Pool & Spa Outdoor Blog

Category: Pool Lighting

Pool Lighting

Lighting Options for Your Swimming Pool - Part 1 of 4 - Incandescent

Pool Lighting Options - Part 1



Hillside Pool with Interior Lighting at NightPool lighting makes swimming at night safer and more convenient, plus adds drama and ambiance to your backyard. Today’s pool lighting options come in a variety of forms and colors and can use incandescent, LED, fiber optic, or solar technology.


We broke down each type of pool lighting on the following pages to help you choose the best option for your pool.



Photography courtesy of Scott Sandler for HydroScapes LLC


Incandescent Lighting


Conventional lighting for inground swimming pools consist of incandescent or quartz halogen light bulbs that are sealed inside a protective waterproof fixture. These simple white lights are mounted in wall niches—typically made during pool construction—and operate on either low-voltage or standard electrical power. Incandescent pool lights provide a bright illumination and have plastic color lenses that fit over top of them to create a more dramatic effect.

Incandescent and halogen light bulbs are the most common type of pool lights, as well as the most inexpensive—they usually cost around $170 – $250 each. While relatively affordable, they require more maintenance than other pool lighting options and are not as energy efficient. The bulbs typically have a lifespan of only 1,000 hours and frequently need replacement. Changing a bulb can be a difficult task as you have to remove the entire fixture and bring it out of the water before you can remove the old bulb and attach a new one. Traditional incandescent pool lights are typically installed during pool construction or renovation due to the electrical engineering.


NEXT: LED Lighting >>

Lighting Options for Your Swimming Pool – Part 2 – LED

Pool Lighting Options - Part 2 LED Lighting An environmentally-friendly alternative to incandescent pool lights are LED lights, which use light emitting diodes to illuminate the pool. These energy-efficient pool lights use 80 percent less energy than incandescent and halogen light bulbs and last considerably longer—up to 100,000 hours on average; they also tend to be brighter. LEDs have a broader spread of light, which may reduce the amount of lights needed to light the pool. Photography courtesy of J. Brownlee Design; photography by Jeff and Leah Harp, Focus Photography, LLC Most LED pool lights screw into the existing wall sockets used for traditional incandescent inground pool lights. There are also aboveground options that install directly into the pool’s return line or hook over the wall of the pool, so there’s no need to drill holes. Aside from being economical, the main appeal of LED pool lighting is the built-in color features. LED lights come in various colors ...

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Lighting Options for Your Swimming Pool – Part 3 – Fiber Optic

Pool Lighting Options - Part 3 Fiber Optic Lighting Fiber optic pool lighting consists of long, thin strands of glass—about the diameter of a human hair—that are arranged in bundles, or optic cables, and transfer light over long distances. There are two types of fiber optic lighting: end glow and side glow. In end glow fiber optics, the fibers are covered in an opaque black or white PVC jacket, and the light is emitted through the end of the fiber. When combined with lenses, this type of fiber optic cable creates a spotlight effect. It can also be used to create “stars” on the bottom of the pool, as seen in the pool picture at right. Side glow fiber optic cables are covered in a clear PVC coating which allows light to escape through the sides of the cable. They resemble neon tube lighting and are used for perimeter pool lighting—they do not illuminate the body of water. Side glow fiber optic cables are applied to a track placed under the pool coping and create an o ...

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Lighting Options for Your Swimming Pool – Part 4 – Solar

Pool Lighting Options - Part 4 Solar Pool Lighting Solar pool lights are an eco-friendly way to light up your pool. They float on top of the water’s surface and have a solar panel that collects energy from the sun and charges a rechargeable battery located within the light. At night, the lights are automatically turned on via an electronic light sensor. Most solar pool lights use an LED bulb for energy efficiency and can last up to eight hours per solar charge. Solar pool lights come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can be a simple globe or disc shape, or look like frogs, lily pads, and even floating jellyfish. They also come in an array of different colors, and some can create multi-colored patterns of dancing light throughout the pool. Most solar pool lights are weighted to help keep them in one place; others float freely around the pool and come with a nylon anchor for when you want them to stay in a particular area. Some can also come with a stake, pole, or stand and be used for ...

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