Pool Lighting Tips
Get tips on adding the right lighting in and around your pool.
Adding lighting to your pool and its surroundings will allow you to use the pool and your outdoor living spaces at night. It is also a safety measure so you can see where you are walking when the sun goes down.
Recessed Lounge Area
Giving those who want to stay dry an option is always a nice idea. This unique pool features a recessed seating area "inside" the pool so everyone can enjoy the pool together. Design by Pool Builders Inc.; photo courtesy of Digital Wave Productions
If you want a pool with personality, go for an unexpected shape. This unique pool by Emerald Pools and Spas, Inc. was created for a homeowner who plays and collects bass guitars. Photo courtesy of The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals
Evening ambiance was the design goal for this pool and spa by Alderete Pools. Pentair LED multicolored lights enhance the nighttime feel and the attached patio features a full stone fireplace. Photography by Andy Abrecht
Be inspired by nature when you design your pool. A natural rock waterfall and an elevated pedestal spa are at the opposite ends of this lagoon-style pool by Pool Builders Inc. Photo courtesy of Digital Wave Productions
Perk Up Your Plant Life
This pool was designed to flow from the house to the open pool area surrounded by lush landscaping. The right plantings can add both shade and intimacy for a pool. Photo courtesy of Neptune Pools Inc.
This four-sided zero-edge pool and spa by Alderete Pools makes a dramatic statement. Specially selected glass tiles surround the entire raised exterior of the pool to enhance the visual effects of the zero-edge design. Photography by Andy Abrecht
The curved ends and low-maintenance deck that surrounds this long and linear pool add visual interest to the pool area. Combining straight with curved lines provides a balanced look. Photo courtesy of TREX
You can create an elegant but natural look with the right features. This pool and spa combination by Alderete Pools includes an attached large koi pond and stacked-stone spa dam wall. Photography by Andy Abrecht
This glamorous pool and spa by Alderete Pools has the features that turn a backyard into a resort. A custom-built gazebo with built-in BBQ, sink, refrigerator and a granite-topped bar and seating are the extras that turn the pool area into an oasis. Photography by Andy Abrecht
This classic negative-edge pool by Pool Environments allows the homeowners to enjoy stunning views. The curved negative edge spans across the entire back of the pool. Photo courtesy of The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals
Lighting in your pool
In-ground pools use to have one or two large lights embedded into the wall that light up the water for nighttime swimming, one in the deep end and one in the shallow end of the pool. Above-ground pools get a spot or floodlight mounted to a tree or on the house. While those built-in lights are still popular, there have been significant changes to pool lighting over the years.
Now it's all about LED lighting systems that can transform your pool into an aquatic experience. "You can have customized lighting packages spread around the pool that offer different colors and can be programmed with reflective qualities that don't shine in your face," says Tom Mortland, pool division manager, Liquidscape.
LED lights are installed under the coping or in pipes embedded in the walls. "They give off a soft glow that washes over the water," says Bill Bocken, Bill Bocken Architecture and Interior Design. "You can even have a computerized color wheel that changes colors throughout the night. Think red for Valentine's Day or blue for a martini party," he says. There are also fiber-optic lighting options that can create a starry night-like effect as well.
Lighting around your pool
Low-voltage lighting that saves energy and softly lights up your yard is still the best way to enhance your outdoor living spaces. Strategically placed lights that shine into the branches of trees gives them a sculptural quality. Soft but effective light splashing on the pathways leading to your pool, on steps and near your patio will allow you to safely maneuver around your yard without tripping over things such as planter boxes, shrubs and furniture.
Aside from the safety issue, outdoor landscape lighting will create an atmosphere that will draw you outside so you'll want to spend time out there at night, says Joanne Kostecky, APLD and president, Garden Design, Inc. "You’ll feel more secure, plus you'll be able to see what's out there."
A well-lit yard is enjoyable to look at from inside the house and makes it look better overall. Consider lighting specimen plantings, pergolas, pathways, patios and decks when you plan your outdoor lighting. Low-voltage lighting is easy to install yourself since it comes in kits that can be added to later on as you continue to develop your outdoor living spaces.