Finding the right lighting for your outdoor hot tub serves a practical purpose and can set the mood, enhancing your enjoyment during nighttime soaks. There are countless ideas for unique hot tub lighting, from interior illumination to landscape lighting. You can also opt for energy-efficient lighting choices, like solar lights, to brighten your space in a more sustainable fashion. Whatever you choose, here's to many magical hot tub evenings under the stars.

Creative Lighting Ideas to Enhance Your Hot Tub 

Multiple lighting options can create a visually stimulating and inviting environment around your hot tub. Also, remember that layered light design is not exclusive to interior home decor. The key to a successful layered look in spa lighting is combining multiple types of fixtures and brightness levels. Here are some practical and captivating lighting ideas to add flair to your spa experience.

LED Strips or Rope Lights

Waterproof and often flexible, LED strips or rope lights can contour to various shapes, making them ideal for outlining a hot tub or deck. These flexible lights illuminate the space and create a unique ambient hot tub lighting experience when installed along pathways or steps, enhancing safety. Moreover, LED lights are known for being energy-efficient hot tub lights, offering beautiful lighting solutions that won't spike your energy bill. 


The flickering flame of carefully placed candles can create a captivating atmosphere. It's an age-old, simple, yet effective way of achieving soft, enchanting lighting. Remember to prioritize safety. Use lanterns or enclosures to protect the candles, especially if your surroundings are wind prone. Battery-powered candles may be the best option if you're apprehensive about using real flame candles.

Floating Solar Lights

Consider incorporating floating solar lights around your spa for energy-efficient hot tub lights. During the day, these absorb solar energy. They provide subtle, often color-changing illumination when dusk falls, adding an enchanting glow to your spa. Water-resistant and energy-efficient, these floats bring light and charm to the water's surface.

Tiki Torches or Lanterns

For a more rustic or tropical vibe, tiki torches and lanterns can provide excellent illumination, bringing warmth to the area. Tiki torches are especially effective in lighting pathways leading to a spa, boosting safety and aesthetics. Meanwhile, lanterns are adaptable and convenient. Battery-powered lanterns allow you to place them as you like, lending a unique charm to the setting. Hang lanterns around the deck or sit on tables to create a cozy ambiance.

Fire Pits

Nothing beats a fire source's natural, flickering light when you want to create a cozy, inviting hot tub environment as the evening sets in. A well-placed fire pit can lend an exotic, tropical touch to your home spa area. You may decide there are better options than this if children are in your home. However, there are safety barriers you can erect around a fire pit to keep kids and pets away from the fire source.

String Lights

String and rope lighting options add another layer of charm to your outdoor hot tub, creating an archaic, romanticized vision of relaxation. You can hang outdoor string lights around your hot tub, often called twinkle lights, providing a magical starlight experience during your evening soak. Where these lights lack brightness, they make up for it by creating a mesmerizing ambiance. Moreover, they pair well with other lighting types. 

Additional Tips for Outdoor Hot Tub Lighting

Creating the perfect outdoor hot tub setting doesn't mean installing a huge, bright light—it's all about finding the ideal balance. Here are a few concepts to help you finish your hot tub lighting project.

Using Dimmers for Adjustable Lighting Control

Dimmable lights allow you to change brightness to match the time of day, weather, or mood. If you've had a long day and want to unwind, a soft, warm glow from your dimmable lights could be enough to help you relax and rejuvenate.

Incorporating Color-Changing Lights for a Fun Atmosphere

Another exciting lighting feature to consider is color-changing LED spa lights. These can make your spa time feel more like a celebration. With the hit of a button, transform your hot tub environment into a dynamic, vibrant, and energetic space. It adds a fun factor that's hard to beat.

Overhead Lighting for Covered Areas

If your hot tub is under an enclosure, adding some hot tub enclosure lighting, preferably with color-changing LED spa lights, could provide that extra wow factor. Suppose your hot tub is under a pergola, gazebo, or roofed structure. In that case, overhead lighting can create a beautifully cozy atmosphere. In contrast, a hot tub deck lighting arrangement casts a gentle glow in the immediate vicinity.

Landscape and Uplighting for Visual Appeal

The magic of landscape lighting alongside your hot tub can't be overstated. Landscape lighting for the hot tub area and uplighting can emphasize the spa as the focal point of your backyard, drawing the eye and evoking a sense of tranquility.

Solar Lights

Depending on the design of your hot tub area, you can install solar lights around it. These lights harness the power of the sun to generate soft, ambient lighting. Over time, this could help you save significantly on your home energy bill.

Safety Meets Style

When considering outdoor hot tub lighting, it's essential to remember that safety should go hand in hand with style.

Step & Path Lighting for Safe Navigation

Illuminating pathways and steps leading to the hot tub is a top priority in outdoor spa lighting design. We recommend the use of waterproof lighting fixtures and solar lights around all hot tub areas, not only for their eco-friendliness but also for increased safety. Strategically positioned, these lights will guide you, preventing mishaps as you move to and from the spa.

Consider waterproof lighting fixtures for safety and durability in exposed settings. Remember, our top lighting picks are low-voltage and energy-efficient options. These reduce energy costs without compromising the ambiance and safety of your hot tub area. Always choose waterproof and solar lights for safe, sustainable, low-voltage lighting.

Frequently Asked Questions

How far should lights be placed from a hot tub?

For safety, all switches and electrical devices should be positioned at least 5 feet from the hot tub's inside walls. As per NEC 680.22 (C), overhead fixtures and outlets within a 5-foot or 12—foot vertical are not recommended.

Is it better to put a hot tub in the sun or the shade?

Despite the appeal of the sun, installing your hot tub in the shade is typically preferable. It provides a more relaxed environment for hydrotherapy while protecting your tub from sun damage.

What is the most suitable lighting for a hot tub area?

Soft, indirect light enhances relaxation spaces and is advised for hot tub areas. It's best to use warm lighting sources with a temperature range between 2200 K and 3000 K.

How can I ensure my hot tub stays cool during summer?

Running your air jets helps circulate cool water throughout your hot tub effectively. Additionally, leaving the cover on when it's not in use protects the water from being heated by the sun.

Can I install lights in my hot tub?

Yes, you can. Embedded lights can add sparkle and glamour to your setup if your hot tub is on your deck.

May 10, 2024 — andrei newman