50 Shimmering In-Ground Swimming Pool Lighting Ideas and Colors

Here's a photo gallery featuring 50 swimming pool lighting ideas and various colors. The pool lights make the backyard spectacular at night. Check it out.

The one thing that makes a backyard shine more than a swimming pool in the sun is a swimming pool nicely lit up at night.

The effect of swimming pool lights at night is stunning and makes the backyard a spectacle at night as well as during the day.

The lights reflect and rise up illuminating the entire space around a pool. It’s amazing.

This gallery showcases a huge variety of different swimming pool light ideas, designs and colors. While most are white light, we include some interesting colored lighting examples.

Photo Gallery

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Take the lighting one step further

When you check out the gallery above, you’ll notice the pools at night that make the biggest impact are those with additional lighting surrounding the pool, whether outdoor wall lights, post lights, garden lighting, fire pits, up-lights, down-lights and other outdoor lighting. This creates a nighttime oasis.

Integrate all backyard lighting

In some ways, your backyard lighting choices can make or break your pool investment, at least for nighttime use. There are so many different outdoor lights and a good number of pool lights (see below) that it’s important to plan it all out carefully so your overall backyard illumination works together.

Types of Pool Lights

When it comes to lights for your pool, there aren’t a whole lot to choose from, unlike general outdoor lighting, of which there are many, many options.

There are 5 types of pool lights:

  • Flush mounted: these are flush against the side of the pool.
  • Surface: Mounted on pool side of the pool (underwater), but protrudes a bit from surface). Here’s an example:

Surface mounted swimming pool light.

  • Feature lights: An example is lights behind a pool waterfall,
  • Flood lights outside the pool shining on the pool, and
  • Floating Lights.  See an example:
Floating pool lights
Floating pool lights

4 types of pool bulbs:

  1. LED,
  2. Halogen,
  3. Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFB), and
  4. Fiber optic pool lights

Read this excellent pool bulb article to learn the differences among LED, halogen and CFB.

Color lights

These days, you’re not stuck with white. You can get different colored lights which can make for quite an effect. There are several examples in the gallery above of the effect of colored lights in the pool.

Here’s an example of what colored pool lights look like up close:

Here’s an example of a pool with colored lights:

Source: Blue Haven Pools & Spas

Actually, often it’s just the hot tub that uses colored lights to distinguish it from the pool.

How many lights do you need?

The number of lights will vary according to your pool size and shape.

One formula you can use is as follows:

5.4 watts of light per square meter. That’s pretty easy. I didn’t come up with that. I have to thank for that simple formula.

However, if your pool has a shape with nooks and crannies, you may need extra lights to ensure it’s evenly lit throughout.

On the other hand, you don’t want to over-illuminate your pool and yard. That could be pretty distracting… creating a prison-yard effect during an escape.

Over-illuminating your pool is like over-whitening your teeth… which reminds me of the Friends TV show where Ross went way overboard with the teeth whitening to such a degree that his teeth were glowing. It’s hilarious. Here’s a clip:

Video of Ross Over-Whitening His Teeth

You don’t want to do the same with your pool lighting.

It ain’t easy finalizing the details

I think the best thing to do when planning your pool is to get it designed by professionals who can explain all of the technical lighting in much more detail. Hopefully they’ve built many pools and can show you your options so you make the right choice for your yard.

Related: 15 Outdoor lighting ideas | Hanging lights for the outside | Outside wall-mounted lights | 75 landscape lighting ideas

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