How to Choose LED Swimming Pool Lights: The Definitive Guide

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The search for the perfect LED swimming pool lights can seem daunting, given the vast array of options. However, by focusing on the most critical factors to consider when choosing pool lights, you can significantly simplify the process and find the ideal solution for your needs. However, before delving into the specifics of purchasing swimming pool lights and identifying the best options, let’s revisit the main reasons for investing in pool lights.

This guide is a definitive resource on choosing pool lights that suit your needs and preferences. We’ll explore the different factors to consider when selecting LED pool lights, including brightness, color options, control options, and installation requirements, and highlight some of the top products on the market. In addition, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to make an informed decision and select LED pool lights that enhance your pool experience after reading the blog.

Table of Contents

What Are LED Pool Lights?

LED swimming pool lights are an underwater lighting solution specifically designed for use in swimming pools. They utilize light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as their light source, offering several advantages over traditional incandescent or halogen pool lights. LEDs are energy-efficient, have a longer lifespan, and offer a broader range of color and design options.

These pool lights are designed to be waterproof and safe for use in wet environments. They can be installed in various locations within the pool, such as on the walls, floor, or the water’s surface. LED swimming pool lights provide ample illumination for swimming, enhance safety, and create an inviting and visually appealing atmosphere in the pool area.

swimming pool light

Advantages of LED Swimming Pool Lights

Before deciding on LED pool lights, it’s important to remember the various benefits they offer. By choosing LED lights for your pool, you’ll experience a combination of advantages associated with traditional pool lighting and the distinct attributes of LED technology. Numerous compelling reasons make LED lights an excellent choice for your swimming pool if you still need to install them.

Energy Efficiency

LED lights consume significantly less energy than incandescent or halogen lights, reducing energy bills and creating a smaller environmental footprint. As a result, they can produce more light per watt, making them a more efficient choice for pool lighting.

To better understand the efficiency of LEDs, comparing their performance with incandescent lights is helpful. For instance, an LED light consuming around 40 watts can produce the same amount of light as an incandescent bulb that requires 300 to 500 watts. This illustrates the remarkable energy-saving potential of LED technology compared to traditional lighting options.

Longer Lifespan

LED pool lights have a much longer lifespan than traditional ones, lasting up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. This means fewer replacements and reduced maintenance costs over time, making them a more cost-effective option in the long run.

LEDs not only provide energy savings but also offer cost benefits due to their longevity. Many LED lights last over 50,000 hours, some lasting a decade or more. As a result, they require less frequent replacement than other types of pool lights, leading to lower annual fixture costs. This extended lifespan further enhances the value of investing in LED pool lighting.

The longevity of LED swimming pool lights offers added convenience for pool owners. Replacing lights can be a nuisance, especially in swimming pools where water draining is often required before replacing the bulbs. Draining the pool is tedious, time-consuming, and crucial from a safety perspective. With the extended lifespan of LED lights, you’ll have fewer instances where you need to drain your pool for light replacement, making their long-lasting nature a practical advantage.

Reduced the Cost of Maintenance

LED swimming pool lights contribute to reduced maintenance costs for pool owners. Their extended lifespan means they must be replaced less frequently than traditional incandescent or halogen lights. As a result, you’ll save on the costs of purchasing new lights and the labor and time associated with replacing them. Additionally, because LEDs generate less heat and are more energy-efficient, they are less likely to cause damage to surrounding fixtures and components, further lowering overall maintenance expenses.

More Safety

LED swimming pool lights provide enhanced safety for swimmers and other pool users. Their bright and consistent illumination improves visibility in and around the pool, helping prevent accidents and potential hazards. The increased clarity provided by LED lights allows for easier monitoring of the pool area, particularly during nighttime, ensuring that swimmers can see and avoid obstacles.

Additionally, LED lights generate less heat than traditional incandescent or halogen bulbs, reducing the risk of burns or injuries related to overheating. Furthermore, LEDs are more resistant to shattering, making them safer for pool environments where water and glass can pose serious hazards.

Versatility in Color and Design

When choosing LED pool lights, you’ll soon discover they come in various colors and color temperatures. This added versatility allows you to select lights that complement your existing landscape or create a specific ambiance to suit your preferences. With the ability to choose from various hues and tones, LED pool lights enable you to customize your pool lighting to achieve the desired atmosphere and seamlessly integrate with your outdoor space.

LED swimming pool lights offer unparalleled versatility in color and design, allowing you to create a unique and visually appealing pool environment. Some of how LED lights enhance the aesthetics of your pool include:

  1. Color-Changing Capabilities: Many LED pool lights feature color-changing options, enabling you to choose from various colors and create dynamic lighting effects. You can easily adjust the lighting to match your mood, complement a theme, or set the ambiance for a special event.
  2. Customizable Light Shows: Some LED pool lights come with programmable features and pre-set modes, which allow you to create stunning light shows and visual displays. These features can add a touch of sophistication and entertainment to your pool area.
  3. Design Flexibility: LED lights are available in various sizes, shapes, and styles, providing you with the flexibility to select the perfect design for your pool. Whether you prefer sleek and modern fixtures or classic and timeless designs, LED lights can accommodate your preferences.
  4. Even Light Distribution: LED pool lights can provide a more uniform and consistent illumination level than traditional lighting options. This helps to create a balanced and harmonious atmosphere in your pool area.
  5. Integration with Smart Home Systems: LED pool lights can often be integrated with intelligent home systems, allowing you to control your pool lighting remotely or through voice commands. This level of control adds a layer of convenience and customization to your pool lighting experience.

Generates Less Heat

For those accustomed to traditional light bulbs, it’s common to expect them to become hot after prolonged use. However, this is not a concern with LED lights, as they produce significantly less heat. This feature helps prevent accidental burns from touching a hot bulb while swimming and ensures that the bulbs don’t inadvertently increase the water temperature beyond your desired level.

Better Qualited Light

Opting for LED lights in your pool over halogens or fluorescents will improve light quality. You’ll experience less flickering and enjoy a more consistent light output. The gentle illumination is superior, and LEDs power on more rapidly compared to incandescent lights. Unlike incandescent lamps, which have a slight delay before reaching full brightness, LEDs instantly achieve their full intensity.

When Using the Pool at Night

A prominent advantage of installing LED pool lights is that they significantly improve the safety and convenience of using your pool at night. When combined with other outdoor lighting features, such as garden lights or in-ground path lights, the overall illumination of your pool area is enhanced.

This increased versatility allows you to make the most of your pool during the evening, whether hosting a nighttime gathering, indulging in a late-night swim after work, or simply enjoying a peaceful dip under the stars. With LED pool lights, you can fully experience and appreciate your pool space, regardless of how dark it gets outside.

Choice of Control Device

LED pool lights come in various control options to suit your preferences. For example, you can opt for a simple switch to turn them on and off, select a system that integrates with a smartphone app for added convenience, or choose a solution with a built-in timer for automatic operation. These diverse control options provide flexibility and ease of use, catering to your needs and requirements.

Choice of Different Types

You can access various styles and designs when selecting LED pool lights, even when restricting yourself to LEDs. While most LED pool lights are available as spotlights or recessed lights, other alternatives exist. This diversity in styles allows you to choose a lighting solution that meets your functional requirements and complements your aesthetic preferences and overall design vision for your pool area.

  1. Surface-mounted LEDs: LED lights installed on the pool’s surface or surrounding areas. They are easy to install and are available in various sizes and shapes, making them a versatile option for any pool design.
  2. Flush-mounted LEDs: These LED lights are installed into the pool wall, creating a seamless and sleek look. They are available in various colors, shapes, and sizes, allowing you to customize the lighting scheme to match your pool’s design.
  3. Floating LEDs: As the name suggests, these are LED lights that float on the pool’s surface. They are easy to install, versatile, and often come with various color-changing options, making them ideal for creating a fun and vibrant pool atmosphere.

Assessing Your Pool Lighting Needs

A. Consider the Size and Shape of Your Pool: The size and shape of your pool are significant factors to consider when determining your lighting needs. A larger pool will require more lights to provide sufficient illumination.

B. Consider the Depth and Water Features: The depth and features of your pool are also important considerations. For example, if your pool has a deep end, you may need additional lights to illuminate that area adequately. Similarly, if your pool has water features such as fountains or waterfalls, add lights to highlight those features.

C. Evaluate the Existing Lighting System: If your pool already has a lighting system, evaluate its effectiveness and see if any upgrades or replacements are necessary. Assess whether the current lighting provides enough illumination and enhances safety.

D. Determine Your Desired Ambiance and Purpose: Think about the ambiance you want to create in your pool area. Do you want a calming, relaxing, lively, and vibrant atmosphere? The purpose of your pool will also impact your lighting needs. For example, if you plan to use your pool for nighttime swimming or entertaining, you must ensure sufficient lighting to accommodate those activities.

How to Choose the Right LED Swimming Pool Lights?

Now that you understand the advantages and types of LED pool lights, how do you choose the right ones for your pool? To help you make an informed decision, we’ve highlighted the most critical factors to consider when selecting LED swimming pool lights.

Types of LED Pool Light

When selecting LED pool lights, deciding which type of fixture best suits your needs is essential. The most common options are fixed lights, typically recessed or surface-mounted, or spotlights, which are mounted on a swivel base and offer directional lighting. After knowing the advantages and disadvantages of each type, you can choose the LED pool lights that best meet your lighting preferences and pool design.

Ultimately, choosing between installed and spotlighting LED pool lights comes down to personal preference. Spotlights may be better if you prefer greater versatility and more concentrated lighting. However, recessed lights may be the better choice if you prioritize safety and want to avoid obstacles or potential injuries in the pool. For example, consider your lighting needs and design preferences to determine which type of LED pool lights will best enhance your pool experience.

Replacement or New Install

You’ll have more options when installing LED pool lights in a new pool than with an existing pool. For example, many people prefer to install only recessed pool lights in new collections to avoid the need to carve out areas for new lights and wiring, which can make the installation process more complicated. Considering your lighting needs and planning during the pool design phase, you can ensure that your LED pool lights are seamlessly integrated into your new pool and provide the desired illumination.

If you’re installing LED pool lights in an existing pool, expect the installation process to be more complex than a new collection. Nevertheless, installing LED pool lights in an existing pool is still possible. However, it’s crucial to budget more for installation and consult an experienced electrician or lighting designer to ensure your vision is feasible before purchasing. With proper planning and execution, you can successfully add LED pool lights to your existing pool and create the desired lighting effect.

Calculate How Many Pool Lights Need

Once you’ve determined which type of LED pool lights you want, the next step is to determine how many lights you’ll need. The number of lights required will depend on the size of your pool and how well-lit you want it to be. It will also depend on the amount of surrounding lighting.

For instance, if you have floodlights nearby that illuminate your landscape, one or two LED pool lights may be sufficient. However, if you only have some wall washers several meters away, you may need to install more lights in your pool to achieve the desired lighting effect. By considering these factors, you can determine the appropriate number of LED pool lights to install for optimal illumination.

There are other options if you have limited surrounding lighting in your pool area and want to install only a few LED pool lights. For example, you can install more outdoor lighting around your landscape or opt for inground or garden lights to provide additional illumination. These alternatives can help enhance the pool experience while reducing the required LED pool lights and balancing functionality and aesthetics.

When determining the number of LED pool lights required, it’s essential to consider the shape of your pool. For instance, a circular pool may only need a single light at the center, while an L-shaped pool may require one light in each branch of the “L” to ensure adequate illumination. As you plan the installation, ensure that every corner of the pool is well-lit to optimize safety and enhance the overall pool experience.

When installing LED pool lights, it’s generally better to install fewer lights than too many. Installing too many lights can be complicated and expensive regarding upfront costs and ongoing expenses such as the electric bill. Additionally, an overabundance of lighting can make the pool area appear too bright and detract from the overall ambiance. As a result, it’s essential to carefully consider your lighting needs and budget when determining the appropriate number of LED pool lights to install.

IP Waterproof Rating for Pool Lights

While most underwater lights may perform well in a pool, it’s essential not to assume that a pond or fountain light will work in a pool. Several critical differences, such as the pool’s chemicals and depth, come into play. For example, pool lights are typically placed further underwater than those in fountains, making them more susceptible to additional water pressure.

Moreover, pools contain chemicals like chlorine that can damage certain types of lights. As a result, it’s crucial to choose LED pool lights specifically designed for use in pools and capable of withstanding the unique conditions and chemicals found in pool environments.

Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid potential issues when selecting LED pool lights. Instead, confirm with the seller that your chosen lights suit pool lighting. Additionally, look for a waterproof rating of at least IP68. Ideally, verifying the light’s compatibility with pool use through reviews or tests would be best to avoid falling victim to misleading claims by less reputable retailers seeking to make a sale. Taking these precautions ensures that the LED pool lights you choose are safe, effective, and compatible with your pool’s unique conditions.

Selecting the Appropriate Brightness

When choosing LED pool lights, it’s important to consider the appropriate brightness. One way to measure brightness is by lumens, which measure the amount of visible light emitted by the light source. Another way to measure brightness is by watts, which count the energy the light source uses.

It’s important to note that more watts don’t necessarily mean more brightness. LED lights use less energy (watts) than traditional pool lights while emitting the same or more significant amount of light (lumens). So when selecting a LED pool light, it’s better to focus on the lumens rather than the watts.

Brightness is also important for pool safety. Adequate lighting ensures swimmers can see the pool’s edges, steps, and obstacles, which helps prevent accidents and injuries. Proper lighting around the pool area can also help deter unauthorized access and improve overall security.

Picking the Right Color and Design

Choosing between single and multi-color lights would be best when selecting LED pool lights. Single-color lights are available in various shades of white, ranging from warm to cool white. On the other hand, multi-color lights can produce an array of colors, which can be programmed and changed using a remote or a smartphone app.

While single-color lights are more straightforward and may suit those who prefer a more classic look, multi-color lights offer versatility and a fun ambiance for pool parties or special occasions.

Another option to consider is synchronized lighting systems, which allow you to synchronize your pool lights with other outdoor lighting systems, such as landscape lights, for a more cohesive look. This can create a stunning visual effect, especially at night, and enhance the overall aesthetic of your pool area.

Watts of Pool Lights

Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid potential issues when selecting LED pool lights. Instead, confirm with the seller that your chosen lights suit pool lighting. Additionally, look for a waterproof rating of at least IP68. Ideally, verifying the light’s compatibility with pool use through reviews or tests would be best to avoid falling victim to misleading claims by less reputable retailers seeking to make a sale. Taking these precautions ensures that the LED pool lights you choose are safe, effective, and compatible with your pool’s unique conditions.

Color Temperature Options

If you are unfamiliar with shopping for outdoor lights, you may not know the range of color temperatures available for landscape lighting. Similarly, you will have numerous options when selecting LED pool lights. For example, the color temperature, measured in Kelvin, plays an essential role in determining the overall color of the light, whether it be a bright white, a warm white, or another hue. Therefore, it’s essential to consider your preferences and the desired ambiance when selecting a color temperature for your LED pool lights.

Regarding color temperature, many pool experts recommend avoiding excessively bright and white lights. Instead, it’s typically best to opt for a warmer or more neutral shade that creates a welcoming and less glaring atmosphere for swimmers and those in the pool area. This can help you select LED pool lights that provide the desired illumination and ambiance without being overly bright or distracting.

Controls and Programming

As mentioned, LED swimming pool lights offer various control and programming options. The most suitable choice for you will depend on your personal preferences. For example, some individuals prefer the convenience of manually turning the lights on and off with a switch. In contrast, others may prefer the automation of having the lights turn on and off automatically via a timer. Ultimately, there is no definitive “better” option, as it comes down to individual needs and preferences.

Lighting Fixture Quality

When selecting LED pool lights, it’s essential to consider the overall quality of the fixture. LED lights in a pool will be submerged in water, making repairing or replacing them challenging. Therefore, choosing a higher-quality LED pool light that can withstand regular use and minimize the need for repairs, maintenance, or replacement is essential.

Choosing a high-quality LED pool light is crucial to avoid the severe risk of electrocution. Low-quality lights may have a casing that could break, exposing the wiring to the water in the pool and creating a dangerous electrocution risk. It’s not worth risking your safety, so always opt for a higher-quality fixture to ensure your pool is adequately lit and safe to use.

How to Confirm Lighting Fixture Quality?

Pay attention to the manufacturer and reviews to ensure that you select a high-quality LED pool light. Only choose lights from a manufacturer with certifications and a robust testing process. For instance, Upward Lighting sets an industry standard by subjecting every light to 15 rigorous tests. This approach assures you that the product you choose is of high quality and can withstand the conditions of underwater usage.

A warranty is another important indicator of quality for LED pool lights. For example, a product with a warranty shows that the manufacturer is confident in their product and is willing to back it up in case of any defects or issues.

led pool light replacement

Installation Considerations

A. DIY vs Professional Installation

DIY installation of LED pool lights is an attractive option to save money on labor costs. However, it comes with some potential drawbacks that need to be considered.

Pros of DIY Iinstallation: 

  • Cost-saving: DIY installation can save money on labor costs, as hiring a professional to install the lights is unnecessary.
  • Flexibility: DIY installation allows homeowners to work on schedule and complete the facility at their own pace.

Cons of DIY Installation: 

  • Lack of Experience and Expertise: DIY installation requires electrical wiring and pool maintenance knowledge. Without prior experience, mistakes can be made, which can cause damage to the pool and lighting system or even pose a safety hazard.
  • Time-Consuming: Installing LED pool lights can be time-consuming, especially for those who need experience. This may be a challenge for homeowners with busy schedules.

On the other hand, professional installation of LED pool lights comes with several benefits:

Advantages of Professional Installation: 

  • Expertise and Experience: Professional installers have the knowledge and experience to ensure proper installation of LED pool lights, reducing the risk of mistakes, damage, or safety hazards.
  • Time-Saving: Professional installation is typically faster and more efficient, allowing homeowners to enjoy their pool sooner.
  • Warranty and Guarantees: Professional installation often comes with warranties and guarantees, providing homeowners with peace of mind and protection in case of any issues.

Ultimately, the choice between DIY and professional installation will depend on the homeowner’s skills, knowledge, and willingness to take on the task. Those without prior experience or wanting to ensure a smooth and hassle-free installation may consider hiring a professional.

B. Safety Measures

1. Working with Electricity Near Water:
When installing LED pool lights, safety should be a top priority. Working with electricity near water can be dangerous, so following proper safety precautions is crucial. Turn off the power to the pool area before starting any electrical work. If you’re uncomfortable working with electricity, hiring a professional electrician to install it is best.

2. Proper Grounding:
Another safety consideration when installing LED pool lights is proper grounding. Grounding is important for safety, as it helps to prevent electric shock during a short circuit. Ensure the pool lights are properly grounded, and the grounding wire is connected to a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet.

3. Importance of GFCI Protection:
GFCI protection is also critical for safety when installing LED pool lights. A GFCI outlet detects electrical current leaks and shuts off power if a leak is detected. This can help prevent electric shock and electrocution. All electrical outlets near the pool area should be GFCI protected. If you need clarification on whether your outlets are GFCI protected, contact a licensed electrician to inspect and upgrade your electrical system.

C. Maintenance and Replacement

LED pool lights are a long-term investment, and proper maintenance is critical to keeping them working properly. Here are some maintenance tips to keep your LED pool lights in good shape:

Regular Cleaning: Dirt, debris, and algae can accumulate on your pool lights over time, so it’s important to clean them regularly. Use a soft cloth or a non-abrasive sponge with a mild soap solution to gently clean the lenses and housing.

Check for Leaks: Leaks in your pool lights can cause severe electrical problems and even pose a risk of electrocution. Check the housing and wiring regularly for any signs of water penetration.

Keep an Eye on the Electrical Connections: Ensure the electrical connections to your LED pool lights are secure and corrosion-free.

Regularly Inspect the Bulb: Check the LED bulb regularly to ensure that it’s working correctly and hasn’t burned out.

Use a Timer: Running your pool lights for too long can reduce their lifespan. Use a timer to ensure that you’re only running them when needed.

Signs that your LED pool light needs replacement:

Dim Light: If your pool light is noticeably less bright than it used to be, it may be time to replace it.

Flickering Light: A flickering light can indicate a loose connection or a failing bulb.

Water in the Housing: If you notice moisture inside, it’s a sign of a leak, and the light should be replaced immediately.

DIY vs. Professional Replacement:

If you’re handy and have experience working with electricity, you can replace your LED pool light. However, hiring a professional to handle the replacement is best if you’re uncomfortable working with electrical components. A professional can ensure that the new light is installed correctly and that all electrical connections are secure, reducing the risk of damage or injury. Additionally, a professional installation may be required to maintain the warranty on your LED pool light.

Budget and Cost Considerations

A. Upfront Costs

There are several upfront costs to consider when installing LED pool lights. The first is the lights’ cost, which can vary depending on the type, quality, and brand you choose. Generally, LED pool lights are more expensive than traditional ones, but their energy efficiency and longevity can offset this cost over time.

In addition to the lights’ cost, you must factor in the installation price. While it is possible to install LED pool lights yourself, it is recommended to hire a licensed electrician to ensure proper installation and safety. The installation cost will vary depending on the electrician’s rates and the complexity of the building.

Other equipment and materials may also be needed for the installation, such as junction boxes, conduits, and wire connectors. These additional costs can add up, so factor them into your budget.

B. Operating Costs

Operating costs are a crucial factor to consider when choosing LED pool lights. LED lights are renowned for their energy efficiency and consume significantly less than traditional pool lights, such as incandescent or halogen lights. This results in lower energy bills and reduced environmental impact.

LED lights are also more efficient in producing more light per watt, making them a more cost-effective option in the long run. However, the cost savings of LED lights over traditional lamps can be significant, especially when considering the lifespan of LED lights, which can last more than a decade.

It is important to note that while LED lights may have a higher upfront cost, cost savings over time can make up for the initial investment. Additionally, many utility companies offer rebates for customers who switch to LED lighting, further reducing operating costs.

C. Return on Investment

The Return on Investment (ROI) for LED pool lights can be calculated by comparing the cost of installation and operation to the long-term cost savings and benefits.

Compared to traditional pool lights, LED pool lights provide a higher ROI due to their energy efficiency and longer lifespan.

The cost savings over time in energy bills, maintenance, and replacement costs make LED pool lights a more cost-effective option.


In conclusion, when choosing LED pool lights, you must consider various factors, such as the type of light, the number of lights needed, brightness, color and design, compatibility with your pool infrastructure, safety measures, maintenance, and cost considerations. In addition, investing in high-quality LED pool lighting is important to avoid the risk of electrocution and ensure that the lights last long with minimal need for repairs or replacement.

LED pool lights offer a range of benefits over traditional pool lights, including energy efficiency, longer lifespan, versatility in color and design, and improved safety. In addition, with proper installation and maintenance, LED pool lights can provide an enhanced swimming experience that is safe, enjoyable, and cost-effective in the long run.

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