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Thread: LED and Incandescent Pool Lights (re: safety)

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Central FL

    LED and Incandescent Pool Lights (re: safety)

    Is there any safety benefit to installing an LED vs Incandescent light. (I know LED is suggested, but I have a really old niche (Sta-Rite), that is only 8" and lights are hard to come by. I found one that is intended for it (SwimQuip light), bought it, and it is sitting here at my house. BUT NOW (after I have bought/received it), I am re-thinking it, and considering attempting to return it, instead ordering an LED light that is made/marketed as a compatible light for my ancient 8" niche: J&J Electronics PureWhite LED Pool Light SwimQuip Series

    (this is the one I bought already)

    As far as my actual question, is there any safety advantage of having an LED vs older light? I do have a transformer, so we're at 12 volts, but I am curious and asking a general question..

    One other reason I am thinking of trying to return and buy the LED is that the cord is smaller and I know I am going to have trouble pulling out the old light cord through the conduit, and maybe it will be easier to pull the new cord through too if it's a smaller diameter cord. I'm going to have a lot of trouble already as I am missing the ring on the niche that has the screw hole at top and clip at bottom to install, so I'm going to attempt it with two light wedges - 1 at top and 1 at bottom, and hope it stays

    Curious if there is any advantage regarding safety between LED vs Incandescent light fixtures? Why does an LED not require a bond wire, but an incandescent does require a bond wire ran through with the light cord?

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Sacramento, CA

    Re: LED and Incandescent Pool Lights (re: safety)

    I don't know why there'd be a different bonding requirement for LED vs incandescent; where did you see that? I could see 12V vs 120V having different grounding or bonding requirements (but I don't know if they're actually different), but not LED vs incandescent unless it's something like one light having a plastic housing vs metal.

    The LED requires a smaller gauge wire because it needs a lot less current. Wire sizing is based on current, not voltage, so a 300W incandescent 12V light at 25 amps needs a much thicker wire than 300W 120V (2.5 amps). The 12V LED at 40W (giving light equivalent to 300W incandescent) draws 3.3 amps, closer to the 120V incandescent, so it can use smaller gauge wire.

    In theory, a lower wattage light would be safer if it used a lower capacity transformer that couldn't leak as much current through a fault, but if you're using the same transformer it shouldn't make a difference.

    The cost comparison claims on the LED site are pretty hilarious though, making assumptions like 12 hours/day 365 days/year usage with incandescent bulbs changed twice a year (driving the maintenance cost up). I still think LED is the way to go, but not because it'll otherwise cost $200/year to maintain the incandescent
    21000gal IG plaster, Sacramento CA area (late 1950s/early 60s)
    Filter: Cartridge, Pentair CCP420 (2014)
    Main pump: Pentair IntelliFlo VS (2015)
    Boost pump: 3/4hp (2011), Polaris 280 cleaner (unknown age)

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