3 Best Floating Pool Lights for 2023 (Based on Strict Criteria)



Are you on the hunt for the best floating pool lights? Not sure what to look for in terms of brand, type, and features?

We poured many hours into research and meticulously compared the most popular floating pool lights on the market (see our spreadsheet), and we’re laying everything out in this article.

Our Winners for Best Floating Pool Lights

If you just want a list of the best LED floating pool lights, we’ve hand-picked our winners based on a strict set of criteria.

Here are the criteria we used:

  • Battery or solar-powered (both are viable)
  • Outputs at a reasonably high brightness level
  • * Allows you to adjust the brightness level
  • Supports multiple colors (including white)
  • * Allows for both fixed color and automatic light cycling
  • * Can be remotely controlled (remote included)
  • * Can sync multiple of the same lights together
  • Made from hard plastic or heavy-duty PVC vinyl

* Only applies to battery-powered floating pool lights due to the technical limitations of solar-powered floating pool lights.

Now, onto the winners:

🥇 Best Battery-Powered Floating Pool Light

LOFTEK LED Dimmable Floating Pool...
LOFTEK LED Dimmable Floating Pool...
  • 【Amphibious Led Pool Lights With Large】LOFTEK...
  • 【Customizable Color Led Glowing Globe】16...
  • 【 Waterproof Floating Pool Light】LOFTEK LED...

Verdict: The most well-rounded option. It works on rechargeable batteries and is a better option for pool owners who don’t have the weather to reliably and consistently charge a solar light.

🥈 Best Solar-Powered Floating Pool Light

HAPIKAY Solar Floating Pool Lights...
HAPIKAY Solar Floating Pool Lights...

Verdict: More suited for pool owners who live in a sunny climate as these lights can be perpetually powered by sunlight. A good option if you want a more hands-off experience and you’re confident your pool gets enough exposure.

🥉 Best Floating Pool Lights for Coverage

BLUEYE Floating Pool Lights, 3-Inch...
BLUEYE Floating Pool Lights, 3-Inch...

Verdict: These are much smaller and not quite as bright, but they make up for that in volume with 10 lights in the pack. This allows you to spread them around more, perhaps on the perimeter of the pool as well as in the water.

What to Look for in a Floating Pool Light

Don’t trust our picks? No worries. There are a few things you should pay attention to when shopping around for floating LED pool lights.

These are as follows:

A Suitable Power Source

Floating LED pool lights are wireless by nature, so you only have two types to choose from when it comes to power.

  1. Battery-powered floating pool lights
  2. Solar-powered floating pool lights

The battery-powered variants rely either on store-bought, AA or AAA batteries that usually last a few months before needing to be replaced, or have built-in rechargeable batteries that plug into the wall.

The solar-powered variants still technically rely on a battery (obviously), except they’re always built-in rechargeable batteries that can only be charged when the unit absorbs energy from sunlight.

Both types are viable, but you should go with a battery-powered floating light unless your pool gets plenty of sunlight all year round, otherwise, you could find yourself without working lights at random intervals throughout the year.

It’s also possible to find hybrid floating pool lights that allow for both charging options, though these are harder to come by. (Here’s one, for example).

Bottom line: The ideal type depends on your local weather conditions throughout the season, but if you want to play it safe, just go with battery-powered.

Size and Quantity

Size and quantity vary a LOT here.

You can find a pack of multiple floating pool lights as small as 3 inches each in diameter, or standalone lights as large as 20 inches.

There’s no right answer here, it’s all a matter of preference. Do you want lots of smaller lights to distribute light more evenly, or do you want one or two larger lights for a more concentrated approach?

If you’re shopping online, don’t be fooled by the photos. Sellers are very good at making even the smallest of lights look huge using some sneaky photography.

Bottom line: Think about the number of lights you want. If you want more, go smaller. If you want fewer, go larger.

A Good Level of Brightness

Bulb brightness is typically measured in lumens. The higher the lumens, the more light it outputs, and the brighter the light is.

For context:

  • A candle is around 12 lumens
  • A small flashlight is around 100 lumens
  • An incandescent bulb is around 800 lumens

Most floating LED lights are somewhere between 100 to 500 lumens, and pool owners generally prefer lights on the higher end of that range unless they’re specifically looking for dim lighting.

But there’s a problem; most LED floating pool lights do not specify brightness in lumens, making it almost impossible to compare between products.

In fact, many don’t mention brightness at all unless they’re talking about brightness adjustment settings (while this can be useful, it still doesn’t tell you much about peak brightness).

Unfortunately, this means you’ll either have to:

  • Roughly gauge brightness based on the size of the light, which isn’t super reliable.
  • Reach out to the manufacturer for a number in lumens, which they likely won’t know.
  • Rely on existing customer reviews, which can be vague in description.
  • Make sure there’s a solid return policy in place.

Bottom line: Don’t rely on the marketing spiel when it comes to brightness. Do your due diligence, look at its size, check the reviews, and try to pin down a number in lumens if possible.

Ability to Change Colors

One of the biggest selling points of LED lights is being able to change the color of the light to suit the mood.

These types are specifically referred to as RGB LED’s, which stand for red, blue, and green. Despite the name, these three primary colors allow for a far higher number of potential colors and shades.

Feeling romantic? Switch the lights to red.

Or maybe you’re feeling party vibes? Try flipping them to purple.

Even if you’re just looking for a standard white light, many RGB lights are capable of outputting white light (or off-white), and this allows you to change the color later if you happen to want that.

The good news is, you won’t have to look too hard for these specific types as most floating LED lights these days support multi-color.

Bottom line: Get an RGB LED light to give yourself the option of changing colors later on, even if you intend to keep it set to white.

Different Light Modes

LED floating pool lights often come with various modes that allow you to create different effects with light and colors.

The two main modes are:

  1. A fixed mode that allows you to pick a single color and just maintain that color with no fancy effects.
  2. A cycle mode that automatically scrolls through the available colors, either using a flashing or strobing effect or using a smoother transition such as a fade or gradient color shift.

Here’s where it gets tricky:

If you’re going for a battery-powered light, you’ll most likely be able to toggle between these modes — coupled with a “mode memory” feature to remember the last mode it was set to when powering it back on.

If you’re going for solar floating pool lights, they’re almost always cycle-only, meaning you can’t set them to permanently output a single color. This is because they’re inflatable and don’t come with any button controls.

While this is a general rule for each type of light, you should still check the product specifications for supported modes because it’s not always clearly stated.

Bottom line: Check the supported modes for different colors and effects, but be aware that solar floating lights are limited in this area.

A Remote Control

This one is pretty straightforward; some pool lights come with remote control, some don’t.

As before, this largely depends on the type of floating pool light you choose.

The battery-powered versions often come with remote control, and if you don’t want to have to drag the lights out of your pool to turn them on and off, change the mode, or configure the settings, you’re going to want that remote.

As a side note, those without remote controls are also more likely to be missing certain features because they often require more inputs. Not having a remote is a good indicator of what it can (and, more importantly, can’t) do.

The solar-powered lights, however, rarely include a remote. Their schedule is dictated entirely by light. They automatically turn off to charge during the day as well as turn back on at night.

Bottom line: If you’re going with battery-powered, get one with a remote. If you’re set on solar power, they’re all hands-off and don’t require one anyway.

Ability to Sync Multiple Lights Together

If you plan to have multiple floating lights in your pool, there’s a good chance you want them to be synchronized, especially if the colors are cycling.

Once again, this largely depends on the type.

The battery-powered variants often include remote control, and this can be used to control all the lights at once, effectively synchronizing them. Even without a remote, you could switch them all on at the same time, theoretically.

The solar-powered variants, which are almost always inflatable, don’t come with a remote control, or even any controls. This makes it impossible to synchronize them if they aren’t turning on at the exact same time.

Bottom line: If you care much about synchronizing multiple lights, you should get a battery-powered version that comes with remote control.

A Suitable Build Material

Most floating pool lights are made of PVC plastic, but not all plastic is the same.

They typically come in two types:

  1. Inflatable vinyl, like you’d find on a blow-up beachball.
  2. Or hard plastic, like… you know, plastic?

Surprise, surprise, the type of light also plays a huge role here.

Aside from some rare exceptions, battery versions are housed in hard plastic, and the solar versions are housed in inflatable plastic (specifically, clear plastic so they can absorb sunlight and better reflect out light).

While there’s nothing wrong with inflatable floating pool lights, it’s fair to say they’re not as durable as hard PVC plastic variants.

If you’re worried about longevity, especially if you have kids or pets that might play with or bite into the floating balls, it may make more sense to go with battery-powered so you can benefit from the hard plastic material.

Bottom line: Battery-powered floating lights tend to be more durable and long-lasting, but unless you’re flexible on the type, you won’t get much choice in the material.

What NOT to Look for in a Floating Pool Light

There are also a number of things you can safely ignore, either because they don’t exist, prove inconsistent, or are largely unimportant.

These are as follows:

The Brand Name

When shopping for electronics, the brand is usually a great indicator of quality and something you can often rely on to help you choose.

That’s not as much the case when it comes to floating LED pool lights because there aren’t many big players offering them. Don’t expect to see companies like Philips or LG when digging through your options.

Instead, you’ll have to look at each potential product and weigh up the feature set to see if it ticks all the right boxes.

Or… you could just take our word for it and pick from one of our winners (see the beginning of this article).

Bottom line: There aren’t very many established brands in this space, so you’ll need to be more careful when choosing.

“Waterproof” Rating

We put “waterproof” in quotes because, technically, no floating pool lights are 100% impervious to water despite what the marketing copy says.

The correct term is water resistance.

Like smartphones, floating LED pool lights have an IP rating that tells you how resistant they are to water. In general, the higher the IP rating, the deeper the water and the longer they can withstand it.

Most floating pool lights have a rating between IP65 and IP68.

  • IP65: Protected from low-pressure water jets
  • IP66: Protected from high-pressure water jets
  • IP67: Protected from immersion between 15cm and 1m deep
  • IP68: Protected from long-term immersion up to a specified pressure

The problem is unless you’re buying from a big, well-established brand (again, unlikely with floating pool lights), the IP rating is difficult to take at face value because many companies simply make this rating up.

Besides, since these are floating pool lights, they’re unlikely to be submerged for any meaningful period of time, so even most IP65 rated lights are going to stand up to the task they were designed for.

Bottom line: IP ratings aren’t very helpful and are often falsely reported for these types of products. They’re not worth worrying about.

Energy Efficiency Claims

All LED lights are extremely efficient; that’s a huge part of what makes them such a desirable lighting option for pools.

Virtually all floating pool lights use LED, so any that claim to be “long-lasting” are simply stating the obvious. 

The battery life claims can confuse this even more, but you have to consider things like battery type, battery size, and the charging method — it’s never an apples-to-apples comparison.

Bottom line: All LED lights are efficient. The difference in efficiency between individual products is going to be marginal at best.

More Colors

Most floating LED pool lights can output multiple colors (remember, these are technically called RGB floating LED lights).

The exact number of possible colors varies from product to product, from as little as 3 colors to as many as 20 different colors. Many of them, though, offer a reasonable 5-7 colors to choose from, including an off-white.

While it’s tempting to place more weight on pool lights with more color settings, in reality, you only need a handful of colors to really get the most out of mood lighting.

By all means, if your ideal light has a particularly high number of color settings, great! But don’t let that number be the deciding factor over the more important considerations. It’s never worth the trade-off.

Bottom line: You simply don’t need 20-something color settings, a handful of colors is more than enough to satisfy any occasion.

Novelty Features

It’s easy to get sucked in by fancy features like Bluetooth speakers, built-in microphones, magnets, and even fancy shapes.

What you need to remember, though, is the best floating pool lights don’t attempt to win you over with gimmicks, they focus on nailing the core features and maintaining a high standard of quality.

What is it they say…. Jack of all trades, master of none?

Bottom line: Just focus on lighting your pool or you’ll risk compromising too much on quality and core features.

Verdict: The Best LED Floating Pool Lights

LOFTEK LED Dimmable Floating Pool...
LOFTEK LED Dimmable Floating Pool...
  • 【Amphibious Led Pool Lights With Large】LOFTEK...
  • 【Customizable Color Led Glowing Globe】16...
  • 【 Waterproof Floating Pool Light】LOFTEK LED...
HAPIKAY Solar Floating Pool Lights...
HAPIKAY Solar Floating Pool Lights...
BLUEYE Floating Pool Lights, 3-Inch...
BLUEYE Floating Pool Lights, 3-Inch...

Categories: Pool Care, Pool Equipment