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Thread: LED-lights, cheap imports ?

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    LED-lights, cheap imports ?

    Hi ! As we're now preparing for a post prom pool party for our oldest daughter and the other kids in her class the question of having LED-lights that are RGB and can change color came up, as the kids thought that was a great idea. I think it's too late to consider that for this one, but I'd like to check into it for the future. I've seen such lights both in pool stores and on the web. In the regular pool stores they're quite expensive, but cheap ones are often found on the web, usually sold directly from China. Now my question is: are those of reasonable quality or not ? Has anyone on here tested and been able to tell whether it's just cheap junk or if they work ok ? If you change from regular bulbs (we have the 12 V 300 W PAR56 version), do you need to make any changes to the fittings or to the wiring ? Are there any special things that one should check for if one is considering ordering lights online ?
    Indoor pool appr. 27'x13'x5', rectangular, concrete pool with epoxi coating, Sand filter with 1.5 hp pump, Electric heater + heat pump, Automatic system for chlorine and acid
    2 lights, 300 W each

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    Re: LED-lights, cheap imports ?

    In short unless it is UL listed for use in a pool it can't go in a pool. That's the reason for the price difference. None of the lights you are talking about are ul listed for use in a pool. They may meet some waterproofing standard but they have not met a safety standard.

    If they are ul listed, under 15 watts, have no ground and are connected to a ul listed pool rated transformer then they can be within 5 feet of the pool, but not in the pool. That's in the 2014 NEC, earlier editions prohibited even 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: LED-lights, cheap imports ?

    Quote Originally Posted by gwegan View Post
    In short unless it is UL listed for use in a pool it can't go in a pool. That's the reason for the price difference. None of the lights you are talking about are ul listed for use in a pool. They may meet some waterproofing standard but they have not met a safety standard.

    If they are ul listed, under 15 watts, have no ground and are connected to a ul listed pool rated transformer then they can be within 5 feet of the pool, but not in the pool. That's in the 2014 NEC, earlier editions prohibited even that.
    Thanks for the reply. But can safety be a problem when they are only 12 V ? I can see that safety for underwater lights would be a HUGE issue if they were 120 V, but I thought that 12 V would be safe in the pool in any case ? But of ocurse if the waterproofing is poor then they will not last very long - once the water gets into them they will die quickly, and it is of course fully possible that they are just cheap junk that's really good for nothing. Otherwise it sounded very good - you can get lights as powerful as 54 W or 72 W for a fraction of the pool store price. If they are less than 15 W then they can never replace our current 300 W conventional lights as they would simply be too weak. The ones we have are just about right as for the strength of the light. We have two of them, placed in the long side of the pool (same side).
    Indoor pool appr. 27'x13'x5', rectangular, concrete pool with epoxi coating, Sand filter with 1.5 hp pump, Electric heater + heat pump, Automatic system for chlorine and acid
    2 lights, 300 W each

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    Re: LED-lights, cheap imports ?

    A couple of points.

    Yes, the volts on these are low. However, those with low body mass are more effected by electricity than those with high body mass. So while a jolt from 12 volts or so might just be a zap to you it would have several times the effect on a child (or low mass adult). Do a search on here and read the bonding failure reports on stray voltage in pools, the kids notice it first. And that is often in fractions of a watt.

    Additionally, one of the reasons the code is so strict here is the belief that swimmers are in an especially vulnerable position. What if a weak swimmer is a child and is swimming along in the deep end when the light dies? That kid gets zapped with 12 volts. And it keeps going until someone has the presence of mind to kill the breaker or hit a switch on the remote you can't find. And even if the voltage is low enough to be below the level where a person could detach from the source, the person in the pool may not be able to detach from the ladder or whatever without fear of or actual greater injury. This is what they talk about at the code committee meetings.

    Finally, one thing I did not mention earlier is that there is no GFCI protection here. Even if there is a GFCI breaker or outlet upstream the downstream portion of the circuit after the transformer secondary (the low voltage section) is not protected by the GFCI. Proper bonding is your fallback.

    Edited to fix my watts volts brain pickle
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    Re: LED-lights, cheap imports ?

    Aren't you getting Watts and Volts mixed up here ? The lights are 12 V, not 12 W ? We'd never even consider using 120 V pool lights, it sounds very dangerous to me. But we do have a transformer installed that serves the lights at the moment, using 12 V. So far we have never had any trouble with the lights, other than a couple of bulb replacements. But they use more power and don't have the color feauture that yo can get with LED, that's we're checking into this issue.
    If installation of LED lights would require changes to the wiring or similar I don't think that we'll go for it though.
    Indoor pool appr. 27'x13'x5', rectangular, concrete pool with epoxi coating, Sand filter with 1.5 hp pump, Electric heater + heat pump, Automatic system for chlorine and acid
    2 lights, 300 W each

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    Re: LED-lights, cheap imports ?

    I would still want a pool-rated transformer for anything that was going to be close to the pool - something that was designed so that it's very difficult for it to short from the primary (120v) to the secondary (12v).
    Pool: 16,000 gallons, 16x31, 500SqFt gunite pool, White Pebbletec interior, built by Cody Pools. Pentair Intelliflo VS-3050 pump, Pentair Clean & Clear 420 Cartridge Filter, In-line chlor with Ultra UV, PV3 Infloor cleaning, Pentair Easytouch-P4 control. TF-100
    Spa: 525 Gallons, Coast fiberglass spa of unknown vintage and suspect previous care with a 2-speed main pump and a blower motor, both 4HP. 3-step bromine sanitized.

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    Re: LED-lights, cheap imports ?

    Quote Originally Posted by marcgr View Post
    I would still want a pool-rated transformer for anything that was going to be close to the pool - something that was designed so that it's very difficult for it to short from the primary (120v) to the secondary (12v).
    Definitely ! But that one we have already for our current conventional lights. There should be no problem in using the same transformer as the LEDs use far less power, the transformer is just over-dimensioned. So I think that the safety side should be taken care of. But that doesn't solve the other problem: if the quality of the lights is below the reasonable minimum they will soon be destroyed once they're in there. I just wonder if anyone knows of any brand that is of at least reasonable quality without being way up in price ? Anyone who has tested these kids of lights ?
    Indoor pool appr. 27'x13'x5', rectangular, concrete pool with epoxi coating, Sand filter with 1.5 hp pump, Electric heater + heat pump, Automatic system for chlorine and acid
    2 lights, 300 W each

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    Re: LED-lights, cheap imports ?

    Those lights are cheap for a reason...they don't last and are typically poorly constructed. One I tried
    for a different application fell apart in my hands.

    If you read reviews on amazon even on good name brand expensive lights there are a few complaints here and there.

    What you have to ask yourself is, to you really want to go to all that trouble for a light that:

    A) could be dangerous

    B) won't last more than a season
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
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    Re: LED-lights, cheap imports ?

    Quote Originally Posted by borjis View Post
    Those lights are cheap for a reason...they don't last and are typically poorly constructed. One I tried
    for a different application fell apart in my hands.

    If you read reviews on amazon even on good name brand expensive lights there are a few complaints here and there.

    What you have to ask yourself is, to you really want to go to all that trouble for a light that:

    A) could be dangerous

    B) won't last more than a season
    So what you're really saying is that the LED lights are no good, not even the brand names ? That the only safe way is to stay with the old conventional 300 W ones that we have (with white light only) ?
    Indoor pool appr. 27'x13'x5', rectangular, concrete pool with epoxi coating, Sand filter with 1.5 hp pump, Electric heater + heat pump, Automatic system for chlorine and acid
    2 lights, 300 W each

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    Re: LED-lights, cheap imports ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Linn View Post
    So what you're really saying is that the LED lights are no good, not even the brand names ? That the only safe way is to stay with the old conventional 300 W ones that we have (with white light only) ?
    I love LED's and they work great but you have to pay for quality

    Here is what I would recommend

    Amazon.com : Pentair 601011 IntelliBrite 5G Color Underwater LED Pool Light, 12 Volt, 50 Foot Cord : Swimming Pool Lighting Products : Patio, Lawn Garden

    Amazon.com : Pentair 600054 IntelliBrite Waterproof Outdoor LED Color Pool And Spa Light Controller : Swimming Pool Lighting Products : Patio, Lawn Garden

    It will work well for you and you can change the colors from you light switch
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    Re: LED-lights, cheap imports ?

    They are fantastic! We are on year 2 with a colour changing 12v led 18w led bulb from eBay direct from china. Cost approximately $80 mailed to my door. Couldn't be happier just unscrew old dangerous and expensive to run 300 or 500 watt and screw in led. We went with 18w as our pool is small but get the watts that work for your application.
    Pool 3800 gaĺlon glass tiled concrete approximately 10 years old/ Puerto Vallarta
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    Re: LED-lights, cheap imports ?

    Quote Originally Posted by FirstVallartaPool View Post
    They are fantastic! We are on year 2 with a colour changing 12v led 18w led bulb from eBay direct from china. Cost approximately $80 mailed to my door. Couldn't be happier just unscrew old dangerous and expensive to run 300 or 500 watt and screw in led. We went with 18w as our pool is small but get the watts that work for your application.



    I bought the cheap LED lights on e-bay a few years ago .. AFter a year it went out.
    I pulled the fixture and opened it up and the whole inside was wet and correded.
    It was 30 years old. It wasn't the cheap led lights fault.
    I replaced the fixture with a new Pentair fixture and i oredered the color splash led frompool supply world.
    Been
    Pworking fine for 2 years now.
    My old anthony fixture was copper !!!
    Sean Hannon
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    Re: LED-lights, cheap imports ?

    Yes I forgot to mention I changed the lens gasket for 9$ at the same time..knock wood dry and going strong!
    Pool 3800 gaĺlon glass tiled concrete approximately 10 years old/ Puerto Vallarta
    Hayward sand filter S166t.
    Pool Pump Silver10/1115 1hp
    Heat siphon Sx3.25hp
    Hard Municipal Water tf-100 test kit

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    Re: LED-lights, cheap imports ?

    gee, now you guys have me all terrified over my 120v lights.
    7-10 year old In ground 20,000 gal, Aquabright ecofinish W/ Spa, waterfall and infinity jet, 60 sq foot DE filter, Single speed pump, Racer cleaner

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    FirstVallartaPool's Avatar
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    Re: LED-lights, cheap imports ?

    Naw there's a circuit cut built into the base of the housing. I'm just making a point how relativley inexpensive leds are now to operate and purchase from ebay. Certainly makes paying for 300w or worse 500 w of electricity out dated.
    Pool 3800 gaĺlon glass tiled concrete approximately 10 years old/ Puerto Vallarta
    Hayward sand filter S166t.
    Pool Pump Silver10/1115 1hp
    Heat siphon Sx3.25hp
    Hard Municipal Water tf-100 test kit

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    Re: LED-lights, cheap imports ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Austintatious View Post
    gee, now you guys have me all terrified over my 120v lights.
    Why?????
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: LED-lights, cheap imports ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Linn View Post
    So what you're really saying is that the LED lights are no good, not even the brand names ? That the only safe way is to stay with the old conventional 300 W ones that we have (with white light only) ?
    No, I meant to check reviews and pick one that seems to be reliable. Seems as though only the namebrand
    higher priced ones are worth changing out.

    I don't have a light in my current pool, but if I did and it was Halogen, I'd definitely replace with an LED.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Austintatious View Post
    gee, now you guys have me all terrified over my 120v lights.
    Do you test your GFCI to your light a few times a year?

    As long as it's working, there is nothing to fear.
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
    (1.5 HP motor) Raypak PR266AEN (266k btu) gas heater. TF-100 Test Kit.
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