How to Choose the Best Pool Lights Above Ground

Pool Lights Above Ground

Installing pool lights in your above ground pool can transform it from basic to beautiful after dusk. With the right lighting, you can turn your backyard into a gorgeous oasis that gets used long after the sun goes down.

When looking for pool cage lights, you have several options to consider from different types of bulbs to placement. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to pick the best pool lights to showcase your above ground pool.

Types of Best Pool Lights Above Ground 

When shopping for pool lights, you’ll encounter a few main varieties to choose between:

LED Pool Lights

LED (light emitting diode) pool lights have become a popular option. LEDs last longer, are more energy efficient, and offer more color options than traditional bulbs. You can find LED pool lights in a range of whites and colors from soft white to daylight. Some even change colors or rotate through color combinations.

Incandescent Pool Lights

Incandescent bulbs used to be common. However, today they’ve widely been replaced by LED options since they burn out faster and use more electricity. While inexpensive, most pool owners prefer the customization, efficiency and longevity offered by LED lights.

Solar Pool Lights

Solar lights absorb sunlight during the day through small solar panels. This powers them to emit light at night. Solar options are easy to install along the top rails of your pool wall. They provide ambiance but not as much brightness as electric options.

Fiber Optic Pool Lights

Fiber optic pool glow kits contain thin strands of optic fibers that carry light from a single bulb. You can string these fiber strands across your pool walls or along steps to create a glittering, aquatic effect. They offer a unique underwater glow.

Placement and Location Considerations

Where you position pool lighting makes a big impact on how well they showcase your above ground pool. Use these tips on mapping out locations:


Installing pool cage lights higher on wall rails or posts pointing down onto the water provides maximal illumination. Lower lights, while accenting steps nicely, will leave much of the pool dark.


Angle lights to point toward the pool center. Avoid aiming them at seating areas which causes glare. Spread placement around the perimeter pointing toward the middle for even coverage.


The bigger your pool, the more lights you’ll need. A good rule of thumb is to install one light every 6-8 linear feet. Space lights evenly apart to prevent shadows and dark spots.

Types of Above Ground Pool Light Mounts

Types of Above Ground Pool Light Mounts

The way you mount or install pool lighting for above ground pools falls into three main mechanism types:

Wall Mounted

As the name implies, these pool light kits attach directly to top rim walls with a bracket. This raises them up high to cast light down and mounts them securely. It puts connecting wires and boxes out of sight and protected inside pool walls too.

Deck Mounted

These pool lights install right onto the deck or ground encircling the pool. A stake gets pushed into the ground to hold each base in place. These make good supplemental lighting that adds glow when viewed from seating areas.


Floating pool glow lights run off battery packs and are easy to plop right into your above ground pool water. They gently illuminate from inside the pool casting colored glows. Floating lights add intrigue and work well supplementing installed pool lights.

Pool Light Color Choice Considerations

Today’s LED pool lights offer loads of alluring options when it comes to color. Here are some of the most popular palettes and usages:

White Pool Lights

White light comes in “temperatures” ranging from:

  • Soft white: Exudes a warm, inviting glow great for relaxation.
  • Bright white: Emits crisp, clean light ideal for swimming and illumination.
  • Daylight: provides the most intense ultra-bright white light for visibility.

Colored Pool Lights

LED technology allows pool owners to bathe their yards in any color. Common options include:

  • Blue: Cool and tranquil ambience. Can use alone or sync with water features.
  • Green: Rich hue ideal for creating a tropical backdrop. Makes water glitter.
  • Red: Provides a hot, energetic vibe. Often used for parties or events.
  • Multicolor: Switching between hues orslow transitions between the color spectrum.

Things to Consider When Shopping for Pool Lights

Things to Consider When Shopping for Pool Lights

Here are a few final tips on picking the perfect pool lighting for your above ground oasis:

Match Your Pool Finish – Consider pool surface when selecting lighting so colors complement each other. For example, a cool blue light would enhance a light plaster pool finish beautifully.

Sync with Landscape Lighting – Pair pool lights with garden spot or path lighting to extend gorgeous effects out from the pool area. LED technology allows central control of collective lighting moods and colors.

Consider Reflectivity – Some pool surfaces reflect and intensify light better than others. For instance, a light blue plaster pool interior will reflect light differently than a dark liner. Factor this into lighting power needed.

Read Reviews – Hands down, read pool owner reviews before buying any pool product. Reviews often reveal pros and cons from actual usage you can’t find on packaging. They also indicate reliability and longevity.

Comparison shop – Don’t settle on the first pretty pool light set you see. Selection and pricing varies widely between manufacturers and vendors. Put in some legwork upfront to score major long term enjoyment (and savings).

Wiring and Accessories – Make sure any wired in pool lights include mounting hardware plus any needed extensions, transformers and wireless remote controls or hubs. Knowing wattage and voltage needs ahead of purchasing prevents headaches down the road.

Hopefully this guide provides you great direction and advice on finding pool cage lighting to make your above ground pool shine brilliantly all year long!


The best pool lights can make your backyard oasis shimmer and standout long after sunset. By understanding different types from LED and solar options to fiber optics, you’re off to a good start. Think about bulb colors and locations that would delight your family most too. Finally, don’t overlook how much reviews from fellow pool owners can guide you toward spectacular, lasting pool illumination. Follow these tips to pick pool lighting that makes your above ground pool truly shine.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to install lights in an above ground pool?

You can budget $200-600 for most standard LED pool light installation kits. Costs go up from there for fancier colors, more robust wattages or additional accessories like remotes. Professional installation often runs $100 or more per light.

How many lights should an above ground pool have?

The standard spacing recommendation is one light per 6-8 linear pool wall feet. So for example, an 18-foot round pool would use 3 lights spaced evenly apart for good coverage.

Should pool lights be on all night?

There’s no problem safety-wise leaving lights on longer. But for cost savings, a timer can automatically shut them off after reasonable night swim hours. Just be sure timers allow lights back on before use to avoid surprise cold plunges!

How many watts should pool lights be?

Low voltage 12V LED lights drawing 10-25 watts work well for above ground pools up to about 24-feet across. For larger pools or more light intensity, opt for 120V LEDs in the 50-100 watt range.

Can solar lights be used in above ground pools?

Yes! Solar pool wall wash lights absorb sunlight via small solar panels during the day. They automatically turn on mini LED lights at dusk. They add ambience but not as much brightness as their electric counterparts.

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