Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Up for a swim after dark? Then you definitely need something to light the way as you make your way from your deck to the pool. The right kind of lights won’t only make it safe; they can also give your area a classy vibe, not unlike that of a fancy resort. The best part: it’s much easier to do than you might think!
The Best Pool Deck Lights for Lighting up Your Swim
We are talking about your deck, and also about your pool; the two may be in close proximity (even next to one another), but they are also two separate locations, with their own areas of opportunity in terms of placement, layout, and type of light. Before we get into that, however, we have to cover a topic that is very relevant to your safety: after all, it’s not simply a matter of putting up any run-of-the-mill lamp string you scoop up at your local hardware store. You can find some more information about waterproofing lights you’ve already got, including costing and different options here!
Outdoor-rated, Or Bust
And we mean it somewhat literally: if you were to spread any old lamp or fixture around your deck area, you would be asking for trouble come the first rain of the season; in fact, just a certain amount of dust of salt (if you live in a coastal area) could spell dire consequences.
The good news is, there is an entire market dedicated to light sources that can easily withstand exposure to the elements (and, in some cases, even rain), and such products are really not hard to identify, thanks to a few systems created so the consumer can tell at a glance just how resilient an electrical product is.
No, we’re not talking Intellectual Property. IP in this case stands for Ingress Protection, and it is a rating system created by the International Electromechanical Commission (IEC) in order to grade the resistance an electrical product has against solid and liquid elements. The rating’s format is as follows:
The first digit is for protection against solids, the second digit is related to protection against liquids. A zero means the item in question is completely vulnerable, and an X indicates the related protection was not tested. Don’t be surprised if you find products with an X on the first position (IPX5, for example); as long as the second digit—that of resistance against liquids—is high enough, you can rest assured that solids will not be a problem either. You can read about IP rating in detail (as well as find out the digit scale and what each one means) here.
Dry, Damp, Wet
Designed specifically for light fixtures, this system was created by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to quickly specify what sort of location a product can be installed in, according to the following criteria:
Dry: Areas where humidity is rare; some moisture might be okay, as long as there is ample ventilation to quickly disperse it (such as buildings in construction). This is the grade where the fixtures in your home fall.
Damp: Moderate humidity present, but no direct contact with water; this includes partially protected areas such as a canopy, a porch, a deck with a roof and so on.
Wet: Exposure to water expected; areas that fall into this category include car washing places, open patios where rain is likely, and so on.
Our Handpicked Options
Below you will find a few alternatives you might find suitable, depending on your tastes, and the layout of the area around your pool.
StarryEver Outdoor String Lights
If you’re a fan of simplicity, then this might be a good alternative to you. What you see is what you get: a long, flexible, remote-control operated string of LED lights wrapped in PVC, with a fairly hefty IP68 rating, which, in summary, means it will endure just about any weather condition you can throw at it.
But it’s not only about practicality: this 200-light can change from one color to another, with a total range of 16 hues to go through, and if that weren’t enough, it features 2 mixed-color and 7 dynamic-color modes. Should you so desire, you can set it up to turn off after 4, 6 or 8 hours.
- No need for complex set up: it can be coiled around pillars, banisters, and so on, and it comes with all necessary hardware in case mounting is preferred.
- Wide variety of light colors and modes makes it highly adaptable to any situation, however intimate or festive it may be.
- Might not be so easy a sell for those who seek a more sophisticated or elegant look.
- Remote receiver is not completely waterproof (IP44), which makes it imperative to situate it somewhere more sheltered.
Sumaote LED Deck Lights Kit
Those who like absolute control might really like this option: Every single source of light is an actual LED lamp, and you get a total of 22 in this string. It is possible to buy several and plug them together, which enables this kit to cover just about any area, no matter the size.
Their applications alone are vast—aside from the pool, they can be used on the driveway, the bathroom, and more—thanks to an impressive IP67 degree of protection on both lamps and cables. However, it doesn’t stop here: the bulbs are built to incorporate the RGB color range aside from the single color inherent to LED, which allows them to change into any of a total of 20 colors; light modes are also available, as well as timer function, and all of it can be adjusted by remote or cellphone.
- Remarkable variety of ways to operate the kit: aside from remote and cellphone, unit can be adjusted via oral commands thanks to its compatibility with Alexa.
- Light mode can be synced to music, which could be quite useful for festive gatherings.
- Such a level of convenience does not come cheap; depending on the length selected, this kit might be feasible for only the heftiest budgets.
LampLust Vintage Decorative Candle Lantern
If you are among those who believe nothing provides an intimate air to a scene like candlelight, then there is no need to despair, for you might have found just what you need. With these lanterns, you get the warm look of a lit candle, without any of its drawbacks: it’s built in plastic and powered by batteries, so there is no melting wax, no open flame—not even a plume of smoke!
While you will find plenty of these flameless candles sold as a standalone, this set has them built into a matte-black metal housing with glass panels, which gives them a truly classic look, and additional protection from the elements.
- Might just be the best alternative to add the unique vibe of candlelight to any area, without risk of fire or of a sudden rain spoiling the mood.
- One of the most portable options; there is no need to dismount an entire string just to change your lighting’s layout.
- Might be impractical to bring too close to the pool, as there is a risk of toppling them over.
- Only 2 pieces included; this might quickly skyrocket the investment needed if one wants to place more of them around the area.
UNIFUN Outdoor Deck Lights
If you prefer cleaner energy, or simply would rather not have to deal with outlets or batteries, then this might be a good option for you, as the built-in 600mAH battery runs on sunlight and will have enough charge to feed the LED for about 5 days after a mere 6 to 8 hours of exposure to the sun. Although they do have an on/off switch, it is unlikely that you will need to use it, as they are designed to turn off (and recharge) during the day, and become active at night.
These are nothing if not resilient: their IP68 rating means they will be just fine under even the most extreme weather conditions, and their aluminum alloy body enables them to endure up to 20 tons of pressure, which means nobody should worry about stepping on them—accidentally or deliberately.
- Thanks to their supreme resistance to pressure, they can be placed anywhere—even where people or vehicles might tread on them.
- Their focus is more on practicality than aesthetic; this may make them inadequate for those who would like a classier ambiance, variety or colors or different lighting patterns for their outdoor gatherings.
DenicMic Color Glow Solar Lights
Is your fence, or a rail, close to your pool area? If so, you might want to take a closer look at this set, with lights that are specifically shaped to hang at the top of locations such as banisters, fence tops—even on stairs! Wherever you may place them, it must be outside, as they require solar light to recharge, and you get to choose between a warm color for everyday and quiet gatherings, or a constant change mode for your holiday get-togethers. Although their shape may make them seem optimal for perching on the top of something, they can also be mounted to the side of a fence post or a suitable wall, which provides more setup variety.
- Great variety of applications, including stairs, walls, posts and the like.
- Fairy-dust accent on the housing is likely to further enhance the aesthetic effect.
- Can only be mounted on softer surfaces such as wood.
- The only color that can stay fixed is the default warm light; the other colors can only be set to constant change.
The Brightest Choice: Sumaote LED Deck Lights Kit
Although it may seem expensive at first glance, it doesn’t have to be, given the extension that is acquired, and the option to purchase a lower lamp count; and it still provides more than other options might give for a comparable price. It is also undeniable that this kit provides plenty of value: aside from a remarkable IP67 protection level—which makes them compatible with any area of your house you can think of, regardless of humidity—, they come with adjustable light color and pattern, and the rather unique convenience of controlling the set through a cellphone, or even via spoken commands to Alexa—this latter part being likely to become the talk of your next party. In terms of durability, functionality and appeal, this one is quite hard to beat.