The Pool Profit

Swimming Pool Lights Aren’t Working? Let’s Figure it Out!

Swimming pool lighting failure is one of the most common issues that pool owners have to deal with. It’s not a very serious problem, but it can be an annoying problem if you don’t know the root of the issue or how to solve the issue. Before you panic, let’s start with the basics (the ol’ “is it plugged in?” solution).

Check Your GFCI Outlet

A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is a fast-acting circuit breaker that shuts off electrical power if a ground fault occurs. You can find GFCI receptacles in areas of your home that have water sources, like kitchens and bathrooms, and near swimming pools. A GFCI reset caused by water intrusion is the most common cause of swimming pool light failure and, thankfully, one of the easiest to fix.

All you have to do is press the RESET button on the GFCI outlet to reactivate it. If this doesn’t fix the problem, then you may need to replace the GFCI receptacle, but you should check the next step before resorting to this solution.

Check Your Breaker

If your pool lights are connected to a circuit breaker, then you should check the breaker to see if a switch flipped. If this is the case, then that’s likely your problem. Flip it back, and you’re good to go! Even if the breaker doesn’t appear flipped, perform this as your first step. If everything looks normal and the light doesn’t illuminate, then you probably have a problem with the pool light itself. An electrician or pool professional may still measure the GFI receptacle and circuit breaker capacity as their first steps before choosing a light replacement option. 

Check Your Pool Light

If neither of the previous options worked, then it’s time to examine the light itself. Look for signs of water or “burnt” markings on the inside of the bulb. You can check for these signs without getting into the pool. No swim goggles necessary! If you see water inside the fixture, that means you have a leak. Leaks occur when the lens gasket (the seal between the bulb and the housing) breaks or the light itself cracks. If water gets inside the bulb, it will short out the light.

While you can replace the light entirely, it’s much more cost-effective to replace the bulb and gasket instead. If you are unsure of how to do this, you can consult the PoolStar Command app for help. If it doesn’t appear that a leak has compromised your light, you may simply have a bad or overheated bulb. Replace it!

Common Issues with Pool Lighting

When it comes to pool lighting, water intrusion is an inevitability. Seals break down over time, and plastic and glass parts can break. At some point or another, you will most likely have to replace one or more of your pool lights.

Unfortunately, water intrusion is hard to avoid completely because, well… it’s a pool light. It’s underwater. Plus, the water in your pool acts as a coolant, which prevents overheating.

Most pool lights are incandescent, but newer LED pool lights (especially the 1½” and 2” nicheless lights) are more likely to burn out due to lower profiles and water-tight conduits, which significantly reduce the water-cooling surface area.

If you have LED lights, you need to be prepared to replace the bulbs more often than if you have incandescent bulbs. Pool light burnout is an ongoing issue, but the swimming pool industry is constantly working on product improvements to create an effective solution.

We believe that all pool lighting should move to low-voltage LEDs to take pressure off of our over-taxed electrical grid system. States like California and Florida, for example, have mandated that people replace high-voltage bulbs that have gone bad with low-voltage bulbs.

Advancements in low-voltage LED lighting systems have begun delivering much lower failure rates and approaching a three-year lifespan before having issues. Fluidra’s Jandy pool lights are some of the best in the business and lead the pack in operational longevity. Making the switch to low-voltage LED pool lights can significantly reduce the number of issues you have to deal with each year.

Download the PoolStar Command App!

Owning an in-ground swimming pool is part of the American dream, but unfortunately, this part of the American dream comes with a lot of upkeep and maintenance, as well as costs associated with that upkeep and maintenance.

Pools can be expensive (and a pain in the butt), but the PoolStar Command app can help you stay ahead of the curve and keep your pool in tip-top shape. Download the PoolStar Command app to gain access to loads of pool-related resources, tips, tricks, and guides and compare the value of your home to other homes with pools. PoolStar Command is a valuable resource that all pool owners should have at their disposal.