How Many Lights Should I Have in My Pool?

pool lighting number

Adequate lighting not only improves the safety of swimming at night, it also creates a welcoming atmosphere throughout the pool area. A common question when designing and planning pool lighting is: how many pool lights do I need to install? This blog will cover how to determine the number of pool lights and detail the main factors that affect the number of pool lights.

How Can I Simply Determine How Many Pool Lights?

Estimated by the size of the pool, this is the most traditional way to determine the number of pool lights. Pools smaller than 300 feet can have only one light installed. Thereafter, for every additional 200 to 300 square feet of pool area it is best to add at least one more light. For example, a 15 ft. x 30 pool would need 1 or 2 lights, and a 20 x 42 pool would be best with at least three lights.

The above calculations will only ensure that the majority of the pool area will be covered by lights. If you want to achieve the best lighting results, in addition to the size of the pool you need to take into account the shape of the pool, the power of the lights, the beam angle, the even distribution, safety issues and individual lighting needs.

Additional Factors to Consider for Optimal Lighting Results

The Shape of the Pool

Long, narrow pools require more lights to provide better illumination. In addition, uniquely shaped pools may require a more personalised arrangement to provide accent lighting while illuminating the entire pool.

Narrow Pool Lighting

Wattage of Pool Lights

Higher wattage products provide brighter illumination, but bigger isn’t always better. The more power a pool light has, the more electricity it will consume when purchased and used. In addition, this can lead to increased heat generation and possible glare problems.

Lower wattage pool lights are less bright, and although they can avoid the problems of higher wattage lights, they may also affect the lighting effect of the pool. Therefore, we need to choose the right power for the lighting product according to the size and depth of the pool.

pool lighting
This pool uses low wattage underwater pool lights, which are also illuminated with the help of strings of lights.

Beam Angle

The narrower the beam angle, the smaller the irradiation area and the farther the irradiation distance. Narrow beam angle lighting range is smaller, the center light intensity is prominent, the light and dark dividing line is obvious, the visual effect is stronger, suitable for key lighting.

However, when the narrow beam angle pool lights are closely distributed, the line of demarcation between light and dark will be weakened. Some landscape pools use this approach to achieve unique lighting effects.

landscape pool lighting

The wider the beam angle, the larger the irradiation area and the shorter the irradiation distance. A wide beam angle can illuminate a large area with a weaker line of demarcation between light and dark. As the light is more dispersed, a wider beam angle creates a more even illumination.

Common pool light beam angles
Common pool light beam angles

Uniform Distribution

Evenly distributed lighting is important for non-small pools and shaped pools. Not only does this provide a more coordinated and outstanding lighting effect throughout the pool, but it also eliminates dead spots in the lighting.

Evenly distributed pool lighting

If you want more even lighting, switch to a lower wattage product and increase the distribution density.


Providing lighting for your pool not only adds to the aesthetics, but also prevents accidents. In addition to illuminating the pool water, providing separate lighting for pool steps is a common practice to increase safety.

Individualised Lighting Requirements

Many classic swimming pools and their lighting designs are the result of a brilliant idea. There are many famous pool designs around the world that are visited by tourists every year. These pools are styled to stand out and use a lot of pool lights or even strips of lights to enhance the visual effect. They look like dazzling works of art when illuminated by pool lights.

Stunning Pool Lighting Design

Doesn’t Interfere with Use

Some small pools have only 1 pool light installed for cost saving reasons. If it is unfortunately damaged, this will affect the normal use of the pool. A good practice is to instead use 2 nicheless pool lights or less powerful pool lights. When one of them breaks, you can still use the pool at night until a replacement is found.


Estimating by pool area is an easier way to confirm the number of pool lights. If you are looking for the best lighting and decorative effect, you need to take into account the size of the pool, its shape, the power of the lights, the beam angle, the uniformity of distribution, safety and individual lighting needs. Finally, good luck in creating the pool of your dreams!

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