Pool & Spa
9 Best Pool Lights of 2020
It is good enough to own a swimming pool, but it is even better to have a lit pool that glows when darkness falls. To achieve this, you will need pool lights.
Not only do pool lights make the pool look more beautiful, but they improve the safety level, which is very important if you are hosting a pool party at night.
However, there are many varieties of pool lights and this makes it a little bit difficult to find the most ideal one.
For this reason, we have compiled a list of the best pool lights in the market, with a view of helping you find the most ideal choice for illuminating your pool.
9 Best Pool Lights – Review
1. Intex 28687E (Best Overall)
2. Intex 28690E (Best Budget)
3. Loftek Floating (Best LED)
4. WYZM Color Changing (Best Color Changing)
5. Hayward SP0527SLED50 (Best for Underwater)
6. FlashingBlinkyLights 10856-12 (Best Floating)
7. Smartpool NL35 (Halogen Light)
8. Pentair 78428100 (Incandescent)
9. Bulbwizards Color Changing (Synchronization Capability)
1. Intex 28687E
2. Intex 28690E
3. Loftek Floating
4. WYZM Color Changing
(Best Color Changing)
5. Hayward SP0527SLED50
(Best for Underwater)
6. FlashingBlinkyLights 10856-12
7. Smartpool NL35
8. Pentair 78428100
9. Bulbwizards Color Changing
1. Intex 28687E – Best Overall Pool Light
- Power: 3 watts
- Power Type: Corded electric
Intex’s LED pool wall light is our overall best pool light because it is very energy efficient and it incorporates the use of an innovative magnetic technology to power up the LEDs.
This magnetic technology also enables you to install the bulb, by having inner (containing the bulb) and outer magnetic clips that are placed inside and outside the wall of an aboveground pool respectively. These magnets hook up and suspend the bulb with the wall in-between.
Once connected, the outer clip, which is connected to a power outlet, generates a low voltage that passes through the side walls, then powers the LED light on the inner clip.
However, this voltage transfer cannot happen on metallic walls and therefore, this bulb is not usable on aboveground pools with steel walls. On the bright side, the unit can be fixed anywhere in non-metallic pools and can be easily moved so as to give different lighting effects.
On the downside, the LEDs are in white color only, but they are very bright and require no battery changing every now and then.
2. Intex 28690E – Best Budget Pool Light
- Power Type: 4 AAA batteries
Intex’s floating LED pool light is the most affordable product in this review, but this does not mean it is substandard. It is actually a very smart unit that is designed to conserve battery power as much as possible.
The unit features two lighting modes, which include a static white light and a smooth color change mode. These are easily set at the touch of a button and gives you a convenient floating light that is fun every time you decide to go for a dip.
On battery conservation, since this pool light uses 4 AAA batteries (not included), power is very limited and therefore, the static white light mode has a 2-hour auto shut off feature while the smooth color change mode is automatically switched off after 5 hours.
This is better for your battery and also ends up giving you more service due to the extended LED lifespan.
An important thing to note though is that the unit is only suitable for use in above ground pools that do not exceed 18 feet in width.
3. Loftek Floating Pool Light – Best LED Pool Light
- Power: 2.5 watts
- Power Type: Rechargeable Batteries
Loftek’s floating pool light is the best-LED bulb because it is very versatile in terms of variety and use. The product is available in different shapes, such as cube, ball, raindrop, moon lamp, cactus and egg shape, and comes in different sizes of these shapes.
Each of these varieties is made using an IP 65 rated material, making them water and dust proof. This means that you can use them indoors as part of your décor, or outdoors in your above or in-ground pool, in your garden and even as party décor. Their use is almost limitless.
Construction wise, the light is made using clean acrylic that is free from UV, IR, lead, mercury, and other toxic materials, making it very safe to use.
Other features include very energy efficient, 2.5-watt, 16-color LEDs with 4 lighting modes (flash, strobe, fade and smooth), remote control and a rechargeable 2200mAh battery that can last up to 12 hours on a full charge and takes 4 hours to fully recharge
4. WYZM Color Changing Pool Light – Best Color Changing Pool Light
- Power: 40 watts
- Power Type: Screw base
WYZM’s pool light is an RGB light that incorporates the use of 12-volt, 40-watt LEDs that light up in 11 static colors and 2 vivid colors in show mode, with a max output of 3300 lumens.
That said, the modes include smooth color transition, single color fade, medium color changing and fast color changing. This makes it the best color changing light because it brings your pool to life.
For power connection, this bulb has a screw base, which means that you must have a screw bulb holder in order to attach the two. Once connected, this joint must be placed above the water because it is not waterproof, but the bulb body can be submerged so as to light up from inside.
In terms of size, the unit is a common fit, measuring 6 inches in diameter and 5.5 inches in height, and this means that it can fit in most pool housings.
Other features include an aluminum casing that provides better cooling and a long lifespan due to the use of LED lighting technology.
5. Hayward SP0527SLED50 – Best Underwater Pool Light
- Power Type: Corded Electric
Hayward’s ColorLogic pool light stands out as the best underwater pool light because it is the perfect combination of technology and durability.
On technology, this unit incorporates the use of a patented Chromacore technology, which is married to state-of-the-art LEDs.
This means that you get the unmatched performance of a microprocessor controlling advanced LEDs, leaving you with a wide range of deep and high-intensity colors.
The technology ensures you get 7 breathtaking color-changing shows and 5 fixed colors that can be customized into 101 different colors.
On durability, the bulb has a stainless-steel construction, which includes the face rim, and this makes it possible to install it 4 inches below the waterline or deep in the pool floor without requiring a rock guard.
On the downside, this light is very expensive but you get other additional features such as speed, motion and brightness control as well as a 50 or a 100-foot cord option.
- Power Type: 2 CR2032 Batteries
If you prefer floating pool lights, then FlashingBlinkyLights’ product is the best option to consider. Not only do you get flashing and blinking lights as the name suggests, but the pack comes with 12 orbs, all with LED bulbs inside.
Each of these balls is 3 inches in diameter and is powered using 2 CR2032 batteries to produce 7 steady colors, but can also be set to transition between these colors via a simple button press.
Considering that these batteries are not very powerful, these lights are not very bright and thus, their main purpose is to set the mood or add some beauty to your pool.
With this in mind, you can use them to decorate pool parties, set the ambiance for weddings, light up gardens and make DIY centerpieces among many other uses.
Other features include being waterproof and CPSIA compliant, which assures you of premium quality and safety for your kids.
7. Smartpool NL35 – Halogen Pool Light
- Power: 35 watts
- Power Type: Corded electric
Smartpool’s NiteLighter is a halogen pool light which, in terms of performance, means that you get a bulb that lasts longer, produces a higher color temperature is brighter than an incandescent bulb.
Power is supplied through an extra long cord that includes a 12-volt outdoor pool transformer and a plug to connect to the wall outlet. This transformer ensures that the bulb receives its low voltage requirement so as not to burn it.
Other features include a chemical resistant lens that does not discolor and affect the light output, 35 watts of power consumption and an attractive 4-color retail packaging.
On the downside, this light is not as efficient as LEDs and is designed to produce only a single color.
8. Pentair 78428100 – Incandescent Pool Light
- Power: 300 watts
- Power Type: Corded electric
If you don’t mind having high powered pool lights, then Pentair’s Amerlite underwater bulb is a good option to consider. It has a power rating of 300 watts, which is pretty high, but this is because the bulb inside is incandescent.
The advantage of this, however, is that you get better light diffusion and some form of pool water heating, making the water a bit more comfortable to swim in.
Read More: 10 Best Pool Heaters
As compared to LED, incandescent bulbs have a shorter lifespan and to help with this, the unit features a thermal low water cutoff, which shuts off the bulb when the water level gets low in your pool. This ensures that it does not overheat in the low volume of water.
Construction wise, the unit has a stainless-steel shell and face ring, making it strong and durable enough to handle the pressure underwater. This is topped off by a prismatic tempered lens, which is also very strong.
On the downside, this light is only available in a single color, but there are red, green and blue Snap-on lens cover options that can be bought separately to give you different lighting effects.
9. Bulbwizards Color Changing Pool Light – Pool Light with Synchronization Capability
- Power: 30 watts
- Power Type: Screw base
Bulbwizards’ color changing unit is the top-rated pool light in this review and this is because, apart from having a color changing light show, it goes on further to provide synchronization capability of multiple bulbs on the same electrical circuit.
This basically means that you can have your pool and spa glowing in the same color show, which is very cool.
In terms of numbers, this unit features 202 super bright LEDs that can produce up to 7 different colors (red, yellow, aqua, white, green, blue and purple) and 4 smooth color changing speeds, which include rapid, slow (1 minute), slower (5 minutes) and slowest (20 minutes).
For controls, all these settings are made using the light’s on/off switch, with no remote-control option.
LED Vs. Fiber Optic Pool Light
These two types of pool lighting are very popular and the main difference between them is that LEDs are actually immersed in water while fiber optic lights use a fiber optic cable to transmit light from a dry box to the pool’s waters.
Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages and these can be categorized into the following:
1. Bulb changing
For an LED light, whether it is fixed deep in the water or floating above, you have to get the unit out of the water, change the bulb inside, then put it back in place. This can take a quarter to half an hour
Fiber optic light bulb changing is much faster because the bulb is easier to access since it is located in the dry box. This process can take 5 minutes max.
2. Lighting Components
The usual component for LED lights is a switch and sometimes a transformer. These two can be mounted on a post or a wall that is as close as 10 feet or as far as 100 feet from the pool. You only have to extend the cord length if it is too short.
For fiber optic lights, the fiber optic cable must run from the dry box into the pool. With these cables being very expensive, this box must be placed as close to the pool as possible, even if this presents a design challenge.
LED lights are much cheaper to buy and maintain. One unit will cost about $400-$900 depending on its quality, then last for about 10 years before requiring a $200-$400 bulb replacement.
On the other hand, fiber optic lights can cost $900-$1500 to set up and require a cooling fan because the bulb is located above water. This adds onto its maintenance cost, which also includes a bulb replacement after every 3-7 years that costs $200-$300.
LED lights also win in this category because they are much brighter under water. This is because they are placed directly in the water and thus, light is transmitted directly, which is not the case for fiber optic lights.
Despite being submerged in water, LED lights are very safe. Their electrical connections are sealed watertight and some even feature step down transformers that lower the voltage to a safer 12V.
For fiber optics, there is literally no electrical cable going into the water and thus, no safety issue at all.
How to Buy the Best Pool Light
1. Floating or Underwater Pool Light
Floating pool lights are very easy to install and maintain because a bulb replacement simply requires you to pull the unit out of the water, change the bulb, then drop it back in. However, most of these lights are battery powered and thus, are not very bright.
On the other hand, underwater lights require more maintenance work because they must have perfect seals to keep water out of their bulbs and require some work when replacing the bulbs. On the bright side, they are usually very bright since their power comes from the mains.
Buying Guide: If you don’t need very bright pool lights, say for decoration purposes, then floating lights such as FlashingBlinkyLights' 10856-12 will work for you.
However, if you want to really bring your pool to life by making it glow, buy underwater lights like Hayward's SP0527SLED50.
Compatibility is mostly considered when dealing with underwater lights. Always ensure that the unit you buy can fit in your pool’s light housing for easy installation.
The most common size is 6 inches in diameter and 5.5 inches in height but you must check so that you don’t get an oversized bulb.
3. Brightness and Visual Effects
The main reason for buying pool lights is for brightness and visual effects. Brightness is measured in lumens and the higher the value, the brighter and better the light is.
For visual effects, some lights such as WYZM's color changing pool light are multicolored and feature transitioning effects between these colors that give a very impressive light show.
These are no doubt the best to consider and the more the number of colors and transitioning effects, the better.
Longevity is measured in hours and is usually indicated on the bulb’s packaging.
Generally, LED lights such as Intex's 28687E have a longer lifespan, but they are expensive. However, if you compare the cost per time, LED lights are actually cheaper than incandescent and halogen lights, and are also much more energy efficient.
Incandescent lights like Pentair's 78428100 are the cheapest but last for a very short time due to the amount of heat they produce. Also, they they consume a lot of power and thus, you should expect higher power bills when running them.
The longevity of halogen and fiber optic lights falls somewhere in between these two, with the fiber optic option being second best after LEDs.
5. Ease of Installation
Floating pool lights such as FlashingBlinkyLights' 10856-12 are the easiest to install since they only need to be dropped on the water surface and that’s it.
In fact, almost all of them are battery powered and therefore, no cabling is required. Just ensure the batteries are installed or charged, then set them up.
For underwater lights like Hayward's SP0527SLED50, these must be fixed to either the pool wall or floor and this requires some time and effort.
In the worst-case scenario, you might be forced to drain the pool so as to install them properly. On the bright side, lighting and visual effects are much better off when they come from down there.
If you want to improve your swimming pool’s appearance, pool lights are the way to go. However, as you can see from the pool light review above, there are various types of them and for you to pick the best one, you must understand what the different defining features are.
With that in mind, we recommend Intex's 28687E as the overall best pool light because it is energy efficient and reasonably priced for the features it has.
- LED vs. Fiber Optic: Which Inground Pool Pight is Better? - River Pools
- Battle of the Pool Lights: LED vs. Fiber Optic - Inyopools.com
- 9 Best Pool Lights – Review
- 1. Intex 28687E – Best Overall Pool Light
- 2. Intex 28690E – Best Budget Pool Light
- 3. Loftek Floating Pool Light – Best LED Pool Light
- 4. WYZM Color Changing Pool Light – Best Color Changing Pool Light
- 5. Hayward SP0527SLED50 – Best Underwater Pool Light
- 6. FlashingBlinkyLights 10856-12 – Best Floating Pool Light
- 7. Smartpool NL35 – Halogen Pool Light
- 8. Pentair 78428100 – Incandescent Pool Light
- 9. Bulbwizards Color Changing Pool Light – Pool Light with Synchronization Capability
- LED Vs. Fiber Optic Pool Light
- How to Buy the Best Pool Light