Pool Reno - Worth adding Pentair LED? Old light controllable through EasyTouch?

jsridley

Active member
Jun 1, 2018
35
Houston, TX
We're replastering/retiling the pool and adding some structural features (bench, tanning ledge). We're also adding an EasyTouch system to control a new SWG, VS pump, etc. PB suggested replacing the old light we have with LEDs that can change colors. I'm thinking this would be an Intellibrite 5G.

My question is this. We'll only have the one light, and the pool is quite long (~40ft). Will one LED be worth it, or will the brightness vs the "regular" light we have now be quite small? I'm questioning if the cool-ness of multi colored lights controllable from my phone is worth it.

If I don't add a new light, can my current light be wired such that on/off control is available through EasyTouch (and ScreenLogic)?

Light is under the diving board in image below.

Thank You!
 

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Jimrahbe

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Jul 7, 2014
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Bedford, TX
js,

I am personally not a fan of color changing lights as they seem to last about 20 seconds before needing to be replaced.. :mrgreen: OK, that might be a slight exaggeration, but as reported here often, they tend to not have a great lifespan.

For me, it comes down to lifestyle.. A color changing light would be cool for about a day and a half when the fun wore off...

The EasyTouch can control either type of light, but the lights wiring has to be connected to the EasyTouch. Depending on how your light is wired now, it may be very difficult to get the existing wiring connected to the EasyTouch... If you have a direct path between your current light (and any Junction box) to the EasyTouch it will be a piece of cake.. On the other hand if you have 50 feet of decking, will it really be worth the effort to replace the decking, just to connect the light to the EasyTouch.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

guinness

Well-known member
May 3, 2019
553
California
Have you considered the IntelliCenter over the EasyTouch/ScreenLogic? Just in case you weren't aware of the newer Pentair system.

Scratch that, I just saw you enquired about this on another thread.
 

Dirk

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TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,176
Central California
If your pool light switch is at your pool pad (where the ET will be installed), then connecting the two will be easy.

Jim's comments about the lifespan of LED lights is only slightly exagerated. I'm on my second 5G in three years, and that one is acting up. $600 a year for a pool light is a bit steep. I got the second one under warranty. I probably won't get a third, and I may have to look elsewhere than a 5G. And it's not like I use it a lot. I'd be surprised if I had both lights on for more than 100 hours combined! Really just a few times a year. That's pretty bad. It's not the LEDs, it's the electronic drivers and heat sinks that are giving out.

Regarding the color changing, I'm a fan, and I haven't tired of them. You get about 5 solid colors, and 5 or 6 color changing "light shows." I like most of the former, and a few of the latter. The kids really love the changing lights. I like being able to change the mood, both while swimming and for just sitting around the pool. The deeper colors, and the more subtle light shows make for a nice ambient atmosphere that I really enjoy. And I like swimming in red, as the less light on this ol' tub the better for everyone involved!!

But here's the rub, and this has to do a little bit with the brightness of an LED pool light, and a lot with the principles of light waves in water. The brightest color a 5G can produce is white, and it does a so-so job of illuminating my 28'L pool. Adequate. It's not like a 500W incandescent pool light, not very close at all. But because water absorbs the spectrum of light at different rates, the other colors produce much weaker lighting. Blue is next best, green a little less than blue, and red a lot less. When I use red, it barely lights up the steps 25' away. Just barely enough to see where they are. I won't let the kids swim in red, and I don't like them swimming in blue or green. They don't like that, so I compromise with the Party Mode scene (which they like as much for the name as the effect!) which cycles through the colors, but a bright enough color happens often enough that I can count heads often enough. But I have to be more diligent with an LED lighting the pool, and so I sit close to the pool to keep a good eye on them during night swims.

With a 40' pool, I'm not sure that's going to get the coverage, even with white. So even if you like the color changing like I do, I think you're going to be disappointed. I'd say red is not going to make it from one end to the other. The blues and greens will be a stretch. You'd really need one at each end.

Is there no way to access the other end for a second light? That would be enough coverage.

Sidebar: when I remodeled my pool I had them add eyeball adjusters to each return (which were just straight pipes before). So that's an option if you don't have those already. And I had them plaster over my drains. It didn't affect my circulation at all and now I don't have to look at them, or trip over them, or free the stuck vac from them, or worry about my little one's hair getting sucked into them. The two-drain anti-entrapment system is much better than the one drain of old, but no drains is unarguably safer than one or two. I don't see a drain in your pool, so maybe you've already got this covered.
 

ajw22

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TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
20,362
Northern NJ
Pentair guideline is to aim for 4 lumens per square foot of pool surface. You can see the table below. The Intellibrite RGB color changing lights are 1000 lumens whereas the white LED versions are 2600 to 3600 lumens.

 
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Dirk

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Nov 12, 2017
7,176
Central California
And that 1000 lumens is in white mode. In red or green or blue mode, or even a combo of those to get the "in-between" colors, the lumens are way, way less.
 

jsridley

Active member
Jun 1, 2018
35
Houston, TX
If your pool light switch is at your pool pad (where the ET will be installed), then connecting the two will be easy.

Jim's comments about the lifespan of LED lights is only slightly exagerated. I'm on my second 5G in three years, and that one is acting up. $600 a year for a pool light is a bit steep. I got the second one under warranty. I probably won't get a third, and I may have to look elsewhere than a 5G. And it's not like I use it a lot. I'd be surprised if I had both lights on for more than 100 hours combined! Really just a few times a year. That's pretty bad. It's not the LEDs, it's the electronic drivers and heat sinks that are giving out.

Regarding the color changing, I'm a fan, and I haven't tired of them. You get about 5 solid colors, and 5 or 6 color changing "light shows." I like most of the former, and a few of the latter. The kids really love the changing lights. I like being able to change the mood, both while swimming and for just sitting around the pool. The deeper colors, and the more subtle light shows make for a nice ambient atmosphere that I really enjoy. And I like swimming in red, as the less light on this ol' tub the better for everyone involved!!

But here's the rub, and this has to do a little bit with the brightness of an LED pool light, and a lot with the principles of light waves in water. The brightest color a 5G can produce is white, and it does a so-so job of illuminating my 28'L pool. Adequate. It's not like a 500W incandescent pool light, not very close at all. But because water absorbs the spectrum of light at different rates, the other colors produce much weaker lighting. Blue is next best, green a little less than blue, and red a lot less. When I use red, it barely lights up the steps 25' away. Just barely enough to see where they are. I won't let the kids swim in red, and I don't like them swimming in blue or green. They don't like that, so I compromise with the Party Mode scene (which they like as much for the name as the effect!) which cycles through the colors, but a bright enough color happens often enough that I can count heads often enough. But I have to be more diligent with an LED lighting the pool, and so I sit close to the pool to keep a good eye on them during night swims.

With a 40' pool, I'm not sure that's going to get the coverage, even with white. So even if you like the color changing like I do, I think you're going to be disappointed. I'd say red is not going to make it from one end to the other. The blues and greens will be a stretch. You'd really need one at each end.

Is there no way to access the other end for a second light? That would be enough coverage.

Sidebar: when I remodeled my pool I had them add eyeball adjusters to each return (which were just straight pipes before). So that's an option if you don't have those already. And I had them plaster over my drains. It didn't affect my circulation at all and now I don't have to look at them, or trip over them, or free the stuck vac from them, or worry about my little one's hair getting sucked into them. The two-drain anti-entrapment system is much better than the one drain of old, but no drains is unarguably safer than one or two. I don't see a drain in your pool, so maybe you've already got this covered.
Thanks for the reply. This is what I was looking for. The light switch is at the pad. Right now I never use the light cause I gotta walk over there to flip it on. I think just being able to turn it on from phone would be great. I'm thinking I'll just leave what's there and not mess with the LED

I do have eyeball adjusters, but regarding the drain; I do have a drain right in the middle of the deep end. (There's another drain on the floor of the Spa but only one is "active" at a time due to 2-way valve). Don't I need that from a circulation perspective?
 

Dirk

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TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,176
Central California
Are the drains in the pool and spa one or two covers each (two or four total)? If it's just one in either body, that is a pretty dangerous thing to have in a pool/spa. Single drains have caused injuries and deaths. At the very least have a conversation with the contractor about converting them both to anti-entrapment systems.

For your pool/spa system to work, you need a suction port in each body of water. So that likely means you'll need to leave the drain in the spa. But the pool's suction port can be the skimmer(s), where they are much safer under the skimmer basket, so you could safely lose the main pool drain without affecting your filtration/heating setup.

I knew ahead of time that getting rid of my drains was not going to affect my pool's circulation, because the drains were plumbed to the skimmer, and the diverter plate that would have made the drains active was never installed, which means my drains never did anything in the first place. Losing them was a no-brainer for me.

Do you know? Is your pool drain plumbed to the skimmer, or back to your pad on it's own dedicated valve? Has your pool drain ever been used for circulation? If not, ditch it. If you've been using it, then you'll have to consider how getting rid of it will affect your pool's circulation. Drains don't do much for circulation, that's mostly done by the returns. Pushing water around a pool is way more effective than pulling water through some holes (like a drain). Once I got my eyeballs, I adjusted them to create a nice whirlpool affect in my pool, and that solved for the warm/cold spots I'd always had, so my circulation actually improved after getting rid of the drains, because of the returns.

It was my remodel contractor that suggested getting rid of the drains. They explained all that to me before I did, and it worked out great. Perhaps your contractor can assess your circulation system and advise you similarly.

Alternately, if the main drain is plumbed back to the pad, you could leave it as is, and just turn it off. If that leaves your circulation OK, then leave it like that and make your pool safer that way.

Or use one of these, they're anti-entrapment and hide the drain pretty well. You can plaster over their covers to make them virtually disappear (but they still work as drains). They make dual-round versions, too, and there are several competing brands that make these, so lots of choices:


Here's another:

 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,176
Central California
Oh, pool light... I actually removed my pool light from my pool automation and now run it from my home automation system. That might be an alternative for you. You can get smart switches pretty cheap now, and run them with a smart phone, or Alexa, and lots of other ways, too.

I can work all my garden and pool lights from my computers, iPhone, iPad, wall switches and hand-held remotes. It actually works better for me on my HA system than on the pool automation system.
 

jsridley

Active member
Jun 1, 2018
35
Houston, TX
Are the drains in the pool and spa one or two covers each (two or four total)? If it's just one in either body, that is a pretty dangerous thing to have in a pool/spa. Single drains have caused injuries and deaths. At the very least have a conversation with the contractor about converting them both to anti-entrapment systems.

For your pool/spa system to work, you need a suction port in each body of water. So that likely means you'll need to leave the drain in the spa. But the pool's suction port can be the skimmer(s), where they are much safer under the skimmer basket, so you could safely lose the main pool drain without affecting your filtration/heating setup.

I knew ahead of time that getting rid of my drains was not going to affect my pool's circulation, because the drains were plumbed to the skimmer, and the diverter plate that would have made the drains active was never installed, which means my drains never did anything in the first place. Losing them was a no-brainer for me.

Do you know? Is your pool drain plumbed to the skimmer, or back to your pad on it's own dedicated valve? Has your pool drain ever been used for circulation? If not, ditch it. If you've been using it, then you'll have to consider how getting rid of it will affect your pool's circulation. Drains don't do much for circulation, that's mostly done by the returns. Pushing water around a pool is way more effective than pulling water through some holes (like a drain). Once I got my eyeballs, I adjusted them to create a nice whirlpool affect in my pool, and that solved for the warm/cold spots I'd always had, so my circulation actually improved after getting rid of the drains, because of the returns.

It was my remodel contractor that suggested getting rid of the drains. They explained all that to me before I did, and it worked out great. Perhaps your contractor can assess your circulation system and advise you similarly.

Alternately, if the main drain is plumbed back to the pad, you could leave it as is, and just turn it off. If that leaves your circulation OK, then leave it like that and make your pool safer that way.

Or use one of these, they're anti-entrapment and hide the drain pretty well. You can plaster over their covers to make them virtually disappear (but they still work as drains). They make dual-round versions, too, and there are several competing brands that make these, so lots of choices:


Here's another:

There's only two options at the pad for water coming from pool, one side of valve comes from pool, the other from Spa. So I'd say it's plumbed to the skimmer. I've always assumed that drain was working but now that you mention it I can't say I've noticed leaves getting stuck to the drain like I see on the spa when it's running. I'm hesitant to kill the drain if it is working and doing something for my circulation. Maybe I'll try and test it to see if there's any suction down there. If so I really like those hidden anti-entrapment options.

Also good idea on putting pool light on home automation. That seems simple.
 
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Dirk

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Nov 12, 2017
7,176
Central California
Open up your skimmer and lift out the basket. What do you see? And/or post a pic.

Even if it's working, a drain's "reach" for snatching up leaves would only be a few inches, maybe a foot? They really don't do much in terms of moving water.
 

jsridley

Active member
Jun 1, 2018
35
Houston, TX
Open up your skimmer and lift out the basket. What do you see? And/or post a pic.

Even if it's working, a drain's "reach" for snatching up leaves would only be a few inches, maybe a foot? They really don't do much in terms of moving water.
Well you just gave me quite the "ah-ha" moment as I for the first time considered what that octagon sticking out was. So I assume that's the line from the drain, which has been capped since I've owned the pool (few years). Which means that drain has never been active, from what I can tell pool circulation has been good enough and I could just cover this up. It seems that all that water in deep end wouldn't be moving enough to mix chemicals, but clearly it's been ok. Thanks!

skimmer.JPG
 

Dirk

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TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,176
Central California
Yep, mine was the same, without the plug. What's missing is the diverter gizmo (not even sure what they look like), that adjusts the suction between skimmer and drain. So if that capped port is your drain, it's never been active. Covering your existing drain will not change a thing.

To be thorough, your pool drain setup as is poses no entrapment danger, so that is a non-issue (as long as that cap is in place, that is). That's not true for the spa if there is only one drain cover in there. That still needs to be addressed.

That all said, you might try to confirm the pool plumbing. Blow air or water through that port (shop vac or hose) and see if you can spot either coming out the other end. Then cap it back up. (Though be prepared for a possible purge of gunk.)

I capped the port in my skimmer after I sealed up my drains, just in case if might have become an algae well.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,440
Bedford, TX
js,

Maybe your main drain is capped or maybe it goes back to your equipment pad.. Show us some pics of your equipment pad plumbing.

Thanks,

Jim R.