Pentair IntelliBrite vs GloBrite vs MicroBrite

Sparks22

Gold Supporter
Apr 17, 2020
150
Austin, Texas
Hi all,

I am working to design a new pool and I am trying to decide on lights. I am going to go with Pentair equipment, so I am trying to pick between the Pentair IntelliBrite vs GloBrite vs MicroBrite. I just can't seem to find a good source to compare these lights. Does anyone have a good source for more education on these (besides Pentair's website, which is relatively sparse)?

I have read that the GloBrites use a proprietary niche, which makes many people dislike them, so I am currently leaning away from these (which is what the PB I am most interested in so far has as their default lights). For IntelliBrite versus MicroBrite, the obvious difference appears to be the size of the bulb, but I'm not sure what to do with this information. Should I be looking at X number of IntelliBrite vs Y number of MicroBrite vs some mix of both types? For reference, the design we are working with is a freeform pool that is 45' x 26', with depths of 4' for about half of the pool, then grading down to a 7' deep end.
 

Sparks22

Gold Supporter
Apr 17, 2020
150
Austin, Texas
Thank ajw22! That reading was helpful. I have a few more questions:
  1. Is there any guidance anywhere about how far apart the MicroBrites should be placed (i.e., how do I know how many I should put in the pool)?
  2. For a deep end (7' deep), would I need to have two (or more) MicroBrites stacked vertically to provide enough light?
  3. Do the MicroBrites throw enough light to make it about 25' across the pool?
  4. For your thought about the standard 1 1/2 pvc that they use, are there other non-Pentair pool lights that use this same type of fitting?
 

joepaiii

Well-known member
May 16, 2013
236
Allen, TX
Thank ajw22! That reading was helpful. I have a few more questions:
  1. Is there any guidance anywhere about how far apart the MicroBrites should be placed (i.e., how do I know how many I should put in the pool)?
  2. For a deep end (7' deep), would I need to have two (or more) MicroBrites stacked vertically to provide enough light?
  3. Do the MicroBrites throw enough light to make it about 25' across the pool?
  4. For your thought about the standard 1 1/2 pvc that they use, are there other non-Pentair pool lights that use this same type of fitting?
I would go with the intellibrites ... if I could choose again but this is just opinion, not based on seeing both in action. The microbrites are really for accent lighting and or lighting areas which are tough to fit standard size light. They don't seem to be widely used to light the entirety of the main pool body.

If you do go with microbrites it is tough to know how many you need. Maybe call Pentair? Definitely read the spec sheet on them vs the intellibrite. I am concerned my 3 isn't enough to cover my 36 by 19 freeform pool. It will obviously light it but I am looking to have solid lighting when viewing the pool at night and don't want the pool water colors washed out by other deck/patio lighting features. I will have to see when it is filled. If you do go with microbrites go with more rather than less....

I wish I could go see a pool lit with microbrites only in person... should have thought this one through a bit more before gunite was done. Oh well been beating my self up for the last week over this one so good luck with your pool!
 

joepaiii

Well-known member
May 16, 2013
236
Allen, TX
Found another...

How Many Swimming Pool Lights Do I Need For My Pool Size?

There is a table there that actually lists lumens but not for microbrite. My family has veto'd any more changes so I will have just three... I think I should have had at least 5. Wish my designer would have caught that or realized that. He says it will be fine and even asked other designers at the company and they all said no problem. So we will have to see.... inside I am still kicking myself for not just going with the normal intellibrite.... I have to stop thinking about this and move on. Sorry for getting long winded here but some of this is therapy...

Below is a listing of Pentair Pool lights with their UL wattage rating, Lumens and Kelvin ratings, and vertical/horizontal beam shape.

 
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joepaiii

Well-known member
May 16, 2013
236
Allen, TX
Here is my take on it - Pentair LED Pool Lights - Further Reading

IntelliBrites have reliability issues. I would go with all MicroBrites. They are niche less in standard 1 1/2 pvc and if better lights come out in the future you can easily swap them in.
How difficult is it to swap out the 1 1/2 lights yourself? I have serviced my old pool's halogen light bulb many times and it was fairly simple. I have never pulled a new fixture in but even that sounds/looks pretty simple as long as conduit run is in good shape. But are the 1 1/2 inch fixtures difficult to unscrew from the wall? I should have really watched them install mine but missed that part.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,231
Northern NJ
How difficult is it to swap out the 1 1/2 lights yourself? I have serviced my old pool's halogen light bulb many times and it was fairly simple. I have never pulled a new fixture in but even that sounds/looks pretty simple as long as conduit run is in good shape. But are the 1 1/2 inch fixtures difficult to unscrew from the wall? I should have really watched them install mine but missed that part.
Which light are you asking about? They unscrew but some use a special installation tool to rotate it.
 

joepaiii

Well-known member
May 16, 2013
236
Allen, TX
Great chart. Do you have a link to the source?
No. I got it from a Pentair rep after submitting the question to them directly through their website.

They said you should aim for 4 lumens for pool surface. Example if pool is 500 sqft then 500x4=2000 lumens. This would be 4 microbrites or 2 intellibrite rgb. Wish I would had this when I was picking my lights.

I do wonder if the smartest thing isn’t to just get a standard 120v light niche and just swap out led bulbs. These nicheless lights will have to have the entire fixture and wire replaced when they fail. Hope they last a long time.
 

pudisgreat

Member
May 5, 2013
18
Waxhaw, NC
Just watched someone on youtube switch out the Intellibrite LED bulb with a different brand for about 250 diy. It looks like with the microbrite, you have to exchange the whole unit, wiring and all. Depending on your run (length from your panel) it looks like $300-340 per light fixture diy. With the Intellibrite, they didn't drain the water on the pool, but they did with the microbrite. Not sure if you would actually need to do that.
I imagine you wouldn't want to get water trapped behind either fixture, so if it was me I would drain down below the fixtures in order to change them out but I'm no expert. Looks like the microbrites are installed at least 4" below the waterline to the top of the lens, while the intellibrites need a minimum of 18" below water line. Plus the microbrites are smaller in size but lower in lumens.
You may already know all of this but for me I'm still learning. I know they won't all die at once, but if I do 4 microbrites or 2 intellibrites it looks like the intellibrites would be cheaper to replace (that is provided their lifetimes are equal and who can tell that).
Also, found this video on youtube showing microbrites at night -
 

Dave1096

Active member
Jun 7, 2020
27
Philadelphia
Stumbled across this thread while scouring the internet for any details I can find on the microbrites (there isn't much). We're getting close to becoming first time pool owners, and the builder I'm in negotiations with is proposing 2 microbrites for a 16x44 rectangular pool, one at each end. I'm really wondering if this will be enough lighting.

The pool has a 7-8 foot tanning shelf spanning the width of the shallow end, and I'm not sure yet if the intent is to install the light at that end of the pool on the shelf or after the shelf ends in the shallow end. In any case, based on what I've found online I think I should probably have closer to 5 microbrites for my pool...1 for the shelf and 4 for the pool. Any opinions from seasoned pool owners would be greatly appreciate. Owners with microbrite experience is even better. Pictures of your microbrites in action would be the best, the internet has almost none available.

Thanks all!
 

Sparks22

Gold Supporter
Apr 17, 2020
150
Austin, Texas
Stumbled across this thread while scouring the internet for any details I can find on the microbrites (there isn't much). We're getting close to becoming first time pool owners, and the builder I'm in negotiations with is proposing 2 microbrites for a 16x44 rectangular pool, one at each end. I'm really wondering if this will be enough lighting.

The pool has a 7-8 foot tanning shelf spanning the width of the shallow end, and I'm not sure yet if the intent is to install the light at that end of the pool on the shelf or after the shelf ends in the shallow end. In any case, based on what I've found online I think I should probably have closer to 5 microbrites for my pool...1 for the shelf and 4 for the pool. Any opinions from seasoned pool owners would be greatly appreciate. Owners with microbrite experience is even better. Pictures of your microbrites in action would be the best, the internet has almost none available.

Thanks all!
2 MicroBrites will absolutely not be enough light. The Pentair rep our PB spoke to said that the MicroBrites will cast the light about 12 feet out before it really dissipates and isn't very effective any longer.
 

Dave1096

Active member
Jun 7, 2020
27
Philadelphia
2 MicroBrites will absolutely not be enough light. The Pentair rep our PB spoke to said that the MicroBrites will cast the light about 12 feet out before it really dissipates and isn't very effective any longer.
Thank you. With a 16 foot wide pool then, would it make sense to place my lights opposite each other down the length of each side of the pool pointing directly at one another? What's ideal spacing between the lights? I don't want to end up with not enough or too much lighting. Without much available online showing actual installs of these lights it's hard to know how many lights are ideal.
 

Sparks22

Gold Supporter
Apr 17, 2020
150
Austin, Texas
Thank you. With a 16 foot wide pool then, would it make sense to place my lights opposite each other down the length of each side of the pool pointing directly at one another? What's ideal spacing between the lights? I don't want to end up with not enough or too much lighting. Without much available online showing actual installs of these lights it's hard to know how many lights are ideal.
Unfortunately I don't have a good answer for you. From the video that was posted above of the mouse head pool, it looks like putting Microbrites on both sides of the pool can yield the desired amount of light. The downside is that you may have a light pointing in a direction that isn't ideal since they will be on both sides of the pool. However, without seeing it in person, it is really hard to say if the lights that are facing you are blinding or not a big deal at all.

It ended up being too much uncertainty for me, so we are planning to go the IntelliBrite route, even though there are some known reliability issues.
 

joepaiii

Well-known member
May 16, 2013
236
Allen, TX
Thank you. With a 16 foot wide pool then, would it make sense to place my lights opposite each other down the length of each side of the pool pointing directly at one another? What's ideal spacing between the lights? I don't want to end up with not enough or too much lighting. Without much available online showing actual installs of these lights it's hard to know how many lights are ideal.
I think the guidelines Pentair has given for your pool would be about 6 microbrites.

16x44 = 705 sqft
704 sqft x 4 lumens = 2816 lumen
2816 / 500 lumen = 5.6 (round up for 6 microbrites) or go with three intellibrites

The link above shows a pool... Pentair LED Pool Lights - Further Reading
I will have 5 in my free form pool. I think the Jandy guide above is a great design guide. If you are going with nicheless lights like microbrites - read that guide. Best practices on lights have them facing away from house and sitting areas. If that can't be accomplished then again refer to Jandy's guide about where to put them.

Lights are a relative thing. You could probably barely light a pool with 1 microbrite, and my pool builder swears that they always use just three and it would be fine. I want some of the weaker colors to be visible against a medium blue plaster color.... so I would rather have too much. You can always disconnect one or two if you don't like them for some reason.

I do think there is merit to using an older edison style light niche (two or three) and then filling it with an LED bulb. That way when the LED inevitably fails - it is a fairly simple process to replace the light. When these nichless lights fail - a whole new fixture will have to be installed and the wire pulled back to the electrical junction box. I guess the advantage is that these lights are less likely to leak compared to the older style niches...

Any pool lights are evolving right now and there isn't much definitive data out there other than what you find here!
 

Marcm4591

Member
Oct 8, 2019
14
CT
I may be a little late to this thread to help you, but in case it helps others in the future. I’ve seen comments about microbite only being for accent light etc. My experience Says differently. Here are pics of my new pool. It is 4 microbrites in the pool and one in the spa. I think it is plenty of light and my pool is 20x44’
 

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