How to Install Underwater Swimming Pool Lights

steps leading into a swimming pool
  • 4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-700
What You'll Need
Suction mounted pool light (corded or battery)
Wire cutters
Wire strippers
Waterproof junction box
Drill (for electrical mounting)

Installing underwater swimming pool lights does not have to entail a major pool renovation project or even require the pool to be drained. With the right kind of lighting and a little electrical know-how, pool lighting can be installed in a single afternoon.

Step 1 - Choose a Light

When choosing a light it is important to consider project time. What parts will have to be replaced (like batteries)? What about pool size and the amount of electrical work required? To avoid draining your pool and drilling holes in it, it is best to select a suction-mounted light.

For a fast and easy install, with no electrical work, a battery operated light is the best solution. However, batteries will need regular replacement and the life of the light will be shorter than that of a corded model. Choose corded lights according to pool wall type.

Step 2 - Assemble Light

backyard with large built in pool and hot tub

Assemble the light according to manufacturer specifications and check all seals for water tightness. This can be done by submerging the light in shallow water and watching for bubbles.

Step 3 - Set up Power Supply

For a battery operated light, install batteries and move on to step four.

For a corded light, you will need to set up a power source. If there is a GFCI outlet close enough to the pool that the light cord will reach, mount the light transformer to the wall next to the outlet and plug the light in. Move on to step four.

If there is no available outlet, you will need to install a waterproof junction box on an existing power line. First, turn off the power supply at the circuit breaker. Locate the power line to the pool pump or filter. Cut the line with wire cutters and expose the wire by using a stripper to remove the sheath. Install your junction box according to manufacturer’s specifications. If desired, mount the junction box on a wall, the pump or filter mount. Tie the light into the junction box. Check all fittings to make sure seals are water tight.

If the light does not have its own switch and you don’t want it to be on while the pump or filter are on, you will also need to install a switch for the light. Check all seals before moving on to step four.

Step 4 - Install Light

pool with curved edge and pavers around it

Prior to installing the light test that it is working properly. Mount the light on the pool wall according to manufacturer specifications.

If you have a hard wall pool and are using a corded light, remove the edging over the area where you are going to install the light. Run the cord over the pool edge and then replace the edging. If you have a soft wall pool and are using a corded light, anchor the cord to the pool railing according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

With these easy steps, you can install your own underwater pool light and begin enjoying your pool at night.