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A hot tub is not just a luxurious addition to your outdoor space; it’s a private sanctuary where you can unwind and relax. To enhance the overall experience and enjoyment after dark, hot tub lighting is key.

Lighting can transform your spa area into a tranquil haven perfect for unwinding after a long day. Introducing well-thought-out lighting not only adds ambiance but also enhances safety and functionality. The absence of light can lead to discomfort and a sense of isolation, not to mention potential slip hazards.

In this article, we explore some creative approaches for ideal hot tub lighting. Scroll on.

How to Illuminate a Spa Area

When lighting a hot tub area, the aim is to establish a quiet and private retreat. The darker the better. It is best to avoid overly bright lights. Striking a balance between visibility and privacy is key.  Nonetheless, some functional lighting is necessary. You should provide adequate lighting to guide you and your guest to the spa with path lighting to facilitate safe entry and exit.

While direct lighting on the hot tub itself is to be avoided, subtle illumination can be employed to accentuate the beauty of nearby features like trees. Create a soothing and comfortable place using a dim glow of light.

Some hot tub models include edge lighting and internal lighting features flow interior illumination. Typically, the lights are controlled through the same panel as the jest and bubblers for convenient on/off switching. The specific light setting and features vary from model to model. In certain hot tubs, you can adjust the brightness of the lights, while others offer color-changing options.

While most hot tubs have built-in lights to illuminate the water, there are other creative ways to furnish lighting to the tub and surrounding landscape. Submerged lights, LED strip lights along the hot tub perimeter (particularly on the steps), deck lighting, and string lights hung around or over the hot tub are all effective options. The choice of lighting depends on the size and layout of your spa area

Submerged lights

To enhance the ambiance within your hot tub, consider adding submersible lights to create a soft glow underwater. Avoid placing the lights on the tub’s floor, as it could be in your line of sight when entering the tub. Opt for installation on a wall or the bottom step of the hot tub instead.

For a gentle and diffused glow, opt for lower-wattage hot tub lights rather than swimming pool lights. Hot tubs require lower-wattage lamps due to their smaller size.

Energy-efficient LED lamps are the best choice, as they provide bright, long-lasting illumination and are safer to use around moisture-related installations. Low-voltage LED lights are cost-effective, operating at 12 to 14 volts powered by an inexpensive power supply and extension cable.

When selecting the lighting, ensure the wire length is longer than you think you’ll need to keep electrical components such as the power supply or transformer and controller in a dry area away from water. Basic tools like a screwdriver, non-contact electrical tester, wire cutters, wire strippers, and electrical tape will be required for installation.

Hot tub lighting

Highlight the landscape, Not the tub

The idea is to avoid making the spa or hot tub the center of attention to preserve privacy. It is best to avoid direct lighting on the hot tub itself.

By strategically illuminating the landscape, the focus shifts to the beauty of trees, shrubs, and plantings, instead of the hot tub. By illuminating the surrounding elements, the beautiful view can be appreciated from a viewing point outside the area while making it more inviting.

You could uplight a majestic maple to add vertical interest. The flower bed surrounding the hot tub area can be adorned with uplights or well-lights nestled into the mulch. Consider mounting wide-beamed fixtures in the secondary canopy of mature trees to create a moonlit effect that illuminates the plantings below.

If there are benches in the spa area, they offer an excellent opportunity to provide discreet lighting. Under cap lights that shine light downwards are ideal for this purpose. They can be neatly tucked under the top edge of a bench or the edge of a hardscape wall.

Let Path lights lead the way

It is always a good idea to highlight the pathway leading to the spa using traditional path lights or recessed in-ground lights. Be sure to light steps to enhance safety and visibility. Nobody wants to stumble in the dark on the way to enjoying the bubbles.

Use low-lumen output lights to provide soft illumination, just enough to see and direct your eyes to the spa. Installing a switch by the door allows you to turn the lights on before heading out.

String Lights around your Hot tub

String, fairy, or festoon lights are a perfect choice for creating a warm and romantic ambiance around your spa area. Their soft and warm glow spreads across a wider area.

Be sure to string the lights high above the tub whether draped along a pergola or hanging from trees that frame your spa area. You can choose from designs such as straight lines, zigzags, or crosshatch patterns. Multiple rows of string lights can be hung across different sections of the tub, adding charm to the space. You can even wrap the lights around the branches of a tree or across the top of your fence.

These lights come in an array of designs and colors. Warm string lights are the ideal choice as they emit a soft orangy and welcoming glow setting the mood for relaxation. To ensure safety, it is crucial to use string lights that are rated for wet locations and operate on low voltage. While many festoon or string lights are low voltage, not all of them are fully rated for wet locations.

LED Strip lights

LED strip lights are an excellent choice for illuminating the hot tub’s immediate vicinity. They can be attached to the outer edge of the hot tub or steps leading to the hot tub. You can line the base of your spa or run it around the perimeter of your patio. Secure the lights in place using metal fasteners.

Deck Lights

For hot tubs installed on decks, recessed lights provide a subtle lighting solution. You can easily embed these fixtures in your deck’s timber PVC along the perimeter, on steps, or along the railing. Installing them requires careful measurement and cutting for the fixtures

Post-mounted lights or under-cap lighting under the railing can also be used to achieve the desired effect.

Tiki Torches

Another way to enhance the ambiance is by incorporating tiki torches. Placing tiki torches on each outside corner of the hot tub adds visual appeal through their open flames. Furthermore, tiki torches provide a little extra warmth.

Opt for high-quality torches made of copper or brass, as they are more durable and safer.

Hanging Lanterns:

For those seeking a hassle-free lighting solution, battery-powered hanging lanterns are a great choice. You can easily hang them wherever you desire additional lighting.

When choosing lanterns, consider their style and color scheme to complement your backyard.

To Wrap Up

In conclusion, when it comes to hot tub lighting, remember that less can often be more. Strive to create an overall experience that exudes elegance and artistry. Be mindful of potential glare, especially when sitting in your spa and enjoying the surrounding view.

Opt for warm white bulbs to provide just the right amount of light without overwhelming the space. Additionally, take the time to research your hot tub model to explore alternative methods for installing lighting.

So, go ahead and set the perfect ambiance for your hot tub, where you can unwind.

George Gitau

Meet George, an advocate for traditional craftsmanship. I will provide you with educational content, techniques and ideas for your next garden and home improvement project. Together, let's create beautiful spaces that are not only beautiful but also functional

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