Lighting Options For Your Inground Pool

Now that you’ve committed to upgrading your home with a new pool, the next question that comes to mind is, how are you going to light up your private backyard paradise? The first step to choosing your lighting is learning the different types that are available, the pros and cons of each, and how easy or costly replacing them would be. In this blog post, we’ll talk about pool lighting options so that you can decide which lighting is best for your needs.

Fiber Optic Lighting

Fiber optic light is created by transmitting light through a “light pipe” of optic fiber. The light can create an “end glow” through a spotlight effect, or it can produce a “side glow’ neon-looking light that is emitted outside the fiber along its length.

With fiber optic pool lights, the bulbs are located in a dry box on the pool patio. Special fittings are installed in the pool walls where light is transmitted through a fiber optic cable. The ends of the cable illuminate the pool. Since the bulbs are easily accessible, fiber optic lighting has its benefits.


  • Bulbs for fiber optic lighting can be changed in less than five minutes since they are in a dry box that is accessible on the patio.
  • Safety concerns are minimal since the electricity isn’t run where it could be exposed to the pool water.
  • Bulbs have a long lifespan, lasting three to seven years.


  • Fiber optic lighting can have a more expensive installation cost than other choices, with installations averaging $900 to $1,500.
  • An electric motor and a fan are needed to cool the bulb and change the light color. These are components that can fail over time and add to maintenance costs.
  • Bulbs can be expensive to replace, costing $200 to $300.
  • Pool design can be more difficult because the fiber cables come in specific lengths, so the dry box must be placed according to those cable sizes.

LED Lighting

LED bulbs are actually submerged in pool water and are secured by housing holes that are carved into the pool design. These bulbs are sealed to be waterproof so that no electricity can come in contact with water, and so that an outside switch can operate the bulb.


  • LED lights can save you up to 75% on energy costs because of durability and their ability to create bright light with less wattage.
  • These lights make it easy for you to add color to your pool.
  • You don’t have to lower the pool water level to change out these lights. The bulb is in a compartment that can be removed and brought above water before changing the bulb.
  • Installation costs are anywhere from $400 to $900, which is more affordable than fiber optic lighting.
  • Bulbs can last seven to fifteen years.


  • LED bulbs can be more difficult to replace since the bulbs are submerged in the side of the pool.
  • Replacement bulbs can cost $200 to $400 to replace

Incandescent Lighting

Incandescent lights are the traditional types of lights that have been used in pools in the past. Electricity flows through a filament in these bulbs to produce light. These bulbs generate heat and can use 100 watts per hour to light your pool, which affects energy costs.


  • Incandescent light is your cheapest option at installation costs.


  • These lights generate heat to illuminate your pool, making them use more energy when your pool lights are on.
  • Since they use more energy, pool, electricity costs are higher.
  • Incandescent light cannot change color, so they can’t add much to your paradise atmosphere.
  • The lifespan of incandescent bulbs is usually a year.
  • Changing these bulbs is more difficult and risky because they are submerged in water. Make sure to turn the power off before changing these bulbs since you and the bulb will be in contact with water.

Choosing Your Lighting

If you plan on entertaining guests with evening parties, pool lights can be key in setting the atmosphere for your event. If you plan to only use your pool during the day with minimal nighttime swims, pool lighting might not be a priority for you. Choosing your pool lights depends on your preference of outside atmosphere, your budget, your needs, and your ability to change out old light bulbs. Choose the lighting that best suits the vision you have for your backyard paradise.