LED or Incandescent???

Otis B.

Well-known member
May 1, 2016
49
Abington, PA
Pool is in the process of being refurbished. I have only one light. It's in the deep end of a 34' lagoon shape pool. New plaster is going to be dark...Quartzscapes Barbados Blue. I need a new light but not sure whether to go back with another 500 watt incandescent or splurge for the Pentair Intellibrite 5G. Does anyone here have any input on the Intellibrite with a dark colored plaster?

Thanks in advance!
 

atttech-2

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 24, 2015
1,187
Central Valley CA
Besides the energy savings of the LED, most offer color changing options. In my opinion the color change is the biggest benefit, yes the energy savings is nice but we don't use the light often enough to notice the savings. Changing color on the other hand is just cool, it's like getting a new pool. The light has a white setting and that’ the one setting we hate makes the pool look like a cement pond.
 

jdomke1

Well-known member
Feb 11, 2016
95
Manteca, CA
I replaced my two pool and one spa light with Pentair Intellibrite 5G LED 12V color lights. I originally had Pentair SaM lights. I have a question for others who have repaired or replaced your SaM light. In two of the three light niches I found this weird pink stick thing sitting inside. No idea what it is or why it's there. I didn't put back in. See attached photos.
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611349ade8d492b3b9638402e5ab39f6.jpg



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king908

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 14, 2013
50
I am having this question right now, as my fixture is bad and tripping the GFCI. I diagnosed it down to the fixture from the housing. I was looking at the Pentair Intellibrite 5G 120V, but so many bad reviews with it failing in a year or less. Anyone have any opinions or longer term operating issues?
Also is it worth changing to 12V vs the 120? Going to have it professionally installed due to warranty with Pentair, and also the old wiring doesn't seem to budge for me when I pulled on it.
 

suncountry

Active member
Aug 5, 2013
40
Everyone seems to recommend at least 2 lights. Is that for any size pool or is there ever a situation where 1 LED light is sufficient? Thinking about a 14x28. TX!
 

jdomke1

Well-known member
Feb 11, 2016
95
Manteca, CA
I am having this question right now, as my fixture is bad and tripping the GFCI. I diagnosed it down to the fixture from the housing. I was looking at the Pentair Intellibrite 5G 120V, but so many bad reviews with it failing in a year or less. Anyone have any opinions or longer term operating issues?
Also is it worth changing to 12V vs the 120? Going to have it professionally installed due to warranty with Pentair, and also the old wiring doesn't seem to budge for me when I pulled on it.

My wire was hard to pull because they used some kind of sealant to plug the conduit inside the niche. Had to dig out with screwdriver and needle nose pliers but once it got loose it was easy to pull.


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Cybergy

Well-known member
May 23, 2014
112
Whitby, Ontario - Canada
My pentair incandescent died after 12 years so I went with an LED 12v replacement pentair intellibrite. No issues for two years now. The light is much richer than the old light. I was unable to pull the cable out of the conduit, so did a waterproof seal on the connection underwater, hence the switch to 12v. Beware the controller is designed for an outdoor weatherproof box. Tough to install indoors if that's where your current switch is. I did it but couldn't adhere to code.

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gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
Sacramento, CA
Cybergy

You need to understand that switching from a 120 volt system to a 12 volt system may increase the odds of a shock but should reduce the severity of a shock.

That's because 12 volt systems are not protected by a GFCI even if one is installed on the curcuit. GFCI protection does not extend past the transformer. But because 12 volts has considerably less penatrating power than 120 volts any shock should be less severe.
 

max2k

Well-known member
Dec 29, 2014
523
Santa Ana, CA
not likely- 12V is car battery voltage and ppl get shocked from that only in the movies. Besides, 12V side doesn't have 'neutral' / 'live' wires so unless someone opens the light and touches both wires nothing bad will ever happen IMO. The transformer needs to be grounded and GFI-ed on 115V side so in case it 'leaks' and lets 115V over to 12V side GFI would still fulfill its purpose.
 

gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
Sacramento, CA
Max2k

The transformer if its pool rated is designed to prevent higher voltages from penetrating through to the secondary side.

But its dangerous to be complacent with electricity around pools. Water acts as a conductor and if you complete a circuit, even if the voltage does not pass through you it may pass over you and cause problems even at relatively low amperage. Additionally, how voltage flows is, because of the randomness of load paths, essentially unpredictable. Voltage gradients near pools or in pools, as can be seen by reading all the stray voltage threads on here cause problems even at much lower voltages..
 

max2k

Well-known member
Dec 29, 2014
523
Santa Ana, CA
I think you're mixing those threads which are 115V related with 12V AC/DC. BTW, amperage doesn't matter - the same car battery provides 100A current during engine start but in order to be killed only 0.03 A is enough. What happens is when you get yourself connected to some source the voltage of the source gets divided by resistance of the circuit which includes your body and that results in the current flowing through the circuit according to good old Ohm's law: I = U / R. The higher the voltage the higher the current passing through the unfortunate body so at the end it's the voltage which 'kills'. The same car battery simply can't create dangerous enough current because of its low voltage.

Having said that I'd still follow conventional setup when connecting that transformer: ground + GFI- just in case it doesn't work according to its rating :). I don't mean here to ground one of the 12V wires- just whatever is required in setup instructions. I can't imagine 115V electrical pool equipment not having ground contact although I haven't seen that much. GFI is just cheap insurance.
 

wjr75

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 6, 2013
896
IL
We swapped out our color wheel halogen bulb light with a LED and it is probably half as bright but is still nice enough since we don't use it that much.
 
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