There are many sound reasons to choose LED pool light over halogen lighting. Not only do the bright colors create an impressive light show underwater for in-ground pool owners and their guests, but LED pool lighting is more energy efficient. In fact, LED lights save about 75 percent more energy than halogen lights do, a reduction that pool owners eventually see on their energy bills.
Some people have objected to the higher price of LED lighting, but those who decide to make the switch are making a long-term investment in a light that lasts longer. If the light does not have to be constantly replaced, there is a significant savings. Over time, the higher price of LED pool lights pays off.
For a thorough discusion on LED pool lights and halogen lights, you may read our article LED Pool Lighting: LED Vs Halogen.
How to Officially Make the Switch
You will need to know the voltage level that operates your swimming pool lights so that you can purchase your light ahead of time. Common voltages are 12, 24V and 32V. You can find this information by looking at the light’s transformer. The transformer will be located in with the pool equipment near the on/off switch or in the wall of your house near the switch.
If it’s in the wall, you’ll have to wait until you take the existing light off to check the voltage. This can be down by reading any markings on the light or by measuring the voltage with a multimeter.
In order to change the light, you will be removing the existing light. You’ll need to measure your existing light and get a similar size. It’s best to get one that is the same or slightly larger.
Once you have the replacement light fitting, make sure the power to the pool is completely shut off. It is best to do this by shutting down the power at the circuit breaker.
Take the pool light fixture off of the the pool wall. You may find you have to do this by removing a screw at the top of the light. In some pools, the light is much lower in the water and will require you to actually get into the pool. Do not forget goggles if you do have to get in the pool and go underwater so that you can see the screw.
The light fixture will be anchored into the niche with a long cord. The cord should be long enough to allow you to lay the light fixture on a clean towel or other soft material spread on the poolside. Pay careful attention to the way the cord is tucked into the niche or conduit because you will need to return it to that position once the light is switched. Sometimes it takes longer to figure out how to replace that cord than it does to replace the light.
Take the light fixture apart. You may have to remove clips and screws on the outside of the light’s frame in order to get to the light. Then disconnect the cable. Some cables can be unscrewed from the terminals, others will need to be cut. Cut it as close to the light fitting as possible so you have maximum cable length.
At this point, you’ll need figure out how to mount the new light. Remove the bracket that previously held the pool light on the wall. Some LED lights come with universal brackets. These are brackets with many hole configurations in them. The beauty of these is that you can using the existing holes in the pool wall.
If the light doesn’t come with this bracket, you’ll need to lower the level of your pool to below the light then drill some new holes to suit the new light’s bracket. Now screw on the new bracket.
If you have a fibreglass pool, you should consult your local pool shop on how to mount the new light.
Connect the new light to the existing cable. If the light has terminals, then strip the wire and screw into the terminals being careful to maintain the correct positive/negative polarity.
If the light doesn’t have terminals and comes with a cable that is already attached to the light, then you’ll need a cable joining connector or splice kit. Follow the directions that comes with it.
Place the light back into the water. Wait to see if any bubbles escape once the light is in the water. If air is coming from the outer edge of the light, it is not sealed properly. Remove the light from the water, dry it off, remove the screws and clips and reseal it.
You may have to get back in the water to return the cord to its previous position behind the niche in the pool. Once the cord is in place, push the light fixture back against the wall or into the niche. Replace the screw at the top of the light to hold it in place. If you forget this screw, you may find yourself back in the water in hours or days repeating this step.
Return to the circuit breaker and restore power to your new LED pool light. When you first turn the power back on, the LED light should go through its sequence of colors if it is working properly.
LED Lighting is a Mood Enhancer
Deciding to change LED pool lights does not have to be such a daunting task. It will require some patience with removing all the component parts of the light fixture and a bit of confidence with replacing the light fixture underwater. Once the light fixture is out of the water, it is mostly an intuitive process. Pool owners who have not yet done so will probably make the switch eventually.
LED pool lighting has become an industry standard. Aside from being energy efficient and economical, the lights have been known to be positive mood enhancers. With the flip of a switch pool owners can set the tone for their back yards and the guests who are visiting them.