How to Replace a Pool Light Bulb

WRITTEN BY:  Inyo Pools

  3.17 out of 5 stars on 6 ratings
(Click on a star to add your rating)

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


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.


(1 to 40 of 51)

Queala  Posted: 10/20/2016 14:53 PM  Latest

Referencing Don's question; I have pool liner also and this is first time we've had to change bulb. How do I know if I need to remove water from pool to change bulb? Is there a way to check? I don't want to remove water unless it's definitely necessary.

Inyopools  Posted: 08/13/2016 10:27 AM  Inyo Product Specialist

Don - Yes, the principles are the same to make sure the light fixture is sealed properly. You may have to drain your pool down below the light fixture so you don't get water behind the liner when you pull the light fixture.

Don  Posted: 08/11/2016 10:56 AM 

All the videos i see are concert walls. Can you do this with a vinyl liner?

Inyopools  Posted: 07/25/2016 15:14 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

Eads - Appling a light coat of silicone lubricant would provide a better seal. Do not use petroleum jelly. That product will deteriorate the gasket.

Eads  Posted: 07/25/2016 12:27 PM 

Is there any reason to apply some petroleum jelly or silicone gel to the gasket for a better seal?

Inyopools  Posted: 07/11/2016 11:11 AM  Inyo Product Specialist

bill - I would guess that you are probably all right. There is a chance that your light fixture has a small leak if it is old but most problems are from the gasket and you replaced that.

bill  Posted: 07/09/2016 22:19 PM 

replaced bulb & new gasket in hayward spo580 pool light
exact model gasket & recommended 120v 500w bulb
did water test - submerged light - all good - re-installed light
turned on, was perfect for a few minutes - when it starts to heat up
i get a few tiny bubbles from top of light
does it sound like a leak or does 500 watts create a few small bubbles when heating up ??

Inyopools  Posted: 07/07/2016 23:31 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

Randall - You may have the wrong bulbs or a leak in your light ficture. Which Hayward light fixture do you have? Are you set up for 24v or 120 V? What is the part umber on your lights?

Randall  Posted: 07/04/2016 15:03 PM 

I have a hayward fixture and got two feit 300 w lights to replace bulb, but light burns out immediately when checked to see if it works. regular bulb works when fixture on deck so power is good. please advise problem.


Murphyr2murphy  Posted: 07/03/2016 21:49 PM 

Have hayward fixture-bought two feit bulbs at Leslie's. replaced bulb.flipped switch to check that they work and both "popped" not broke, just don't work anymore-regular bulb works so circuit is fine. Do I need a particular bulb for the hayward fixture or were the bulbs old or a bad batch.


Inyopools  Posted: 06/06/2016 17:17 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

Brianna - Getting that screw back in takes a lot of patience. Try weighting yourself down or have someone push you to the wall to keep you from floating off.

Brianna  Posted: 06/05/2016 18:12 PM 

I have an older Hayward fixture. Got it out ok but can't get it back in because it's in the deep end and keeps floating up before I can get it screwed in. Screw hole is set back in the housing. In the water I keep floating away! Help!

Inyopools  Posted: 05/24/2016 14:01 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

Seabee2nd - That's the way I would do it. Here's a guide on "How To Replace a Pool Light Fixture". It shows how we attached the cord to pull out and replace the whole cable. You will only have to pull out 4-5 feet.

Seabee2nd  Posted: 05/23/2016 16:07 PM 

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?

Inyopools  Posted: 01/12/2016 13:05 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

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.

KingPedroII  Posted: 01/09/2016 13:31 PM 

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?

Kyle  Posted: 07/22/2015 8:13 AM 

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

Inyopools  Posted: 06/02/2015 12:23 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

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.

Anonymous  Posted: 06/02/2015 12:12 PM 

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?

Inyopools  Posted: 05/21/2015 23:40 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

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.

pokermama  Posted: 05/19/2015 6:13 AM 

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

Inyopools  Posted: 03/15/2015 10:27 AM  Inyo Product Specialist

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.

Simon  Posted: 03/14/2015 3:41 AM 

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.

Inyopools  Posted: 02/14/2015 11:14 AM  Inyo Product Specialist

EMTpools - I am not aware of a kit that would reduce the opening of a large pool light niche to accept a smaller light.  Posted: 02/13/2015 15:21 PM 

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

Inyopools  Posted: 11/18/2014 12:37 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

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.

Allen  Posted: 11/18/2014 9:06 AM 

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

ninad  Posted: 11/15/2014 10:40 AM 

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!

Inyopools  Posted: 09/08/2014 16:09 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

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.

Jess  Posted: 09/06/2014 19:41 PM 

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.

Inyopools  Posted: 06/19/2014 23:13 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

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.

Jack  Posted: 06/19/2014 10:17 AM 

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

Inyopools  Posted: 06/06/2014 9:23 AM  Inyo Product Specialist

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.

Scott  Posted: 06/05/2014 13:21 PM 

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.

Anonymous  Posted: 05/26/2014 11:19 AM 

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

Inyopools  Posted: 02/09/2014 10:52 AM  Inyo Product Specialist

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.

Richj88  Posted: 02/05/2014 11:29 AM 

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?

Inyopools  Posted: 09/23/2013 11:52 AM  Inyo Product Specialist

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.

Hidy  Posted: 09/21/2013 23:42 PM 

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?

Inyopools  Posted: 09/08/2013 9:35 AM  Inyo Product Specialist

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.