swimming pool lighting

Swimming Pool Lighting

If your lucky enough to have a swimming pool at home then swimming pool lighting can help really give your swimming pool that wow factor to your pool both inside and out. For public pools alot of the things we talk about here still apply.

Here we list some of the key things to consider when choosing swimming pool lighting.


Maintenance should be a key consideration for the lighting design for a swimming pool – how are you going to access the lights/ clean and change the bulbs? This is why most most pools are lit externally from the sides to avoid lighting directly above as this will be difficult to access. LED lighting within pools are a good method and create a fantastic blue glow from the pool at night, how ever the control gear will still need to be accessible from the pump house or nearby. Fibre optic lighting is also a good solution as will ensure that the light source is located externally away from the water as the light travels down the fibres making it a very safe solution for lighting in and around pools.

IP rating/ ELV

The BS (British standards) specify strict safety standards to ensure that lighting will not cause electrocution or harm to the users. So ELV (Extra Low voltage) lighting or fibre optic lighting should be used in and around the pool. The 17th edition of the British standards state clear boundaries for the specification of equipment in and around pool areas and should be followed. This will ensure that if the integrity of the fitting is compromised it will not cause a hazard to people around it. The guide lines splits the pool area in to clearly defined areas where fitting are required to be of a certain standard.

Swimming pool Lighting guide

If fixtures are within a pool itself they will need to IP68 fully submersible and of a high quality stainless steel. There are very few quality manufacturers who design fixtures to this standard. The flex going from the fixture to the power should be terminated outside of the water and care should be taken to ensure that voltage drop isnt an issue.

Under Water light

Chlorine content within room

For residential pools typically the chlorine content is much lower but for public pools the chlorine content is much higher – the chlorine is highly corrosive and fittings often require special marine grade finishes.

Lux and illuminance levels

For public pools there are very specific guide lines which are shown in various CIBSE Guidelines – the levels increase depending on the level of competition – with the lighting levels being very different for an Olympic televised pool to local bathes. For residential swimming pools we typically use these as a guide line but don’t stick to them stringently as it is often more about creating an effect as apposed to giving a flat wash of light with level uniformity.


The surface of the pool can act as a giant mirror reflecting the ceiling and lighting around this area. Reflection from lighting on a swimming pool can be avoided by the careful placement of the fixtures and understanding the key viewing angles of the pool. Also lighting from within the pool will help reduce the mirror effect.

For non residential projects the requirements for lighting pools are slightly different so if you do have any queries about swimming pool lighting then please do get in touch.