Troubleshooting your pool light

Tips for Troubleshooting Your Pool Light

A glimmering pool light will add dazzling high notes to your poolscape; but a dim or broken light can leave you in the dark as to how to fix it. When your light goes kaput it is time to roll up the shirt sleeves, pull out the test probes and go to work.

But where to start? That is a tough question, as a pool light can have a hundred or so feet of cable, circuit breakers, GFCIs, and junction boxes to contest with. I’ve learned to start with the easy and then work your way up to the hard. We will walk through some simple fixes and some not so simple.

So, sit back, relax and let us enlighten you. I swear that is the last pun in this blog…

What’s the bright idea? (I lied)

The Easy

Loose FixtureLOCK SCREW

A pool light, despite all its waterproofing and hundred or so volts of electricity, is held into the pool wall by one bolt called the lockscrew. The lockscrew is located at the 12 o’clock position on the light fixture face. If the fixture wobbles when touched or a strong ripple hits it then a loose screw is likely the cause.

To fix the issue, dip into your pool with a phillips head screwdriver and tighten the screw. If the screw is stripped or lost, make sure you replace the screw and the gum o-ring.  The o-ring is important to prevent excess water leakage into the niche or housing.

Leaky Pool Light

For the close observing swimmer, you may notice water in the light fixture. Most of the time, this issue is not discovered until POOL LIGHT LENS GASKETthe bulb blows. As we all should know, water and light sockets do not mix.

A leaky pool light stems from a bad lens gasket. This part is also called the housing gasket. The heavy gauge rubber ring acts as a clamp seal that waterproofs the joint between the lens and light housing. Chlorine exposure or old age can deteriorate the rubber to warp so that it allows water to reach the light internals. A fixture filled with water can also cause a breaker to trip, so be mindful of that when troubleshooting. Replacing a pools light lens gasket is pretty simple and even the more novice pool owners can do the job.

Another less likely cause of a pool light fixture leak is a power cord conduit seal leak. If the conduit seal degrades to that point, the light is likely dead and will require replacement.

Change the Bulb

If your pool light will not turn on and you suspect the bulb, the old shake test is simple enough for  any pool owner to do. The steps on the bulb shake test are simple: remove the light bulb from the fixture and shake it next to your ear. If you hear the ring-a-ting-ting of a broken filament then it’s time for a new bulb.

If the bulb was relatively new before it blew, I would not run out and replace it right away.  A test of the circuitry may be necessary to be certain the new bulb will not be ruined by a power surge or some other electrical issue.  Take a look at our guide on replacing a pool light bulb.

The Not So Easy…

Tripping the Breaker

The dreaded CLICK of a tripped breaker is an annoying and sometimes befuddling event. Annoying because most of the time the reason for the trip is a mystery, unless of course you just plugged in an appliance that overloaded a circuit.

TRIPPED BREAKERBefore we do anything, we want to reset the breaker and also restore the circuit to the point before the trip. To perform the latter, we will unplug any appliance that may have immediately caused the overload.

Next, we will reset the breaker at the box. When a breaker is tripped, it flips to an idle position and will not resume current flow until it is completely reset by hand. To reset the breaker, find the flipped breaker, push it to the complete off position and then flip on. If the switch is not completely reset, it will spring back to idle. If you correctly reset the breaker but it continues to flip to neutral, replacing the breaker may be necessary.

Bad Breaker

The actual task of checking the breaker is not the difficulty, mainly because the task consists of touching a couple probes to terminals. The usual hurdle homeowners have to overcome is getting a multimeter to complete the task. Your run of the mill meter can be found at a local hardware store or borrowed from friendly neighbor.

To test a single pull 120 Volt breaker we will need to remove the front panel of the breaker box to access the terminals. Before removing the panel, make sure to mark the switch that handles the light’s load.

The multimeter will have two leads: one Red lead (positive) and one Black lead  (Negative or Ground.)The black lead is connected to COM port and the red to the mAVΩ port, the latter will be touched to the “hot” wire to measure volt load. Set the multimeter to read 120 Volt AC or higher so it can accurately read your breaker.  Touch the red lead to the single pull terminal and the black lead to the neutral base row. The neutral row is normally labeled, but if it is not look for terminal row with the white wires.

Tripping the GFCI

The ground fault circuit interrupter, better known as the GFCI is a safety device used on installations with a higher than normal risk of electric shock. Most homeowners are familiar with GFCIs from their bathroom electrical sockets. The socket GFCI are also used on construction sites where machinery cords could come into contact with water or sheared.GFCI BREAKER

The GFCI works by reading a circuit’s current for an irregularity that could be a symptom of a shock hazard. A GFCI circuit can be activated by a current change as low as 4 milliamps. Interrupter switches are an absolute necessity for safety at home or work, but that sensitivity can cause a nuisance, quite literally.  A phenomena known as nuisance tripping occurs when a GFCI trips when it mistakenly reads a current change as a potential shock hazard.

Common triggers of nuisance trips are:

  • Circuits longer than 100 feet
  • Lighting circuits using fluorescent bulbs
  • Permanently installed electric motors, i.e. bathroom exhaust fans

If the above do not apply to your tripping circuit, it may be time to replace your GFCI. Like any electronic component, these interrupter switches have a lifespan and need to be tested monthly to determine their status.

Line Continuity

A pool light may have up to 200 feet of wire running from the power source to the fixture. Within that length of cable, there may be a fault in a junction, the line or the fixture. Checking line continuity is the process of finding the source of a fault incircuit. Again this task can be done with the handy dandy multimeter. We will be starting from a point in which we assume you have already checked the GFCI and breaker as mentioned earlier in this piece.

  • Set the multimeter to read for 120 or 12 volt range for proper readings.
  • Measure line voltage at junction box. A junction box is the point at which multiple electrical device cables can be joined to one main line. Not all applications utilize a junction so this step may not apply.  If the junction reads 0 then the main line leading to box is malfunctioning. Have an electrician inspect and install a new main line from box to breaker.
  • Remove fixture from niche, then remove bulb from fixture, touch multimeter leads to fixture socket for reading. If the meter reads 0 from the socket, the fixture is dead and needs to be completely replaced.

As you can see the testing of a pool light is straightforward due to the simple nature of its design. One electrical circuit to the fixture allows for a relatively easy troubleshoot without hard labor. As with anything electrical, if you have any questions or reservations, ask a professional before fiddling with live wires. A working pool light is not worth risking electrocution.

If you have any further questions, please give our techs a call at 877-372-6038.

207 thoughts on “Tips for Troubleshooting Your Pool Light

  1. Hi, my pool and spa light will not come on. I have checked breaker I case it has tripped. All okay. I have now removed and replaced the 20 v breaker. Still nothing. I have now removed the pool light fiture and replaced with a new bulb. Still nothing. Can you offer any advice? Thanks Andy

    1. Andy, has the GFCI tripped and maybe you forgot to reset it?

      Does the housing show any signs of corrosion or have you checked line continuity? If the fixture is the problem you will likely just have to replace the whole fixture. If the light cable is fouled then a replacement fixture will be necessary; unless, the problem lies in a junction box or some other power source connection.

      1. hi,i have a question about my swimming pool lights, one time i change the light 12 v. clip type now working,after 30 sec. i checked again,the light does not work,burning inside,but the breaker not tripping then i replace again at the same type, again burning the light ,the i check power output 12.4v. i need your advise.thanks

          1. light model sp0581s15,made in usa,screw type,e27 300w/12v,yes sir i mean light pops causes bulb is fail,thanks for the reply sir..

          2. Hi Guys
            Want replacment LED POOL LIGHTS go to kiwipool.co.nz or email kiwipool@gmail.com
            Also has an Induction Led Pool Light as well as a replacement retro fit for the FIBER OPTIC LIGHTS THAT HAVE FAILED. ALL LOW VOLTAGE.

      2. I noticed one day that there was the light went out and there was water inside the light bulb I thought it was the Transformer had the Transformer replaced and the light bulb replaced and it’s still not working the inside of the light bulb has a little bit of corrosion like if it looks rusted because of the water got into it do you think it’s the whole system the whole light system

        1. A quick way to figure out if the circuit is intact is to use a voltmeter light fixture socket. If the socket is not receiving power then we know the light cable is corrupted. A new light fixture is a likely solution.

          1. Mine has 62 volts in the socket and the switch does not change anything
            4Inch hayward spa light

          2. If your socket is only getting 62 volts, that would be the problem. Bulbs generally come in two types, 120 or 12. Your socket voltage is in no man’s land. Did you switch it to a different breaker? If you have, and the voltage stays the same then your cord is shot.

          3. Hi Matthew

            I have a pool light with Scenes, which I can control from my living room. It is not turning on at all now. I have not come across any topic about this kind of light on the internet. Can u plz help.

            Thanks.

          4. I have not heard of Scenes, so I couldn’t tell you much about it. If scenes is a manufacturer of a home automation system, it may be best to see if they can troubleshoot it.

        2. Hi my pool is only 2 years old built I have 3 led light one in the spa and two in the pool. One of the light from the pool stop working I don’t know if it’s of shit I calle I don’t know if i should contact Hayward warranty

          1. There are two basic options: you can try (or hire someone) to do the troubleshooting mentioned in the article or you can contact Hayward to have them try to troubleshoot with you.

      3. If my spa Led and my two pool led are on a easy touch and on one button does that mean they share the same breaker… my pool lights were put in last year…..

      4. I have a problem with my pool light as well. I replaced the bulb about a month ago and it worked the first day. The next day we went for a swim and It tripped the breaker. I figured water was in it but i was wrong. Now today i tried it just for fun and it works perfectly. Any idea whemy this would happen? I’m afraid it will happen again when i want to use it. Thanks

  2. Hi Matt,
    I’m in a similar situation as Andy. The pool light won’t go on. I moved into this house 3 months ago, and some of the pool lights worked. Then they stopped working, I noticed water in the bulbs. Bought 2 new LED multi colour bulbs, and had the pool guy install them. Flicked the switch, and they don’t go on. Used multimeter to check power coming out of transformer (11.7v), and at the end of the cable by the light. Doesnt seem like there is power at the end of the wire. I find it hard to believe that the cable is fouled in 3 months.. How can i find out what the problem is?

    1. Interesting issue, James. Did the LED lights ever come on? Did you test the lights before you installed them? Also, if you only replaced the bulbs and the fixture was waterlogged, it may be beyond repair.

    2. My new 12v low voltage color led zodiac didn’t work when pool Co installed it needed it for july 4th so they put in temp 120v led that worked fine they said they ordered a new light 2p days later installed another new 12v light this one does not work either I’m trying and fighting with them to fix it. It seems that they dont want to any troubleshooting of what the problem secratary just says we don’t or never use the 12v light but thats what i paid for since my last pool we had the list had water in it troubleshooting the problem would be my first choice to find the problem the only difference in lights is one has a step down transformer not sure if eirei g was cage for new light that doesn’t work either now I haven’t heard from them, I even called the manufacturer zodiac/jandy because pool security sad not compatable with pool equipment not true my whole system is jandy they work with with all pool equipment I’m getting the run around. I WISH THEY WOULD JUST TROUBLESHOOT IT 2 lights in a row being bad yaw Right. I’m thinking they burned out first light and put temp 12v I. Then Put first light back in so they can talk me in to a 12v light that we don’t want?

      1. Bill, is there a chance that you just have a bad transformer? You say the first 12 volt light does not work, then they installed a 120 volt light that worked fine, and then they tried another 12v light that did not work. My first thoughts went to a bad 12v transformer that is messing up the step down in voltage from 120 to 12. If the pool company doesn’t want to troubleshoot the problem, get an electrician to look at it.

  3. Thanks for responding. The problem is fixed now. I had a friend come over that knows his way around a multimeter better than me, and we discovered that the transformer was not working. Swapped the transformer out for another one, and the lights came on as if by magic! So it turns out ‘operator error’ was a factor in my repair..

  4. My spa light will come on for a second then trip the gfci. The bulb does not burn out. Disconnected spa light at junction box and hooked it to another gfci circuit. Same result popped gfci. So problem is from junction to the light. Are there any common problems that would cause this?

  5. My pool light system has a mind of its own. It’s on a Thermocraft junction box and wireless remote, but does not respond to the remote, and goes on and of at random times. We’d like to be able to turn on the lights only when we want to use the pool, and leave them off the rest of the time.

  6. My pool light has gone dim. Still working but not providing the brightness it once did. I haven’t been able to check the lens yet to see if there is a leak.

  7. Replaced my pool light (entire fixture) with a new Pentair LED light. Power is definitely running to the light but it does not turn on. Is there anything I could be missing or should I chalk it up to a defective fixture and return it? Light is definitely the 120v, not the 12v. The old light worked fine for years until it started taking in water.

    1. To me, it sounds like a dead light. You can always try to call the manufacturer to check if they have any tips, but those calls usually end with them deeming it defective as well.

  8. I have a beachcomber hot tub with a broken underwater light down at foot level. It’s rusted through the fixture-can I replace the this myself?

      1. Hey friend. So i bought home 4 months ago, spa light never wekd, i fugured bad bulb, but main pool lightalways worked, i had compamy replaster pool so im taling they had to remove light to do replastering. But everytime i turn on light my gfci near pool equipment trips but if i tirn light swotch off, gfci will work everything else just fine ?

  9. Hello,
    I have a bit of a stumper. I have 3 lights : pool, spa, and a patio pedestal light. Each light works fine independently from my pentagram easy touch control. Pool light and spa light can both be on at same time. Pedestal and spa light can be on at same time. But selecting pedestal and pool light will immediately trip gfci outlet. Any ideas before I call out an electrician?

    1. My first suspicion is that the combination of the two lights is overloading the breaker. The three lights likely have varying loads they put on the breaker, but the combination of the pool light (likely the biggest strain) and the pedestal light is too much. If you feel comfortable in doing so, I suggest putting a bigger GFCI on the circuit.

      1. Hi my pool lights are both new and my timer when I go to turn on the lights the gfci trips immediately I’ve done tons of testing found that the neutral wire is grounded on my panel incoming 4g neutral I asked around and was told that it is supposed to be grounded but my question is why does my gfci trip so I eliminated the gfci as I was told was only for the receptacles and the lights work and don’t trip any breakers I would like to install the gfci back but is it really necessary to do so and what could cause the gfci to trip I pulled amps and it is pulling half of what rated and I replaced with new gfci to ensure it wasn’t weak and same results

        1. GFCIs are for safety reasons, any electrical appliances that are exposed to elements (water) should be protected by a GFCI. Have you had a licensed electrician check out the problem?

  10. I had a problem where my lights (one at each end of pool) would either immediately trip the breaker or do so within about 30 seconds (upon initial try, then subsequent tries would trip the breaker immediately). I replaced the breaker, and the lights seem to work fine, but they are no longer synchronized and one light stays stuck on one color while the other light will cycle through all of its colors. I have a 2007 Aqualink Aquapure and no remote, I switch between light choices by cycling the pool light on and off as described in the manual.

  11. I’m a single mom and my light doesn’t work. We resorted to just swimming during the day. Lately if we touch the light or brush up against it we get shocked. I really can’t afford to pay someone to come out. Is there anything I can do as I am now afraid to swim in the pool at all for fear I’m going to be electrocuted.

    1. Carole, close the breaker feeding power to the light, immediately, and don’t let them back in the pool until this is fixed.

      It sounds like the light is not properly grounded, allowing whatever issue in the circuit to seep out and bite swimmers. Trace the light circuit to its source and check for any grounded wires that are loose or missing. Report back with what you find, or provide pictures to see if we can figure out the circuit problem.

  12. I have an in ground pool / 120v light. last year the light would stay on for 15 min. then go off then back on and off and on ………. this year as soon as I turn it on it lights for only 1 or 2 seconds then goes out. any thoughts?????

    1. The fist thing I would try is replacing the GFCI; it may be as simple as the breaker being bad. Hopefully, it is this because it is the cheapest fix. If it is not the breaker, then you may have an issue with the light cable or fixture. If it is the light, you may have to replace the whole fixture.

      1. Matt,
        My pool has two lights and originally with two independent GFCI, however, seemed that the previous owner installed the two lamps from a single GFCI and once I turn on the light switch, the GFCI trips. I bought two GFCI and tried to wire the two lamps as per original design but now they both trip. I checked ground and neutral and they are properly connected at the junction box.
        How can I test the lamp itself? maybe the cable the problem? how can I checked the cable? continuity check?
        Thanks

  13. I’m having a problem with my pool light as well. Every time the timer tried to switch on the light, the GFCI switch would blow. It’s been doing this for about 2 weeks. Then the pump and salt water generator starting blowing the switch as well. For about 2 days I’d go in and reset the timer and manually switch everything on and it would function fine until the timer shut them all down. Now they run and stop on their own regardless of the timer. Any ideas on what I should do? The pool is just now 1 year old.

    1. Most of the issues in the comments mainly come down to ensuring the electrical circuit’s integrity. The best move is to go down the circuit starting from the power source on down the to the light itself.

      The first thing to check are the wire connetions, check all wire connections (including ground wires) are secure and up to code. Secondly, replace the breaker. A lot of electrical issues stem from a breaker that has gone kaput. Third, check your timer’s owner’s manual for any troubleshooting help.

      1. My sawiming pool underwater light is triping when it’s start . There installed RCCBO there is transformer also. Light is 12 v . I changed transformer but it’s still triping

        1. The obvious first question is: did you complete any of the troubleshooting tips I listed in the article? If you have not, then I suggest you do so and then we can take it from there.

  14. I installed a light using a gfci. I also added an outlet on the same line. Now I am not able to power anything from the outlet and my light is not working. I am getting current to the light\outlet but it does not power anything. I can power the pool light of off another line. ??

    1. I am not an electrician but I would put the light and outlet on separate breakers and see how that works. The two circuits may be too much for the breaker size.

      Also, is it a breaker new?

  15. I am able to turn my pool light on manually with a switch located by the pool equipment. My remote switch in the house is able to turn the pool light off but will not turn it back on.
    Any ideas of what my issue might be?
    Thanks in advance.

      1. I don’t know the manufacturer. Was installed 12 years ago.
        All I can determine is the interior switch is labeled Leviton. Is it more likely the interior switch or the switch located near outside system?
        Thanks again,

  16. Hi. We have a Jandy 30 ft Led pool light that is tripping the breaker (the spa light works fine). I assume water has gotten in the unit. Is it worth it to try and replace just the gasket and the light bulb (which is affordable and we could probably do ourselves) or do I need to invest in a whole new light and installation? (Which was quoted at 1100.00 and way out of our budget.)
    Thanks so much

    1. A light fixture replacement even with installation included for that price, is balderdash, excuse my French. If you are handy, you could complete the installation yourself, see this guide: How To Replace a Pool Light Fixture

      A real simple test to figure out if the light is shot, let the light dry out for a bit and either test the socket for voltage using a multimeter, or screw in a new bulb. If the bulb works, or the multimeter reads the proper voltage, a bulb and new lens gasket should do the trick; if not, you can get a brand new pool light.

  17. Hi. The lights in the pool and spa turn on but only the light in the pool turns off. The spa light won’t turn off in both manual switch and remote switch. All I know that I did was I replaced the lock screw with another size of screw. Here’s the thing that happened. When I was getting the original screw out I broke it and so as the thread. So I tap bit with the next bigger size. From 10-32 to size 12-24 x 3. Not sure why it is not turning off. Please advise.

  18. Hello, maybe you can help with your advice on this… I had a light with water inside the housing/bulb (?) about 1/4 full. Hired a pool repairman to come out and replace the entire thing (not just the bulb). Problem solved but the repairman said he was shocked that the GFCI didn’t trip when it detected water (he said it would usually be very sensitive to water/moisture). He said the even poured a little water on the exposed wires at the junction box and that didn’t trip the GFCI. He said it was very dangerous to have the light on, and to keep the breaker off until I could have it looked at by a good electrician. I called another local trusted repairman and he said the opposite…that because it’s grounded, that I don’t have to worry about anything. Of course, i rather be safe than sorry; should I aim to replace the GFCI breaker? or just have an electrician come out to inspect further?

  19. My pool light had water in it and stoped working.
    After replacing all fixture with a new one and pulling the 100ft cable back to the junction box where the spa light connects. Can’t get the pool light to turn on. When i swap pool light hot wire connection with the hot wire of spa line the pool light works. Which means first thing that the new pool light is good. In the junction box i do get hot wire power reading on the spa line but no hot wire power on the pool line. All wires from the junction box back into the Intellitouch i5 are connected and nothing looks like its tripped. Gfci reset no problem.

      1. Matthew, may I know what was the best thing to do with my problem on the light on my spa not turning off using both the manual and the remote switches. Instead I have to turn off the Gfci breaker off. Thanks.

  20. HI – My LED pool light flashes only briefly when the switch is thrown. I have an Intermatic PX100. When I put a voltmeter on it I get a 120V input line reading and a 12.3V output from the transformer – seems like the transformer is fine. My GFCI is not tripping…
    Thasnk for your help!
    -Chris

  21. The light was installed when the pool was installed, 6 years ago – I know that LED lights should last “a long time”. There does NOT appear to be water in the housing. If it is the light- seems like I will want to wait until the pool is drained below the light case (for the winter)?

    1. To me that sounds like a bad bulb, there may be a troubleshooting procedure for your particular model in the owner’s manual or found online. But generally, the LED bulb replacements are almost the same cost of a whole new light.

      To install a new light, you do not have to drain the pool to replace a bulb, read this guide: How To Replace a Pool Light Fixture

  22. Hello. My pool light won’t turn off. The switch isn’t like a normal switch. It looks like a low voltage thing. There are several buttons but only one works anything….the pool light. What do you think?

    Thanks.

    1. Hi
      When we turn pool lights on they stay on for a few seconds then trip GFI switch everything was working great just started this week.electrican thinks it could be lights

  23. PLEASE HELP,
    I was checking my in ground pool light fixture. I have continuity every where except a little silver part (tab) in the very bottom of the fixture, where the bulb screws in, does this mean I have to purchase a new fixture?
    If I have replace the whole fixture which would you recommend?
    Thank you for all of your help,
    Dumb Broad

  24. I just bought my first home and have never owned a pool before. It’s an inground concrete pool. The light in the pool hasn’t worked since I moved in 3 weeks ago so I’ve been trying to investigate this problem. I have taken the entire housing out of the pool and it is so corroded I cannot get any of the housing to come apart and the labeling is all warn to the point of no reading. I want to buy a new housing and fish the wires through to the junction box but I am not an electrician and am not sure to buy a 12v or 120v housing! My local pinch-a-penny only has 12v housings listed as an option. If the housing can put out either voltage and it just depends whats coming from my Breaker to the Junction box. Since this house was built in the 60’s and I don’t see a converter! My guess is everything is 120v. Just really need to know if I can buy any housing? Thank you.

    1. The housing accepts the voltage it does not put it out, so you will need to determine the voltage coming from the breaker. A 120-volt circuit will have a line running directly from the breaker to the light or a junction box. A 12-volt circuit will have a line from the breaker routed to a 12-volt transformer then to the light or junction box.

      Walk the path of the light circuit to locate a transformer: if there is no transformer present then you have a 120-volt light. Buying the correct fixture voltage is especially important for LED lights because unlike the incandescent fixtures the bulbs cannot be substituted out to switch voltage.

      To determine a proper light replacement, you will need to measure the outside diameter of the face rim and the depth. Similar to the image of a Pentair Amerilite shown below. Review our light section for lights that have similar dimensions:
      Pentair Amerilite.

  25. Hi, I replaced my pentair remote and they did sync it but the spa light only comes on for 3 seconds the shuts off! Any suggestions?

  26. A single GFCI connects the pool and spa light. Pool light works fine but when I turn the spa light, GFCI trips and obviously both the lights done work. I can reset and pool light works just fine.

    What troubleshooting steps should I follow?

    1. Does the spa light work fine with the pool light is not on? If the spa light works fine, then you may try changing the breaker. If the spa light trips the breaker even with the pool light off, your spa light cable or fixture may have a short. You will end to to pull the light to check if water is in the housing.

  27. I just replaced the bulb in my spa and it seems to work fine for a few minutes then as the water heats up it begins to intermittently go off and on, off and on. Purchased the bulb at a local Leslie’s . It is not tripping the breaker and the switch seems to work fine. Any ideas?

  28. Can ants in a junction box, along with some moisture cause a 12 volt spa light 100 watt bulb to blow? The multimeter measures a steady 12.8 volts, there is no water in the interior of the fixture however I do get 9 volts if I measure from the receptacle tip to the outside of the fixture housing……6 inch American Standard light fixture with 15 ft cord.

      1. Of course…the first new bulb lasted about four on/offs…..the second bulb worked once, then would not light upon the second turn on two days later….so my curiosity is wether ants disrupting this circuit could possibly cause a bulb to blow out or is this light done and need to be replaced for $150 or so? In other words…what issues would wet ants in the circuit box,wire nuts cause?

        1. Unfortunately, I am neither an exterminator or an electrician, so I couldn’t tell you with exact certainty what wet dead ants would do to a circuit. But if water got in there it could pop a bulb.

          If the voltage is sturdy, as you say, then there needs to be something else in the circuit (wet dead ants or otherwise) causing the bulbs to pop. Another possibility, though unlikely, is that you bought two defective bulbs in a row.

  29. I have a kaleidoscope pool light. It turns on with no issues. However the kaleidoscope does not turn. I have flicked the on/off switch multiple times but no change in light color. There is a small reset button next to the switch but I believe it does not work. Your thoughts ?????

  30. im having trouble with the pool light, the pool light will automatically turn on its own and will start flickering both outside and inside the pannel (aqualink rs4)! i disconnected the landscape lights that were getting power from the power outlet of the pool where the junction box is, thinking it was out powered but still did the same thing! i replaced the whole light fixture and put in a Halco Pro LED bulb inside, what should i start checking?

  31. I have a question. I replaced the light and gasket in my pool light. It lasts about 1 – 2 days and then does not work. Any thoughts?

  32. Hi Matt,

    I have 2 color splash bulbs, one in my pool and one I. Spa. Recently the pool is stuck on blue and only the spa will change colors or modes. Do you know what would be causing this? I turned off the breaker to reset the system and followed the reset directions with light switches.

  33. My pool light stop working a while back and we had someone come out and they said that the fixture was bad. Can you replace the fixture without having to pull a new wire? And how difficult is it to pull a new wire? My light is less that 25 feet from the power box.

  34. Hi- We replaced a conventional pool light with a Hayward LPLUS11050 and it lasted for just over 2 years. Hayward sent us a replacement in January ’16 and it worked fine till last night. The light is flickering off and on again. We’re in South Florida so temp should not be an issue. These lights are advertised to last 10x longer than conventional and they should, given the price. Are they having quality issues with these lights?? I’m thinking I should be looking at a different manufacturer possibly. No issues with transformer or leaking….

    1. I have heard from several customers I the last couple years how the ColorLogic’s can be temperamental. For that reason, I usually try to guide people to the Pentair Intellbrite who has a lot better track record. I would give Hayward a call to get another warranty replacement.

  35. Matthew,

    Thanks a ton for all of this. I have a pool and spa light wired to the same 20 amp GFCI breaker in my pool panel. Sometimes the light will stay on as long as I want. Sometimes it will stay on for a few minutes. Most often it will stay on for 5-15 minutes then trip the breaker.

    I took off the panel and tested the leads going into the breaker. I got a 116.6 reading when the breaker was in the reset position. When I tested the same leads where they connect to the panel itself, I got the same reading. None of the other breakers in my panel for the filter, pump, etc. have ever tripped.

    Is my next step to test the power from the house that goes to the panel to make sure it is reading at least 120?

    Thanks

    1. Do you feel comfortable putting the light on a different breaker to determine if it is the breaker issue or if it is the light circuit? If the light does not trip on the new breaker, then the breaker may be the problem. If the new breaker does trip, then I would take a closer look at the light fixture. You can check the light housing for water on the bulb or cable issue.

      1. Thanks. I just bought a replacement breaker and will swap it out to see if that fixes it and report back. Thanks!

  36. I’m stumped on why my GFCI keeps tripping. I have a spa and pool light. I replaced both lights with LED lights. Both worked perfectly. Then one day I flipped the breaker and the pool light dimmed and tripped the GFCI. I checked out the pool light and found water in the housing. Pulled the housing out and noticed water had only affected the light and not the socket. I replaced the GFCI but it keeps tripping with no bulb in the pool light. Got it to work for a few seconds with the spa light but it keeps tripping. Hoping I don’t have to pull a whole new pool light line.

      1. I have not tested the socket voltage yet. Don’t have a voltmeter. The spa light was installed in 2014. The first pool LED light was installed in 2016. I bought both of them on ebay. The spa light is a color changing LED bulb, I believe it is a J&J color splash. The pool light is a SMD bright white LED bulb. I know the bulbs are causing the problem. I think something may have shorted out the line, but not sure.

        1. So, the LED bulb got wet, you took it out and inspected it, then reinstalled it? After the install, the circuit still appears to trip? Well, the bulb may just be fried, or still wet on the inner components. Let the bulb dry for longer and then try it. Or get a standard incandescent bulb to test whether the breaker still trips?

  37. Have a 120v Pentair LED Pool Light connected to a local J-box. This LED fixture was installed a few months ago to replace an incandescent fixture. Circuit runs through underground conduit approximately 60 ft., then up to a Photo Cell on the roof of a pool cabana, then back down to a GFCI Breaker in the main Breaker panel.
    Pool Light functions as it should at night, comes on at dusk and stays on all night. At dawn, when the Photo Cell triggers the light to turn off, the light goes into a cycle where it goes off for about 10 seconds, then comes on for about 10 seconds, then off, then on, and this cycle continues all day, even on a bright, sunshine-filled day, until dusk comes around and the photo cell triggers the circuit back on. Both the GFCI and the Photo Cell have been replaced recently, with no change. Baffled by the intermittent illumination during daylight…

      1. Could this be the type or style of Photo Cell…? potentially incompatible with LED lighting?
        Or a bad or missing heat sink in the pool light housing?

        My electrician seems to think we may have the neutral wire crossed with another neutral from some other circuit, though we have checked as much of the line as we can see or have access to…

  38. Matthew…hoping you can help! My inground pool light has not been working for the last few years- there is water in the housing filling it about halfway which is likely what caused the bulb to fail. Sounds like a faulty gasket. From what I’ve read, this is an easy repair…but I’m worried about safety. If power is turned off at the breaker, can I safely unscrew and remove the fixture from the pool, open it, unscrew the bulb and replace it along with a new gasket and reinstall back in pool without fear of electrocution?

  39. Hi

    I have a Hayward Colorlogic light in my pool that will not come on. What steps do I take to make sure it is the light and not something more?

  40. Just recently replaced my existing 120V bulbs with 120V LED’s and outside of the pool the lights worked perfectly. Once installed underwater in their sockets, they do not work. I assumed a leaky gasket and removed them back to the pool deck where they are bone dry internally. Powered back on and voila! Lights work……back underwater and nothing. Any clues as to what the culprit might be as I am befuddled and I am fairly experienced and familiar with electrical circuits.

    Thanks,

    Chris

    1. Are the breakers tripping when the bulbs are not working underwater?

      The hole in which the light fixture cable enters the light fixture, is it completely sealed? Does it seem irregularly loose?

  41. Installed an led light in a pentair housing. The bottom row got wet as water seeped in through the gasket. Only one day went by before I pulled the housing again. About 10 of the individual led’s no longer function. Will they come back after drying out, or are they gone for good?

    1. That is a wait and see game. You will have to give it time to dry out, and hopefully, the circuits can regain their pre-soaked integrity.

      If it works for an iPhone it may just work for a LED light.

  42. Hi Matt, my bulb I just bought will not turn on, my buddy checked the fixture and it had 13 v running to it but the light would not fire in, the bulb is 12v new

    1. What kind of bulb is it? If it is an incandescent then shake the bulb, and listen for a loose filament. If it is a LED, it may be defective; depending on the manufacturer, they may have a way to troubleshooting the bulb.

  43. Is there a way to test the pool while the lights are on to make sure no one gets a shock while in the pool??

  44. Hi Matt,
    I just purchased a brand new LED 35w light bulb to replace my old inground, burnt out halogen pool light bulb. I switched on the breaker and light switch, the light did not turn on. I can not reset the gcif, (the red and black button) is stuck and won’t “click” in. I’ve test the electricity in the outlet next to it, and it is working. Could I have a bad Gcif?

    1. It could be a bad GFCI, change it out and see if it fixes it.

      The only other thing I would check is if there is water in the light fixture. If water is in the fixture, that is causing the short.

  45. Hello Matt,

    My inground pool light comes on for somewhere between a few second and a minute then goes out. I wait awhile with the switch off then turn it back on and the same thing happens. I checked bulb wattage (100W) which is what the transformer is rated for. I checked J-box connections which are okay. Light fixture has no water in it and it is submerged. The only other things I can think of are a bad transformer or light fixture thermal protection. Your thoughts?

    1. Have you tested the voltage that is at the socket end? The wire connections could be good but a bad transformer is causing something to go wrong. Try a new bulb, just to eliminate that element.

  46. My color wheel wasn’t working, so I took the pool light out. After finding out that the repair is going to cost more than I would like, I went to put the light back in; however, I had a small amount of water that I could see behind the pool lens. I replaced the gasket, but I consistently am noticing a small leak behind the pool lens. I have tried to screw the clamp and make the two sides touch…still leaks. I left about 1/2 inch of space between the two sides of clamp…still leaks. Any ideas as to how I can stop the leak so I can just put the light back into my pool?

  47. Hi! I have a 14 year-old Pentair 120V/100W incandescent, in-ground pool light that trips panel circuit breaker. 10K gallon salt pool. I am tempted to simply replace the fixture due to it’s age… without draining the pool, is it necessary to plug the niche conduit opening with pool putty/epoxy after fishing the new fixture cable through it?

    1. Epoxy can be used, but I suggest using a rubber cord stopper. These look like a rubber cork, that has been cored to allow the light cable through. These are easier to install and easier to remove in the future if you are changing the light again.

  48. Hi, I have a pool light that stopped working at the end of last pool season. We replaced the whole box this year. The lights worked for about 2 weeks then stopped again. We can hear the light running(the color wheel in the box turning) but there is no light. We replaced the bulb in the box but still no light. Any idea of the possible problem?

  49. Hello Matt,
    I have a fairly good background in electrical circuity. And I am completely stumped on this one.
    I have a friend who just had a new pool light (120V, 500W pool bulb) and gasket installed in their 10 year old inground .They were told by the installer (after bulb and gasket replacement) that “the light would not turn on probably is a faulty switch”. They called me to come over and replace switch. before replacing switch, I did the usually troubleshooting. Using multimeter.
    1.Made sure power in was coming to switch , Check (120v). 2. Checked power out at switch. No power out.
    3. Replaced switch. (20amp single pole GFCI). Checked power in and out at switch,Check 120V. 4. Light not coming on ????. 5. Removed housing & light from pool. 6. Checked for power at light socket, Check 120 V. must be burnt out light. But just to make sure I told my friend to take the light and put it into a lamp socket inside to see if it lights up. It did ?????? Now what. POWER COMING IN ,POWER OUT TO SOCKET, POWER DISCHASRGE AT CONTACT IN LIGHT SOCKET, LIGHT LIGHTS UP WHEN TURNED IN COMMON HOUSHO;D SOCKET. ????? I’M STUMPPED.

    1. That is a good question and I am stumped as well. The only guess could offer is that the light cable is somewhat compromised. Maybe when you put the leads on the socket and it checks out but under the load of the light, it can’t handle it.

      But that is just a “just throwing it out there guess.”

  50. My pool light gfci is tripping after about four minutes of the light being turned on. I reset the gfci and then light stays on for just about as long before it again trips. Any ideas please?

  51. Matt,

    I just replaced my two bulbs and gasket on AP light fixture, made sure to clean old gasket residue and cleaned lens. Everything worked great, but after a few minutes, I saw one of the lights keep on turning off and on and the other stays on solid. GFCI does not trip, fixtures do share same GFCI. Do you think I might have a bad bulb?

    I know for a fact the fixtures are wired seperatly. But use same GFCI

    1. Pull the light up on the deck, make sure the bulb is screwed in all the way. While it on the deck, test it to make sure the flickering has stopped.if the flickering persists, try a different bulb, switch to a different breaker, or any of the other steps mentioned in the article.

  52. Hi how can I tell if poollighthousing is 12 volt or120 volt, removed bulb housing old cannot read bulb voltage. Want to change bulb from incandescent to led thanks

  53. Looks like american products, but pentair purchased American products.
    I don’t want to damage by purchasing incorrect voltage on led light bulb, 12 volt or 120 volt. Also do not see transformer??

  54. With my multi-meter I am getting 120 Volts on my new pool light fixture at the light socket, but the bulb will not light. The bulb is new & I have also verified it works in another separate circuit. How can I be getting the correct voltage at the socket and a known goid nulb not light up?

    1. Are you sure you are screwing the bulb all the way in? If the bulb is the wrong shape, you may be screwing it in only part of the way. Though the light may seem like it is secure, the bulb is not contacting the socket.

  55. My kaliedescope light works however the wheel isnt turning. It’s an inground pool and I dont think the white little button on the box (reset) is working either. Pool does light up but it’s stuck on one color. Is this fixable or do I need to consider spending $500 plus on another light? If so it’s gonna stay on green for awhile.

    THanks,

  56. Hi. My pool has a Pentair LED light, about two years old. Just recently some of the colors seem to have stopped working, most notably red. When I set lighting color to red, barely any light is coming from the fixture. When i set it to white, it is now more of a blue color that emits rather than white. I have not yet gone through all of the colors, but these are what I have noticed so far. Any ideas?

    1. When an Intellibrite is having that kind of issue, usually replacing the bulb if not the whole light are your only options. Unfortunately, the bulbs are the same cost of a whole no light housing.

      The issue may stem from a bad board or something affecting the diodes. But to pinpoint something on that circuit board you will need more help than I can give. You may want to try the Trouble Free Pool Forum.

    1. Yes, if the voltage is dropping that low, there is an issue with the cable. The likely solution will be changing out the light fixture and cable, not the niche though. The fixture might say “wet niche” but niche is referring to the plastic or metal housing/bowl sealed into your pool wall.

  57. I have a Hayward LPWUS11100 LED light fixture in my pool. It is the only light i have in the pool. Its about 1.5 years old. Recently when i turn it on, the light will shine brightly for about 30 seconds then go dim (still on just not as bright) for about 30 seconds and then back to bright again. This will continue as long as I have the light on. Any thoughts on what might be causing this or how to diagnose?

    1. Use a multimeter to test the voltage of the power source. There is not much else I know you can do with those types of LED lights. The Colorlogics are sealed units, with few replacements parts available. You may want to give Hayward a call for troubleshooting help, because this specific issue is not mentioned in their manuals.

      The closest thing they come to mentioning this problem is below:

      PROBLEM: Light will not come on or light cycles on and off.
      SOLUTION: Depending on cord length and operating voltage, automatic thermal switch may be cycling due to excessive air/pool water temperatures (over
      105ºF). Temporarily switch to a cooler color (Deep Blue Sea, Royal Blue, etc.) until air/water temperatures cool off.

      1. Thank you Matthew. I’ll check out the voltage and see if its fluctuating at all. If it is then, i’ll replace the transformer hopefully avoid the costly LED replacement. If everything seems normal then i guess I’ll just have to bite the bullet and get a replacement. Appreciate the quick reply.

  58. My 1.5 year old Hayward colorlogic LED only illuminates a dim red despite cycling on and off. Also, when the power switch is turned off the light remains on and slowly dims until it shuts off after several seconds. Any thoughts on problem?

    1. There is not much you can do with a ColorLogic once it begins to fail like this. The unit is sealed and Hayward does not offer replacement parts. the usual fix is replacing the whole light.

      Regarding a replacement light, you have a few options. If your light niche is a standard size, which is usually about 8-10 inches deep, you can install a Pureline PureColors light. These are great because they use a Pentair Amerilite housing with a PureLine PureColors screw-in LED bulb. So if your bulb were to ever fail, you just install a new PureColors bulb, without having to replace the whole fixture. Or if you want to stick with the same style of LED light but a different manufacturer, there is alway the Pentair Intellibrite.

  59. My spa light turns on and off randomly. It is on the same circuit as the main pool light which seems to be fine. The breaker does not trip. What should I check?

  60. Hi, my 120v 300 watt bulb burnt. Store mistakenly gave and a 12v bulb. Installed it, turned on, fried bulb. Got a new 120v bulb, won’t work, Cant find a gfci, all breakers at panel have power. What to do??

  61. Hi, I have Hayward Astrolite underwater fixtures. One in my pool and one in my spa. The one in the spa comes on with no problem but when i try to turn on the pool light it trips the GFCI. I reset the GFCI and turn on pool light and it trips again. but the spa light works fine as long as i don’t try to turn on the pool light.. Any suggestions on what to do?

  62. Matt- I suspect the simplest of a burned out bulb, but my fixture has 5 screws not 1 like all the videos I’ve found. Just remove all 5?

  63. We just had our pool and spa resurfaced. Afterwards, the pool light would not work. I replaced the bulb and it works fine. So does the spa light. However, they will not work at the same time.

    Last night we had the pool light on then turned the spa light on and they both went off. Turned the two switches off for 5 seconds or so and each of the lights come back on separately, but when turning them back on together, they stopped working again.

    No breaker reset needed. Just 5 seconds to turn the switches off and back on. No water in either housing and both fixtures are secure.

    Where should I start?

  64. I’m hoping someone can solve this one for me. I have an inground pool with a light. The previous home owner showed me which switch controlled the light, and a couple of years ago the switch seemed to work ok. It would change colors when I turned it on and off, and eventually once I got through all the colors it would go off. And then one day I couldn’t turn the light OFF with the switch anymore (but I hadn’t used it in a year, so I wasn’t sure if I was forgetting something)! It also doesn’t change colors when I turn it on and off – in fact the switch doesn’t seem to do anything.

    It’s attached to GCFI, so I just have turned it on and off using the GCFI for the last couple of years. The pool light is ON (and white) when I turn the GCFI on, and OFF when I turn the GCFI off, regardless of whether the light switch is on or off.

    I don’t know if this is a weird pool light issue or more of a question for an electrician, but it seems like somehow the GCFI has bypassed the light switch all together? Or there’s something weird with the pool light switch I don’t know about.

    The only reason I care is that I finally sprung for a robotic cleaner and now anytime I want to clean the pool I also have to have the light on, since the outlet near the pool is also run by that same GCFI.

    Anyone have any thoughts about if there’s maybe something else that could control that light…or if you think it’s just a bad switch and I should try to change it out?

    Thanks!

  65. Hello –

    We have Hayward Color Logic lights installed in our pool, 2 of them. Everything worked fine until a few days ago when they went out of sync. Then one of the lights started blinking, just blinking. The pattern is 3 red blinks, quick pause, 3 red, quick pause, 3 quick blue blinks. Any ideas? Maybe that’s code for “congrats, time to by a new light, you’re poor again.” Then again, maybe not. Any assistance would be appreciated!

    Thanks

    1. Unfortunately, your codebreaking skills are spot on. It’s time for a new light. Even though I like some of Hayward’s other products, their ColorLogic lights seem to prematurely quit.

      You have a couple of options when it comes to replacing the light. First, you can replace the single light with another ColorLogic to ensure it syncs up with the other bulb. If you want to get away from the Hayward, we suggest the Pureline PureColors or the Pentair IntelliBrite. Both have better track records that the ColorLogic.

  66. Hi Matt
    When I switched my pool light on, it through the breaker. After resetting the breaker, power was restored to the control panel, all readings were working, but the filter would not turn on, nor would the sweeper pump.
    I tried the light switch again and again it threw the breaker. Neither of the pumps will turn on, even with the breaker reset.
    Is this a safety feature requiring the light to be fixed before I can run my pump?
    Thanks

  67. The fuse for my PAL Commander pool light keeps blowing. Could there simply be water getting past the light housing? Everything is hard wired so there’s not a GFCI or many junctions to check.

    Thanks for your consideration.

  68. Hello,
    The light plate is flush and canister fits perfectly in the niche,the new lockscrew is not catching the thread for some reason.Nothing is stripped,it seems to be short but is the exact same as the old lockscrew.I don’t think a longer lockscrew is the answer,i know this seems like a easy fix but I just can’t get around this…any ideas ???

  69. I have a light that don’t work but if you pulg the light in buy it self it will come on than you pulg it in to the box it don’t work how can we fox it

  70. My pool is two years old with two pool lights. One of the lights works perfectly. The other light will come on and work for 3-5 minutes and then start changing colors randomly for 3-5 minutes and then turn off. Looking for any help you may have to offer.

  71. Just replaced the bad 12V spa light fixture with new fixture of same design. Made connections to the box as it was with the old unit. ( Main pool light and spa light are wire-nut connected to the same breaker.) Light worked for 3 hours and shut off. Will not come back on, but the main pool light works fine. Any idea what to do?

  72. Hi Matthew,

    Our pool is brand new, job completed this past Jan, 2019. This past weekend we decided to use our pool, we heated it up overnight and at night when we wanted to swim the pool lights were out, we did find the GFCI and it was tripped so we reset it but only the pool light came on and the spa light did not. What could be the reason for this. We tested the GFCI several times to see if the spa light would come on but it never did. Any suggestions?

  73. Hi Matthew,
    I had a service company come out and install an iaqualink (replacing an RS8). They were able to hook up the pool light but not the spa light (both Hayward colorlogic). They are trying to tell me my 3+ year old spa light needs to be replaced. It worked fine when I closed the pool last year. (The installation was done at the same time pool was opened).Tech was clearly in a hurry and wanted to leave. Any advice in how I can validate. Thanks

    1. Because the ColorLogic is an enclosed system, I’d try hooking it up to a different breaker to confirm if the light is dead or if further troubleshooting is needed. Before switching the light to a new breaker, test the breaker with a voltmeter to make sure it is working.

  74. Installed a new 12v led. Voltage going into transformer is 120v. Voltage coming out of transformer is 14v. When I turn the switch on to the light, the light works fine. However, when I cycle the switch to change the color of the led light it causes the GFCI to trip. This also happened when I tested the light outside of the pool prior to the install so I know it is not being caused by water intrusion. Thoughts?

      1. Yeah I can but this is one I installed a year ago so seems odd that it would be bad. I can actually cycle the light to change colors by hitting the test and reset buttons on the gfi. Once I get it where I want the light will stay on for hours. It just seems like tuning the switch on at the wall is causing a brief power surge that trips the GFI. What if I switched the light switch with a dimmer and set it to a lower setting so that less voltage would go through when the switch is turned on?

        1. A lot of LED pool lights do not work with dimmers. It seems like the circuit between the Switch and GFI is the issue. I would make sure connections are tight; or replace wires and/of the switch; and be done with it.

  75. Hi,

    I have a Jandy CPHVLEDS150 pool light. The blue and green colors work, but none of the other colors will come on. Is there a way to just fix those colors, or does the entire light need to be replaced?

  76. Hi, Matt,
    We recently switched over to an LED color changing bulb for our in-ground pool. While we didn’t notice at first, when turned on there appears to be smoke streams emitting from the light (perhaps the fixture itself). We called our local pool technician out who suspected water may be getting in so he resealed. Even after, we are still seeing the smoke streams and our technician is at a lost. GFCI is not tripping, but of course there is some level of concern. Any thoughts come to mind on what might be causing this?

  77. Hi Matt,

    I have an intellibrite underwader pool light and it is stuck on Red only? When I change to another color that color comes on for a second but then switches to solid Red. Any ideas?

  78. Matt,
    About 2 months ago I replaced my pool light with a LED color changing bulb. It had a regular flip light switch. I decided to have an electrician install a Wifi switch for convenience. The old light worked just fine. When installing the new WiFi switch the breaker would continue to trip. Finally found one that worked without tripping the breaker but I noticed when I turned the light on that it was flickering very fast. We pulled the pool light out and there was a little bit of water in the light. The fixture was installed in 2005. Is it possible that it is a breaker issue or is it pretty much a slam dunk that the fixture is fried. We tested the existing fixture with a light bulb and it pops the breaker instantly. I guess my questions are, why did it flicker with the pool light but once we pulled it out and used a test bulb it trips right away. The second is is it possible that it’s just a coincidence that all of this happened when switching the light switch out.

  79. I have the Pentair 5G 12V LED lights attached to my EasyTouch 8. Two lights in pool. One in spa. Each on separate circuits obviously with separate 12V/100W transformers. Spa light suddenly stopped working. Come on sometimes but usually not. Sometimes it comes on one color and just flashes. I’ve pulled the light and see no water inside. I’ve yet to pop open circuit breaker boxes but I can hear the relay in EasyTouch clicking and I feel it at the transformer. These lights are about 3 yrs old. Any thoughts as I stumble through the weeds? I have lots of electrical experience but not pool lights. I’m the one who put them in. Oh what fun that was. Attached nylon rope to old light wires, applied pool grease, pulled very carefully. Attached new wires to rope I pulled through, greased it, slide back through. Not so tough when the run is 10-15 feet away. The one must have gone around the world and back. Straight line to junction box is about 30’. Had to use a 75’ light. Good thing I measured the old cable before buying the new one. I was going with a 50’ until I realized how long that run. Talk about holding your breath if it gets stuck or the rope comes off somehow. Just my experience in case anyone benefits. Right now just need my spa light back to 100% without having to buy and expensive LED board.

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