by Mark Garcia May 13, 2016
Colored pool lights, or color changing pool lights, whatever you call them are bathing pools in pink, blue and green lighting. LED colored pool lights really make your pool glow with color.
There are two ways to upgrade an inground pool lights to color changing LED lights. Replace the entire light fixture, or just replace the bulb. Most pool light fixtures (housing and cord) will last upwards of 30 years before needing replacement, and replacing the bulb is easier than replacing the entire fixture, well less complicated anyway.
I'll describe both processes below - installing an LED pool light bulb, and installing a complete LED pool light fixture.
You can use a J&J electronics 3G pool led bulb, or if you have a Pentair (American) AmerLite pool light, you can use the AmerBrite LED pool light bulb, which comes with a new gasket and a new LED lamp lens. LED light is amplified when used with an LED lens, which is quite different from the prismatic lens used on traditional pool lights. The AmerBrite lens will only fit AmerLite lamps however, but the bulb will fit most incandescent pool lamps.
12V or 120V? When buying a color changing pool light bulb, be sure to buy the correct voltage. Most pool lights are 120V, but some parts of the country have required 12V pool lights to be installed. How do you know if your pool light is 12V or 120V? There's two ways. First, if you see a pool light transformer, usually mounted to a post next to the pump timer and pool sub-panel or breaker box. Secondly, you may have the light information listed if you have the original paperwork from the pool build, or thrid, you can pull the lamp out of the wall, and look on the lamp label.
Advantage to installing an LED pool light versus just installing an LED pool bulb? If your pool lamp is over 30 years old, it may need replacing soon, but the bigger reason is that LED lamps tend to be a bit brighter than LED pool bulbs, partially due to the enhanced lens design used on LED lamps. Another benefit is that complete LED pool lights can be automatically controlled, synced and integrated to existing control systems. The Pentair AmerBrite replacement bulb however, has an available controller or can be synced with controller systems.
CAUTION: this procedure should be performed by a qualified person who has read all manufacturer instructions and precautions that come with a new pool light. Power must stay off the entire time, verified by a test meter. Before deciding if you want to do it yourself, read this earlier blog post by Rob on replacing a pool light. An electrician or pool guy could install a colored pool light in under an hour, in most cases, and will be the best way to add LED pool lighting. Wiring pool lights can be hazardous to the installer, and incorrect grounding and bonding has been fatal to swimmers.
There are several popular color changing pool lights for inground pools, including Pentair IntelliBrite, Hayward ColorLogic, and Jandy WaterColors. Now over 20 years old, LED pool lights are now in their 5th generation, with many improvements in brightness and efficiency along the way.
Voltage, Cord Length, Niche: As with LED pool bulbs, when you are replacing the entire pool light, you will need to match the voltage. Most inground pools use 120V pool lights, although 12V lights seem to be gaining popularity in some areas. Secondly, you'll want to match cord length to the distance from the light niche to the junction box, plus 3-4 feet. Most pool lights come in 30ft, 50ft and 100ft lengths, and in most cases a 50' length is more than long enough. Finally, when installing a new LED pool light, you'll need to match the niche size. If you currently have a Hayward pool light, use the Hayward ColorLogic LED pool light, and if you have a Pentair pool light, stick with Pentair IntelliBrite. To be certain of a fit however, you may wish to measure the wall niche diameter before ordering. If you need help buying the right lamp for your niche, give us a call!
~ Adding color to your pool is now more affordable and easier than it's ever been! Help support your local pool blogger, and buy some LED pool lights, lol ~
Thanks for Reading!