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What Are The 7 Best Pool Lights?

Need a new light for your pool and don’t know what to get?

Let’s take a closer look at the best pool lights on the market right now, and how to pick one that works for you.

Our Picks For Best Pool Lights

We searched high and low for the best pool lights across numerous categories, narrowing it down to just a select few.

Best Flush-Mounted Pool Light

36W RGB LED Pool Light Bulb, 120V...
36W RGB LED Pool Light Bulb, 120V...
  • Colorful Color & Memory Color: 7 static modes, 8...
  • Remote Control & Switch Control: No remote...
  • Energy saving & Easy to Use: Replaces up to...
50W LED Pool Light for Inground...
50W LED Pool Light for Inground...
  • HIGH BRIGHTNESS - Designed to replace incandescent...
  • COST SAVING - 50W LED pool bulb replaces up to...
  • EASY TO USE - Unscrew the old bulb and replace the...

Best Surface-Mounted Pool Light

Roleadro Led Pool Light, Waterproof...
Roleadro Led Pool Light, Waterproof...
  • Make your Swimming Pool Colorful: Multiple color...
  • Reliable Quality&IP68 Waterproof: We adopted...
  • Super Shinning Branded LED Chips: which make sure...

Best Magnetic Pool Light

LOFTEK Submersible LED Lights with...
LOFTEK Submersible LED Lights with...
  • [Warranty & Service]: 45 days free return and...
  • [Newest Submersible Lights with Magnets and...
  • [MAX 200FT/61M RF Remote Range]: LOFTEK underwater...
GAME 4306-BB Waterproof Magnetic...
GAME 4306-BB Waterproof Magnetic...
  • Color-changing pool wall light: the GAME...
  • Designed for above-ground pools only: this LED...
  • Super-bright LED lights: The GAME magnetic LED...

Best Floating Pool Light

LOFTEK Floating Pool Light with...
LOFTEK Floating Pool Light with...
  • [Very important]: After receiving the items from...
  • [Multi-purpose & Gift]: Provide fun accessories...
  • [Max 164FTRemote Range by Powerful Remote RF ]:...
Esuper Floating Ball Pool Light...
Esuper Floating Ball Pool Light...
  • ¡¾ Solar Powered Rechargeable¡¿ : 100% solar...
  • ¡¾Inflatable & Floatable¡¿:Our floating solar...
  • ¡¾IP68 Waterproof & Weather Resistance¡¿:...

Best Light For Above Ground Pools

NiteLighter NL100 LED, 100W, Grey
NiteLighter NL100 LED, 100W, Grey
  • 100W UNDERWATER LED LIGHT – Your aboveground...
  • EASY TO INSTALL – It’s easy to install your...
  • SAFE TO USE – The Nitelighter is ETL-certified...
Homly Above Ground Pool Lighting...
Homly Above Ground Pool Lighting...
  • Updated pool led lights with Bigger Suction Cups...
  • Increase Antenna for 200ft/61M RF Remote Range for...
  • 13 LED, 3.35IN, 40 Hours Powered by AA Battery:...

Are Pool Lights Worth It?

It’s safe to say pool lighting is well worth the small upfront investment, but like anything, lighting up your swimming pool has its pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Opens your pool up to evening or nighttime use
  • Gives color and life to your pool water (some through beautiful light shows)
  • Combos well with water features (like waterfalls, scuppers, or grottos)
  • Improves visibility and prevents others from accidentally falling into the pool (such as children or pets)
  • Lights designed for pools are 100% safe to use in the water (no electrical dangers)
  • You can spot dangerous wildlife (e.g. snakes) sneaking into your pool
  • Some lights can be remote controlled for more convenience

Cons

  • There’s an upfront cost (like almost all pool stuff)
  • May require professional installation
  • Both lights and fixtures may need to be changed in future
  • They are covered up by regular covers or solar covers

Types Of Pool Lights

You will come across various types of pool lights when shopping around, so it’s important to know what they are and how they differ.

LED Pool Lights

Roleadro Led Pool Light, Waterproof...
Roleadro Led Pool Light, Waterproof...
  • Make your Swimming Pool Colorful: Multiple color...
  • Reliable Quality&IP68 Waterproof: We adopted...
  • Super Shinning Branded LED Chips: which make sure...

LED (Light Emitting Diode) pool lights work by channeling voltage through a semiconductor (the diode) which then emits light.

They aren’t always the cheapest option, but LED lights are very much plug-and-play once hooked up to a power source, lasting many years, running cool to the touch, and using very little energy in the process.

This type of light is also great if you want to make use of different colors, as they can be pre-programmed to stay on a variety of colors or even scroll through them in a dazzling sequence.

LED pool lights are now by far the most popular type on the market, as they should be. Unless you have a specific need that LED can’t fulfil, this is the go-to option.

Fiber Optic Pool Lights

HI-111 H111 Bulb 19.7V 200W Fiber...
HI-111 H111 Bulb 19.7V 200W Fiber...

Fiber optic pools lights are fundamentally different because the bulb itself is located in an illuminator (also called a dry box or lightbox), which is installed outside of your pool, away from the water. [1]

The light from the bulb is then transmitted through a thin, flexible cable (optical fiber) that feeds into your pool, and specifically into your pool wall via a special fitting. This light then reaches the end of the cable, lighting up your pool with the help of a lens.

Being able to easily change or fix your pool light without touching the pool is one of the obvious benefits to this setup, but they’re also fairly versatile because the cable can be fed into virtually any point or position in your pool. They can also be programmed with different colors, like LED lights.

With that being said, fiber optic lights are noticeably weaker than LED in terms of light output, don’t last nearly as long, and can sometimes even be more expensive. 

That’s why you don’t see them being sold nearly as often these days.

Halogen Pool Lights

Sporthfish 12V 35W RGB Color...
Sporthfish 12V 35W RGB Color...
  • Diameter: 6.69"(169mm) and High:5.9"(128mm).Direct...
  • This Swimming pool light bulb is able to lit up...
  • It is a direct replacement (standard screw-in), 35...

Halogen is basically an enhanced version of incandescent lighting, as an electrical current is used to heat up a filament to the point where it emits light.

There’s actually a lot going for halogen pool lights. They’re cheap to buy, they’re brighter than most other types, and they’re installed in an enclosed fixture that makes replacing them easier than replacing LED lights.

The reason they’re not nearly as popular is because they’re not as energy efficient to run, they only put out white light, and they can run pretty hot which is quickly felt when it comes in contact with skin.

Types Of Pool Light Fixtures

A pool light fixture is the housing that holds your light in your place, so let’s talk about how those come into play.

Inground Pool Light Fixtures

Inground pool light fixtures come in two types, flush-mounted and surface-mounted.

Flush-mounted light fixtures are installed during the initial build of an inground swimming pool, positioned underwater, clearly visible on the pool walls and pool steps.

As their name suggests, they are fitted directly inside the walls (in what’s called a “niche”) so they’re perfectly flush with the wall.

Here’s where you need to be careful though. Different lights fit different flush-mounted fixtures, so if you’re simply changing your old bulb for a new one then you better be sure it’s compatible with your fixture.

36W RGB LED Pool Light Bulb, 120V...
36W RGB LED Pool Light Bulb, 120V...
  • Colorful Color & Memory Color: 7 static modes, 8...
  • Remote Control & Switch Control: No remote...
  • Energy saving & Easy to Use: Replaces up to...

Of course, if you’re certain you want to convert to a different type or brand of pool light, you may be required to change your fixture entirely.

Ultimately, it’s impossible to say if any given light will fit your current flush-mounted fixture without knowing your current setup, so it’s important to read the documentation for both before making a purchase.

Surface-mounted light fixtures are less common, but often used in the absence of flush-mounted fixtures at a much cheaper cost.

They function the same way as their flush-mounted cousins, except they’re retro-fitted to the wall surface making them very slightly raised from the wall itself, but also far easier to install.

For example, this one below uses a bracket to connect the light to the wall, and all the necessary electrical components exist inside the light itself.

Roleadro Led Pool Light, Waterproof...
Roleadro Led Pool Light, Waterproof...
  • Make your Swimming Pool Colorful: Multiple color...
  • Reliable Quality&IP68 Waterproof: We adopted...
  • Super Shinning Branded LED Chips: which make sure...

Another variant of this relies on magnets. These are essentially waterproof LED lights combined with magnetic fixtures, otherwise called magnetic pool lights.

Don’t you just love the creativity in this industry?

Homly Above Ground Pool Lighting...
Homly Above Ground Pool Lighting...
  • Updated pool led lights with Bigger Suction Cups...
  • Increase Antenna for 200ft/61M RF Remote Range for...
  • 13 LED, 3.35IN, 40 Hours Powered by AA Battery:...

The fixtures themselves attach to the walls through suction cups, and the light attaches to the fixture using the magnets. They can also attach to the metal frame of an above ground pool.

Above Ground Pool Light Fixtures

Speaking of above ground pools, while magnetic lights are a viable option there are other types of fixtures that are specifically designed for this type of pool, including Intex pools.

For example, you can use a wall mounted light fixture. This one hooks over the edge of the pool with the actual light/lamp positioned underwater.

NiteLighter NL100 LED, 100W, Grey
NiteLighter NL100 LED, 100W, Grey
  • 100W UNDERWATER LED LIGHT – Your aboveground...
  • EASY TO INSTALL – It’s easy to install your...
  • SAFE TO USE – The Nitelighter is ETL-certified...

Extremely easy to set up, but a little bulky in practicality.

A better option for above ground pools is to install a specially made return fitting that includes a halogen light, though you will need a transformer to power it.

Pentair Aqualuminator Aboveground...
Pentair Aqualuminator Aboveground...
  • Pool light that can double as your above-ground...
  • Includes light and water return fitting, 1 blue...
  • Fits most above-ground pools

This thing replaces the original return line fitting on your above ground pool, the same one that your filter uses. It’s pretty straightforward with no cutting or modding involved, and it works well.

Fixtureless Pool Lights (Floaters)

Floating pool lights, or “floaters”, work with inground, semi-inground and above ground pools, as they sit freely on the surface of the water.

Unlike most other pool lights, they don’t rely on fixtures and are generally complementary to a more permanent lighting solution.

The vast majority of floating lights you come across will be LED lights, however, they aren’t nearly as bright due to their cordless nature. Instead, they give off more of a glow for aesthetic effect.

Some are purely battery-powered, meaning they need to be recharged for continued use. You can get anywhere from a few hours to a few days depending on brands, size, brightness and daily use.

LOFTEK Floating Pool Light with...
LOFTEK Floating Pool Light with...
  • [Very important]: After receiving the items from...
  • [Multi-purpose & Gift]: Provide fun accessories...
  • [Max 164FTRemote Range by Powerful Remote RF ]:...

Others are solar-powered, meaning they use the sun’s rays to charge themselves during the day, so they can be used at night without any additional power.

Many solar floaters will hold enough charge to make it through the night.

Esuper Floating Ball Pool Light...
Esuper Floating Ball Pool Light...
  • ¡¾ Solar Powered Rechargeable¡¿ : 100% solar...
  • ¡¾Inflatable & Floatable¡¿:Our floating solar...
  • ¡¾IP68 Waterproof & Weather Resistance¡¿:...

What You Need To Consider

Now let’s talk about the most important aspects and features to consider when it comes to choosing lights for your swimming pool.

Does The Color Of The Light Matter?

Well, it depends.

Some pool lights only emit white light for a classic warming effect. This works great if you want something simple or your focus is mostly on safety, but it doesn’t give you much room when it comes to mood lighting.

Many LED pool lights (the type we recommend) can output various colors such as blue, green, red, and everything in between – including white, so it makes sense to get a light that leaves all options on the table.

After all, being able to change colors or dim the lights can really add an extra dimension to night swimming.

It’s also no secret that you can achieve some seriously stunning visual effects and water colors with the right tone of light, especially when paired with different pool finishes and plaster colors.

Do You Need A Remote Control?

It’s a good idea, yes.

Many pool lights will come with a remote control to adjust the color and brightness settings wirelessly, and some even allow you to use a smartphone app.

While a remote isn’t an essential accessory for every type of pool light, the convenience factor is real and it’s certainly worth going the extra mile to get a light that comes bundled with a remote control.

Just check before buying that the remote uses radio frequency (RF) instead of infrared (IR) because the range and effectiveness is much higher with the former.

The only downside to remote controlled pool lights is that some can only be turned on and controlled with the included remote, so losing it can render your lights useless until a replacement is found.

Should You Pay Attention To Wattage?

Again, it depends.

For less commonly used types of pool lights, like halogen lights, you can get a pretty accurate gauge on the potential brightness by looking at the power output (or Wattage) for a particular bulb.

Nowadays, however, with the rise of power-efficient LED bulbs, Wattage isn’t nearly as reliable for understanding brightness. Instead, a better way to measure brightness is by looking at Lumens — which is the direct measurement of light output.

So if you need to light up a large pool, large area of your pool, or you have a dark interior finish that absorbs more light, you’ll want a bulb with a higher Lumen output even if that means higher Wattage and more power consumption.

On the other hand, if efficiency is important to drive down your running costs, the best way to approach this is to find a bulb with minimal power usage (Watts) and the most light output (Lumens).

Do You Care About Attracting Insects?

We all know light attracts insects, so it’s not surprising to learn that swimming pool lights attract insects to your pool.

It’s simple: the brighter your pool lights, the more bugs (and even potentially animals) they will attract.

Of course, that will be of little concern if you’re not using the pool after dark, but it’s a whole different story if you plan on sitting or standing near the pool, especially when hosting gatherings or pool parties.

The best way to counteract this pest problem is to position your lights away from parts of the pool where humans are likely to congregate.

If insects persist, it’s a good idea to check your water chemistry and stay on top of algae growth, as most light-attracted insects feed on algae (not humans). If all else fails, consider a pool enclosure.

Do You Need Lights For Your Landscape?

Many of the surface-mounted lights we’ve covered can even be used for your coping, decking or patio, as well as various other landscaping features.

For example, while technically waterproof, the magnetic LED lights can be pinned to virtually any fixture and operate above-water to the same effect.

GAME 4306-BB Waterproof Magnetic...
GAME 4306-BB Waterproof Magnetic...
  • Color-changing pool wall light: the GAME...
  • Designed for above-ground pools only: this LED...
  • Super-bright LED lights: The GAME magnetic LED...

Or you can get real creative with floating pool lights, sprinkling them around your lawn in various colors. I mean, you don’t even need a swimming pool to make this work, it looks great regardless.

And, of course, if you use the solar-powered versions you’ll never even have to worry about charging them up again.

Esuper Floating Ball Pool Light...
Esuper Floating Ball Pool Light...
  • ¡¾ Solar Powered Rechargeable¡¿ : 100% solar...
  • ¡¾Inflatable & Floatable¡¿:Our floating solar...
  • ¡¾IP68 Waterproof & Weather Resistance¡¿:...

Our Top Pick

36W RGB LED Pool Light Bulb, 120V...
36W RGB LED Pool Light Bulb, 120V...
  • Colorful Color & Memory Color: 7 static modes, 8...
  • Remote Control & Switch Control: No remote...
  • Energy saving & Easy to Use: Replaces up to...
LOFTEK Submersible LED Lights with...
LOFTEK Submersible LED Lights with...
  • [Warranty & Service]: 45 days free return and...
  • [Newest Submersible Lights with Magnets and...
  • [MAX 200FT/61M RF Remote Range]: LOFTEK underwater...

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