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Thread: Using LED pool light from big-box store (& why watts matter)

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    Using LED pool light from big-box store (& why watts matter)

    Thought I'd post some interesting results here. I went through three iterations of trying LED pool lights. The first one was a Pentair White LED intellibrite lite. At about $400, it used 70 watts and is the brightest I could find, watt wise. Its sold as a 300w equivalent. Problem is it was too big for my nich. While the price is steep, on the plus side Pentair put a lot of thought into having the LEDs project wide and deep into your pool (as a matter of fact they have patents on their methods to do so).

    Next light was from J&J, and was called the PureWhite2. It used about 45watts. I had to return it because the lights aren't warrantied if you don't use J&Js silicone gasket (the bulb I bought at my local pool store didn't have the proper light/gasket combination for my brand of niche). Apparently silicone holds up better than the rubber found on most niches. This light is in about the $250-300 range depending where you buy it. But notice the watts are less by about 35% compared to the Pentair light.

    Lastly, out of desperation and on a lark I tried one of those LED flood lights you get at HD or Lowes. Price around $35, watts at 18w. Expecting the worse I put it in. While it wasn't as bright as the J&J light, the huge price difference makes it tolerable. The only flaw is its designed to throw light further, so the shallow end is well lit. But the deep end not so much. I'm going to try to put a lense or diffuse to help spread the lighting better. Online stores sell glass lenses made to do this specifically for LED lights.

    I was in HD today, and for $55 they have an LED flood light that puts out 1050 lumens, the one I have puts out 850. So that higher lumens one may be worth a try. Lumens measures the amount of light emitted. Watts measure the power used. Both are relative when shopping for LED lights. Language like "300w incandescent equivalent" doesn't mean too much.

    Note that my pool is 16x32, and the light is in the deep end. Man I wish the builder put a couple niches in, then I could have two bulbs and it would be a little brighter.

    Point of this is to consider these off the shelf LED floods. I have my lights programmed to run for three hours at night. Since I'm using a fraction of power a 300w halogen bulb uses, I have less guilt about wasting power. Don't think that a brighter light is better (as I did). Perhaps a night swim doesn't mean you have to be swimming in the brightest pool possible.
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    Re: Using LED pool light from big-box store (& why watts mat

    Interesting.

    It is likely that the "cheap" bulbs you bought say something about using them in a sealed canister without ventilation to dissipate heat. Maybe the water helps keep things cool, but I am curious to see how much life you may get out of the regular LED floods if they get too hot.

    I do agree that I do not need the pool to be lit up bright enough to attract all the bugs in the neighborhood.

    I put one of the LED color changing bulbs in mine ($250) ... it is certainly not as bright, especially for the reds, and I too wish I had more than 1 niche on the end of the 40 foot pool. My shallow end stays pretty dark even with the "white" color on. The bulb you are using could help that, but then I would loose the pretty colors
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    Re: Using LED pool light from big-box store (& why watts mat

    Just ordered this bulb from 1000bulbs:

    https://1000bulbs.com/product/63146/LED ... 44050.html

    What caught my eye was the "40 degree beam angle" and the 24w/1460 lumen rated led. Its color says "stark white". This is 610 more lumens than I have now, and most importantly probably a wider beam angle. Most bulbs are more narrow at ~20 degrees.
    16x32 Concrete IG
    Equipment: Carvin 525sf Cartridge Filter, Jandy Gas Heater, Vortex Solar Panels w/solar valve, 1hp Hayward Pump with 3/4 HP AO Smith 2 Speed Replacement Motor, Aquarite Saltwater Cell, Polaris 280 Dolphin Active 20 Robot
    Automation: Hayward Prologic Controller

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    Re: Using LED pool light from big-box store (& why watts mat

    Hi!

    Wondering how that off shelf LED light worked out for you. I'm looking at buying a replacement for my pool and not very keen on spending $400 for a Pentair bulb... I would also like to avoid buying the cheaper alternative 500W halogen bulb, which would cost me more in the long run... I found one in particular, designed for enclosed fixtures, 2000 lumens, 17.5W, omnidirectional light, which they say has a new technology which improves the cooling efficiency by up to 15 degrees celsius, and I quote:
    "XLEDIA LED bulbs have passed tests in which the bulb was operated in an enclosed chamber at 60 degrees celsius, 90% moisture and for 1,000 hours."

    Or if anyone has any pros/cons against using an off-shelf light bulb, I'd really appreciate the advice.
    Thanks,
    X.
    23K Gunite / concrete - 1.5" plumbing, Pentair Intelliflo VS, Star Clear Plus 120 Sq Ft. Filter 1.5" Ports, Polaris 360

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    Re: Using LED pool light from big-box store (& why watts mat

    Looking at that post date looks like I bought it a year ago July. Its held up fine and lasted this long. Its' not as bright as other bulbs but the price is right and being 24w vs a 500w halogen bulb meant I cant have it on from dusk to ~11pm. No guilt about energy costs. Gotta love LEDs.

    I wouldn't get too hung up on cooling. The bulb will be in a large metal waterproof encloser that acts as a heat sink, surrounded by pool water (passive cooling). A double plus.

    BTW, this one is the same price but brighter, with 1700 lumens. https://www.1000bulbs.com/product/96142 ... KFLND.html
    16x32 Concrete IG
    Equipment: Carvin 525sf Cartridge Filter, Jandy Gas Heater, Vortex Solar Panels w/solar valve, 1hp Hayward Pump with 3/4 HP AO Smith 2 Speed Replacement Motor, Aquarite Saltwater Cell, Polaris 280 Dolphin Active 20 Robot
    Automation: Hayward Prologic Controller

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    Re: Using LED pool light from big-box store (& why watts matter)

    Going through the same process -looking to replace my pool lights during my drain/refill with LEDs. Since it is contained in a wet niche that I assume is supposed to be a waterproof housing, can I use any PAR38 LED floodlight - or does it have to be a specific LED light for the pool? Price difference is $29.99 for a 1450 lumen outdoor weatherproof light or $70 - 500 for a pentair/hayward LED light specifically labeled for pools. How many lumens should the pool light discharge? How is yours holding up all this time? Did you find a lens that helps with the deep end illumination?
    **33K free form IG plaster pool, pentair FNSP 60 Plus - DE, 1.5 HP WhisperFlo pump, 120V American Products pool light, Polaris, Taylor K-2006 Kit**

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