How To Install A Pool Light?

Installing pool lights is a crucial aspect of creating an inviting and safe aquatic environment in any backyard oasis. Beyond merely enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your pool area, how to install a pool light plays a pivotal role in ensuring a secure and enjoyable swimming experience, especially during evening hours.

In this step-by-step guide, we will explore the significance of illuminating your pool, delve into the installation process, and highlight key considerations to guarantee a successful and functional outcome. Whether you are looking to create a captivating ambiance or extend the usability of your pool into the night, understanding the intricacies of pool light installation is essential for both functionality and aesthetics.

How To Install A Pool Light?

Preparations Before Installation

Essential Tools

To facilitate a smooth pool light installation process, it’s essential to gather the following tools beforehand. These tools are versatile and suitable for use with various types of pool lights:

  • Marker Pen: Ideal for marking mounting and drilling positions.
  • Electric Hammer: Essential for punching holes in the wall.
  • Tape Measure: Useful for precise measurements during installation.
  • Voltage Tester: Ensures the measurement of energized or de-energized lines.
  • Flat Head Screwdriver: Handy for prying out the fixture.
  • Phillips Head Screwdriver: Necessary for tightening screws securely.
  • Soft Towel or Cloth: Enables effective cleaning during the installation.
  • Angled Pliers or Wire Cutters: Perfect for cutting and stripping wires and cables.
  • Electrical Tape: Essential for insulating and sealing any exposed cable connections.

Having these tools at your disposal ensures a well-prepared and efficient pool light installation process.

Power off

Prior to initiating the installation of your pool lights, it is imperative to shut off the power to the entire pool lighting system. In case there’s uncertainty about turning off only the pool power supply area, it’s recommended to deactivate the main power switch in your home.

Confirm that the power is completely switched off to ensure a safe and effective continuation of the installation process.

How To Install A Pool Lights: Step-by-Step Guide

How To Install A Pool Lights: Step-by-Step Guide

Step-by-Step Guide for Pool Light Installation:

1. Power Off:

Start by turning off the power supply to the pool area. Ensuring safety is a paramount concern throughout the installation procedure.

2. Gather Tools and Equipment:

Collect the necessary tools and equipment, including a screwdriver, waterproof sealant, a voltage tester, and the pool light fixture.

3. Choose the Location:

Select an appropriate location for the pool light, considering factors such as optimal illumination coverage and avoiding obstacles.

4. Mark the Location:

Use a pencil to mark the exact spot where the light will be installed. Ensure the chosen location is away from water inlets and outlets.

5. Drill a Hole:

Precisely drill a hole at the designated spot, ensuring it is adequately sized to securely fit the pool light fixture.

6. Thread the Electrical Wiring:

Run the electrical wiring from the power source to the drilled hole. Leave enough slack for connecting to the pool light fixture.

7. Connect the Wires:

Utilize a voltage tester to verify that the power is turned off. Subsequently, connect the electrical wires from the pool light to the respective power supply wires.

8. Mount the Fixture:

Securely mount the pool light fixture into the drilled hole using the provided mounting hardware. Ensure that the fixture is level and aligned correctly.

9. Seal the Edges:

Apply a waterproof sealant around the edges of the pool light fixture. This prevents water from entering and protects the electrical components.

10. Test the Light:

Activate the power supply and assess the functionality of the pool light to ensure proper operation. Adjust the alignment or wiring as necessary.

11. Clean Up:

Dispose of all debris and packaging materials, and tidy up the work area to ensure it is clean and orderly.

12. Regular Maintenance:

Periodically check the pool light for any signs of wear or damage. Replace bulbs or fixtures as needed to maintain optimal performance.

While there may be differences in size, appearance, and design among pool lights from various manufacturers, the installation process remains quite similar. Fear not, as the installation of many products of the same type follows a comparable method.

Some of the most commonly installed types of pool lights include:

  • Surface Mounted Pool Lights: The mounting device for surface-mounted pool lights typically comprises a bracket and screws, characterized by its straightforward construction. To initiate the installation process, secure the bracket to the wall using screws. Subsequently, proceed with the wiring, and finally, affix the fixture to the bracket by screwing it in place. This uncomplicated procedure ensures a smooth setup for surface-mounted pool lights. These pool lights are slim and lightweight, with power options of 18W/25W/35W.
  • Recessed Pool Lights: Recessed pool lights are equipped with niches that necessitate drilling for proper installation. Once installed, the niche is typically recessed into the pool’s wall or floor, seamlessly integrating the pool light into the overall design. The process for this type of pool light involves drilling holes in the wall before mounting the niche. Subsequently, the niche is inserted into the hole and securely fastened to the wall. The final steps involve wiring and completing the installation for a polished and integrated appearance. This pool light features 18W/25W/35W power options with anti-glare lenses. It also serves as a low-voltage LED replacement for standard industrial niches like Pentair IntelliBrite.
  • Nicheless Pool Lights: Nicheless Pool Lights eliminate the need for a specific niche in the pool’s side wall, simplifying both installation and light body replacement. Their straightforward construction and user-friendly design make them easy to install and maintain. These lights can be conveniently installed in most standard 1.5-inch return ports, facilitating the purchase of suitable installation accessories from the market. Enjoy the simplicity and convenience that Nicheless Pool Lights bring to the installation process. This pool light comes in 3W/6W/12W power options and is equipped with anti-glare lenses. It also serves as a low-voltage LED replacement for standard industrial niches such as Pentair MicroBrite, Hayward ColorLogic 80, and Jandy Radiant.
  • Pool Lights Featuring External Threads: Designed with standard 1.5” or 2” male threads, this pool light is versatile, catering not only to swimming pools but also ideal for lighting scenarios in hot tubs, spas, and Jacuzzis. The incorporation of external threads enhances its compatibility across a range of aquatic settings. This pool light is designed with standard 1.5” or 2” male threads, making it suitable for various lighting applications in hot tubs, spas, and overflow pools outside the main swimming pool.
  • Refletores LED Para Piscinas: These pool lights are widely favored in South and Latin America due to their popularity. They boast a straightforward design, making them easy to construct and install. Moreover, their affordability makes them a cost-effective choice for replacement.

Factors to Consider When Installing Pool Lighting

Factors to Consider When Installing Pool Lighting

Installation Costs:

The costs associated with installing pool lights can vary based on the type chosen. Recessed pool lights tend to be the most expensive to install due to their intricate process, involving drilling and potential need for an electrician.

Other types of pool lights are generally more cost-effective. Factors such as the lighting design plan, pool size, and the specific type of pool lighting will all contribute to the final installation cost.

Types of Pools:

Concrete pools are the most prevalent, and installation demonstrations for external thread pool lights are typically conducted in fiberglass pools.

Other installation processes, however, are primarily designed for concrete pools. Consider the type of pool you have when selecting and installing pool lighting to ensure compatibility and optimal performance.

Some factors that may lead to risks during the installation of pool lights

Some factors that may lead to risks during the installation of pool lights

While pool light installations typically go smoothly, it’s essential to be aware of potential mishaps. Here are some things to avoid:

Incorrect Voltage:

Ensure that you are aware of the voltage regulations in your area. Some states or towns may require 12V pool light systems rather than the standard 120V.

Neglecting Bonding/Grounding Requirements:

It’s crucial to check with the inspector regarding bonding and grounding requirements. Non-compliance may lead to safety issues and code violations.

Unqualified Electrician:

To ensure a safe and effective installation, always enlist the services of a qualified and licensed electrician. Their expertise is crucial in preventing electrical issues.

Inadequate Sealing during Liner Installation:

When installing the liner, make sure to seal it tightly to the light niche. Failing to do so may lead to water leakage and potential damage to the pool light system.

Turning on Incandescent Pool Lights without Water:

Avoid turning on incandescent pool lights when the pool is devoid of water. The water serves to cool the lights, and operating them without water can result in damage.

Additionally, operating incandescent pool lights without proper water immersion may not only result in damage but also significantly reduce their lifespan. To explore more about the lifespan of pool lights and effective maintenance practices, you can read our article on “how long do pool lights last“.


How Deep should the Pool Light Conduit be Buried?

Ensure that the electrical conduit is buried at a sufficient depth to avoid interference in case of future digging in that area of the yard. It is advisable to place the conduit approximately 2-3 feet down within the trench. This depth not only protects the conduit from accidental hits during yard maintenance or other excavation activities but also ensures a secure and unobtrusive placement for the pool light wiring.

Light fixture, housing, wiring conduit, and junction box?

Ensure that you wrap additional wire around the light inside the pool niche. Leave about 3-4 feet of wire inside the light niche so that you can pull the light up to the deck if you need to replace the bulb.

After pulling the wire through the conduit, leaving around 3-4 feet remaining in the niche, you can cut the wire at the junction box. Cut about 6 inches of the pool light wire insulation and then strip the wire ends. Use wire connectors, connect the pool light wire to the GFCI breaker and the ground wire is attached to the green screw.

Check the light for just 1 second – if there is no water to cool the light, the lens and bulb may become too hot and explode within minutes! After a quick check, the junction box cover can be securely tightened.

How do you properly seal a swimming pool light to the pool liner?

Don’t rush to fit the light ring onto the liner. You must wait until the water in the pool is filled halfway or reaches the bottom of the light. This ensures that the pool liner stretches fully into the correct position.

Before fitting the liner, use some adhesive to attach the first gasket to the pool niche (under the liner) and ensure the holes on the gasket align with those on the niche. With the pool liner in the right position and the water level reaching the light, lean over the edge of the pool and install the second gasket and the light ring with the 10 screws provided.

After the light ring is securely fastened and the screws are tightened, take a utility knife and cut the liner inside the faceplate. Importantly, you should never twist or cut any part of the liner until the water level reaches the area you intend to cut out.

Finally, you can install the light fixture or bulb into the light niche, wrapping the light cord around it. There is a screw that will secure the light in place. Once water fills the light, it’s time to switch on the light and see that beautiful bright glow in your pool. If it’s daytime when you install the pool, wait until evening to appreciate the beautiful lighting in your pool.


Installing pool lighting might appear intricate, but adhering to the proper steps and safety precautions ensures a successful installation. If you require additional assistance, we recommend consulting a professional electrician or pool expert to guarantee safety. Pool lighting not only adds glamour to your pool but also enhances the pleasure of night swimming.

For guidance on turning on pool lights, refer to our article on “how to turn on pool lights“. We wish you success with your pool lighting installation and hope you enjoy the captivating ambiance it brings to your pool!