How to Upgrade Your Pool Light To an LED Color Changing Light

Written by:  Danny Rhodehamel
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Do you have an outdated white incandescent light in your pool burning 300-500 watts per hour? You need to upgrade to a cost efficient color changing LED pool light with energy saving of over 80%. This guide will show you how to convert by simply changing the bulb in your pool light fixture to a J&J Electronics Color Splash Bulb.

Tips & Warnings

Video

Things You'll Need

Step by Step

Step 1

To avoid possible electric shock, turn off the power to the pool light at the circuit breaker. Also at this time try to determine what voltage level your pool light is operating on - 120V or 12V. If your light uses 12V, you will find a transformer usually mounted on the house wall between the circuit breakers and your light fixture. If you control your light remotely, check that your remote system handles low power (<40W) LED lights. Some only support higher power (40 - 500W) incandescent lights.

Step 2

Purchase your light ahead of time so you have it on hand for replacement. We had to take our light fixture out of the pool wall to determine what it was. For instructions in how to identify what light you have, go to our guide How To Identify a Replacement Pool Bulb / Light . Then go to our website Pool Light Bulbs to find a comparable replacement bulb. Also when you replace your bulb, we strongly recommend that you also replace your pool lens gasket to ensure a water tight seal for your pool light. See Pool Lens Gaskets

Step 3

Our light is an old American Products Amerlight pool light (now Pentair) which has a regular (Edison) base so we need a replacement light bulb with an Edison type base. One of the most popular LED color changing bulbs with the Edison base is J&J Electronics' Color Splash LED Pool Lamp. For economic reasons, we are installing a 2G Color Splash version. Another option you might want to consider is the newer 3G version which cost a little more but is brighter and provides more uniform light.

Step 4

Your first step in replacing the light bulb is to remove the pool light fixture from the niche in the pool wall. Most pool light fixtures are secured to the niche with a single screw at the top of the light. Remove this screw. If the pool light is just below the surface, you may be able to remove the screw by leaning over the pool deck. In this case I had to get in the pool with a snorkel and goggles.

Step 5

Pull the pool light fixture out of the niche. You should have enough excess cord to be able to lay the light fixture on the pool deck. Note how the excess cord is stored in the niche so you can replace it the same way when you reinstall the pool light.

Step 6

Lay the light fixture gently on a soft surface on the pool deck and dry it with a clean towel.

Step 7

Disassemble the light fixture. The older models like ours have a series of brass retainer clips and screws around the perimeter of the light fixture to keep it together. Remove all the clips. Note: the newer models are held together with a unitension wire clamp with one bolt and nut. See Pentair Amerlite Pool Light for examples of both models.

Step 8

Gently pry the lens and gasket off the Face Assembly Ring.

Step 9

Gently pry the lens and gasket off the light fixture housing.

Step 10

Remove the old gasket from the lens.

Step 11

Clean any old gasket residue from the surface on the lense using a damp rag.

Step 12

Carefully remove the old bulb with towel.

Step 13

Dry inside of light fixture and clean any gasket residue from the light housing that comes in contact with the gasket. Do not use hard scraper to clean. If you score the surface of the housing, it may not seal properly.

Step 14

Screw in the new bulb securely. Do not over tighten or you may break the bulb.

Step 15

Wrap the new gasket around the edge of the lens.

Step 16

Place the gasket & lens on top of the light housing.

Step 17

Set the light housing (with lens and gasket) on top of the Face Assembly Ring. Reassemble the light housing assembly by screwing in the brass retaining clips. Alternate tightening of screws/clips to allow the gasket to seat properly -two on one side then two on the other side. Do not over tighten. Hand tighten only. If you find that the gasket is not fitting into the groove of the Face Assembly Ring, you might try stretching the gasket a little.

Step 18

Submerge the assembled light housing in the water. Watch for bubbles. A few bubbles may float up, but air should not be coming from the sealed outer edges.

Step 19

Replace the light fixture by first recoiling and storing the excess cable as observed in step 5. Then push the light fixture back into the niche.

Step 20

Replaced the single screw to secure the pool light fixture to the niche

Step 21

Restore power to the swimming pool light fixture.

Step 22

Test operation of the light. When you first turn the light on, it should sequence through its 7 colors.

Comments (1 to 16 of 16)

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User: Inyopools

KEN - I was told by an Intermatic rep that the output of a transformer is 12V AC. And I do not know the lumens ratings, but the newer LED lights are equivalent to the older incandescent lights in brightness.

User: KEN

question: is the 12 volt ac or dc. want to convert my 120 to 12 volt. Need to know what type of power supply to obtain as I feel the 12 volt is safer than my 35 year old 120 volt lamp. which led bulb is closer to the original light volume lumens 256 or 526?
thanks,
ken

User: Inyopools

peterp - I assume you are talking about the pilot screw in step 4.
If it is stuck in there, talk to someone at a local HW store. There are taps to back the screw out. If the threads no longer hold a screw, ask about a tool to retread the hole.

User: peterp

Bought house with pool light blown out. Problem is when I bought the house I was toldded the previous owner stripped the screw from a neighbor. Now what?

User: Inyopools

SteveA - You have three options that I know of: 1- drain the pool to a level below the light; 2-buy and string a new light fixture with a longer cord; 3- if you have enough line above ground on the other end, you might be able to put in another waterproof junction box. Then you could pull more slack for your light end and add wire between the new box and the supply box. You do not want to slice the existing cable in the conduit underground. Water generally finds its way into the conduit.

User: SteveA

I have verified that I have a 500W 120V bulb. Problem is they did not put in enough wire to get the light out of the water to change the bulb. How can I change the light? Thanks

User: Inyopools

EJ - These Watercolor LED lights are a bulb designed to screw into an existing (compatible) light fixture without having to replace the fixture or power cord. Please give us a call at 877 372-6038 to see if your SPA light fixture is compatible with the Watercolor LED light bulb.

User: EJ

Great info...I have an existing Jandy 12v halogen spa light and niche, can I use the existing power cable on a new Watercolor LED or will I have to pull the existing light cable out and pull in the light cable? Is the cable sealed to the fixture in such a way that it cannot be removed without damaging the seal?

Thanks in advance!
EJ

User: Inyopools

Switching Colors - The LED lights are designed to move to the next programmed setting each time you turn the switch on and off. This will toggle through the different color settings and shows.

User: 

I am confused as to how you change the colors if I have the basic Pentair 120V 500W lamp system now. It turns on and off only either form the panel or the remote control.

User: Inyopools

appletim - LED bulbs are sold for 12V or 120V systems just like the older incandescent lights. All 12V lights need a transformer to step down the voltage and a transformer is a transformer. The same transformer that you used for your older 12V incandescent bulb can be used for your newer 12V LED bulb.

User: appletim

My light is an American Products 784 series (now Pentair) light, with a burnt out 300W, 12V, R-40 bulb, and a transformer is already mounted to the house near where the pump is. So do I still need a transformer for converting to an LED bulb?

User: InyoPools

mk - Not sure what you mean by a 14 volt light. Colorsplash lights are only sold for 12V or 120V systems so they operate on 12V or 120V depending on whether or not you have a transformer. Lights themselves are designated by watts or lumens. Assuming that this is not your problem, unless you have a separate control system like Jandy Aqualink, these light are normally sequenced by flipping the wall switch on and off. If you have 10X remote relays in your lighting system, I have discovered that they will not work with the lower powered LED lights.

User: mk

I just installed a colorsplash 3g but it will not cycle. I have a 12 volt system and am wondering if the 14 volt light could be the problem. Any suggestions.

User: InyoPools

lw - Most lights are designed to work in salt pools with salt levels below 4000 ppm - unless they specify fresh water only. As long as the 120V lights are bonded to the pools grounding system they are safe or else we could not sell them.

User: lw

Do salt pools require a different light rated for salt pools. I saw a light by pentair that said fresh water pools only. Is there really less shock hazard with the 12 volt or does the ground fault breaker provide enough protection for the 120 volt lights. Is there an isolation transformer on a 120 volt light?
Does the Hayward light work in a salt pool?

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Tips & Warnings

Click <a href="http://www.inyopools.com/manuals/680/Color_Splash_Install_Guide_Web.pdf">Operation Manual</a> for instructions on how to sequence through your colors.

If you currently control your light(s) remotely. make sure that your remote system handles low power LED lights. Some only work with higher power incandescent lights.


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.