If you use your pool at night a lot or just enjoy the appearance of lights reflecting off of your pool, consider getting solar pool lights. They come in a lot of options and variations, and they are usually pretty cheap.
The main benefit is that they can save you money in the long run. They also usually look a lot nicer, as there are no obvious battery slots or cords running around in your yard.
To learn more about solar pool lights, and the benefits they provide over normal pool lights, this article has you covered.
What Are Solar Pool Lights?
Solar pool lights work like regular pool lights. They light up the pool and surrounding area. There are ones that are built into the sides of pools, especially in-ground pools.
There are also ones that surround your pool. They can be on the ground or stick up above the ground.
Finally, there are ones that float around your pool. These provide light, sometimes music, and are just a little fun.
How Do They Work?
The only difference between regular pool lights and solar pool lights is how they get their energy. Where standard pool lights have to be plugged into electricity or run on batteries, solar lights depend on power from solar panels. (1)
Sometimes, solar panels are included on the device. This is most often the case with ones that are easily movable, such as garden lights, floating around in pools, or pond lights.
Others can be connected to a series of stable solar panels, such as ones on your roof or in nearby areas. Most of them have small batteries as well, so they can store some of the energy until it gets dark and then turn on for a while.
A lot of the simpler ones even automatically turn on when they are in darker areas, so you don’t have to worry about turning your lights on or off.
Why Do I Need Solar Pool Lights?
While you don’t need solar pool lights, they can lower your electricity bill or stop you from having to purchase new batteries frequently. Since solar panels can last upwards of 25 years, they last a long time and don’t have to be replaced very much. (2)
They are also just better for the environment since you can use energy from the sun instead of traditional energy that comes from coal.
Sometimes, solar pool lights also have more options as far as RGB color, and variety, and may include a fun feature or two, making them have a higher value than traditional pool lights. (3)
Pros and Cons of Solar Pool Lights
Easy to install - even the ones that go in the pool are magnetic or stick-on
They can be used in multiple places, including the garden, porch, deck, and front yard
Comes with multiples per pack
Has options for different colors, color changes, and more
No cords or replacement batteries needed
Able to handle all outdoor spaces
Solar pool lights may not last all night
Sometimes they can be pricey, especially for ones with a lot of features and a bigger battery
Don't work well if your pool is shaded, or you don't get a lot of sun
What to Consider When Choosing Solar Powered Pool Lights
Water Resistance and Weatherproofing
When picking pool lights, you want ones that are waterproof and weatherproof. This may seem obvious for a pool light, but you would be surprised at how many products out there designed for an outdoor swimming pool don’t actually do well in the outdoors.
For most pools, you need to make sure they are waterproof and not just water resistant. You want a rating of around IP67 or IP68 to make sure your lights will last. These ratings mean they are resistant and reliable when it comes to dust, high wind, water, and snow. Some may even have durability against hail.
Size and Shape
When picking out solar pool lights, you want to pick out ones that fit your style. Find shapes and sizes that work for your pool, such as large round ones to make the pool more inviting, or more minimalist ones that feel reminiscent of a spa.
There are no wrong options when picking up the size and shape, it is just dependent on your preferences and style.
Another thing to consider is the colors that you may want your solar pool lights to be. Many of them come in standard white LEDs, which may be fine for some. However, if you are someone that wants these things for decoration, aesthetics, or to make parties even more fun with various colors, then there are other options out there.
Some come with set options, while others may allow you to set an effect like strobing or rainbow to create a certain ambiance. When you are picking lights, check out which lighting modes and color modes they offer.
You may also want to think about brightness. Having lights too bright can make the mood boring. Too dark, and you won’t be able to see anything with them.
It can be hard to find the right level of illumination for swimming pool lights. When they are at the bottom of your pool, you can usually get away with a bright lighting solution.
However, if you have ones that sit on top of your pool or are floating balls, too bright can hurt the eyes of people at your pool party and ruin the ambience as there will be absolutely no spot of darkness. It may also cause your neighbor to call and complain because their garden and backyard are lit up all night.
It can be hard to judge the brightness of pool lights from their appearance in pictures online. However, you can usually go online and look at reviews of their performance to see how well the LED bulbs do and the amount of light they produce on the landscape.
Kind of Light Bulbs
Most solar lights you can buy are LEDs. This is because LEDs last longer and use less power than any other kind. However, there are still options out there besides LED lights.
Generally, you will want to stick with LED lights in swimming pools. Not only are they brighter and last longer on the same battery, but they don’t heat up.
You may have noticed that other lights have a habit of heating up the area and being very warm to the touch. While LEDs can be warm, they don’t get as hot as some other lights, while still giving off a bright light.
An unexpected benefit of this is that while the bright light can attract insects to the pool, the lack of heat can sometimes cause them to leave just as quickly.
Of course, you can’t forget the price. A good deal is something that can make anyone happy. While you want quality lights made with good materials with a nice appeal to them, that doesn’t mean you have to pick the most expensive options.
Get an item that is in the middle ground. They will have a nice mix of convenience and quality materials, and won’t hurt your wallet too much.
You may also want to consider how much money you have to spend before you start looking. If you have a budget, you don’t want to get attached to one type of solar pool light only to realize that it is well outside of your price range.
Most lights are within a reasonable budget, however, as most of them cost around $50 to $100.
Ease of Use
When considering the usage of solar pool lights, you also want to consider how easy they are to use. Some have high versatility and work for almost any pool. They can be hung on fixtures or float on water with your guests.
However, some have specific needs, such as the surface they can go on.
You also want to consider how easy it is to turn on the lights and do any necessary maintenance. If you have to take them off of the wall behind the garden every time you need to turn them off or change the illumination modes, you will find yourself regretting your choices soon enough.
Find brands that are known for making types of lights that are easy to set up and fix the settings except under rare applications and occasions.
How Many Pool Lights You Need
Consider how many pool lights you need. (4) Do you want lights that can sit in your pool and your lawn to light up the whole space, or do you just want one or two so they don’t get in the way at pool parties but still produce plenty of light?
If you only need a couple, you may not want to spend a large investment on packs that have dozens of them. Instead, look at making a purchase that only has one or two lights that you really want.
In some cases, quantity over quality may seem like a good idea, but if you don’t need a lot of lights, there aren’t many benefits in buying a large package with a lot of pieces.
How Long They Last
Not only do you need to consider how long the warranty of your solar pool lights is, but how long they will run without getting sun. If your lights can only run an hour or two on a full charge of sunlight, then you may want to consider a switch.
Most of them will offer lighting for six hours after eight hours of charging in the sun, provided there are no trees above that can block the light. Other options can last upwards of 12 hours if that is the way you want to go.
If you do want a solar pool light that lasts longer, consider high-capacity, rechargeable batteries.
While you may think you are saving money by choosing cheaper solar panel lights, that isn’t usually the case. For the most part, you get what you pay for.
There are plenty of options out there that are affordable and much more durable and safe. They are designed to handle the water, so there are no chances of being electrocuted by energy from the batteries going through the water.
Most of the higher-quality batteries also have a longer life.
While you don’t have to pick the choice that is at the top of the price range, you likely want to pick one that is a bit higher on the list. Take the time to look around at all the options. Pay attention to the construction and practicality of the lights, as well as the design and how easy they look on the eyes.
This will allow you to pick an option you are happier with that adds a positive atmosphere to your spaces.
Consider their efficiency and material as well to see if they fit with your style and will be strong enough to survive the weather in your area. When in doubt, you can go online to check out reviews on the models of LED pool lights you are considering.
Reviews can give you details about the brand, the customer service, build quality, any issue that has constantly popped up, and the battery life. They may even be able to tell you other uses and the visibility of the lights as well as other effects they found the lights can do outside of what the box said.
In addition to brightening your pool and surrounding space, solar pool lights can have other features. Some have speakers so you can listen to music.
There are also different kinds of lights. Some sit around the outside of your pool, brightening the ground. Some need installation in your pool, flush with the sides. There are even some that are easy to move around and float on the top of your pool area. You can move them easily, storing them inside when not in use to make them last longer.
You may also want to consider what thing controls your light. Do you have to go out, fish the lights out of the pool or ponds, and switch them off? Or, can you do it with a controller or your phone?
The ones that have a controller are usually more expensive, but they can give you peace of mind knowing that you can turn them off from a distance. A remote control may also be ideal under bad weather conditions, so you don’t have to endanger yourself by turning off the lights.
Best Solar Powered Pool Lights
Best Floating Lights
- With color-changing effect that automatically switches every 25 seconds.
- With a big 14-inch size, these floating balls will add brilliant color, energy, and excitement to any setting, including backyards, pools, and rooms.
- These versatile decorations are perfect for festivals, schools, church functions, fountains, gardens, pathways, birthdays, and more!
- Natural charging during the day, these glow balls will illuminate your space automatically at night, making your life easier and more enjoyable.
- LED RGB ball lights are an effortless way to make an instant improvement to your home, pool, pond, and backyard.
If you want fun lights for your pool that would bring life to a pool party, consider the HAPIKAY Solar Floating Pool Lights. (5) These are large, inflatable balls that light up in different colors.
You can get a pack of two on Amazon for pretty cheap. They are also minimal, automatically changing colors every 25 seconds, so you don’t have to bother with color settings. They change to colors such as pink, white, purple, red, aqua, blue, green, and lime.
Included in your pack, you also get repair kits in case the ball gets punctured by something.
They are weighted on the bottom to keep them in the right position and have an IP68 waterproof rating. They need six to eight hours to charge before they are at full capacity.
If you don’t want them to hang in your pool, the balls also have a loop on the top so they can be hung from trees, a deck, or hooks.
Everything is automatic, so you don’t have to worry about turning them on or off. They also don’t wear down from chlorine so they can be left in the pool all day. Some do say that they don’t look very attractive during the day, but they are perfect for people who use their pool mostly at night.
- Provides two solar porch lights for double the lighting power
- The 14-inch size ensures a wide range of illumination
- Capable of outputting eight different colors, allowing for customization to match any mood or setting
- Boasts a high IP68 water resistance rating, ensuring protection against water damage
- For warm weather pools
Best Standing Lights
- A set of high-quality submersible lights that come in a pack of three, perfect for adding a touch of magic to your garden, courtyard, pool, pond, and other outdoor areas.
- Each light is equipped with six LED bulbs, offering a bright and vibrant display of colors that can easily be toggled between two modes: steady-on and slowly flash/gradual change.
- The lights feature an amphibious design, making them perfect for use both underwater and on land. With a waterproof rating of IP68 and dustproof construction, these lights can be fully submerged underwater for stunning illumination.
- Installing these lights is a breeze, thanks to their two-way installation process. Simply stick them into the ground or use the included screws to mount the solar panel on the wall. The light heads are also adjustable up to 90 degrees, allowing you to illuminate the perfect spot.
- The solar panel itself is also adjustable up to 180 degrees, ensuring optimal sun exposure throughout the day. With these submersible lights, you can transform any outdoor space into a stunning and magical oasis.
If you want standing lights that sit around your pool, the Biling Solar Pond Lights are a great option. (6) They come with a solar panel that you stick into the ground near the lights, and which transmits power to all of the lights.
They also have a larger solar panel option, which allows the lights to work for up to 20 hours without having to be recharged.
The kit comes with three lights and six bulbs per light. They have RGB colors that rotate every five seconds. If you want a more stable light, you can set them to be steady on a certain color instead.
While they are designed to be around pools and ponds, they also work in gardens and courtyards. They are rated at IP68, which means they are waterproof and dustproof.
The cords to the solar panels are six feet in length, so you can move your panel out of sight and keep the focus on the lights.
One downside is that some of them end up with water in them, so you may have to return your first set.
- High energy-saving capabilities, making it a cost-effective lighting solution
- Boasts a high IP68 waterproof and dust-proof rating, ensuring protection against water and dust damage
- Suitable for use in both land and water, providing versatility in its application
- Easy to install, ensuring quick and hassle-free setup and use
- Batteries are not replaceable, limiting the lifespan of the product
- The product's performance is weather-dependent, which may limit its usability during certain seasons or conditions.
Best Pond Lights
- Create a magical ambiance in your swimming pool or pond with these high-quality solar floating lights. Made of durable, transparent frosted plastic, the lights allow the colorful glow to pervade the entire body of the light.
- These floating solar pool lights are eco-friendly and require no electricity. During the day, the solar panel will convert solar energy into electrical energy and store it in the battery. At night, the LED lights will automatically light up, creating a stunning display.
- The lotus top pattern adds a touch of elegance to your pool or pond, making it a perfect decoration piece. These floating lights add a touch of liveliness and charm to your outdoor area.
- Each light is equipped with RGB color-changing LED, which changes the color automatically, creating a mesmerizing display of colors. These floating lights are perfect for creating a magical ambiance for any occasion.
If you want pond lights that stand out and make for beautiful decoration, you want to look at the Pearlstar Solar Pond Lights. (7) They can change to different colors and are shaped like lotus flowers.
At a full charge, they can run for about seven hours. They have an IP65 waterproof rating. You can get a pack of one, two, or four in one order.
These are low maintenance as well, because they respond to the amount of light that is present, with the light turning on when it is too dark to continue gathering solar electricity.
Though it says pond lights in the title, you can use these lights for anything. They can sit in a fountain, swimming pool, or small bodies of water.
The material is plastic, but durable and sturdy. The one downside is that they don’t do well in a lot of wind or an area where the water is moving a lot because the top is a little heavy. If they are disturbed too much, they end up flipping, which can let water into the solar cell and damage them.
- Features an elegant and unique lotus design with accent lights, providing a beautiful and sophisticated aesthetic to any space
- Suitable for special occasions and events, making it a versatile and functional lighting solution for various settings
- Can charge even during overcast skies, ensuring continuous and uninterrupted lighting performance
- Boasts an automatic color-changing feature, allowing for various ambiences to be created
- Easy to use with a switch, providing convenient and hassle-free operation.
- The product tends to sink in rough water, limiting its use in certain conditions
Best Colorful Lights
- The GAME Solar Underwater Light Show Pool Light is the perfect addition to your above- or inground pool. This durable and long-lasting device provides fun and festive décor that will enhance any pool party.
- With 7 changing light modes that shuffle and change on their own, this floating in-pool lights set will create a mesmerizing display that will keep everyone entertained.
- The GAME LED Solar Underwater Light Show features a convenient automatic on/off system. The unit is solar-powered and turns on and off automatically, ensuring that your pool is always beautifully lit.
- Additionally, there is a button that can turn the unit on and off manually, extending the unit's lifespan and creating a stunning evening light show.
- This solar underwater light show can operate for up to 6 hours on a full charge. The system is recharged by the sun, eliminating the need for additional batteries, and providing a cost-effective and energy-efficient lighting solution.
If you want something unique and is sure to bring life to your party, consider the GAME 3547-BB Show Floating Pool Lights. (8) This light floats in the water.
Instead of lighting up the surface of the pool, though, it shoots the light down into the water. It offers all sorts of different colors and patterns that remind one of a light show. It has seven different light show options and works for all sorts of pools, including above-ground, and indoors. The light show reaches down to 15 feet.
It also runs automatically, turning on when darkness comes. You can turn it off, however, if you don’t want to waste the battery when not in use. However, it does last for six hours. The show lights rotate throughout the night, so you don’t have to worry about changing those either.
Some customers mention that the lights aren’t very bright, though, so it may be better if you get them for a shallower or smaller pool. You can also get a multitude of them for a brighter display.
- Energy efficient
- Versatile mounting options
- Long battery life
- Waterproof or water-resistant
- Adjustable brightness levels
- Lightweight and portable
- Wide illumination range
- Eco-friendly materials used in construction
- Not suitable for heavy-duty performance
1.How Does Solar Work? (n.d.). Energy.gov. https://www.energy.gov/eere/solar/how-does-solar-work
2. Glover, E. (2023, April 12). How Long Do Solar Panels Last? Forbes Home. https://www.forbes.com/home-improvement/solar/how-long-do-solar-panels-last/
3. What does RGB LED mean? | Philips. (n.d.). Philips. https://www.lighting.philips.com/main/support/support/faqs/white-light-and-colour/what-does-rgb-led-mean
4. Jandy. Lighting Design Guide. (n.d.) Ghttps://www.jandy.com/-/media/zodiac/global/downloads/sl/sl4572.pdf
5. Amazon (n.d.). Hapikay Store. HAPIKAY Solar Floating Pool Lights. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WPS8C8D
6. Amazon (n.d.). Biling Stsore. Biling Solar Pond Lights. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HQGTJTG
7. Amazon (n.d.). Pearlstar Store. Pearlstar Solar Pond Lights https://www.amazon.com/pearlstar-Floating-Waterproof-Swimming-Decoration/dp/B07CJ9MVGF?th=1
8. Amazon (n.d.). Game Store. GAME 3547-BB Show Floating Pool https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6WO7N5