Are LED Pool Lights Safe?

The ideal way to illuminate your pool is by using LED pool lights. These lights, in general, are necessary so you can enjoy your pool anytime - even at night. That’s because LED lights give an extra layer of protection that ensures your safety while swimming in your pool.

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How do LED lights make your swimming pool safe? This article will explain the specific features of LED lights… And how these make them the safest alternative to illuminating your pool.

The dangers of faulty pool lights

Here’s the truth. Pool lights are necessary and tricky to install. Remember, these lights run on electricity. And your swimming pool is full of water. Combining both electricity and water is a recipe for disaster.

In 2019, a 9-year-old girl died of electrocution while swimming in her family’s pool. The cause was a wire attached to a pool light underwater.

Earlier in 2014, a 7-year-old boy also died from electric shock in their backyard pool. He was swimming with a friend when a powerful shock knocked him unconscious. Once again, faulty pool light wiring is the cause.

In May 2002, a girl from Arlington, Texas also died of electrical shock. She was swimming at her apartment’s pool. She was 14 years old. A 16-year-old boy jumped in to try and save her – but he was too late. This boy was also seriously shocked but survived the ordeal. The culprit? Another faulty wiring.

As you can see, the threat of electrocution while swimming is real. And most of it is because of faulty pool lights.

Does that mean we should do away with pool lights?

Of course, not.

The electrician who’ll install this light fixture will know what to do to keep you safe. But you also have a role to play in ensuring that electrocution won’t be a problem.

It all boils down to the type of pool lights that you’ll choose. It won’t matter if your electrician is really talented. If you choose a substandard pool light – you’ll be compromising your safety.

This is why the use of swimming pool lights is really your best option.

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led pool lights

How do LED pool lights work?

Before you can appreciate how safe LED pool lights are – you have to understand how it works.

To start, LED is short for “light-emitting diode.”

That means when an electric current goes through the diode; it triggers the electrons in it. To be specific, it excites all the electrons that make them release photons. These photos are the ones we perceive as light.

That’s how LED produces light. It doesn’t use filaments. In fact, it’s like a semiconductor of its own. It’s an advanced system compared to other types of bulbs. What’s great about this is it only consumes a small amount of electricity.

But that’s not the only reason why LED lights are ideal for illuminating your pool area.

These LED lights have built-in heat sinks. Despite the small size, it has the ability to keep cool. This helps enhance the brightness that it emits. It’s also responsible for making the pool light more durable and low maintenance.

All these qualities of LED lights justify the fact that this is more expensive than other bulbs.

You might be thinking – LED lights are more expensive. Why can’t I use halogen pool lights when it’s much cheaper?

Using LED lights will indeed cost you more. But this is only true for your initial investment. If you consider the long-term, you’ll realize that it’ll actually save you more.

Then again, when it comes to pool lights, the cost is not the most important thing.

What matters most is that LED pool lights make your swimming pool extra safe.

What makes LED pool lights safer?

With the knowledge that you now have about LED lights, it’s easier to understand why it’s considered safe. Submersible pool lights have become the standard for builders of inground swimming pools.

Even if you’re not thinking of making your pool aesthetically beautiful. Or you have no plans of changing the colors of the pool lights into a rainbow or something more colorful…

LED is preferable because of the safety feature.

How exactly can it make your swimming pool safer?

There are two ways this is possible.

LED pool lights are brighter

The visible light that you see from any bulb is the lumens. When it comes to LED lights, you get more lumens with a smaller wattage.

Let’s give an example for context.

A 100-watt incandescent light bulb produces 1,400 to 1,750 lumens. An LED light can produce the same with only 14 to 20 watts.

That’s a huge difference! You can see how this will save you money on energy, right? And you don’t need a lot of lights installed in your pool.

But what about safety?

Visibility is very important when it comes to swimming pools. You want to be able to see where you’re swimming. Also, when you are going around the pool, you don’t want to trip and hurt yourself. All because you didn’t see where you’re going.

What makes LED pool lights so special?

It has a higher frequency. To the human eye, the LED light is brighter and bluer. That makes it very effective in providing light in and around your swimming pool.

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LED pool lights emit less heat

There’s a correlation between the energy consumed by lights and the heat that it emits. That means if LED lights use a lower wattage, they won’t emit too much heat. Even if you touch it, the surface won’t feel hot to your touch.

The reduced heat will not just make your pool lights last longer. It will also protect the gasket from frequent maintenance. Some lights that emit too much heat sometimes melt into the fittings. You either have to break the bulb to get it or change the whole thing.

This won’t be a problem with LED lights. It’ll remain cool enough that it’ll be easy to replace.

Of course, you can only replace the lights above the pool. Anything underwater – leave it to a professional.

More about pool light safety

The fact is the electrician who’ll work on the swimming pool already know the basic safety guidelines. Their license to operate requires them to adhere to industry standards – specifically when it comes to installing pool lights.

But that doesn’t exempt you from your duty to know more about pool safety. There are a couple of things that you should know about keeping your swimmers safe. Even after installation, it’s your job to make sure it stays safe. You should educate yourself so you’ll know the signs that your pool lights need maintenance work.

One faulty wiring is all it takes to put your swimmers in danger.

So what are the things that you need to know?

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pool lights

Quality of lights

It all starts with the quality of the pool lights. Never consider using inexpensive plastic fixtures or the do-it-yourself pool lights. These aren’t ideal for landscape lighting – especially if you plan to put it near the water.

Inferior products are more susceptible to damage. Not only that, you might have to keep replacing it with new ones. Even if you keep getting the cheap pool lights, you’ll end up spending more in the long run.

This is why if you want quality, get LED pool lights. These may be more expensive, but you’ll benefit greatly from their durability. These are specifically designed to withstand outdoor elements. Look for respectable brands or get only from trusted sources.

Voltage of lights

Another thing you have to look into is the voltage of the lights.

Here’s the truth – 12-volts low voltage systems are best for pool lights. Why? Because the lower the voltage, the less hazardous it will be.

This makes LED lights the perfect option for pool lights. Even if you only install 12V LED pool lights, you get enough brightness in and around the swimming pool. You’ll have enough visibility to keep safe while swimming at night.

Installation of lights

Install the wiring of the pool lights in the conduit. In fact, all cable runs should be in conduits. If there are connections, it should use weathertight splice kits – as heavy-duty as you can find.

Some installers will say that a burial cable is safe enough. It’s more affordable too. But if you want an extra layer of protection, go for the conduit. These are not only safer, but they are also more durable. It’s also easier to replace wirings or expand the systems in case there’s a need in the future.

In case any part of the LED pool lights system gets in contact with water, make sure it’s protected by GFI or ground-fault circuit interrupters.

The use of grounded transformers that adheres to industry standards is also a must.

Remember this, the more resistant the system is to damage, the safer it’ll be for anyone who’ll go swimming in the pool.


LED pool lights are the best option to illuminate your swimming pool. They provide sufficient brightness despite a lower voltage and don’t emit as much heat that could burn.

They are durable, economical, and aesthetically appealing.

With proper installation, you’ll be completely safe in your swimming pool – day or night.

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