthetic, functional, and safety aspect of any swimming pool, indoor or outdoor. Choosing the right lighting system requires a lot of careful planning. And with so many different product types and fixtures, it’s can quickly become overwhelming.
For that reason, we’ve included a buyer’s guide to lead you to the light. In this section, we’ll walk you through the various options and point out critical considerations when buying pool lights.
Types of Pool Lights
There are three basic types of pool lights, each with its own set of advantages:
If you’re looking for a powerful light source that’s both energy-efficient and incredibly durable, you might want to consider LED lights. While the initial cost is slightly higher than other types of pool lighting, the bulbs are known to have an impressive lifespan. Sure, you might suffer some additional costs upfront, but you’ll save money in the long run.
Also, if you opt for LED lights, you’ll open up a world of colors. Most LED systems now have pre-programmed light shows and a wide variety of color-changing modes, ideal for pool parties. And if that sounds a bit extra, you can go for battery-operated or even floating LEDs to keep things simple and inexpensive.
Halogen Pool Lights
The phrase ‘you’ll get your money’s worth’ applies perfectly to this type of lighting. Halogen pool lights are somewhat brighter than LEDs, and they’re also less expensive. In other words, if you’re looking for more luminosity for less money, these are a top pick for you. Before LED lights took over the spotlight (pun intended), halogen was the go-to pool lighting system for most homeowners.
Even with all the extra brightness, halogen lights are still more energy-efficient than a regular indoor bulb. However, there are several reasons why this type of lighting lost popularity in recent years, especially in comparison to LED lighting. Apart from the shorter lifespan, halogen light bulbs can get very hot, making it possible for minor but still unpleasant accidents.
Fiberoptic Pool Lights
Fiberoptic lights present a workaround for one of the most common issues pool owners face: replacing the bulbs. Both the power supply and the bulbs are kept in a power box, away from water. The energy is poured into the pool through a thin, flexible connection made up of tiny fibers.
Consequently, changing a damaged bulb or performing any other maintenance task is a straightforward and highly safe process; since the source is far removed from the swimming pool, there’s no need to worry about electricity and water mixing.
While the separated power source facilitates safety and maintenance, it comes with some drawbacks. For example, fiber optic swimming pool lights are somewhat dimmer and less potent than halogen lights or LEDs because the light weakens as it reaches the pool. The bulbs, too, have a shorter lifespan. And, given that the overall costs are similar to the other lighting systems, it’s not the most economical option.
On the other hand, most pool owners enjoy the versatile nature of fiberoptic cables. You can pretty much set it up wherever you please, either around the pool or entirely immersed in water. The lighting system typically comes with different speed settings and animation modes, allowing you to create dazzling light shows.
Sustainable Energy Alternative: Solar Pool Lights
Solar lights are a great way to add a splash of color to your next pool party. Sure, the lights aren’t designed to cover the entire surface of the pool, unlike other lighting systems. But if you’re looking for a fun, eco-friendly alternative, they’re a terrific choice. And since they’re powered by the sun, the lights can decrease your electric bill or even reduce the overall energy consumption.
The lights can come in several colors and designs – from floating, rainbow-hued globes to sleek and modern color-changing discs. The pricing points are also pretty varied. And in case you were wondering, the lights are functional at night since most models feature rechargeable batteries.
All in all, if you’re looking to light up the entire pool, solar-powered lights might not be the ideal pick for you. However, they make for an affordable, colorful addition, especially when combined with current LED or halogen pool lights.
An important aspect to consider when installing pool lights is the level of brightness you want to achieve. The amount of lighting is dependent on the type and placement of the fixture.
Floating fiberoptic lights, for example, are great for a dimly lit romantic diner, but they won’t provide much visibility after sunset. If security is your primary criteria for pool lights, look for mounted LED or halogen lights and strategically position them over potential problem areas.
But how do you measure brightness? It depends on the type. For example, you can estimate the potential brightness level of halogen lights by checking the wattage. However, looking at the power output is no longer the most accurate method. The main reason behind that is the increasing popularity of energy-efficient LED lights.
Measuring the direct light output (or lumens) is a much better way to quantify brightness. If you need to illuminate a vast section of your pool, it’s best to get a bulb with a larger lumen output. The same goes for darker rooms that tend to absorb more light. Keep in mind that more lumens sometimes implies more wattage and power usage.
Another issue to take into account is insect infestation. As you might’ve guessed, the brighter the lights, the more appealing the area becomes to creepy crawlers. Of course, if you don’t intend to use the pool after dark, this won’t be an issue.
All in all, if you’re merely looking to add some flair, there’s much more room to experiment. Floating light fixtures are among the more entertaining options. The lights come in various designs and colors and can completely transform the atmosphere surrounding the pool.
Contrary to popular belief, not all pool lights are entirely waterproof. Some types of lighting are meant solely for outdoor use. While they can suffer some moisture, it’s not advisable to keep them in water for too long.
Before reaching for your wallet, make sure to thoroughly read the product listing. If you plan on installing the lights inside the pool, look for sturdy casings made with water-resistant materials like stainless steel.
When you spend your hard-earned money on any type of home makeover, you want it to last. The same goes for pool lights.
When it comes to durability, the average incandescent light bulb can last for around a year. In comparison, LED pool lights have a healthy lifespan of 15-20 years while consuming less energy to deliver the same brightness level.
The long-term payoff for any product is directly related to its lifespan. That’s why it’s not a bad idea to read product reviews before installing pool lights. Honest input from other consumers can sometimes help you make up your mind. If none are available, it’s best to settle with something tried and true, like LED lights.
Ease of Use and Installation
It’s easy to get carried away with so many different types of lighting, and you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew. The complexity of the installation process varies from one system to the next. Ultimately, you want a product that’s quick to set up. Luckily, more and more pool lights are battery-operated and therefore easier to install.
It’s usually a good idea to double-check whether the pool light will work with your setup before purchasing. For example, not all 120V lighting is compatible with 12V pool systems. That’s one of the reasons why many pool owners gravitate toward floating pool lights.
Another thing to consider is how much time and energy you’re willing to spare for maintenance. The upkeep of most pool lights includes changing the bulbs, cleaning the lenses, testing the circuits and gaskets, and more. While you can always hire a professional to run regular check-ups, it’s economical to handle most of the issues yourself.
How Difficult is it to Install Pool Lights?
As mentioned, the level of difficulty greatly depends on the type of pool lights you plan to install. For example, floating lights are by far the easiest to set up since you can fling them in the water right off the bat. Also, many pool lights are either solar or battery powered and don’t require any electrical work.
However, if you’re interested in getting electrically charged lights, you should hire a licensed specialist. The more complex the wiring, the higher the risk of stray voltage. That’s why you need a professional to ground the pool light following the proper safety measures.
Are LED Pool Lights Worth the Money?
Compared to halogen or fiberoptic lights, LEDs tend to have a far longer lifespan. For example, the standard incandescent light usually lasts for approximately 5,000 hours. On the other hand, LED lights are estimated to last for 30,000 hours or more, assuming no water gets in and the unit. Also, this type of lighting requires less upkeep.
Since we’re talking finances, LED pool lighting can minimize your electrical bill. LEDs use 75-85% less energy than other pool lighting solutions. In addition, the system doesn’t include any moving parts and can operate at a much cooler level. LED pool lighting also decreases the carbon footprints, making it a top pick for environmentally conscious homeowners.
The best part about using LED lights is the element of spectacle. The lights are typically controlled by an automation system, allowing you to choose from a wide range of color-changing settings. Most LED pool lights come with a set of five solid colors and seven pre-programmed light patterns.
How Long Should a Pool Light Last?
LED lights are generally considered the most durable option. On average, incandescent bulbs can survive for 1,000 hours before needing to be replaced, and LEDs can last six times as long. In comparison to standard lighting, well-designed LEDs are more robust, efficient, and long-lasting.
Halogen light bulbs are prone to developing hot spots, which causes them to burn out prematurely. So rather than replacing the entire fixture, replacing the bulb with an LED may be preferable.
Are LED Pool Lights Safe?
Floating LED pool lights are generally considered perfectly safe. Since they’re mostly battery or solar-powered, there’s no real chance of burning or electrical harm. Also, wired LED pool lights are available in line voltage and low voltage configurations for added security. And, as long as they’re installed correctly, mounted LED lights are as safe as any other fixture.
On the other hand, our eyes perceive LED lights as brighter and bluer than incandescent light. The intensity makes LEDs an unsafe choice for streetlights. However, this doesn’t pose a problem for pool owners. On the contrary, it means you can achieve the desired brightness level with fewer lights in your pool.
Has Your Light Bulb Gone Off Yet?
Pool lights make for perfect pool party décor while keeping even the clumsiest swimmers safe from harm. With a bright, multicolored lighting system, those late-night dips may no longer seem so unappealing.
Hopefully, a light bulb went off in your head after reading this article. Each of our picks for the best pool lights rates well in terms of safety and aesthetic appeal. And if none of the products caught your eye, make sure to refer to our buyer’s guide while browsing for pool lights.