How to Care for Your Pool Lights and Maintain Them

Whether you’re installing some brand new lights or you’ve just installed a pool and you need lights in general, there are specific steps to follow and some warnings. Today we’ll discuss pool lights installation , replacement, and checking.

WARNING: Before working on pool lights, regardless of the water level, turn off the power at the main circuit breaker and keep it off until finished. Do not allow the breaker to be on while whoever is working on the lights is touching water or the lights.

Before you start: Once the breaker is off, you need to make sure the breaker is not tripped. If it is, you need to check the GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) and you can read detailed instructions about the GFCI process here. If you turn on the pool lights switch and the GFCI trips you should not proceed; seek professional help.

  1. Ensure the breaker, GFCI, and pool lights switch are all off.
  2. Remove the pilot screws holding in the fixture. Vinyl liner pools have additional screws around the light to keep it intact—do not remove these. Some lights do not have pilot screws and need to be pried out with a flat-head screwdriver. NOTE: Most styles of lights contain water in the niche holding the fixture to keep the light cool, also allowing you to pull the light out with water still in the pool, reducing damage.
  3. Remove the light, place on the deck. If the chord is not long enough you may need to go to the junction box connecting the light, inside the dive stand. Disconnect the light cord at the junction box. It may be helpful to attach some wire or a string to allow you to move the wire back to replace the light in the fixture.
  4. Open the fixture. You will either find many screws in the back of the unit rim or one screw holding on a band clamp. Remove screws or clamps and pry open the fixture if needed. Be careful and use appropriate tools to avoid breaking lenses.
  5. If the GFCI was tripping, you may find water in the unit. If this happens, dry out the unit with a towel or hairdryer. Remove the bulb and continue drying all parts. DO NOT touch halogen bulbs with your bare hands. The oils in your skin can mess the bulb up. If the bulb is burned out, replace the bulb.
  6. Once bulbs are replaced, turn the unit on for a few seconds. Due to the need to be water-cooled, do not allow the unit to be on for more than a few seconds out of the water. If the bulb does not work and you were testing for a GFCI trip, replace the bulb.Pool Lights
  7. While GFCI, light switch, and breaker are still off, reassemble the fixture. Now may be the perfect time to also replace the light gasket. Ensure all screws are back in place and tightened evenly to maintain seals and prevent damage. If you are dealing with the clamp style, tap around the unit to ensure even pressure.
  8. Immerge the fixture in water and check for air bubbles escaping around the gasket. If seen, reopen, dry, and reassemble.
  9. Place the unit back into the niche in the pool wall. Screw in the pilot screw or snap it back in place.
  10. Pull the chord back to the junction box if the chord was too short (from step 3).
  11. Turn breakers and GFCI back on to check the light. Enjoy your new or repaired lights.

Never be afraid to ask for professional help. If you want to ensure it’s done correctly the first time in as little time as possible, our technicians would be happy to do this. If you’re a customer paying for weekly services we may even be able to spot problems lights before you do.