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Pool lighting can be divided into three main types. There is general lighting which illuminates the pool deck and paths so you can wander safely after dark. Then there is underwater lighting which is useful for swimming after dark as well as creating cool nighttime lighting effects. Finally, there is accent lighting which is generally used to add atmosphere to the poolside setting. Accent lighting can be used to uplight trees and bushes, or highlight any structures or architectural features you might want to draw attention to in your yard.
Exotic Pool Lighting Options
While most lights rely on electricity, you can also find wireless solar lights that store energy during the day and produce light by night. Fiber optic lighting is becoming a popular option for pools. Fiber optic light doesn't carry electrical current, rather fibers of light move through the cable. It offers a wide range of both colors and styles of light--this variety can be used to create multi-color special effects. Even if you have an older pool, it can probably be retrofitted to support fiber optic lighting.
Source: Taunton's Pool Idea Book