I prefer dark saunas because they help me relax better. However, it is good to have some hue in the steam room to avoid accidents. My sauna kit came with a led bar that was supposed to be installed behind the stove. It was too bright to my liking so I started looking for alternatives.
My first iteration was to sink a few submersible led lights to the water buckets. This is actually a very affordable idea and they add a nice touch. Water in the bucket keep the lights from overheating.
The issue with the submersible lights was that you have to change the batteries quite often and remember to switch them off. I then started looking at led lights. I had already something similar in my kitchen so I just needed to find something waterproof. I first went with the first waterproof led strip I could find. They came with a bluetooth-enabled app but I wasn’t very happy with the light effects as the leds could not transition from one color to another without a blink in between. Another issue was that these could be only controlled via Bluetooth, which makes things harder if you want to play with home automation.
Then my friend found inexpensive WiFi enabled Govee lights from Amazon. It turns out that these have the best aurora borealis led effect I’ve seen. They also work over WiFi and support Google Home assistant and Apple Shortcuts also work with home assistant so now I had a path to automate lights based on whether the stove was on or off and simply add Apple Shortcuts for Siri to turn the lights on and off in my sauna.
As for the installation, I have a small barrel sauna and the heat stratification is pretty significant, which also means that the floor doesn’t get very hot. So I felt comfortable just running the led strips under the benches and and under the door from one side to another. This way the lights are also indirect, which works better for me. One other benefits of the leds is that you can very easily dim the brightness to your liking.