Pool Lighting Options 

LED pool lights

LED Pool Lights Enhance the Experience

If you’re installing a brand new in-ground pool, or inherited one when you purchased your home, you might be considering adding illumination and ambience with some pool lights.


There is a wide selection of pool lighting options on the market to choose from, ranging from simple in pool lights to colour changing LED pool light displays. 

Read on for a guide to the types of pool lighting available and some suggestions for the best places in your pool and surrounding garden landscape to install them.


Benefits of In-Ground Pool Lighting

Installing lighting in your in-ground swimming pool and garden won’t only result in a backyard that’s attractive to look at, but they also bring other unexpected benefits such as:

  • Extended Swimming Time: a lit pool allows you to swim after dark, extending the number of hours you can use your swimming pool. 
  • Aesthetically Pleasing: pool lights look beautiful whether you are looking at them from inside your home, or sitting on your patio.
  • Increased Safety: lights allow you to see clearly whether anyone is in the water after dark, especially important when there are children in the home. Using lighting to illuminate pathways and steps close to the pool can prevent tripping.
  • Security: a garden which is well lit will be a deterrent to would-be thieves or vandals.
  • Mood Changing: customized or programmable light colours allow you to change the mood and ambience so you can create a chilled backyard spa or a party atmosphere.
  • Highlights Water Features: lighting can be used strategically to highlight pool water features such as bubblers, waterfalls or deck jets
  • Define Garden and Outdoor Architecture: illuminating trees, shrubbery and pergolas will give your garden poolscape definition and texture.

Different Types of Pool Lights 

When it comes to in-pool lighting, there are a few options to choose from. Historically, installed in-pool lights were primarily incandescent bulbs that gave off a yellowy glow and burned out fast. Thankfully, lighting technology has progressed a lot since then, giving pool owners and manufacturers options with better longevity and colour choices.


Halogen Bulbs: 

  • Shine the brightest of all and can come in colour options
  • Cheaper to install upfront than other lights
  • Bulbs don’t last long, burn out fast
  • Colour can’t be changed without changing the bulb
  • Bulbs can get hot, even under water, which can be painful to touch

LED Pool Lights:

  • Energy efficient, use fraction of the amount of electricity to run compared to other bulbs
  • LED bulbs have good longevity, lasting on average 30,000 hours before they need changing
  • Colour options are endless and vibrant. Can select different colours for different moods or program colours to automatically change
  • The most expensive light to install, but very little ongoing cost or maintenance required

Incandescent, Halogen and LED bulbs all sit within housings that are built into the walls or floor of the pool. Larger lights usually need a niche setting, which typically needs to be put in during manufacture. Smaller lights can be fitted into existing pools as they don’t require a niche setting and can be placed in shallower locations. 


Fibre Optic Pool Lights:

  • Easy maintenance, the bulb itself sits in a housing outside the pool making bulb changes simple
  • Colour can be selected or changed using colour wheel placed in front of bulb but they are not programmable
  • Not as bright as an LED or Halogen bulb, good for more subtle lighting
  • Can be added to an existing pool, as light cable can be fitted to pool wall or underneath coping

Solar Lights for Pool:

  • Light is subtle and dependent on bright skies during the day.
  • Very energy-efficient as they run from stored energy. No electricity bills.
  • Can get solar floating pool lights that float in the pool for interest, but not bright enough to be a safety feature.
  • Best use is for subtle highlighting of plants and pathways.

Whichever type of light you choose, knowing how to change a pool light bulb is a useful skill to have.


Smart Pool Lighting Puts Colour at Your Fingertips

For those who enjoy using smartphone apps or home hubs to control aspects of your home, this option is now available for your pool lights too.


Many LED pool lights now come with the ability to control or program colours, timing and even light shows through apps allowing for simple and effortless use.


The Best Placement for Pool Lights and Poolscape Lights

Where you place your pool lights can be as important as the type of lights you choose. Lights should be placed where they offer the most light or highlight a feature.


In-Pool Light Placement:

  • In a rectangular pool, place one light at each end, or one for every 2.5 meters of wall. 
  • Extra lights can be used to highlight water features, rockwork, decorative tiling and steps
  • In curved pools, aim for an even distribution of light across the pool
  • Lights should be 9-12 inches (22-30cm) below the water line in the main pool, 4 inches below on tanning shelves
  • Place lights below seats or in footwells in a spa pool

Pool Deck Lighting:

  • In-ground lights are a great option on pool decks to eliminate tripping hazards
  • Use up-lighting to highlight trees and shrubbery around pool area
  • Light up any steps or curbs on garden pathways
  • Add string lights to garden structures and around outdoor living or dining areas for ambiance

Check out these pool lighting ideas for inspirational ways to enhance your pool and backyard with lights.


Jordco Pools Can Build Pool Lighting into Your In-Ground Pool Design

If you are considering pool lighting, the best option is to have them built in when the pool is being manufactured and installed. 


Jordco Pools can work with you to incorporate your preferred lighting into your pool design, whether you want simple white lights, or a colour changing programmable display.


Offering pool design and installation services to the Ottawa area since 1995, Jordco Pools can help you choose the right pool lights for your backyard swimming pool.

Contact us today to find out how you can add some colour to your outdoor space with pool lights. 


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