Pentair Intellibrite LED light problem.

EBD

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2017
54
Gilbert
#1
I just got a Pentair 5G Intellibrite LED light installed. I have it connected to an X-10 switch. When I turned the power at the breaker it just started flashing without me pushing on the x-10 button just like a disco ball or a medium speed strobe light. It started flashing not just circling colors. So I pushed the X-10 button and it stayed on blue, I pressed again and it started going through three colors in succession, pressed the x-10 off and on again to see if it would continue to cycle to the shows but it just turns off, I turned it on again and it goes back to blue and the cycle starts all over again. Per the manual. when its first turned on, its supposed to be white and then I could turn off and on the light switch a number of times depending on the color or show desired. I am also aware that it says it will stay off for a few seconds and then go the color selected but I am concerned about the flashing and also the fact that turning the light off and on with the x-10 switch button doesn't cycle through all 12+ settings. Are X-10 switches not compatible with these, could it be a problem with the wiring or do I just need their 100+ controller :(.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,653
Tucson, AZ
#2
Are X-10 switches not compatible with these, could it be a problem with the wiring or do I just need their 100+ controller :(.
I would think if Pentair wanted to make their IntelliBrite compatible with X10 switches, they would say so. The 5G's are designed to work with old-school toggle switches where turning the switch ON & OFF sends a signal to the 5G to change color. Otherwise, you buy their expensive controller and THAT sends a digital signal along power line to tell the 5G what to do.

My guess is there is some electrical noise on the power line generated by the X10 switch that is acting like the ON/OFF signal that the 5G tries to sense. Possibly an internal clocking circuit in the X10 that is sending what looks like ON/OFF pulses. Normally one puts a really large inductance in series or a small capacitance to ground (or both) to filter out digital noise. But that's a whole lot of electrical engineering to attempt without a good oscilloscope to see what's on the line....
 
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EBD

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2017
54
Gilbert
#3
Well that's a bummer and if that is the case I would get the controller as turning a toggle switch 12 times might not be the way to go for a wanted color. So this doesn't sound like a wiring issue or is that still a possibility? This is what I did. I have a standalone receptacle next to the pool by a wall. That is what I marked in the pic. I marked the hot line red on the GFCI and the yellow triangles marked wires I capped.
TEV.jpg
 

dtlight

Well-known member
Jun 28, 2012
94
#4
If you want to use a remote control switch, you need to make sure it is not a 'dimming' switch. In the X10 line I believe they had 'appliance' switches that don't dim. You want to hear a relay click inside the remote switch.

WS13A Decorator Wall Switch

In the instructions I got with my 5g light several years ago, they showed the x10 dimmer switch. There was an x10 dimming switch installed by the pool builder for the incandescent light, and since it showed that same switch in the 5g installation instructions I left it in place. This resulted in the transformer potted in the back of the light fixture failing.
 
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EBD

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2017
54
Gilbert
#5
I appreciate the information. So the X-10 is in fact the smoking gun. I have the WS467 and yes it is dimmable. It seems some are saying that the XPro, XPS3 or X10 WS13A are compatible with LED pool lights. Have you used any of these in the past? At this point I will go with whatever works. Any recommendations? I do not have a separate junction box. My light conduit goes directly to my pool panel where all the other switches for the pump and accessories are. What would be the best thing to use in this case?
 
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EBD

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2017
54
Gilbert
#6
Sorry Dtlight I missed your link for the WS13A switch and here I was asking again :), this is all new to me. So looking at the Pentair controller it looks like this is something I would install in lew of a switch, correct?. I would like something I could control from the inside :( and I thought the Intellibrite controller would do that but guess it doesn't.
 

GDN

Bronze Supporter
Oct 17, 2016
308
Dallas, TX
#7
I would think if Pentair wanted to make their IntelliBrite compatible with X10 switches, they would say so. The 5G's are designed to work with old-school toggle switches where turning the switch ON & OFF sends a signal to the 5G to change color. Otherwise, you buy their expensive controller and THAT sends a digital signal along power line to tell the 5G what to do.
Hey Matt - can you confirm this "Digital signal" that the controller would send. I honestly thought that must have been the way it happened as well, but I'm pretty sure it is not. When I built 2 years ago I went with standard white lights, didn't want to pay the upgraded prices PB wanted for LED. I do have a Pentair ET8. Along comes end of last year and the spa bulb already burns out. I wanted to see what it would take to upgrade to LED. What I find is that all I have to do is buy the LED bulb, install - It fits in the same 110 socket, and then go in to the ET Config and tell it on the "Circuit Funtion" that you have an "Intellibright" bulb. Much to my surprise, it didn't send any fancy signal to the bulb, to change colors or patterns - the ET panel simply does the flipping of the switch for you the number of times to turn the bulb to the setting you chose. You hear very well the relay coming on and off and the bulb follows the pattern selected from the number of on's and off's.

And to make things even better - there is another company making bulbs that mimic the exact Pentair bulb at a better price - Look for J and J Electronics the LXG bulbs - it was an updated design just last year. The part number on my spa bulb is LPL-S2-RGB-120. I'm very happy with it and from all I can tell it controls and behaves just like the fancy Pentair bulb.

Looks like the X10 thing has been figured out as well - just make sure no dimming capabilities - simply on and off.
 

dtlight

Well-known member
Jun 28, 2012
94
#8
The intellibrite controller only provides an easy interface for the various light programs, and automates turning the circuit off and on the appropriate number of times. Depending on what controller you are using to run your house, this light program names to number of on-off cycles translation could be handled in your home automation system. If the X10 switch for the light is the only home automation you have, and you don't have a central control system, then you might want the intellibrite controller in line with the new x10 relay switch. At my house I've found I only use 'white' if I need to clean the pool after dark, and the 'romance' slow color change program is running all the rest of the time.
 
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EBD

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2017
54
Gilbert
#9
Thank you all for the information. J and J sounds like a good deal, however I also needed to replace my fixture as the contacts were corroded after water got in the fixture so for me it would've been about the same price. It is good to know for the future. I also got help needed with my wiring diagram and the one above is incorrect ;). I might get the Intellibrite controller in the future. For now I would switch it manually.