LED pool lights have strange characteristics

Bootstrap7718

In The Industry
Feb 4, 2020
4
Saint Augustine, Florida
So I'm in the property management industry and provide pool maintenance for a condo association that's twenty years old and poorly maintained in the earlier years.
This thread is for the pool lights that have a mind of their own. Since I've started at this property several months ago I've uncovered numerous issues, one of which is the now 12vac LED lights that only light up with a dim glow 99% of the time but every now and then they come on at full intensity but never lasting more than a few hours. I just today started tracing wires and noticed every other 8x8 fence post has a light and every deck light was installed with surface mount conduit, each with a small jbox before heading underground. I located the transformer for one of three of the LED pool lights. Then I noticed the deck light did not have a jbox neither did the transformer.. I dug down 1' before they had a 90° leading away from the pool about 1' then back up to a large jbox buried underground that no one even knew existed. I'll be spending some time trying to make sense of the wiring due to lack of appropriate material. The box has a white, blue and green that feed the immediate deck lights with 120v but it's the three black wires with low quality electrical tape that when exposed to water loses its sticky and considering this particular jbox was about 1/5 of the way full when opened, it's going to be fun troubleshooting and labeling this mess.20200204_130045.jpg
I can start adding details as I go but wanted to reach out and see if anyone has experience with led lights. They were once tied into light sensors photo eyes that were removed but both still tied into a set of older mechanical timers. I'll have to send more details tomorrow while I'm on site.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
12,801
Northern NJ
Welcome to TFP.

You moved from talking about pool lights to deck lights.

I think your issues are less with LED lights then NEC code requirements for pool light junction boxes and buried electrical boxes. Once you see what you have I think you need to involve a licensed electrician familiar with pool and outdoor wiring.

Looking forward to seeing more pics of what you find.
 

Bootstrap7718

In The Industry
Feb 4, 2020
4
Saint Augustine, Florida
Welcome to TFP.

You moved from talking about pool lights to deck lights.

I think your issues are less with LED lights then NEC code requirements for pool light junction boxes and buried electrical boxes. Once you see what you have I think you need to involve a licensed electrician familiar with pool and outdoor wiring.

Looking forward to seeing more pics of what you find.
That’s because the deck lights and the in pool LED lights both have their wires traveling through this jbox. I’ve had a couple ignorant electricians out already and since I have a degree in electronics engineering I figured I would give it a whirl 👍🏼👍🏼 They just tell me everything I already know. The transformers are getting 120vac in and testing the three output wires they all test accordingly 12vac, 13vac and 14vac and the light’s not bad because even when it’s not working correctly it still lights up just very dim. I think when they pulled the lights they shaved the cord and because of the conduit sitting full of water it’s causing a short which is why every so often they come on full brightness. Being their LED I shouldn’t be able to get a continuity reading on the wires to the light unless of course they are exposed and shorting out in the conduit underground. I’m going to test this theory out at sun up.
 

Bootstrap7718

In The Industry
Feb 4, 2020
4
Saint Augustine, Florida
The box I'm referring to in the photo has three wires carrying 120v that branches off to three of the deck lights which are regular e26 light fixtures. There's another set of wires leading into that jbox with 120v that has a white, black and a red. I think the electrician used the black to feed one pool light transformer and the red, usually for a switch, to run power to the second light transformer, wiring both white neutral together. Both transformers test the same and both lights have acted the same except they never light up at the same time..

It's almost daylight out..

15809033245631925726994994291151.jpg
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
17,327
You need to get a qualified electrician to help you with this.

In my opinion, the pool should be closed until the electrician certifies that it's safe.
 

YonnyPiscinas

Well-known member
Jan 10, 2020
97
Uruguay - SA
So I'm in the property management industry and provide pool maintenance for a condo association that's twenty years old and poorly maintained in the earlier years.
This thread is for the pool lights that have a mind of their own. Since I've started at this property several months ago I've uncovered numerous issues, one of which is the now 12vac LED lights that only light up with a dim glow 99% of the time but every now and then they come on at full intensity but never lasting more than a few hours. I just today started tracing wires and noticed every other 8x8 fence post has a light and every deck light was installed with surface mount conduit, each with a small jbox before heading underground. I located the transformer for one of three of the LED pool lights. Then I noticed the deck light did not have a jbox neither did the transformer.. I dug down 1' before they had a 90° leading away from the pool about 1' then back up to a large jbox buried underground that no one even knew existed. I'll be spending some time trying to make sense of the wiring due to lack of appropriate material. The box has a white, blue and green that feed the immediate deck lights with 120v but it's the three black wires with low quality electrical tape that when exposed to water loses its sticky and considering this particular jbox was about 1/5 of the way full when opened, it's going to be fun troubleshooting and labeling this mess.View attachment 126346
I can start adding details as I go but wanted to reach out and see if anyone has experience with led lights. They were once tied into light sensors photo eyes that were removed but both still tied into a set of older mechanical timers. I'll have to send more details tomorrow while I'm on site.
crikey the white electrical tape on those wires with water ingress frightens me.
Just had a similar experience with our new house - electrical motor to open the gate occasionally shorted the whole house during severe storms.
Found the junction box underground like this one and a connection with white tape. Water ingressing and shorting the live/neutral!! New complete cables installed with a separate fusebox.