A simple change in lighting can completely transform the appearance of your pool. However, with so many options available, you might be feeling a little in the dark. Learn the pros and cons of the most common lighting options so your pool can shine brighter than the rest.

There are three common lighting options for you to choose from: incandescent, halogen, and LED. The difference between each of these comes down to their price, efficiency, and overall aesthetic look. Read on for the specific breakdown of each lighting choice.

Incandescent Lights

Incandescent lights are the oldest variety on the market. Just like the old-school electric space heaters, incandescent lights operate by producing a current that passes over a filament, heating it until it glows. As you might guess, this is not a very efficient lighting method: only 10% of the electricity consumed is converted to light whereas the other 90% is converted to heat in order to produce that usable light. Not great rates when looking to light up your pool, right?

And, not only are incandescent lights highly inefficient, their lifespan is pretty short, too. You can expect a beautifully illuminated pool for only about 1,000 hours before your incandescent bulb requires a replacement.

Though it seems incandescent bulbs are being painted in a bad light, they do have some perks. These lights will have the cheapest upfront cost, and produce the most natural, warm lighting tone. If you enjoy only the occasional night swim, incandescent lights maybe a possibility for you.


  • Inexpensive
  • Natural light tone


  • Short-lived
  • Color changing is not an option
  • Expensive to operate (low efficiency)

Halogen Lights

Halogen lights are the slightly upgraded version of incandescent bulbs. They operate in the exact same way, however they use a small amount of halogen gas inside the bulb. This halogen helps the filament operate at a higher temperature (brighter light), while increasing the efficiency and the overall lifespan.

The lifespan of a halogen light is more than double that of an incandescent: averaging at about 2,500 hours before requiring a replacement. As far as efficiency goes, halogen bulbs can convert about 20% of the electricity into light, which still wastes 80% of the electricity on heat.

Once again, if you’re not looking for the bells and whistles that upgraded options can offer, halogen bulbs are a great way to simply enjoy the option of swimming at night.


  • Inexpensive
  • Slightly longer lifespan than incandescent
  • Slightly more efficient than incandescent


  • Less efficient than LED
  • Color changing is not an option

LED Lights

If you’re hoping to add some lighting pizzazz to your pool, look no further than LED lights. Quickly becoming the industry’s standard, LED lights operate through a light emitting diode. It’s extremely bright, efficient, and flexible. You might be wondering exactly what a flexible diode offers… Well, the answer is an unlimited spectrum of colors.

As you might assume, the initial cost of an LED lighting system comes at a higher price, however, their efficiency and lifespan makeup for it. LED’s are capable of converting 80% of their consumed electricity into light, which is far greater than incandescent or halogen. LED’s need far less wattage to produce the same brightness, so you’ll quickly recognize just how fast your initial investment is repaid. And their lifespan? You can expect about 50,000 hours before your LED lights will go out.

As if those financial perks weren’t enough, an LED system can be combined with a special control system that allows you to turn off and on the lights, change colors, or cycle through pre-programmed light shows all from a remote control. If you love hosting nighttime pool parties, impressing your neighbors, or simply want that “wow” factor, this is the option for you.


  • Highly efficient
    50,000 hour lifespan
    Color change available to add personality to your pool
    Energy rebates may be available


  • Higher upfront cost


If you regularly use your pool at night, LED is your best option. With the efficiency rates and energy savings LED lights provide, halogens don’t make as much financial sense. However, each pool owner is different. Consider your needs, check the price points, and we’ll install the right option for you.

Ready to upgrade your lights?

We can enhance your pool’s beauty with modern lighting.