How To Change Pool Light – DIY Guide

Swimming pool lights are not essential when constructing a pool but they add to the beauty of your pool during the night. You may not appreciate pool light until it goes off and you cannot see what’s in the dark waters. A typical pool light bulb should last for more than 1,000 hours, while its protective casing lasts for years. However, corrosive water chemistry in your pool can make the fixture and the screws that hold the pool light together weaker which may call for replacement. When it comes to changing your pool light bulb, you have different choices. But of importance is getting one that will fit perfectly in the socket and protective casing. When you want to buy a replacement of your bulb, carry the original bulb with you to your pool replacement center so that you can get the right size that will fit perfectly.

pool light
The light fixture is normally gasket fixed thus prevents water from getting to the bulb which is usually behind the lens. Still, water surrounds the whole fixture ensuring its cool always. Never operate the light for even a second without ensuring it’s completely submerged. Pool light needs to be submerged in the water so that you can lower the chances of overheating.

The pool light or fixture usually sits in a “bucket” that has turned on its light facing the pool, known as the light niche. The pool light niche is bigger than the fixture itself and it provides room for some feet of cord to easily get coiled right behind the fixture. This extra pool light cord makes it easier to bring the fixture on the deck when changing or carrying out repairs. The light niche also offers a threaded hole that takes the screw in which supports the pool light into place.

At the back of the light niche is where the wiring conduit links up from the fixture to the junction box that positioned at least 3feet back and 18 inches above the water level. The wires from the pool light (load) link up with the wires from the breaker panel (line) at the junction box. This box should always be kept off water and children.

Before you learn how to change pool light, you will need:

• A replacement pool light bulb
• Pool light gasket
• Phillips and flat head screwdrivers
• a circuit tester
• Dry towels

 A well lit pool


There are high chances of electrocution or electrical shock. For your safety, it’s important to take all the needed precautions before you begin working with water and electricity. If you do not know how to work properly with both water and electricity, do not attempt to change pool light by yourself.

Step 1

Look for the circuit breaker box and switch off all the electricity that leads to the pool area. If you are not sure that all the electricity to the pool is off, you can use a circuit tester. Test the switch in both the on and off positions. If there is presence of electrical voltage, the sensor will react with an audible and visual alarm.

Step 2

You need to now unscrew the single screw that holds the pool light housing to the side of the pool. You can slide a flat-blade screwdriver between the edges of the light housing and the walls of the pool. This will help to remove the light housing from the light niche or can.

Step 3

Ease the clamp screw and remove the gasket and lens from the housing. Your swimming pool light may be installed with about 6 to 8 brass screws that hold in place the lens and gasket to the housing more so if it’s an older model. Make sure you check for any form of corrosion on the screws and be careful you don’t break the screws in case they are corroded. If your screws are corroded, check for the right replacement at your local pool supply center.

Step 4

Check for any water in the housing that may have splashed from the lens and gasket when you were removing them. Use a towel or any soft piece of cloth to pull out the old bulb from the housing. As you hold the replacement with a soft cloth or towel, screw it into the swimming pool light housing socket.

changing pool light

Step 5

Set up the new light bulb and gasket and change the pool lens on the housing. Secure the clamp screw or change the screws you first removed so as to firmly fix the lens. Submerge the housing in the water to check whether there are any air leaks. You may notice one or two bubbles but if you notice a stream of bubbles which is steady, then that may mean the housing is not properly sealed. Take down the lens and gasket and then set it up again to firmly secure it.

Step 6

Roll the pool light power cord round the back of the fixture housing. Place the housing inside the niche and fix it to the side of the pool using the screw you had previously removed.

Step 7

Turn the pool area lighting circuit breaker and enjoy well-lit night swims.
If you have changed the pool light but still the light does not work, you can use a test meter to check power at the switches, junction box and breaker. The junction box is often located off the deck, approximately a foot higher next to the light. It’s a tiny box of about 4″ x 3″, that has conduit pipes which run up into the floor of the pool. They are mainly located under or behind the diving board.

Some experts would however advise that before you change a pool light bulb, you should ensure there is power connection all the way to the bulb. Since you may not even need to replace your bulb after all, it could be a bad connection in the junction box, tripped GFCI and a bad breaker.

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