To add a bit of punch and personality to your pool area, consider underwater lighting. Not only will underwater pool lights and water garden lighting give your space a unique flair, it will also make your backyard safer for evening use.
New technology has made it possible to add lights to your pool even after initial construction. Fiber optic lighting can be added to an existing pool relatively easily, as the electricity source lies outside of the pool. Fiber optic lights aren't as dramatic or as bright as incandescent lights, making them perfect for accent lighting or a subtle lighting scheme.
Try not to go overboard with lights. Too many colors, too-bright lights or too many different elements can seem gaudy and disorienting. Remember: when it comes to light, less is often more.
If your inground pool was built without underwater lights and you don't want the hassle of installing fiber optics, consider floating lights. These little nodes float on the surface of the water and shine light underneath, which then radiates through the water. Average-sized pools only need one or two, and the floaters are quite affordable (around $100 each). Some floaters don't project light into the water below, but simply shine themselves. Such orbs provide less actual light, but amp up the fun factor, especially the colored ones.
Look for floaters made from soft (yet durable) material, so they won't scratch the sides of your pool. Also, try to find solar powered lights, which charge up during the day and then automatically come on at dusk.
When you're considering lighting for your pool, don't forget about the water features in your garden. Use a spotlight to make a fountain stand out, float small glowing lights on top of ponds or try small, multicolored spotlights to change the mood of your area. Newer fountains often come with lighting elements built in.
No matter which type of underwater lighting you opt for, ask for professional help when installing or changing bulbs. Water and electricity is not a safe combination and the potential for injuries is great if you don't know what you're doing.