Pool Equipment

The Best Pool Lights in 2021

Let pool lighting systems guide the way to an innumerable dazzling pool experience.

By Allen Hayward

How to Choose the Best Pool Lights

Do you want to know how to choose the best pool lights? Below are the factors and features to consider as you shop for lights.

Brightness

Pool lights have different levels of brightness. Some lights are brighter than others. If you have a large swimming pool, you’ll want the light bulbs to have more voltage and wattages. Smaller pools won’t require that much lighting power, though. A few floating pool lights should do just fine for a small pool.

Compatibility

Pool lights are not compatible with every type of in-ground swimming pool. Make sure you purchase pool lights that are compatible with your particular pool. Focus closely on the voltage of the lights.

For example, if you have a 12-volt pool system, you obviously cannot use 120-volt light bulbs with it. The only way to use 120-volt light bulbs in this situation would be to have a new electrical system installed. That would require a lot of time and money.

The easiest solution is to use floating pool lights because they don’t require any installation. You just put them on the top of the water and let them float. How easy is that?

Durability

There is no point in installing flimsy or low-quality pool lights. If they only last a couple of months, it will be too costly to replace them all the time. That is why it is better to invest in durable pool lights made of high-quality material. Look for plastic or vinyl lights rather than paper or foam lights.

Don’t expect floating pool lights to be durable if you decide to use them. They can easily get damaged or scratched in the water.

Other Features and Accessories

Look for pool lights with added features and accessories. The most popular features are color-changing controls, where the lights can alternate between two or more different colors. The specific features to look for will depend on your goals and wishes. Are you planning to host parties in your backyard? Is the pool for private use only?

The Top 6 Inground Swimming Pool Lights

There are many great pool lights available on the market. Even if you already have pool lights, you should think about upgrading them. How about some LED pool lights? You’ll have more colors and brightness while saving power at the same time.

Below are the top 6 inground swimming pool lights on the market currently.

1) Pentair 601000 IntelliBrite 5G Color Underwater LED Pool Light

The Pentair 601000 IntelliBrite will change the pool water color automatically. There are five different colors available from the bulb lights. Each time one of the colors lights up, it will turn the water that color. 

It features automated LED lighting with energy efficiency and durability. You can also rotate the lens up to 180 degrees for a wider beam in the water.

Here is a list of its primary features and specifications:

  • Consumes 86% less energy than incandescent lights
  • Premium lens with unique reflector design to generate a wider light beam in the water.
  • Pentair stainless steel compatibility
  • The dimensions are 11” x 9” x 11”
  • 120 Volts – 300 Watts
  • Several color options
  • Simple installation
  • Uses LED technology for energy efficiency
  • Affordable price
  • Fast shipping

Make sure you have a professional electrician or pool technician install the light. It is required if you want to keep your warranty valid.

2) Hayward SP0527SLED50 ColorLogic 4.0 LED Pool Light

The Hayward SP0527SLED50 pool light is compatible with most pools. It is 86% more energy-efficient than standard incandescent lights. You can expect 10 times the lifespan too.

Install the light at least 4 inches or more under the waterline of the pool. You can install it on the pool floor if you want. The light offers 10 fixed colors and 7 alternating colors, so you have plenty of options here.

Here is a list of its primary specifications and features:

  • Consumes 86% less energy than incandescent lights
  • Lasts 10 times longer than incandescent lights
  • Seven alternating color shows
  • Ten fixed colors
  • Install 4 inches or more under the pool waterline. It can attach to the wall or floor. No rock guard required.
  • 50% more brightness compared to ColorLogic 2.5

The light might be more expensive than others, but the brightness makes up for it.

3) TOVEENEN LED High Brightness Pool Light

The TOVEENEN LED High Brightness Pool Light lives up to its name. It offers a very bright white light to give nighttime swimmers more clarity in the pool water. The 60-watt LED light is made to be a replacement to the 500-watt R40 incandescent light bulbs. The replacement process is not complicated. You just need to unscrew the incandescent bulb and replace it with the LED lamp. It is that simple.

4) LAMPAOUS RGB Multicolor LED Pool Light

The LAMPAOUS RGB Multicolor LED Pool Light gives you five different colors rather than just the standard white color. The colors can alternate at different speeds to provide your pool guests with a fun and exciting time. The light is much brighter than incandescent bulbs and halogen bulbs. It is also energy efficient, so you’ll save lots of money on your power bill each month. The only downside is that no remote is included with the light. You have to use the primary power switch to operate it.

5) TOVEENEN Color-Changing LED Pool Light

The TOVEENEN Color-Changing LED Pool Light features multiple colors and much better brightness than standard halogen or incandescent bulbs. It is designed to replace these bulbs in your pool if any of them exist. If you use a single TOVEENEN bulb, it can illuminate an area of 16’ x 32’ in your pool.

If you have a lamp base present, you have to unscrew the old light bulb from it and screw in the new one. You can choose from nine awesome light shows and seven attractive fixed colors. The memory feature is a real favorite amongst customers. It lets you save the last color that was used before the lamp gets turned off. That way, you don’t need to program the light settings again when you turn it back on.

6) S. R. Smith LED Pool Light

The S. R. Smith LED Pool Light distributes the light in the water widely and evenly. There is no end shadow like you see with some of the other pool lights out there. You can enjoy up to six colors, and two modes where the colors change automatically. The trim rings have four colors to match the surface of the pool.

If you have vinyl, granite or fiberglass liner for your pool, then you will love this pool light. You can use the light to upgrade your existing LED lighting or integrate it during the construction of your pool. You’ll get 50,000 hours of life out of the bulb. Three-year warranty included.

About Lights for Above Ground Swimming Pools

Above ground swimming pools can also have lights, but they cannot be installed on the walls. A light and water return combination is required, found in the Pentair AquaLuminator Aboveground Light and Water Return. You can install the light into the water return hole that exists already. You don’t have to cut any holes yourself. Besides, cutting your own holes would void the warranty.

If you only swim in your pool during the day, then you’re not having the true pool ownership experience. Of course, it is not advisable to swim in complete darkness either. A suitable compromise is to install LED pool lights to brighten up your pool water and allow you to see it at night. You’ll also be able to see any weird creatures that may be inhabiting the water.

There are a couple of other benefits to installing LED pool lights, such as saving more money than if you were to use regular lights. In addition, LED lights make swimming more fun and exciting. There are so many color choices to choose from as well.

How LED Pool Lights Works

Not all light bulbs are the same. An LED light is a light-emitting diode light. This type of light is known for being more energy efficient than a traditional incandescent light bulb. To understand why it is, you need to learn a few new words and perform some math calculations.

Aside from energy efficiency and money savings, LED pool lights have so many technologically innovative control features and aesthetics. Classic lighting cannot compete with this.

Every light bulb needs electricity to generate light. The amount of energy used is referred to as wattage. This is how the energy efficiency of a bulb is determined. For instance, an incandescent light bulb that is 100 watts can generate light with electricity which exists inside of an interior filament. For every 60 minutes the bulb is on, 100 watts of energy is used. Now find out the wattage rate that is charged by your power company and multiply it by the 100 watts per hour rate. The result is the amount of money you’re paying to keep your regular pool lights on every hour.

Therefore, before you select a pool light, you need to know the wattage of its bulb first. If you choose a bulb with less wattage, then expect the light to be less bright. But at least you’ll save some money.

Well, things changed when LED pool lights came on the scene. LEDs have much smaller bulbs and no filament. They’re basically light-casting semiconductors with a microchip. The electrical current travels into the microchip to cause the LED to illuminate. The LEDs are cooled with the heat sinks that are built into them. These heat sinks also extend the lifespan of the light and increase their brightness.

Due to these innovations in energy efficiency, wattage is no longer a huge factor in determining the amount of light that is provided by a bulb.

The LED Lights are Brighter

Lumens are the measurement of visible light in which a light bulb produces. Bulb manufacturers like to focus on the effect that lumens have on the level of brightness that people see.

However, most laypeople just think of lumens from an LED bulb the same way they think of them from an incandescent bulb.

For instance, an incandescent light bulb with 100 watts produces anywhere from 1,400 to 1,750 lumens. A bulb with only 40 watts throws about 450 lumens. But if you use an LED pool light which produces 1,400 to 1,750 lumens, it may only use between 14 to 20 watts. You may even find LED lights which throw up to 5,400 lumens too.

Minimal Heat and Energy

Since LED pool lights use less wattage, they don’t need as much electricity as incandescent bulbs. If traditional bulbs were made to be as bright as LED bulbs, they would likely be a safety hazard because of the amount of heat they would generate. LED lights have heat sinks built into them to reduce the heat. Besides, an LED pool light with 30 watts generates the same amount of brightness as an incandescent light bulb with 200 watts. Meanwhile, there is less energy used and less heat generated. As a result, LED lights have a longer lifespan and require less gasket maintenance.

Colors

Incandescent lights produce the same boring white and yellow colors which don’t really put swimmers in a relaxing mood. On the other hand, LED pool lights have all sorts of color options available. You can also find some LED lights which connect to apps. Then you can use the app to change the color scheme of the lights. Snap-on filters can also be used too.

Multiple colors for your pool serve a variety of benefits, including:

Choose red, white, and blue colored lights for a July 4th celebration poolside.

Choose red and green colored lights for a Christmas celebration.

White lights which are extra bright may also be suitable for Labor Day.

Of course, you don’t need to wait for special occasions before you add colors to your pool. It may be nice just to swim in a purple or green pool to change things up and add more excitement to your swimming experience.

Durable

Anytime you purchase a new accessory to upgrade your pool with; you’ll want that accessory to last a long time. It doesn’t matter if you’re purchasing a pool filter or LED light. Fortunately, LED pool lights are brighter, longer lasting, and more energy efficient than incandescent lights.

For instance, the useful life of a typical incandescent light is 12 months. An LED pool light that throws off the same amount of light can last for up to 20 years. It also uses less energy too.

Save Money on Usage

The expense of owning a pool does not stop with the initial purchase price. According to statistics, the average American pool owner spends about $190 every month on maintaining their pools. So, if you can save a little money on this, then why not do it?

LED pool lights have far less wattage which means you’ll be paying pennies per day to turn them on. Compare this to the $1 per day you’d likely pay with an incandescent bulb. Sure, the initial purchase price of an LED pool light will be more but think about the long-term energy and financial savings they’ll give you.

Rebates may be available to you too if you own LED pool lights. There are certain state and local governments which reward their citizens with cash rebates if they switch to more energy-efficient lights. You need to contact your local utility company to find out more.

Safety

LED pool lights are safer for everyone around the pool and in the pool. Due to the higher frequency of the LED lights, it is easier for people to see because the lights appear brighter to them. This is actually why LED lights are not installed in streetlights because the brightness can be a distraction to drivers. But you won’t be using too many LED lights in your pool, so the brightness will be just enough to allow you to see everything clearly.

External LED lights should be installed on the landscaping near the pool too. This makes it easier for people to walk back into the house from the pool area because they can see where they’re going.

Test the Lights First

Don’t replace your current incandescent lights with LED lights until you see how they work first. Use some battery-operated LED lights which float on water. Put as many lights on your pool water as you want. Make all sorts of colors shine on your pool.

Landscape Lights

It is not enough to light up your swimming pool. What about the surrounding landscape? Wouldn’t you like to see that lit up as well? You can do so with the ZUCKEO Waterproof LED Landscape Lights. It offers eight warm light colors to enhance the ambiance of your pool area, garden and backyard.

Each 5-watt LED landscape light offers 500 lumens with 12 to 24 volts. The water-resistant glass lens covers and rigid aluminum bodies will ensure the lights last a long time. Bad weather and splashing will not cause problems for it.

You can rotate the lights 90 degrees and adjust the heads up to 270 degrees to create the perfect light angle. Make sure you have low-voltage wires, wire connectors and a transformer to perform the installation. These items are not included with the lights.

Conclusion

Pool  lights are a small investment as far as swimming accessories go. They’re energy efficient, durable, versatile, and safe. Your investment will pay off fast.

There is no better choice to make than a pool light to brighten up your pool  

All swimming pools look beautiful when they’re lit up at nighttime. It doesn’t matter if you have a big or small pool. There are so many wonderful pool lighting options available. Take your pick and have fun with them. That’s what pool lighting is all about. Fun!

Frequently Asked Questions About Inground Swimming Pool Lighting

Inground swimming pools look better with underwater lights. Before you construct an inground swimming pool on your property, you should learn more about how pool lighting works. Pool lights have to be installed at the same time when the pool is constructed. So, it is better to think about the lighting now rather than later.

Here are the top nine most frequently asked questions about lighting for inground swimming pools.

1) What are pool lights?

Pool lights illuminate the water at nighttime so people can swim after hours safely. You’ll find lots of interesting pool lights available on the market, such as multi-colored LED lights. These lights let you change colors by simply flipping a switch.

You must install LED pool lights during the construction of your pool. You can find smaller and cheaper LED lights for around $700 to $900. But if you’d rather pay more for fiber optic lighting, you can purchase it for between $1,300 to $1,700. You won’t need to perform any maintenance work other than to replace the bulb periodically.

2) What are the benefits of pool lights?

Pool lights let you use your swimming pool at any time of the day or night. People love the opportunity to swim at night because it is more peaceful and fun. There is no blazing sun shining down and burning up your skin either. Instead, the illumination comes from the underwater reflective multi-colored lights.

Do you have children who love to swim? Pool lights can allow them to swim at nighttime safely. You can watch them better, and they can see where they’re swimming as well.

3) Are there any types of pool lights that don’t have to be installed during the pool’s construction?

Most pool lights require an electrical connection to run through the ground to the pool. Unless you want to crack through the cement and renovate the pool area significantly, it so much less costly and time-consuming to install the pool lights when you construct the pool. The only exceptions are the portable pool lights that float on the top or sink to the pool’s bottom. But they don’t offer as much illumination as the integrated lighting.

4) How many lights should I get for the pool?

There are a few considerations to make before you can answer this question, such as the type of lighting and your pool’s size. If you have a pool under 30 feet long, you only need one light. Pools over 30 feet should have two lights to illuminate it completely. Of course, you can choose to have more lights if you wish. Whatever looks good to you is acceptable.

5) Should I choose LED, Fiber Optic, or Incandescent Lighting?

Most people choose LED lights for their pools. However, you can also select fiber optics or incandescent lighting as an alternative.

LED Lighting

LEDs are Light Emitting Diodes. As the electrons move inside of a semiconductor, they shine brightly. The fantastic thing is they don’t emit heat because they have no filaments. LED lights last longer than traditional halogen lights. You can expect to get around 30,000 hours of use out of your LED bulbs.

Compare that to the incandescent and fiber optic lighting, which gives you 5,000 hours and 6,000 hours of usage; respectively. Many LED lighting products have different lighting settings and options, such as transitional multi-color settings.

Fiber Optic Lighting

Fiber optics was previously the preferred pool lighting source before LED technology became popular in the 2000s. There is no other pool light source quite like it. The light bulb is installed in a dry box on the patio next to the pool. Fiber optic cables connect the light bulb to the pool wall, causing the light to shine onto the water.

Fiber optics is the safest pool lighting option. Unfortunately, it is the most expensive option. The lighting is not even that bright either.

Incandescent Lighting

An incandescent uses a filament wire and bulb. The electrical current travels through the filament, causing it to heat up and glow brightly. You cannot change the color unless you place a colored lens on top of the incandescent light bulb in the pool. But the bulb doesn’t last very long anyway.

6) What is the price of an inground pool light?

If you install large LED pool lights in a concrete or vinyl lined pool, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500. The smaller LED lights will cost you anywhere from $700 to $900.

Fiber optic lights cost between $1,300 and $1,700.

Incandescent pool lights cost between $450 and $650. 

7) How much maintenance work is required?

You only have to worry about replacing the pool light bulb. You can even replace the bulb without lowering the water level. For instance, just loosen a screw and raise the bulb housing so that it is above the top of the water. Now replace the bulb. It shouldn’t take you more than 5 to 10 minutes.

Remember that all lights are different. Some light bulbs take longer to replace than others. The good news is that pool light bulbs typically last for many years if they’re LED light bulbs. And if you have to replace a fibre-optic bulb, then remove the dry box cover and replace the bulb inside of it. Since the box is not even in the water, the replacement process is even easier.

8) How much do pool light bulb replacements cost?

Large LED bulb replacements cost between $450 and $650.

Small LED bulb replacements cost between $50 and $350.

Fiber optic bulb replacements cost between $20 and $60.

Incandescent bulb replacements cost between $30 and $70.

9) Is it safe to use pool lights?

Yes, pool lights are safe for the most part. You need to make sure the lights are installed correctly. Hire a professional electrician or pool technician to do the installation. Sometimes you’ll have no choice but to hire a professional if the local building codes require it.