The Bright Ideas Blog

Design inspiration and outdoor lighting tips and advice for homeowners

10 Great Ways To Light A Swimming Pool This Summer!!

If you own a swimming pool, you’re halfway to having a luxury resort in your own back yard. How do you get the rest of the way? By lighting your pool area so it becomes a magical place at night.

At Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah, our expertise is creating a resort-like setting around your pool, so you feel like you’re on vacation, without even leaving home.

Another goal is to light a swimming pool and surrounding area so it looks beautiful from inside your home. With the right lighting you can enjoy its beauty even when you’re not inclined to take a dip.

And, of course, safety is a top concern. Pools are a lot of fun at night, but you only want to end up in the water intentionally. Let’s eliminate the trip-and-splash.

How do we do all that? Let’s take a look.

Pool Lighting Idea #1: Pool Deck Lighting


Chances are, there’s a lot of activity around your pool. In-ground lights, as opposed to above-ground directional lights, are a great idea to light the way. No worries about the lights getting bumped, damaged, or tripping your active guests.

You say your pool decking is concrete? How can we sink lights into it? Because we’re experts. We can drill 5-inch concrete cores out of that decking to install the fixtures to light surounding trees.

It’s a tricky job, but our lighting experts are part artist, part skilled technician. And we have the tools to do the job. It takes a $5,000 drill, a diamond bit and skilled expertise.

Pool Lighting Idea #2: Moonlighting

Pool-Pond-1Illuminating a pool deck from above, with lights mounted in trees or on roof gables, gives the illusion of moonlight. And who doesn’t love a moonlight swim?

If mature trees surround your pool, we install lights in the branches overhead to mimic natural moonlight. This creates intriguing shadows from branches and leaves onto the pool area.  

No trees? No problem. We can create a similar effect by mounting lights high on your home’s soffits or gables.

Pool Lighting Idea #3: High-End Tiki Torches

Tiki Pool SideLove the look of tiki torches but not the poor quality you get at the discount store?

Consider professional grade tiki lights that offer, not only a festive flame, but wired-in lighting, too. Professional grade tiki lights are crafted of high-quality brass and copper and are hard-wired into your landscape.

Fill them with oil and use the wick for an authentic torch flame, or switch on the lights for illumination from a bulb. They’re available in assorted heights, from three to eight feet tall. Hawaiian shirt optional.

Pool Lighting Idea #4: Highlighting Trees And Plants

Pool Lighting

At Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah, we’re experts at this.The best way to create that resort feel is to surround your pool area with lush landscaping and light it at night.

Worried that your start-up landscape is too small to light?

We know how to softly highlight that 3-foot Japanese maple with a soft 150 or 200 lumen bulb without overwhelming the tree’s delicate beauty.

As the tree grows, we can simply change the light bulb without changing the fixture. We adjust the lighting as your landscape grows.

If your pool area is surrounded by mature trees, that majestic maple might need two or three fixtures to artistically light it, one with a narrow beam spread to penetrate high in the tree and another with a wider beam spread to softly accentuate the leaves and branches.

We design with 30 different types of light bulbs — not just one — to expertly highlight your pool’s landscaping.

Flower beds surrounding your pool look magical at night, with 2-to-4 watt LED lights nestled into the bark mulch.

If there are tall perennials growing in the beds, we’ll use bullet lights with directional uplighting to gain a bit of elevation. You’ll see the light — not the fixtures.

Pool Lighting Idea #5: Water Features

Draper Pool Water Feature Purple

If your pool includes a water feature, like a waterfall, it deserves its own lighting strategy.

We might light a waterfall from underneath, so the light dances off the water. A wash light from the edge of the pool or from a tall tree nearby creates a soft flood of light.

Aiming light where the water hits the surface of the pool catches the air bubbles and highlights the movement.

Pool Lighting Idea #6: Lighting Structures

Pool-Pond-16Don’t ignore the structures near your pool. Lighting them makes them part of the resort atmosphere.

Do you have a pergola in your pool area? It’s probably your go-to place for a cool drink and some shade after a daytime dip in the pool.

But pergolas offer their own magic when illuminated at night. Imagine subtle recessed lighting that illuminates your table for dining and hosting barbecues. We can hide all the wiring and fixtures, so all you see is the soft wash of light.

Uplights attached to the bottom of pergola posts or installed in the flooring highlight the structure’s architecture.

And for a festive party atmosphere, add some trendy bistro lighting, with strings of lights overhead.

Is there an outdoor kitchen near your pool? There’s a host of lighting options here, including grill lighting, bistro lighting, lighting for countertops and moonlighting from high above.

If your pool-area structures already have lighting — maybe a cabana with sconces — we have the expertise to match the existing light’s color temperature, so all the lighting blends nicely.

Pool Lighting Idea #7: Undercap Lights

fire-and-pool-lighting-salt-lake-city-Utah spec sheet

One of the lighting rules we live by: you want to see the effect of the light —not the source.

Undercap lights are a great example of this. These subtle fixtures are designed to be hidden, casting light downward.

Does your pool area include a sitting wall? A fire pit with benches?  Undercap lighting will wash down the wall to highlight its texture. Undercap lighting tucked beneath your fire pit benches offers safe illumination without glare.


Pool Lighting Idea #8: Stair Tread Lights


Pool areas often include steps to decks or patios. Don’t forget to light them for safety.

A great solution is to install lighting into the vertical part of a stair, called the riser.

Tread lights fit right into the stairs and focus light downward onto the step immediately below it. They offer enough light for safety, but the light is subtle enough that it isn’t distracting.

Because the fixture itself is set into the step, it’s barely noticeable in the light of day. Even at night, you notice the steps and the soft light, not the fixture.

Pool Lighting Idea #9: Don’t Forget The Dimmers

All of your pool area lighting is available with an automated, fully dimmable option that can be controlled with your preferred smart device. From pergola bistro lighting to downlighting, you can dim your lights as much or as little as you need to create the perfect poolside ambiance.

Dimming those lights will keep you from feeling like you’re dining under a spotlight and allows your pool area lighting to complement candles and outdoor fireplaces.


Pool Lighting Idea #10: The Ease Of LEDs


When you have a beautiful swimming pool, you want to spend your time enjoying it — not worrying about landscape lighting maintenance.

That means long-lasting, easy-care LED lighting.

Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah recommends replacing halogen bulbs once a year. With LEDs, we replace them only when they fail. That won’t be for about 50,000 hours.

If you replace your pool area’s halogen lighting system with an LED system, or install one from scratch, you won’t have to worry about bulb replacement for years.

So pour yourself another lemonade and relax.


A Word About Glare

A relaxing evening by the pool is ruined if you’re staring into the glare of landscape lighting. We’re anti-glare experts.

We use LED landscape lighting with bulbs that produce warm white light. We select bulb types and wattages that provide the amount of light needed, with no excess.

We choose fixtures that direct light exactly where it needs to go. We use glare shields and “eyelids” — solid caps above the bulbs that concentrate light where you want it.

Less light can be more. It’s all about where you place the fixtures, their angle, the color and temperature of the light.


Give Us A Call

Artistic lighting around your swimming pool will draw you outside so you'll want to spend time out there at night. That means you’ll get more enjoyment out of your water-filled investment.

If you decide your swimming pool area needs artistic, professional landscape lighting, we’d love to hear from you. Give us a call at (801) 440-7647 to schedule a free consultation, or fill out our simple contact form.

Located in Sandy, Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah serves customers throughout Utah’s residential areas, including Salt Lake City, Park City, Draper and Holladay. Our outdoor lighting portfolio includes projects from Salt Lake County and Utah County, to Davis County and Summit County — and beyond.

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