5 minute read
Replacing old halogen pool lights to LED is much easier than you think! The range of bright, glowing colours create an impressive underwater light show, but some are not impressed with the higher price of LED lighting, though making the switch is a long-term investment that pays off!
LED pool lighting is also much more energy efficient. In fact, LED lights save about 80 percent more energy than halogen lights do, a serious reduction that pool owners eventually see on their energy bills and in their back pocket. Halogen pool lights are still around, though losing favour to new LED options. Halogen lights can cost up to $1 a day to run if used daily, and do not have the same brightness or effect compared to LED lights.
Halogen lights also have a much shorter lifespan, this is due to the rubber O-ring around the light deteriorating and needing replacement, once water enters the light chamber it blows the fuse, which can cost around $80 in parts to replace!
LEDs come in a variety of colors that are easily changed by either the flick of a switch, the press of a remote, or by pre-programmed settings. LED lights are 3 to 5 times more energy efficient than traditional halogen lights, they also produce around 90% less heat, and have an average lifespan of around 50,000 hours compared to around 5,000 hours for the old halogen style.
- Spa Electrics
- Aqua Quip
- Autumn Solar
How to update your old halogen light with a new LED light.
Switching over your old pool lights is actually a fairly easy process – and you don’t even need to shell out for an electrician! Some basic tools (outlined below) and easy to follow steps below is all you need to add an oasis light and atmosphere to your next summer party.
Basic hand tools required
- Phillips screwdriver
- Knife / Pliers
- Flat blade screwdriver
- Silicon (for fibreglass pool surfaces only)
Ensure the power to the pool equipment is completely shut off.
To take the current pool light off the wall this is done by removing a screw at the top of the light or it may have 3 locating screws around the light. In some pools, the light is much lower in the water and will require you to actually get into the pool.
Tip: Do not forget goggles if you do have to get in the pool and go underwater so that you can see the screw.
Select the correct retro bracket from the new light. The light fixture will be anchored into the niche with a long cord. The cord should be long enough to allow you to bring the light above the water level and lay the light fixture on a towel poolside. Note 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.
Tip: Sometimes it takes longer to figure out how to replace that cord than it does to replace the light.
Disconnect the cable from the rear of the light, this will need to be cut as close to the light fitting as possible so you have maximum cable length.
Remove the bracket that previously held the pool light on the wall. Feed the pool light cable through the supplied retro bracket. Once that’s done, affix the bracket to the existing mount locations using the screw kit provided. Some LED lights come with universal brackets that have numerous hole configurations in them. The beauty of these is that you can use the existing holes in the pool wall. Some existing brackets will also fit with the new retro lights depending on what was previously there.
Tip: If you have a fibreglass pool, you should consult your local pool shop on how to mount the new light.
Prepare the cable by stripping it back to specified length as per the instruction details. Connect the cable to the light using a Philips Head screwdriver along with the appropriate fittings, ensuring a snug terminal connection.
Place the light back into the water. 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.
Once that’s done, turn power on test the light. When you first turn the power back on, the LED light should go through its sequence of colors if it is working properly.
We have outlined the Pros and Cons of Halogen VS LED below
3-5 times more energy efficient than halogen
More expensive purchase price
10 times the lifespan of halogen lights
Repairs are not an option. Entire light must be replaced
Brighter, more vibrant light
More than one light could be too bright for small pools
Many changing colors
Pool Light Safety & Transformers
Some older swimming pools still have 240v cable leading into the swimming pool. If you have one of these, do not try to uninstall it yourself, an electrician is required by law. Nowadays LED pool lights typically use only 12V compared to a house (240V) and the new transformers now are normally installed near the pool equipment and reduce the 240V to 12V.
Remote control swimming pool lights
Now you can purchase an optional remote control system made specifically for LED lights that can switch them on/off and remotely choose your colour settings.
This remote system is connected via your pool light transformer and requires additional work. There are also options where you can control the pool lights via a mobile app!
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 tropical backyard oasis’s.