How to Replace a Pool Light Bulb

Written by:  Danny Rhodehamel

Has your pool light bulb burnt out? Here are the steps to make the change as easy as possible.

Tips & Warnings


Things You'll Need

Step by Step

Step 1

Caution: Possible Electrical Shock or Electrocution: For your safety please use the necessary precautions before attempting to work with water and electricity. If you are unsure or unfamiliar with how to work with water and electricity, do not attempt the following steps.

Step 2

You will first need to purchase the correct replacement pool light bulb and lens gasket for your light fixture. There is not one standard replacement bulb and gasket for all pool lights. That would be too easy! If you already know the make and model of your pool light, go to our Light Parts page to find the proper bulb and gasket.

Step 3

If you don't have any information about your pool light, you will most likely need to follow the steps below to remove the light from the pool wall. The manufacturer name, model number, voltage and wattage of pool lights is typically found on a sticker on the back of the light housing (usually where the cord of the light attaches to the housing).

Step 4

If you find that there is no sticker or it is unreadable, there are a couple things you can try in order to identify the light. Check for a part number on the face ring and on the lens as manufacturers sometimes have part numbers molded into the parts. You can also see if the pool light bulb itself has any specs on it. If it is labeled with wattage, voltage and base type (R40 would be the base for a standard "flood" type bulb), you would have the necessary information needed to replace the bulb. Keep in mind this will not identify the gasket which should be replaced to ensure a proper seal on your pool light. Try measuring the outside diameter and thickness of the gasket and see if it matches the gaskets for the most common pool lights, the Hayward Astrolite or Pentair Amerlite.

Step 5

Gather the following items: Replacement pool light bulb, new lens gasket, Phillips and flat head screwdrivers, a circuit tester, and a couple of dry towels.

Step 6

Locate your circuit breaker box and shut off all electricity to the pool area. Use a circuit tester if you're not positive that all of the electricity is off.

Step 7

Now it's time to remove the pool light from its casing, commonly referred to as the light niche or can. Most pool light fixtures are secured to the niche with a single pilot screw at the top of the light. Locate and remove this screw.

Step 8

Pry the light fixture out of the niche. There should be enough extra cord for you to pull the light up onto the pool deck. If you don't have enough extra cord to reach the pool deck, see our guide on "How To Temporarily Extend a Short Pool Light Cord to Replace Bulb". Note how the excess cord is stored so you can replace it the same way when re-installing the light. Lay the light on one of the towels to protect the lens from scraping or breaking on the deck. Use the other towel to dry the light.

Step 9

To get to the light bulb, you will need to remove the face ring, lens gasket and lens. Corrosion may have occurred so use care and the correct tools. Remove the screws or clamps holding the light fixture together. Gently pry off the face ring and then the gasket and lens. Clean any old gasket residue from the surface on the lens using a damp rag.

Step 10

Using a towel, unscrew the light bulb with great care. Dry the inside of the light fixture and clean any gasket residue from the light housing that comes in contact with the gasket. Do not use anything hard to scrape clean. If you score the surface of the housing, it may not seal properly.

Step 11

Screw the new bulb in securely but do not over-tighten. Install new lens gasket around the lens and reassemble the lamp fixture.

Step 12

Find a friend to watch the light while you briefly turn on the electricity. This is to confirm that the new bulb actually works. These lights are not made to be turned on out of the water, so this has to be a very quick check.

Step 13

Now check for leaks by placing the light underwater. A few bubbles may float up, but air should not be coming from the sealed outer edges.

Step 14

Restore the pool light and the excess cord to their original positions. Make sure the screw holes line up correctly.

Step 15

Turn your electricity back on and enjoy swimming at night once again.

Comments (1 to 38 of 38)

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User: Seabee2nd

Removed the light fixture but the cord seems to be too short to reach the surface. Is this possible? Can I replace the light without draining the pool down? Can I disconnect the wires at the switch, tie a string on the wires, pull the light to the surface, then reattach the wires at the switch?

User: Inyopools

KingPedroll - The LED "bulbs" look like bulbs but have extra circuitry in them to provide light changing capability. Most LED bulbs run between $200 and $400.

User: KingPedroII

I am confused. I see references to changing out incandescent bulbs and LED bulbs. I was considering switching to LED but can't find bulbs only. Just the entire unit at $200-$400. What am I missing?

User: Kyle

Your video is soooooooooo helpful. I never dreamt I could take out the bulb casing without draining the water. Thank you so much!

User: Inyopools

replacing bulb - The pilot hole may have been striped. For a temporary fix you might force a slightly larger stainless steel screw in the hole. Or for a more permanent solution, use a tap to re thread the hole.


Replacing the bulb was no problem, but I can't secure the faceplate. After several attempts I finally figured out that the screw hole in the tab at the top of the niche isn't threaded?? What am I missing?

User: Inyopools

pokermama- The pilot screw that attaches the light fixture is outside the sealed bulb so bubbles shouldn't be coming from the sealed bulb through where the pilot screw is. Take the light fixture out of the niche and hold it underwater by itself. If you don't see bubbles coming from the light fixture, you should be ok.

User: pokermama

I replaced my light gasket..and now i see bubbles coming from where the screw is???

User: Inyopools

Simon - Have you checked the source power to make sure you are getting power to the light fixture? Assuming you replaced old light cable with the new one, check the source end of the power that connects to the light cable at the house. Make sure that you are getting power to that cable and that it is 120V. I'm also assuming that the light fixture is run on 120V and that there is no transformer involved.

User: Simon

I bought a Hayward Underwater Lighting Fixture with 500 W bulb in it for
120 V. I installed it on the place of the old one and turned on the power switch. The light was never on. I returned the fixture and they sent me another one. This time before to instal the fixture I measured the resistance between the black and the white wires. The ohmmeter shows infinity, i.e. line disconected. Please, if you could help as a second time with brand new manufactured devices the light system doesn't work.
Thank you in advance.

User: Inyopools

EMTpools - I am not aware of a kit that would reduce the opening of a large pool light niche to accept a smaller light.


Can a pool light be replace with a smaller light
Is there a kit?

User: Inyopools

Allen - I do not know why your LED bulb is dimmer. It may be a voltage issue. Give us a call at 877-372-6038. If our service rep cannot answer your question, we will line you up with a tech rep at the manufacturers.

User: Allen

After few month my New led bulb is dimmer .Can you tell me why?

User: ninad

Great bideo - wish I had seen this one week sooner when I had drained out , cleaned and refilled the pool! Oh well - next time I'll know better!

User: Inyopools

Jess - Yes, you can have the pool light up on the deck while the pump is running as long as you have shut off the power to the light.

User: Jess

Can I run my filter and pool heater while my under water pool light is out on the deck? Waiting for the bulb to be deliverd.

User: Inyopools

Jack - I haven't pulled this light fixture apart. Please call Jacuzzi on this at 450-250-4500. There tech staff will have the answer.

User: Jack

Just removed my Jacuzzi FMH-100 to change burned out bulb. No screws. Screw off lens cover will not bulge. Any suggestions?

User: Inyopools

Scott - Hopefully you used a new gasket. You can lubricate the gasket but it sounds like you may have another problem. Check that the cord on the back of the fixture is sealed. Also check that the light fixture around the gasket is not scored. When you first place the light fixture in the water, check for bubbles as an indication of a leak.

User: Scott

I replaced pool light and gasket. Water came in over night. Can i use pool lupe on the gasket and seal between lens and housing? Any other thoughts.


Excellent illustration. Returning screw to top pilot nut a little tricky. Thanks for providing this how-to.

User: Inyopools

Richj88 - I would use a multimeter to check if power is getting to your light then check back down the line at the switch and transformer if you have one.

User: Richj88

I left our color changing LED pool light on for several days and by the time I realized it and went turn it off it was not working. I checked the breakers and GfI and they seem fine. However the light switch itself feels loose. Should I try replacing the switch before I change the LED?

User: Inyopools

Hidy - I'm not aware of a waterproof splicing kit. Generally, when this happens, you end up buying a new fixture and re-running the cable. Make sure the bulb is screwed all the way in and check that you have the right voltage bulb for your circuit.

User: Hidy

I'm afraid the connections (where the bulb screws in) have gone bad. Circuit does not trip when light turned on, but the light doesn't come on. Have tested the bulb and it is good. Is there a way to wire in a new light without re-running all the wire? i.e. a waterproof splicing kit?

User: Inyopools

TJ - Did your lamp work above the pool (Step 12). Check your GFI first to make sure it hasn't failed. Then pull the fixture out again and make sure there is no moisture inside the fixture. Check gasket installation. Check the coiled cord for breaks in the insulation. Check the back of the fixture where the cord goes in to make sure that is sealed.

User: TJ

Replaced bulb and gasket as directed. When I turn light on the GFI keeps tripping. Any suggestions?


this was EXCELLENT. thank you for the info. the best was reminding us to check how the wire was curled in. would never have thought of that.

User: Inyopools

Jones391 - Our parts list for a Purex CHD / Pool Star Light shows the equivalent of a pilot screw - Key #1. This is the only Purex light we show in parts. Is this your light and could a previous owner have lost the screw and maybe glued or wedged in the face plate?

User: Jones391

I have a old light by Purlex that does not have pilot screw to hold the face on. How do I remove it?

User: eanie

I have a light that doesn't screw out so when I tried the bulb just disintegrated in my hand. Now I need to replace the entire fixture. Can you give me advice?

User: Inyopools

Deke - If I understand your comment correctly, you have a mark on the side of the pool going straight up from the top of the light frame to a point 10" above the light. This sounds more like a metallic stain than a burn mark. I don't know how a burn would go up the side of the wall and stop 10" up? Even if it did, a burn of that size would sort out the GFI or other circuit breakers. I would treat this as a stain. See our guide on "How to Remove Swimming Pool Stains" for more information.

User: Deke

I have had the pool light go out twice in the 5 years I've had the pool. I didn't replace the light this year yet , but in the last few days I have noticed a large burn mark above the light (running app 10 inches from light and above. Any suggestions. No electrical power was interrupted. GFI was ok.

User: Inyopools

bad light seal - If you are sure that the light bulb is still good, I would get the right seal and try it putting it together again. When you have the light fixture out again, see if there is any indication of shorting or other damage where the light screws in. When you submerge the assembled light fixture, check for bubbles as an indication that the fixture is still not sealed. If the socket is bad, you may have to buy a new light fixture and rethread the cable back to the power box.


Was very successful in replacing the light bulb and then the next day it was obvious that we were sold the wrong gasket because there was water inside the casing of the light bulb....light bulb still good but now the light fixture is not breaker tripped and bulb is still good...Can we replace something else to fix this problem???

User: rjchoice

very easy,thanks


very easy directions. they can be followed by most any adult and avoid the $100 charge our pool repair guys charge in my area.

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Tips & Warnings

If you can kneel on the coping and reach the light, you do not have to lower the water level. If not, drain the pool water or jump in.

Any parts that are crumbling or corroded should always be replaced.

Please Note:

Inyo Pool Products is not responsible for any injury or damaged equipment
while using our guides. Using our guides is doing so at your own risk.
These guides are suggested use of your pool or spa equipment and may vary
depending on which product you are using.