Buying Guide for Pool Lights
Why buy pool lights?
There are both aesthetic and practical reasons to invest in a nice set of lights for your pool. You can find the perfect color and shape to complement your party theme or backyard decor, and flashing, dimmable, or pulsing lights can add to the overall appearance and atmosphere. Beyond aesthetic purposes, the right pool lights can be a great safety tool, especially ones that permanently attach to your pool’s walls. They allow you to illuminate the pool even after dark, a worthwhile feature, particularly if your porch doesn’t have any lighting or you have kids or pets that like to swim. At nighttime, an illuminated pool will help keep your guests safe and allow you to more easily find any belongings that are dropped into the water by mistake.
What should you look for in pool lights?
- Type: Opt for floating or submersible lights if you’re after pool lights that are more aesthetically pleasing. Floating lights will float on the pool water surface and are the most likely type of lights to come in a unique shape, like flowers or hearts, to make them more decorative. Submersible lights will sit mostly or entirely below the surface to light up the water from underneath. Flush-mounted lights, on the other hand, are waterproof lightbulbs that screw into light fixtures along the sides of the pool under the water to help illuminate the entire pool. Before buying these, make sure your pool already has fixtures for lights and that the lightbulb will fit those fixtures. If you want more permanent lighting for your pool but yours doesn’t have built-in flush-mounted lights, surface-mounted underwater lights also serve the same purpose but can be added at any time.
- LED vs. Halogen: LED or halogen bulbs are two of the most popular choices for pool lights. LED lights are generally affordable, energy-efficient, and have long lifespans, so they won’t need replacing as often as many other kinds of bulbs. Many come with bonus features like sensors as well. Halogen lights are durable, bright, and energy-efficient, though they’re much more expensive on average.
- Quantity: For flushed-mounted lights, you must count the number of light fixtures attached to your pool walls. Otherwise, you’ll need to consider a few factors when picking the right number of lights for your pool. A larger pool will need more lights than a smaller one. You’ll also want a higher quantity of lights if you don’t have any other or minimal sources of ambient light from elsewhere in the yard. You may want to add extra lights around the stairs or other focal points worth highlighting. For floating and submersible lights, you’ll want to consider the brightness and size of the lights.
Are there any extra features worth looking for in pool lights?
Beyond classic bright white or warm yellow lights, pool lights come in various shades of colors like green, blue, red, yellow, purple, and pink. There are also plenty of rainbow-colored options that can be adjusted or programmed to rotate between different colors and hues. Many of these multicolored lights also come with various brightness settings. They can be dimmed, programmed to twinkle, flash, pulse, etc. Some specialty floating pool lights also come with built-in waterproof speakers that allow you to connect them to your home Wi-Fi to play music.
Our Picks for the Best Pool Lights
Creatrek Submersible LED Pool Lights
Bright, colorful, affordable, and submersible LED pool lights.
Pros: These pool lights will add illumination and color under your pool’s water with almost zero effort on your end. All you have to do is pop in the three AAA batteries (not included), press the “on” button of the remote control, and slide them underneath the water. There are 16 different colors, 10 dimmable options, and four different lighting modes. Changing between colors and modes is easy with the marked remote control. These lights are much less expensive than fixture lights for pools, especially since you receive four lights and four remote controls for a nice low price. If four lights are more than you need, packs of one to three lights are also available. When not in the pool, you can also use these lights in hot tubs, fountains, Jack-‘o-lanterns, vases, etc.
Cons: You will likely find that these lights use their AAA batteries quickly, so they’ll need replacing fairly frequently. When placed in deeper waters, the remotes’ signals may have trouble reaching the lights.
Bottom Line: Lights illuminating your pool underneath the water’s surface are practical and pretty, but if your pool doesn’t come with fixtures along the sides, they’re a huge hassle to install. These fully submersible lights allow you to light up your pool underwater with minimal effort and cost on your end.
Esuper Inflatable Floating Pool Lights
These large, inflatable pool lights can be charged during the day and then float around, lighting up the surface of your pool at night.
Pros: If you’re in the market for pool lights that float on the water rather than sinking below, these large light-up globes are sure to catch the eye. They’ll float and gently drift along your pool’s surface, automatically changing colors as they do so. Despite being inflatable, they’re not nearly as delicate as you might think; the vinyl material is durable, waterproof, and weather-resistant. The inflation process is straightforward too. Even a small hand pump will get the job done quickly and efficiently. Unlike most pool lights, these are solar rather than battery-powered, so you’ll never have to buy or replace batteries for them to light up. The small hanging loop at the top also allows them to double as decorations for other outdoor or indoor events, not just the pool. If the 14-inch size (when fully inflated) is too big for your liking, these lights can also be purchased in a smaller size.
Cons: These pool lights need to be charged in sunlight to work, and charging is quite a long process—it’ll take six or seven hours before they’ll light up. There aren’t any buttons or remote control to allow you to turn them on and off or alter the color or brightness settings.
Bottom Line: Colorful and inflatable, these spherical floating lights will add modern flair to any pool. They’re great for ambiance, whether you and your guests enjoy a night swim or your family is dining poolside.
Blufree Pool Bluetooth Speakers with Colorful Lights
These floating pool lights also double as a Bluetooth speaker for music, giving you a better bang for your buck.
Pros: This isn’t just a floating pool light—it’s a pool light and a speaker in one. The multicolored rainbow light sits below the water as the device floats on the surface, illuminating the entire pool while the top half plays and projects music. It has Bluetooth and wireless connectivity that is compatible with any Bluetooth-friendly device, so you can easily access your playlists on your iPhone, tablet, and more. In addition to the changing colors, the below-surface light can flash slowly or quickly. The light and speaker functions are controlled on the easy-to-read and access control panel on top of the device. Although it requires a battery, this model includes a USB-rechargeable battery, so you’ll never have to spend extra money constantly replacing the batteries.
Cons: Splashing or submersion may cause water droplets to collect on the holes around this light’s speaker. The speaker is waterproof, so it shouldn’t take any damage, but it may adversely affect the sound and volume.
Bottom Line: Why spend extra money buying pool lights and a waterproof speaker when you can get both in one handy, portable device? This little floating model provides underwater light and a way to play your favorite music in the pool.
Rukars Solar Floating Flamingo Pool Lights
These cute, flamingo-shaped floating pool lights will add an extra decorative touch to parties and other get-togethers.
Pros: Floating pool lights are often used for decoration, and these floating flamingo lights will make a delightful addition to any pool party. With their adorable appearance and captivating pink glow at night, they create a fun and playful atmosphere that both children and adults alike will enjoy. Their size, appearance, and ability to move and bob in the water create a surprisingly realistic effect. Even with their cute appearance, these flamingos have shown resilience to various weather conditions, remaining intact and functional even during storms and hurricanes. As a bonus, since these lights are solar-powered, you can leave them out all day during the daylight hours to charge so you get their full brilliance at night.
Cons: Though these pool lights are surprisingly durable, you may experience issues with air leakage or the stem not staying in place. The brightness of the lights may not meet everyone’s expectations, particularly when compared to product pictures or after a few weeks of use. Additionally, the flamingos have been described as smaller than anticipated, which may be a consideration for customers seeking larger pool decorations.
Bottom Line: These flamingo-shaped floating lights are the perfect accent pieces for any pool, hot tub, pond, or fountain. No matter what sort of party you choose to use them to decorate for, they’ll add a cute, whimsical touch to any event or environment.
Life-Bulb LED Color Pool Light Bulb
Light up your pool in color underneath the water with this bright, luminous bulb.
Pros: In the market for a built-in light for your pool? You can’t go wrong with this colorful LED pool lightbulb. It’s incredibly bright, so much so that only a single bulb should light up most, if not the entire, pool by itself. It can showcase seven possible colors, from classic white to multicolored rainbow hues, and plenty in between. There are also 12 different modes; both colors and modes can be changed or rotated with the handy remote control. The remote control has a waterproof case to keep it safe and secure when not in use.
Cons: As is often the case with bulbs rather than battery-powered pool lights, this model is much more expensive. If you install it in the deep end of the pool or water deeper than 3 feet, you’ll likely face issues with the remote’s signal reaching it properly.
Bottom Line: If you have light fixtures attached to your pool or are installing a pool that will have them, you can’t go wrong with this LED pool lightbulb. Whether you’re putting in lights for the first time or looking to jazz up your old lights, this powerful and colorful bulb will make your pool safer and snazzier.
Though not a strict necessity for pool owners, there are quite a few practical and decorative benefits to investing in a set of lights for your pool. Whether you want to illuminate your entire pool or add some mood lighting for when you have guests over, they’ll make your pool both safer and more beautiful.