Inground Pool Lighting Options


No one likes to swim in a dark pool in the evening so light up the pool and everyone will enjoy the backyard so much more. In this blog I am going to discuss the different types of lighting options for new and existing inground pools.

It is a lot easier to install inground pool lights at the time of the installation because you need to have a hole in the pool wall for most pool lights. To install a traditional pool light with the pool niche after the pool is built is much more complicated because you you have to tunnel under the deck, cut a hole into the pool wall, and run the light cord through the conduit to the a junction box outside of the pool deck.

But, there are still options for pools that do not have a light niche, such as using Fiber optic lighting, in strands that can be run along the pool coping, or in small cups that can be wall mounted more easily than a 12" large regular pool light wall niche.

Inground Pool Lighting

Pool lights from Pentair and Hayward are available in both 12v or 120v and you have the option of stainless steel face ring or plastic face ring. I recommend the plastic face ring for anyone that has a salt water chlorine generator on their swimming pool. When using a 12v pool light it requires a 300 watt transformer to step the light voltage down to 12v. When ordering a pool light make sure the cord is long enough so it can be wired to your junction box or power source. If the cord is too short there is no way to add extra length to the cord.

Amerlite incandescent - Pentair Amerlite incandescent light uses an R-40 bulb, similar to a flood light bulb. This is a light that features a stainless steel light housing, with a stainless steel face ring and a tempered glass lens. This light is available in both 120v and 12v with a variety of different wattage: 100w, 300w, 400w, and 500 watt.


LED color lighting - There are several different manufacturers that offer the LED Color Changing pool lights - Jandy, Hayward and Pentair. An LED pool light is much more energy efficient compared to a traditional pool light. The LED Light uses up to 86% less energy than incandescent lights and last up to 10 times longer. Typically with an LED light you can deliver a payback in about 2 years with energy and the maintenance savings. With the LED lights there are also many different options for length of cord typically 30, 50, 100 or 150 ft long. This is the length from the light niche to the junction box, plus about 4 feet.


You can view the LED lights we have available from both Hayward Color Logic and the Pentair Intellibrite 5G White LED light. The Bright White LED pool lamp is great for public pools required to have white lighting, or for someone who just likes a pure white color to the pool. Same options available on the White LED lights as for the Intellibrite 5G Color LED pool lights.

Fiber Optic lighting - There are 2 different styles of fiber optic lighting the in pool lighting and perimeter lighting. For the in pool lighting you install a few gunite, vinyl or fiberglass lens housing for the fiber optic light to go into. The fiber optic pool light is installed into the lens housing and attached to the light is a fiber optic cable the higher the number of strands in the cable the brighter the light will be in your pool. The most popular strand and the brightest would be the 325. Once the in pool fiber optic light is installed in the pool wall you feed the fiber optic cable back through a rigid light conduit. The fiber optic cable is then wired to a light source normally called an illuminator box. Inside the illuminator box there is a color wheel that rotates and gives you the ability to change the light to different colors.


The second type of fiber optic lighting is perimeter lighting, mostly used for decoration and ambient mood lighting. The translucent cable normally is installed under your pool coping of your pool or spa; if you have a double track coping the fiber optic cable would get installed into that track and go around the entire perimeter of the swimming pool. The cable, makes a continuous run all around the entire pool with the cable and makes an exit thru the back of the skimmer. From there is runs to the illuminator box or light source.

Other LED Pool Lights

Oro lights are portable, indoor/outdoor lamps that glow softly with internal LED lights. Use them to decorate your pool, patio or indoor spaces. Powered by rechargeable battery, Oro lights look great floating in the pool, or sitting on the deck or table.

Each light features color-changing lens (red, blue, green and white plus a vibrant color show that automatically fades from one color to another). Oro Lites are UV and water resistant, and come with a remote control.

The Floating LED pool light is powered by a rechargeable battery that gives 12 hours of soft lighting. Float it in your pool, or set it on a table, take it camping, the Floating LED pool light is useful in so many ways.

Easy to use, just charge it up and turn it on. Holds it's charge for several weeks on standby. Rugged design withstands cannonballs and rough waters in the pool.

J & J Electronics Color Splash 3G LED Pool Bulbs

ColorSplash LED bulb

There is another option! Instead of replacing the entire lamp, you can add the color, fun and energy savings of LED pool lighting by simply changing out the bulb in your existing pool light. Now in their 3rd generation, with over 72 LEDs, consuming only 45 watts of energy.

Color Splash bulbs retrofit into a variety of common pool light housings. Available for spa lights and pool lights in 12V and 120V applications, the Color Splash LED bulb will display 5 different light shows, 7 solid colors and multiple blends. There is a Pure White bulb also available, for those commercial pools that are required to use white lighting.

LED pool lighting is here to stay. When you need to replace your pool light, or if you want to just add some vibrancy to your pool after dark, look to LED pool lights. You may never change a light bulb again! If you operated your LED light bulb for 12 hours per day, 7 days a week - it could last 12 years! Saves money, saves maintenance and provides deep, rich color that incandescent bulbs or lens covers just can't duplicate.

LED Pool Lights have:

  • Very low energy consumption
  • Very long LED bulb lifespan
  • Rich, deep and bright colors
  • Programmable light shows
  • Very low maintenance

Pool Deck & Patio Lighting


Small Down lights on steps or walls - If you have retaining walls, or steps as part of your outdoor pool and patio, using down lights on the steps are good for safety, and they also look very cool. Retrofitting down lights can be tricky on solid concrete steps, but if you have wood or stone steps or capstones, wires can usually be hidden easily.

Small Up lights on feature trees - these can be solar powered spotlights, that can be used to illuminate small landscape areas you are especially proud of, statues, water features or sitting areas. Outdoor lighting has really come a long way in recent years, with a lot to choose from.


Pathway lighting - Another good choice for solar powered lights, pathway lights come in a variety of types from vintage and classic to modern. Just stick them in the ground, hide the cord in the dirt, and stick the solar collector in a sunny spot, at one end of the run.

Tiki Torches - This is a very inexpensive way to light up around the pool area and also your backyard. Just be careful that you have nothing flammable near the Tiki torches; that could be very dangerous. It's best to keep the flame height around 6 ft, or above most people's heads.

I hope that this gives you some ideas about how to light up the night - in and around your pool!

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