Simple Tricks to Achieve Breathtaking Pool Lighting with String Lights

Installing string lights around your pool is one of the most popular ways to enhance the ambiance and create dramatic lighting effects for evening enjoyment. With just a few simple tips and safety precautions, you can safely hang beautiful strings of light to illuminate your pool with breathtaking results.

Determine Your Pool Lighting Goals

Before choosing and installing your string lights, determine what lighting effects you want to achieve. Some popular reasons to hang string lights around a pool include:

  • Enhancing overall ambiance – String lights instantly add warmth and atmosphere
  • Illuminating pool stairs or walkways – Improve visibility and safety
  • Creating a focal point – Draw attention to a certain area or architectural feature
  • Providing safety lighting – Allow enough light to see pool edges at night
  • Highlighting landscapes or structures – Use strategic uplighting placements to showcase gardens, water features or buildings

Choose the Right Style of String Lights

With so many options available, select string lights suited for your goals, space and budget:

Weatherproof rope lightsFlexible option that can provide soft glow when mounted under railings or behind structures
Globe string lightsClassic choice with spaced out individual bulbs; Available clear or frosted
Lantern lightsAdd a playful look; Choose battery or solar powered for easy installs
Flame-shaped bulb lightsCreate a tropical resort atmosphere; Use color changing lights for added drama

Also consider brightness, spacing and quality of materials to withstand weather and environmental factors.

Calculate How Many Light Strings You Need

A common mistake is not purchasing enough string lights. Avoid multiple trips to the store by carefully calculating the number you’ll require:

  • Measure the exact perimeter of your pool
  • Factor in extra length to allow lights to droop between attachment points
  • Buy all strings for a project from the same production lot for consistent colors

Pick Sturdy Mounting Locations

Properly securing your string lights is critical for both safety and longevity. Rope lights can be mounted behind existing pool structures using clips. For globe or lantern-style lights, use secure mounting locations such as:

how to hang string lights around pool
  • Existing pool cage beams
  • Trees or tall landscape posts
  • External support arches or cables

Ensure mounts are:

  • Rated for the weight of lights
  • Anchored into structural materials like concrete or wood beams
  • Installed into locations without risk of loosening or detaching

Install Lights at Proper Heights

For safety and compliance with building codes, properly elevate all electrical installations above water surfaces:

  • Most areas mandate string lights be placed at least 10 feet above maximum water lines
  • This prevents any risk of electrocution from lights falling into the water while energized
  • Mounting lights at this height also reduces issues with wind or other environmental damage

Make Electrical Connections Safe

When dealing with electricity near water, safety should be your top concern. Ensure all electrical connections are:

  • On a GFCI protected circuit to immediately shut off power if a fault occurs
  • Fitted with waterproof connectors rated for outdoor use
  • Have wires buried underground rather than dangling overhead
For permanent installs, hire a qualified electrician to hardwire lights to code-compliant outdoor electrical boxes and switches
For removable installs, use heavy duty extension cords rated for outdoor use to connect plug-in string lights; Carefully inspect cords each season prior to energizing

Enjoy Dramatic Lighting Effects

Once properly mounted, configured and tested, it’s time for the fun part – creating stunning scenery! Design dazzling displays by:

  • Arranging strings in scallops or swags for visual interest
  • Concealing extention cords and wires behind structures like planters or lattice
  • Using color-changing lights and controllers to set different moods
  • Setting timers to automatically turn lights on/off at pre-programmed times

Get creative with string placement to highlight architectural elements or landscaping. The lighting possibilities are endless!

Troubleshooting Common String Light Issues

While LED string lights are fairly reliable, problems can occasionally arise:

  • Burnt out bulbs – Simply replace individual damaged bulbs
  • Faulty connections – Check all connections, splices and wire terminals are secure
  • Pests chewing wires – Use plastic wire loom tubing to protect free-hanging wires
  • Weather damage – Repair or replace lights with cracked sockets, frayed cords or corrosion

Routinely inspecting lights and connections will minimize issues and extend usable life. Catching minor problems early also reduces safety hazards.

By following basic selection, installation and electricity safety guidelines, you can easily and stunningly light up your pool area with string lights for remarkable nighttime ambiance. Strategically placed uplighting transforms landscapes into a focal point worthy of a luxury resort. Just use common sense precautions and your lighting imagination to safely install dazzling displays that friends and family will gather around.

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