Choosing the right lights for your pool can be hard with all the options on the market these days. You want something that will keep everyone safe, but you also want to make the pool area attractive looking, especially if you entertain a lot. With all the options out there, you’ll have no problem finding enough lights to choose from. You will however need to do some research to find out which ones will work best for your pool.
Here are a few reviews to help you with your research and some tips on what to look for in the best pool lights.
Swimming Pool Lights Types Explained and Reviewed
Flush-Mounted Underwater Pool Lights
Flush Mounted Underwater LED lights are mounted on the pool walls, and, since they do not stick out farther than the wall, they don’t break as easily. These are a popular option among new pools with LED lights more preferred than the regular halogen lights.
Flush mounted lights can be expensive to install unless you have enough room that was left during your pool’s construction. Halogen flush mounted lights require more maintenance and use more power than LED lights, but they do cost less.
With a wider beam and more even light distribution, the Pentair IntelliBrite is an underwater LED pool and spa light that features superb lens geometry and a unique reflector design that is combined to make a wide beam with a more consistent light. It is also very versatile providing both wide and narrow beam patterns with a simple rotation of the lens.
The IntelliBrite works with Pentair plastic and stainless steel niches and is available in 120-volt versions. This energy efficient light uses up to 85 percent less energy than what is used by comparable incandescent lights.
- Easy installation
- Great color
- Light is really bright
- Light is pretty soft for an LED
- Need to have Pentair rep install product to keep the warranty active
If you like a lot of choices, the Hayward SP0582SL30 AstroLite Underwater Lighting Stainless Steel Face provides several attractive face rims to choose from including a sleek, machine-polished stainless steel to a patterned design that is injection-molded constructed of polypropylene that is durable and noncorrosive glass-filled polypropylene.
The Hayward AstroLite’s also come with a wide choice of wattages, voltages, and cord lengths to fit any installation circumstances, plus the E-Z Lock clamp and reflector assembly allow easy revamping. The Hayward AstroLite provides a great value for a quality pool lighting system.
- Easy installation
- Looks good
- Very bright
- Good quality
- Great performance
- One user reported receiving a plastic face rim, not a stainless steel one
Surface-Mounted Underwater Lights
Surface Mounted Underwater Lights are less difficult to install and can be retrofitted easily so you can upgrade the lights for your pool. They do stick out a little ways from the wall since they are not flush mounted making them easier to break.
Surface mounted lights are the standard in underwater pool lighting as they give ample lighting, and they are more inexpensive than other pool lighting choices. Again, halogen lights do use up more energy than LED lights use, although they are cheaper to buy.
Easy installation is always a great feature when you are talking about lighting. The Intex LED Pool Wall Light has a great option for above ground pools with soft sides. Using magnetic technology, this LED pool light generates more brightness than you will get with a 50-watt halogen pool light with a low voltage current that travels through your pool’s sidewall. It is easy to place along the side wall of your pool and features a standard 120-volt plug and 23-foot power cord.
Using the convenience of magnets, this very bright LED light will float if it is dislodged from its base. The Intex LED Pool Wall Light is used in above ground pools only and uses low amounts of electricity, but gives you long lasting illumination.
- It is really bright for such a little light
- Super strong magnet
- Does not leak
- Easy to install
- Affordable price
- There isn’t an on and off switch, you have to unplug it to turn it off
When you want to add a little pizzazz to your pool or pond, fully submersible underwater lights can add some color creating a beautiful atmosphere to your pool area. The Lemonbest Underwater Lights are very bright and well-sealed providing waterproof lighting that is long-lasting. Outfitted with a low-powered LED light source, you get a high brightness underwater light that can give you color combinations including blue, green, and red that will gradually or jump through changes.
A convenient remote control allows you to choose from the various modes: Strobe, Smooth, Fade, and Flash.
You can also choose to use a single color or a combination of colors. The Lemonbest Underwater Lights are perfect for ponds, fountains, and pools to liven up your backyard area with ambiance and beauty.
- Produces beautiful colors
- Remote control is convenient
- Nice bright light
- Different modes are nice to change the look up
- Plug and power transformer are not included
Not technically a type of pool light, flood lighting can be used in almost any area of your yard, including your pool. Since it lights up large areas, flood lighting can be a good choice for a pool and installation is easy without requiring a lot of extra to purchase, but installation will require an electrician.
Halogen lights are cheaper to buy than the LED lights, but they will require changing out more frequently than the LED lights. LED lights will last longer and have more advantages long term in flood lights.
The ETL-Listed Super Bright Floodlight has a lot of different applications, and it can be used inside and outside. It is waterproof, so it is perfect for your yard or pool area. Constructed of heavy-duty die cast aluminum, the ETL-Listed Floodlight has a convection hole design that is unique with great heat dissipation, and it is impact-resistant with tempered glass. It saves you money from constant replacements with an over 30,000-hour long life span.
Lighting up an area of 30 meters, the ETL-Listed Floodlight produces a brighter light than the typical wide angle beam lights. It can be installed in several different ways including a yoke-style arm that you can position in almost any angle, plus you can install it on the wall, ground, or ceiling.
An interface chip that is embedded in a rubber ring makes it ideal for any type of weather condition or environment. It is constructed with a die-cast casing made fully of an aluminum alloy that has great heat dissipation to prolong its lifespan. The tempered glass makes it more durable and gives you sufficient brightness.
- Very bright, traditional light
- Nice waterproof design that is also fashionable
- Nice thin product
- Does not have almost any heat coming off of it
- Takes a bit of time to mount and install for a first-time user
If you need a pool flood light that will cover a large area, the LEDMO Flood Light comes equipped with 4000 lumens to give you more and bright illumination with a wide beam angle covering 120 degrees. This is a waterproof LED light that works in many different applications including gardens, pools, and docks. It also has a very long lifespan of over 50,000 hours which reduces the need to replace bulbs making it last five times longer than a HID fixture.
The LEDMO Flood Light is constructed with a heavy duty housing made of die cast aluminum, and it comes with a metal bracket that gives you flexibility with your installation. It can also be mounted on the wall, ceiling, and ground. A tempered glass lens and an integral heat sink are also featured, and it operates with a wide 85-265V AC range.
- Lights up a large area with very little electricity
- Well-made, very bright light
- Easy installation
- Does not attract bugs
- Some people would prefer for the mounting to be more durable
- Some people were unhappy at the short time the product lasted
- It is a little bigger than some people expected
If you are throwing a party, getting a few floating or submersible lights will create a great party atmosphere. Not only do they give you a great effect, the lights themselves come in all kinds of colors, sizes, and shapes for a fun-filled addition to your next barbecue.
For an easy option to light up your pool, the Ocean Blue AquaLight is a handy and convenient light that is rechargeable and will light up your pool for about eight hours. It floats on your pool’s surface and lights up an area of about 20 x 40 feet. It is easy to use, just turn it on and drop it in and you will get 360 degrees of warm light for up to twelve hours on a single charge.
The Ocean Blue Lights are perfect for any pool or pond. This is a convenient option that allows you to light up your pool without the cost and hassle of a lighting system. It is constructed with a strong outer casing that can withstand being dropped.
These lights will also not fade in direct sunlight, and its rechargeable battery will give you 10,000 hours of light. The Ocean Blue Lights come equipped with rechargeable batteries and a charger and has an 11-inch diameter.
- Gives you a nice glow
- Lights up a pretty decent sized area
- Easy to use and will stay lit for hours
- Simple to charge, just like charging your phone
- A little on the expensive side for some people
- Some people were not happy with the small area the product lit up
- Some people had problems with switches that failed
The perfect floating ball light that can be used indoors or outdoors, the AosKE Floating Ball Light is waterproof, rechargeable, wireless, and energy efficient. Great for creating a romantic atmosphere or a fun party ambiance for barbecues, the AosKe Floating Ball Light work well in bad weather, are portable, and easy to move around.
Featuring blue, green, and red color, the AosKe also features a dynamic mode that changes automatically, and it can also create a yellow flickering candle effect. Constructed of LED mood light, the AosKe floating LED lights are waterproof and have an indestructible diffuser.
- Great accent for parties
- Work in the water with no problem
- Convenient remote control for changing colors
- A little on the expensive side
LED or Halogen lighting can also be used for highlighting features in your garden or pool. You can choose from waterfalls or specific landscaping features such as trees.
A waterfall fountain is an easy way to add a beautiful, classic look to your pool area. The Doheny’s LED Color Cascade Waterfall Fountain has an adjustable height, and it is powered completely by your pool pump’s water force with the height of the water dependent on the pump’s pressure.
This is an easy to install feature that is constructed of polyethylene and aluminum. It uses the pool’s 1.5-inch return line for connection with an auto cleaner line and eyeball fitting, plus it works with inground or above ground swimming pools. It displays multiple colors at night for a beautiful nighttime look perfect for parties.
- Great sprinkler head
- Easy to attach
- Nice, beautiful spray
- Keeps your pool circulated so you don’t get a green pool
- Some people had problems getting the LED lights to work
back to menu ↑
Pool Light Features: What to consider?
There are three major pool light types: LED, Halogen, and Incandescent. The older incandescent bulbs are like the standard bulbs you use in your home which only provide a white light. The Halogen lights are more compact and use less power than standard lights, but they will only produce a white light.
The LED bulbs are the newest lights on the market, and they come with many advantages. They are cheaper to use since they use less energy, although they are more expensive to purchase at the beginning. Some LED bulbs also feature up to five colors of light in different programs.
Voltage: 12V vs. 120V
Either 12V or 120V will be used to operate the lights for your pool. Depending on where you live, you may have a local code that requires the lower voltage of 12V light while other areas allow the 120V light to be used, so it is important to find out what your local code says.
Measured by watts, power has the general rule of thumb that it costs more to run a light that has a higher wattage. LED lights tend to run between 30W and 90W while incandescent lights run between 100W to 500W. This means that LED lights are more efficient, and they reduce your electricity costs in the long run.
The brightness of a bulb does not vary from of a 12V and 120V. Lumens is usually the way brightness is measured, but it is published inconsistently. Basically, the higher the wattage for incandescent lights, the brighter the light will be. It is harder to figure out the brightness of LED lights, but generally, they will be brighter for a higher wattage.
There are generally two face ring options, either plastic or stainless steel. Plastic rings are generally white, but can also be found in black and gray.
Some lights will come with a power cord that is permanently attached. They will come in varying lengths from 15’ to 150’, and the 30’, 50’, 100, and 150’ are the most common. Make sure when you purchase a pool light that the cord is long enough to get from the power source to your pool plus about 10 feet.
Niches are installed when the pool is built and the contractor places permanent fixtures into the pool’s sides to hold light fixtures. There are some lights that are compatible with any niches, but in most cases, lights aren’t going to be compatible unless you use the original manufacturer lights the niche was created for.
You can easily replace most halogen and incandescent light fixtures. If you want to put in a color-changing light bulb, you will find that you can only convert a couple of incandescent light fixtures, but the rest of them will need a complete light fixture change, although there is a color light bulb conversion for halogen lights.
Like lights that can be switched on and off with a wall switch or control box, LED lights have color changing features and light programs. If you want to sync multiple LED lights so that they can be controlled together, it is possible to connect them together through one switch and a common junction box. There are also newer LED lights that come with a remote control, so that you can select the programs or colors easily.
back to menu ↑
Types of Pool Light Bulbs
There are positives and negatives to each type of pool bulb. Some bulbs that are cheaper might be a good deal now, but down the road when you have to make multiple replacements, it probably isn’t such a good deal.
Halogen – Halogen bulbs have been very popular bulbs for spas and pools that were a great way to upgrade the intensity of your lighting and lower the power you used. They are still used a lot today and are the most popular replacement bulbs.
Compact Florescent – Compact fluorescent light bulbs use less energy than regular incandescent bulbs and last six times longer. Unfortunately, they are sensitive to being switched on and off making them more likely to fail. They also tend to have lower illumination levels and poor lighting ability around pools.
LED – LED’s use about a quarter of the energy that is used by a standard bulb, and they last 40 times longer. They emit deep rich colors that are eco-friendly, but they do cost more than a standard bulb at their initial purchase. If you factor in the savings over time, they become a more cost effective option than other light bulbs.
back to menu ↑
When you start shopping for new lights for your pool, you will see that there are a lot of choices when it comes to lighting your pool and the surrounding landscape. With all the options, this can be a tough choice, but if you do your research you should be able to find the best pool lights on the market for your needs.