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Thread: Lights/electrical question

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    JamieP's Avatar
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    Lights/electrical question

    I need to figure out which cord lengths to buy for the 3 intellibrite LEDs our pool will have. I've been looking into this a bit and it seems they get run to a junction box somewhere near the pool (with specific distances and elevations from the pool water based on code), so my cord lengths should be based on where this junction box is located and each light's distance from it. Is this correct? This will help me determine where the best place for the junction box would be.

    Also, we will have two lighted bubblers and I'm wondering if the electrical for these is also run to the same electrical junction box?

    Finally, is the electrical from the junction box then run back to the pad to coordinate with the automation?

    I know these are pretty basic questions, but I've got to learn somewhere!
    28,000 gallon freeform, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Minipebble with abalone, 3.5' to 8.5' depth. 2 skimmers, 5 returns, dedicated vacuum port, Dolphin Z5 robot. All Pentair equip: EasyTouch 8, IC60 SWG, VS pump, 520 Cartridge Filter, 3 Intellibrites, 2 Color Cascade Bubblers. TurboTwister Slide and 8' Salt System Jump Board. TF-100. My Jan-Mar 2016 build:
    Waxahachie, TX Owner Build - A race to beat the baby!!

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    Re: Lights/electrical question

    Mine go to the controller box at the equipment pad.
    Pool is done! Only took 17 months! - Natural shape in-ground pool: 37x23, 505sq ft, 96ft perimeter, 7ft deep end, 18,950 gallons, tanning ledge, blue surf pebble sheen/luminous blue blend, Belgard coping, 910 sqft paver deck/walkways, retaining walls out the yinyang. Jandy SWG, 2 LED Color lights, VS 2HP Pump, 460sqft cartridge filter, PDA RS P8 controller. My build

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    JamieP's Avatar
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    Re: Lights/electrical question

    That seems like the simplest thing to do. I wonder if it's a question of how far the distance is to my pad and whether the cords will go that far. I'll have to take some measurements to see if that would work.

    Also, the lights cost more the longer the cords get. I wonder if one way is more economical than another... Shorter cords to a junction box, then run to the pad, or run directly to the pad with the longer cords?
    28,000 gallon freeform, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Minipebble with abalone, 3.5' to 8.5' depth. 2 skimmers, 5 returns, dedicated vacuum port, Dolphin Z5 robot. All Pentair equip: EasyTouch 8, IC60 SWG, VS pump, 520 Cartridge Filter, 3 Intellibrites, 2 Color Cascade Bubblers. TurboTwister Slide and 8' Salt System Jump Board. TF-100. My Jan-Mar 2016 build:
    Waxahachie, TX Owner Build - A race to beat the baby!!

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    Re: Lights/electrical question

    Mine go to a junction box and/or controller box at the pad. Don't go too short or you are...
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
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    Re: Lights/electrical question

    You are correct the lights go to a J box that is elevated above the water line a certain distance usually within a few feet of the control panel or switch. Check your local code and add at least a few inches just above what is required incase your inspector has a faulty tape measure If you get the 120V version after the J box they can go right to a GFCI protected circuit on your control panel or a switch, if you get the 12V version they go to a GFCI protected transformer above the J box that goes to the control panel or switch. I don't see any problems with running the bubbler lights to the same box but I would check with the city when you pull your permits on stuff like that. be sure to leave enough length to coil in the niche to bring the light up on the deck should you ever need to service it or clean behind it.
    12,300 Gallon, IG PebbleFina, 3 ft sheer, 2 Jandy nicheless LED lights, Jandy Pro 1.5HP VS pump (A.O. Smith Motor), PB4-60 Booster pump, Polaris 280, Jandy cv340 cartridge filter, Zodiac Z4 control panel W/iAquaLink, Stenner pumps for chlorine & MA connected to WiOn WiFi switches, TF-100. You can support TFP with AmazonSmile just click the link!

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    Re: Lights/electrical question

    Quote Originally Posted by JamieP View Post
    That seems like the simplest thing to do. I wonder if it's a question of how far the distance is to my pad and whether the cords will go that far. I'll have to take some measurements to see if that would work.

    Also, the lights cost more the longer the cords get. I wonder if one way is more economical than another... Shorter cords to a junction box, then run to the pad, or run directly to the pad with the longer cords?
    Ideally you'd like to have one single j-box at the equipment pad. I doubt the cost of an electrician's time and materials to run two j-box's with the required conduit and trenching will be cheaper than just one j-box and the longest cord length available. I've seen lights with over 300-ft of cord length. How far exactly is your equipment pad from the pool?

    Matt
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Lights/electrical question

    Mine go directly to my equipment pad into the panel. Also just because the light is < 20 feet away does not mean that it does not take the long route around the pool at over 100 feet. I learned that the hard way.
    Approx 11K Gal. 10'X30' Semi free-form IG - 6 ' raised spa w/6 jets - 10' circle sun shelf with 1 bubbler - Waterfall - 3 / 1.5 HP pumps - Polaris 280 Cleaner - 3 Pentair Color LED Intellibrite Lights - Pentair 400K Master Temp - 2 Valve Actuators - 5 Fiberstar Mini Laminars - 1 Fiberstars 2004 Illuminator - 2 Skimmers - 6 Returns - Caribbean Blue Pebble Tech - 600+ sq ft kool decK - Auto Fill - 2 Boston Acoustics VOYA RK5 Outdoor Rock Speakers - 2 TIC Corporation TFS5CN 6.5-Inch 150-Watt Terra-Forms Rock Speakers - Apple Airport Express - 1 Awesome View.

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    Re: Lights/electrical question

    Until you determine the location of your j boxes (or box)hold off on ordering your lights.

    Generally you want a short run from the light niche to the j box. That run is the cord attached to your light. Part of that run is submerged and its a relatively thick cord. Its easyer to replace when that happens fifteen years after the pool is built. Second, the run from the j box to the subpanel or pool automation can be regular wire so its much simpler to pull.

    Now I break both these rules and my j box is 35 feet from my pool next to my pool automation box. but is a fairly straight run.

    Generally you need a j box and cannot run the light cord directly into the pool automation or a subpanel or switch.

    Pool light junction boxes must have a special ul listing and must be set specific distances from and above the pool. Your electrician will handle that.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Lights/electrical question

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Ideally you'd like to have one single j-box at the equipment pad. I doubt the cost of an electrician's time and materials to run two j-box's with the required conduit and trenching will be cheaper than just one j-box and the longest cord length available. I've seen lights with over 300-ft of cord length. How far exactly is your equipment pad from the pool?

    Matt
    The pad is kitty corner to the top right of our freeform pool, about 20 ft away from the water edge on that side, but the lights are all on the bottom side of the pool, closest to the house. So assuming they are wired around the underside of the pool as opposed to around the far side, the longest run for the farthest light is pushing right at 150', so I'd probably want to go a little longer for that one just in case.

    Now that you've explained how the J box works in relation to the pad, plus with the cord lengths I see that these lights come in, it does make more sense to get long enough cords to reach the pad. And they don't seem that long after all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flippy View Post
    Mine go directly to my equipment pad into the panel. Also just because the light is < 20 feet away does not mean that it does not take the long route around the pool at over 100 feet. I learned that the hard way.
    What was the reason they didn't take the shortest route?

    Thanks for the help!
    28,000 gallon freeform, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Minipebble with abalone, 3.5' to 8.5' depth. 2 skimmers, 5 returns, dedicated vacuum port, Dolphin Z5 robot. All Pentair equip: EasyTouch 8, IC60 SWG, VS pump, 520 Cartridge Filter, 3 Intellibrites, 2 Color Cascade Bubblers. TurboTwister Slide and 8' Salt System Jump Board. TF-100. My Jan-Mar 2016 build:
    Waxahachie, TX Owner Build - A race to beat the baby!!

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    Re: Lights/electrical question

    Quote Originally Posted by JamieP View Post
    What was the reason they didn't take the shortest route?

    Thanks for the help!
    Probably because the dug one trench for plumbing etc... I know mine follow the plumbing because the trench was already there even though the conduit has to back track a bit.
    Pool is done! Only took 17 months! - Natural shape in-ground pool: 37x23, 505sq ft, 96ft perimeter, 7ft deep end, 18,950 gallons, tanning ledge, blue surf pebble sheen/luminous blue blend, Belgard coping, 910 sqft paver deck/walkways, retaining walls out the yinyang. Jandy SWG, 2 LED Color lights, VS 2HP Pump, 460sqft cartridge filter, PDA RS P8 controller. My build

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    Re: Lights/electrical question

    Generally they are going to follow the plumbing trench.

    Generally you don't want to use a 150 foot run for the light cords. That would be unnecessarily expensive. You will want a j box over to the side and out of the way. The cords will run from the light niches to the j box and then regular wire to the pad. In cost alone that's in excess of $200 I would bet. Four -- 150 foot runs -- each in their own conduit -- vs a j box and one run -- Your electrician will say HE double toothpicks no.

    - - - Updated - - -

    You should not order the lights until after the electrical is roughed in. In other words after all the conduit is installed. Generally you want the shortest most direct route for this run because you are running cord through the conduit not strands of wire.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Lights/electrical question

    Quote Originally Posted by gwegan View Post
    Generally they are going to follow the plumbing trench.

    Generally you don't want to use a 150 foot run for the light cords. That would be unnecessarily expensive. You will want a j box over to the side and out of the way. The cords will run from the light niches to the j box and then regular wire to the pad. In cost alone that's in excess of $200 I would bet. Four -- 150 foot runs -- each in their own conduit -- vs a j box and one run -- Your electrician will say HE double toothpicks no.

    - - - Updated - - -

    You should not order the lights until after the electrical is roughed in. In other words after all the conduit is installed. Generally you want the shortest most direct route for this run because you are running cord through the conduit not strands of wire.
    Thank you, this is very helpful. I was already coming to the conclusion that I should just wait on ordering the lights until I at least picked an electrician and spoke to him, but knowing I can wait until the electrical is roughed in is even better. I appreciate you explaining the benefits of a closer junction box too. That's how I had originally thought it had to be done, but it's all new to me so I wasn't sure.

    At least after everyone's help I know I don't have to order the lights right away. That alone is a weight off. Thanks everyone!
    28,000 gallon freeform, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Minipebble with abalone, 3.5' to 8.5' depth. 2 skimmers, 5 returns, dedicated vacuum port, Dolphin Z5 robot. All Pentair equip: EasyTouch 8, IC60 SWG, VS pump, 520 Cartridge Filter, 3 Intellibrites, 2 Color Cascade Bubblers. TurboTwister Slide and 8' Salt System Jump Board. TF-100. My Jan-Mar 2016 build:
    Waxahachie, TX Owner Build - A race to beat the baby!!

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    Re: Lights/electrical question

    Quote Originally Posted by JamieP View Post
    I need to figure out which cord lengths to buy for the 3 intellibrite LEDs our pool will have. I've been looking into this a bit and it seems they get run to a junction box somewhere near the pool (with specific distances and elevations from the pool water based on code), so my cord lengths should be based on where this junction box is located and each light's distance from it. Is this correct? This will help me determine where the best place for the junction box would be.

    Also, we will have two lighted bubblers and I'm wondering if the electrical for these is also run to the same electrical junction box?



    Finally, is the electrical from the junction box then run back to the pad to coordinate with the automation?

    I know these are pretty basic questions, but I've got to learn somewhere!

    3 Intellibrites!!! Wow I cannot wait to see those, its gonna be awesome!!! All my lighting runs to the panel (Pentair Easytouch)
    Freeform /620 Surface/110 perimeter/20k gal/ Raised bond beam/Baja shelf (2)//Pentair- Intelliflo VS pump, Pentair Whisperflo 1hp// Easytouch, C&C 520 Cartridge, Intellichlor SWCG// A&A- Magnasweep in-floor, LeafVac, Venturi Skimmer,// Mini-pebble (Aqua Blue w abalone shell)//4 Pentair Globrite LEDs//3 sheer descents//Travertine coping and decking.

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    Re: Lights/electrical question

    Quote Originally Posted by azjoshers79 View Post
    3 Intellibrites!!! Wow I cannot wait to see those, its gonna be awesome!!! All my lighting runs to the panel (Pentair Easytouch)
    Uh oh... Now I'm wondering if 3 Intellibrites is going to be overkill! It's going to be a big pool though (926 sq ft, 120 ft perimeter) and is a freeform L shape, so I'm trying to make sure I've got good light coverage. I need to look into how to get a photobucket account soon so I can start posting more pictures than my small TFP site allotment.
    28,000 gallon freeform, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Minipebble with abalone, 3.5' to 8.5' depth. 2 skimmers, 5 returns, dedicated vacuum port, Dolphin Z5 robot. All Pentair equip: EasyTouch 8, IC60 SWG, VS pump, 520 Cartridge Filter, 3 Intellibrites, 2 Color Cascade Bubblers. TurboTwister Slide and 8' Salt System Jump Board. TF-100. My Jan-Mar 2016 build:
    Waxahachie, TX Owner Build - A race to beat the baby!!

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    Re: Lights/electrical question

    I don't think it will be overkill! It's gonna be sweet!!! My contractor just told me that depending on the depth of any Baja/tanning shelves the large lights like intelli brites will not light them very well. That's why I went with Globrites in the main walls and in the walls of each shelf.


    Freeform /620 Surface/110 perimeter/20k gal/ Raised bond beam/Baja shelf (2)//Pentair- Intelliflo VS pump, Pentair Whisperflo 1hp// Easytouch, C&C 520 Cartridge, Intellichlor SWCG// A&A- Magnasweep in-floor, LeafVac, Venturi Skimmer,// Mini-pebble (Aqua Blue w abalone shell)//4 Pentair Globrite LEDs//3 sheer descents//Travertine coping and decking.

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    Re: Lights/electrical question

    * I recommend the low voltage lights. Some say that there's still an electrical risk with either kind (low or regular 110 voltage), but I can't help but think it's better to have less power in the pool.
    * You will need multiple transformers at the pad to do the conversion from regular voltage to low voltage. Probably 2 300 watt units if you are going with 3 5G's and 2 bubblers. This ends up being essentially the same price wise, because you pay extra for a transformer built into the unit if you go with regular voltage light.
    * I'm pretty sure you will need to have independent conduit and wire running all of the way back to the pad if you want to be able to control each light independently (turning them on/off and having them be different colors). You can save money with the J-box idea near the pool, but I think you will have to sacrifice those features if you do.

    So many decisions ... so much information ... eh!

    Don't worry, eventually your head stops spinning and you have an incredible pool to enjoy.

    Good luck!

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    Re: Lights/electrical question

    Quote Originally Posted by imperator View Post
    * I recommend the low voltage lights. Some say that there's still an electrical risk with either kind (low or regular 110 voltage), but I can't help but think it's better to have less power in the pool.
    * You will need multiple transformers at the pad to do the conversion from regular voltage to low voltage. Probably 2 300 watt units if you are going with 3 5G's and 2 bubblers. This ends up being essentially the same price wise, because you pay extra for a transformer built into the unit if you go with regular voltage light.
    * I'm pretty sure you will need to have independent conduit and wire running all of the way back to the pad if you want to be able to control each light independently (turning them on/off and having them be different colors). You can save money with the J-box idea near the pool, but I think you will have to sacrifice those features if you do.

    So many decisions ... so much information ... eh!

    Don't worry, eventually your head stops spinning and you have an incredible pool to enjoy.

    Good luck!
    Thank you! At one point we had looked into the low voltage, but somehow that dropped off my radar (probably because of the added complication of the transformers, to my already overflowing brain!) We do like the idea of less voltage in the pool, so we will have to revisit this setup.

    On another note, I'm wondering if I wait to buy the actual lights until I get a better idea of what I'm doing, do I at least need to have the niches ready to go for when the locations are formed in the gunite?
    28,000 gallon freeform, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Minipebble with abalone, 3.5' to 8.5' depth. 2 skimmers, 5 returns, dedicated vacuum port, Dolphin Z5 robot. All Pentair equip: EasyTouch 8, IC60 SWG, VS pump, 520 Cartridge Filter, 3 Intellibrites, 2 Color Cascade Bubblers. TurboTwister Slide and 8' Salt System Jump Board. TF-100. My Jan-Mar 2016 build:
    Waxahachie, TX Owner Build - A race to beat the baby!!

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    Re: Lights/electrical question

    Yes, the electricians need to hang the light niches after rebar goes in. So you will need to have those on site for them.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Lights/electrical question

    Jamie you can always become a supporter of the site. That will increase you photo allotment! Seeing how TFP is helping you save so much money with being your GC for you pool build!

    Kim
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