Owning a swimming pool is a ton of fun; you get to swim pretty much anytime you want at your own convenience.  A lot of people who decide to build their own pool often overlook some of the factors that go along with pool construction, and one of those factors is pool lighting.  People don't often consider lighting when thinking about building a pool and setting up an LED pool light system in many cases is just as important as constructing the pool itself.  Pools without lighting are less than stellar at night, and those with adequate lighting systems are truly remarkable when the sun goes down.  

What Is LED Pool Lighting?

LED pool lighting involves the use of LED lights to illuminate a pool and the surrounding areas.  In the past, incandescent bulbs were the go-to lighting solution for swimming pools; however, LED lights have risen in popularity in recent years.  A typical LED pool light consumes less power and lasts longer than an incandescent one, making them an ideal choice to use.  It is a hassle to change lights located at the bottom of a full swimming pool as you would have to drain the pool in order to change it.  The fact that LEDs last so long give them an advantage over other types of bulbs.

Do Pools Need LED Lighting?

A swimming pool without lighting at night tends to feel bare, and this is why an LED pool light setup is crucial if you want to get the most from your pool.  Being able to see the pool, the scenery, and everyone around you enhances the swimming experience and improves the atmosphere.  In addition, lighting is important for safety reasons, because if there is an emergency where someone is drowning, you need to be able to see into the pool in order to rescue them.  And finally, lighting adds a degree of professionalism to your pool that you can feel pride in.

pool lights

10 Ways to Light Your Pool with LED Lighting

There are all kinds of ways you can use LEDs to light up your pool and the surrounding area and add to the environment making it more enjoyable.  Optimally, you would want an entire LED pool light system, but that is not always feasible.  In any case, here are 10 ways you can use lights to spice up your pool area:

Water Lighting

Probably the most basic place you would want to place an LED pool light in your pool area is at the bottom of the pool.  Lights at the bottom of the pool allow the water and everything therein to be seen clearly.  It's a little awkward swimming in a dark pool, and it's rare that an in-ground pool is without some type of lighting system.  The pool is the central attraction of your pool area, and you'll want it to be lit up for everyone to behold.  A pool that remains unlit at night is like a lead actor in a play that doesn't have the spotlight shining on them.  

Water Feature Lighting

Some pools have water features such as waterfalls or waterspouts, and these need some kind of lighting system as well.  If you have a waterfall, you can place a light behind it to help illuminate the falling water, making it seem majestic.  If you have water spouts that spray water into the pool, you can aim lights at the places where the water lands; this highlights the splashes and bubbles that are created.  You can highlight your water features in all kinds of ways to create different effects and make them shine.

Pathway Lighting

Even those without a pool understand the importance of adding lights to pathways in order to help you see where you're going.  You may have pathways around your pool deck, stairs leading in/out of your pool, or a number of other walking areas, and they deserve their own LED pool light setup.  This helps you see where you are going as well as serving as a marker for those specific walking areas.  When guests come over, the lights will create boundaries and let them know exactly where they should and should not walk.

Plant Lighting

A pool is nothing without its scenery, and that's why adding an LED pool light or two to the surrounding features of your pool area is just as important as lighting the pool itself.  One great idea is to use lighting fixtures to illuminate any trees, shrubs, or plants in the area.  With plant lighting, your plants will be visible in both the day and night.  If you've spent a lot of time on your landscaping, it would be a shame for you and any visitors not to have the opportunity to be able to view it.  

Structure Lighting

You may have structures around your pool, and if that is the case, you can add lighting to them for the same reasons you would want to add lighting to your plants.  Columns, statues, and even your home can benefit from uplighting or spotlighting.  You can get creative with how the structures in your pool area are lit up; there are tons of ways you can use lights to draw attention to certain features in your surroundings.  One favorite of pool owners is to add lighting to their pergola or canopy.  Lights that are added to the bottom of their posts really draw attention to the architecture. 

Deck Lighting

Your deck, especially if you have a large one, should not be ignored.  If you don't want dark spots in your pool area, you can add deck lighting, and this will ensure that your entire space is visible.  Pool deck lighting also adds to the mood in the vicinity and creates good vibes when guests come over.  They are super easy to add if you have a wooden deck, but even if it is concrete, you can drill holes to make a space for recessed lighting.  It might take an expert to get the job done, but it's well worth it.


For a surreal moonlight effect, you can add lights that shine from above.  This type of lighting is called "moonlighting," and it creates the illusion that the pool and its inhabitants are receiving light from the moon.  This can be done easily by hanging lights from any tall structures such as trees, roof ledges, or poles.  Angling the lights down and towards the pool adds visibility to the pool and deck, and, if the lights are hung from trees, they will create shadows from the tree branches that are eye-catching.

Undercap Lighting

What's more important than an LED pool light itself is the effect it creates, and this is why undercap lighting is so great.  This type of lighting usually goes underneath a bench or sitting wall points downward, and cannot be seen.  They are hidden lights that give visibility without being too in-your-face and look amazing by the poolside at night.  They require some planning ahead if you want to make the most of them, but if you have a nice place to put them, you'll love them.  

Tiki-Torch Lighting

Tiki-torches make great decorations outdoors; however, having to light them all by hand can prove cumbersome; this is why LED tiki-torches are a preferred choice over traditional ones on a pool deck.  With the flip of a switch, you can have all of them lit up and sparkling around your deck.  LED torches not only serve as a light but are a welcome decoration as well.  They can add spectacle to your pool setup and make the area feel more organic.  You can get them in all different sizes depending on your particular needs, and when placed near trees or shrubs, they will blend right into the scenery.

Lighting Dimmers

It might be the case that you don't always want your LED pool light setup shining at its maximum capacity, and by adding dimmers, you can control the level of light on your deck.  Dimmers can help you set the mood when the time is right. You can dim the lights on a romantic night which will also conserve energy.  Whatever the case may be, dimmers can come in handy and are a cheap, easy addition to your lighting system.  If you've already invested in the lights themselves, you might as well go the extra mile and add dimming capabilities along with them.

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There is a lot to consider when deciding how you will arrange your LED pool light system.  You have a lot of options to choose from, but in the end, that is what makes designing your lighting setup so fun.  You have the creative control to place lights wherever you see fit and achieve different effects based on their placement.  Pool lighting is a worthy investment if you want your pool area to look professional.  It's a choice that will make a big difference in the end and also a choice you won't regret.

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