Upgrade 500w Halogen Light

May 9, 2016
16
0
Burlington, MA
#1
I am interested in upgrading the boring white light in my inground pool. The previous owners had a halogen light fixture installed. The fixture seems to only accept a 500w 120v T-3 double ended halogen bulb. Does anyone know if, and how, this could be replaced with a color-changing LED fixture? I am comfortable with basic electrical skills (installing/replacing outlets, switches, etc.), but with 20k gallons of water surrounding the light I'd like to call in the pros (potentially). Basically my questions are:


  1. Do I need to replace the whole fixture, or is there some magic product that the internet has for sale I can buy to retro-fit my old light.
  2. Would you typically need to drain the pool to perform this type of upgrade, or just get the fixture out onto the pool deck?
  3. Who would do this type of work, typically? An electrician or a pool installer?

If you look at the photo attached, I believe one of the more major issues is that the wire running to my current fixture doesn't seem to be able to be removed from the fixture. So if the fixture can be installed, I think a new wire would need to be run all the way back to the switch? Would this be the case?

IMG_3828.jpg

Basic questions I know, but honestly I am looking to gain the courage to tackle this myself and I'm looking for any sort of feedback you have!
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 19, 2010
41,193
4
Tucson, AZ
#2
:wave: Welcome to TFP!!!

Too bad it is not just a standard screw-in Halogen light bulb as there are aftermarket replacements that are color LED.

1. I am not aware of anything aftermarket to work in that fixture, so you would need to pull all the wiring out and pull in new wiring from a new fixture.

2. The light conduit is designed to be full or water, so you should be able to replace the fixture without draining. You need to find the junction box, disconnect the wires, attach some type of pull cord, pull the wire and pull cord out of the conduit into the pool. Attach the pull cord to your new light fixture wire and pull it back through the conduit.

3. Combo? I would say an electrician familiar with pools. Or DIY.

And Yes to your last question as I described above.
 

gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
0
Sacramento, CA
#3
Take the picture with the model information to a good pool store and ask. There are some LED bulbs that are retrofits. Will they work with your fixture, you need to ask. I would also call Sunplay and Inyo pools two big internet sellers of pool supplies and ask them. They take phone calls.

So your pool light consists of a light bulb which is placed in a fixture. The fixture has a cord permanently attached. The cord runs to a junction box. A small electrical box sticking up about a foot or more above ground near the light or at the pad. To replace the filter, turn off all the power to the pool. Make sure there is no power to the light. Disconnect the wires in the junction box. Connect a electrical fish tape or strong cord to the end of the wires in the junction box. Pull the cord from the pool. Connect the new light cord to the fish tape and pull to the jbox. Cut the cord do that you can place the light on the deck for servicing and there is some slack in the jbox. BE CAREFUL DON'T CUT THE CORD SHORT, IT CAN'T BE SPLICED. Reconnect and you are done. There are several youtube videos -- watch a couple a couple of times. If this is too complex have a pool service or electrician do it for you.

Have fun
 
May 9, 2016
16
0
Burlington, MA
#4
Thank you both! I've looked at a few YouTube videos and it does seem pretty straight forward. I also looked a little closer at the electrical work around the pool and I believe I've found the conduit. I was wrongfully envisioning the pool light fixture to work the same way as an indoor light fixture replacement job. I might try it, although with my luck, I will somehow crack the conduit while pulling the cord through it!

I will scour this board for suggestions on good fixtures but if either of you have any I'll take them! I'm looking for something like this, although this one has a few bad reviews so I think I need to keep shopping. I like the controller you can buy for it. These things are on the expensive side, I never would have guessed!
 

RobbieH

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Aug 30, 2010
4,052
0
52
Dallas, TX
#5
I was able to replace this old light with a Pentair Intellibrite 5G LED. The hardest part is that you have to remove the old cord and run the new cord all the way to the switch - NO JUNCTIONS in the pool allowed! Since I estimate the installation to be around 1957, the original cord was very brittle and broke as we tried to pull it out. We ended up using a pool installation expert to run a new conduit to the housing.



 

tim5055

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 11, 2014
10,085
1
Franklin, NC
www.title-3.com
#6
I was able to replace this old light with a Pentair Intellibrite 5G LED. The hardest part is that you have to remove the old cord and run the new cord all the way to the switch - NO JUNCTIONS in the pool allowed! Since I estimate the installation to be around 1957, the original cord was very brittle and broke as we tried to pull it out. We ended up using a pool installation expert to run a new conduit to the housing.
Just to clarify, under current codes the cord does not run all the way back to the switch anymore. There is a required junction box that must be installed not less than 4 feet from the pool (unless separated by a solid fence, wall, or other permanent barrier) and at least 8 inches above the maximum water level. See the National Electrical Code, article 680.23 for instruction on Wet-Niche Underwater Luminaires