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Thread: 12V vs 120V color LED pool light

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    jdomke1's Avatar
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    12V vs 120V color LED pool light

    So, I did something unknowingly yesterday... I accidentally bought both a 12v and 120v version of the Pentair Intellibrite 5G. My pool currently has two 120v SAM lights and the spa has one 120v SAM light. I thought I would be cool and upgrade to the Intellibrite after talking with someone from Pentair about how the housing were the same and I basically just needed to attach a strong string to the wire as I removed the old lights so I could easily pull the new wires back through the conduit. I never even realized they came in two different voltages and now I have both. I use an EasyTouch 4 panel with pool lights on one relay and spa on another. The replacement spa light I bought is 12v so I assume I'm good there but will need to buy a low voltage transformer for it. My dilemma comes from the pool now that I bought both a 12v and a 120v replacement for my two pool lights. What should or can I do? Also, what is the typical transformer people are using? I'm pretty sure I'll need a separate transformer for each side of my pool/spa since they are controlled separately. My issue then becomes the pool. I know the GFCI is connected to wiring going down a conduit to the other side of the pool where there is one of those "j boxes". I can't simply put a transformer for the pool by the GFCI since that lead feeds both lights, I assume, and they each need separate voltage. I'm not even sure I can add a transformer down at the other end of the pool for just the one light and it would be unsightly since everyone would see it. I guess worse case scenario I can just return the 120v or attempt to sell it on ebay. Pain in the butt and what a way to learn a lesson about these two different voltage lights. I'm just trying to see if there is a simpler way out of this mess and also what people suggest for transformers. I did just buy an Intellibrite landscape light along with a low voltage 300w transformer for it along with any lights I add in the future. They will have to be controlled manually since the EasyTouch 4 is maxed out with relays. I'm considering swapping out the motherboard and adding some additional relays but that is a separate post.

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    cowboycasey's Avatar
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    Re: 12V vs 120V color LED pool light

    here is a 600 watt pentair transformer that could run all 3 lights (make sure not over 500 watts combined) and then just connect both pool lights to it
    Amazon.com : Intermatic PX300 Pool Light 300-Watt Safety Transformer, Beige : Pool Transformer : Patio, Lawn Garden

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

    grab the 300 or 100 for the spa, not sure how many watts it is..


    just return or exchange the 120v for the 12v, tell them they sent the wrong model
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    jdomke1's Avatar
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    Re: 12V vs 120V color LED pool light

    Have you seen anything about the Hayward Junction Box Transformers? It looks like the one does 70 watts which would be enough for the one LED and then I could leave the 120v wired straight. I have a Thermocraft J-Box so I can only get the 70 watt model otherwise the other one does a higher wattage. With the one to send back that could be costly because it's ebay and I got it for a good price because I did the offer process. Perhaps I'll turn around and sell myself or just use the 12v and 120v together in the pool along with that Hayward transformer. They are only about $70 so the price is right. That just leaves me buying a standard 100watt transformer for the pool one.

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    Re: 12V vs 120V color LED pool light

    I'm not sure you can run 120 and 12 through a single transformer Hayward transformer jbox. Not sure its set up for two cords from lights.

    Under this arrangement your transformer will be on the downstream side of your GFCI. Some transformers and GFCI do not get along. The NEC does not require a GFCI to protect a transformer supplying 12 volt pool lights in part for that reason. So you run a (small ) risk of nuisance trips.
    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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    jdomke1's Avatar
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    Re: 12V vs 120V color LED pool light

    Thanks for the details. I'm enjoying learning all this despite the screw up. Question now, does that mean I should hook the transformers directly to the relay and not go through the gfci? I'm currently all 120v Sam lights and upgrading to pentair intellibrite 5g 12v so I'll be using the same j boxes and adding two transformers. I'll need a 200watt for the two pool lights, once I get that 120v exchanged, and then a 100watt for the spa light. I could do that Hayward jbox transformer for just the spa since it has a separate jbox. Would at least keep the equipment area from getting overwhelmed with stuff hanging from the walls. I already have a 300watt transformer for my landscape lights. Not having to run through the gfci would be simpler.


    28,000 in ground gunite pool and spa
    Pentair EasyTouch 8
    Pentair Salt Water Generator
    System 3 Filter
    Max Therm Heater 400,000 btu

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    Re: 12V vs 120V color LED pool light

    What you describe will work. Just remember all the transformers have to be pool rated. On special at Home Depot doesn't cut it. Insulated ground wires. Don't cut the cords on the lights short leave plenty on the end so the light sits easy on the deck.
    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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    jdomke1's Avatar
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    Re: 12V vs 120V color LED pool light

    Thanks for the details. What I decided to do was to buy the Hayward j-box transformer for just my spa light since it has its own box. I am then going to buy the PX100 for my two pool lights. Since they are just 35w each, the 100 watt transformer is enough. No sense buying a 300watt when I will never upgrade to more lights in the pool. I did read in the instructions for installing the intellibrite lights that they say to run your transformer through the GFCI. I've attached a screen shot so everyone can see what it says.
    IntelliBrite5G.jpg

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    jdomke1's Avatar
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    Re: 12V vs 120V color LED pool light

    I ended up replacing my two pool lights with 12v LED and my spa with 110v LED. I bought the 110v by accident but that saved me having to buy another transformer. For the pool I used a 100watt transformer. I could use help with figuring out the wiring but that is a separate post.


    28,000 in ground gunite pool and spa
    Pentair EasyTouch 8
    Pentair Salt Water Generator
    System 3 Filter
    Max Therm Heater 400,000 btu

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