Swimming during the day sure gets a lot of air-time, and for good reason: cooling off on a hot afternoon by diving into crisp waters just rules. It’s what most imagine when they opt in for a pool in the first place.
But don’t forget about nightswimming—especially if your pool is already equipped with a powerful heat pump. It’s a great way to get in an evening exercise, or decompress while floating under the stars. And with a beautifully-lit pool, you don’t have to worry about your inner-child who can’t swim in dark water without thinking about one particular scene from Jaws.
So whether your pool light has burnt out, or you just want to upgrade to a energy-saving, mood-setting alternative, let’s get that pool lit up again—and fast. As long as you feel comfortable doing the job yourself, it couldn’t be easier.
Most Importantly, Stay Safe!
How many pool pros does it take to change a lightbulb? Just one, if you’re not comfortable working with electricity and water. More important than saving money is staying safe. That’s why we should work hard to maintain our pools, and always keep a pool alarm installed and armed. In this case, risking your safety to not have to call in an expert just isn’t worth it. If you have experience and feel confident that you can get the job done, go ahead and DIY. Otherwise, don’t hesitate to ring your local pro.
Silver Lining: This is Your Chance to Save
If you haven’t yet made the switch over to LED bulbs, listen up. You’re already about to change your pool light. Why not use this moment to set yourself up for ongoing savings?
LED bulbs are energy-efficient, meaning that they use a fraction of the energy used up by a traditional incandescent bulb—which also means that you’ll be paying less on your monthly energy bill moving forward.
Plus, LED bulbs are customizable. Get them in the color of your choice, or get a smart bulb and change the color and effects through an app on your phone. It’ll make that nightly dip all the more atmospheric, and all the more fun.
Speaking of saving… do you have a variable-speed pool pump yet—and the lower monthly energy bills to show for it? The Blue Torrent 2 HP Variable-Speed Pump is the one to try—it’s ultra-powerful, allows for more thorough circulation, is eligible for rebates, and pays itself off in under a year in energy saved. As customer Dave Schmidt says, “My pool has never looked cleaner. I am pleased with my new pump!”
Ready to Do-It-Yourself? Here’s What You’ll Need
Feel comfortable taking this on? Okay, but only if you’re sure. Here’s what you’ll need to do the job yourself:
- Replacement pool light bulb and lens gasket
- Philips or flathead screwdriver, depending on your light fixture’s pilot screw
- Dry absorbent cloths or towels
Short list, right? Yeah. That’s it.
How to Replace a Pool Light Bulb—in 10 Quick Steps
Feel comfortable taking this on? Here’s how to get it done.
1. Get Prepared—Starting with the Power Switch
Before you do anything: power off.
I’ll say that again. Turn the power off! As we’ve already discussed, electricity and water are no pals. It is majorly important to your safety that you’re not climbing into a pool and opening up live wires.
On a related note, you do have an option to drain your pool to replace the light. This means that you’ll have to go through the process of draining and refilling your pool, and then restoring its chemical balance. In other words, it’s a lot of work. But it will make these next steps safer.
Opting to drain your pool? You’ll still need to turn the power off. Seriously, disconnect from power!
2. Don’t Screw It
Once you’re ready to move forward—and in most cases, down into the water—go ahead and grab that screwdriver. You’re aiming for the pilot screw, which is a single screw usually located at the top of the pool light fixture. It’s what keeps the cover of the fixture secure. Now’s the time to unscrew it.
3. Remove the Fixture—Carefully!
Once you’ve got that screw removed, you can gently and carefully remove the fixture. The goal here is to get it on the pool deck on a few dry cloths or towels, so that you can work with it more safely and easily. Usually, the fixture will have wires long enough to make the trip.
4. Caution! Use Your Multimeter
Before you open up your fixture, you want to double- and triple-check that it isn’t still connected to power. That’s where your multimeter comes in. If it reads that there is absolutely no electricity running through the fixture’s wires, then you’re good to proceed to the next step.
5. Take the Old Light Bulb Out
This is when things get interesting. Go ahead and remove all screws or clamps holding the fixture together. Next, open up the lens, lens gasket, and its O-ring. This is a good time to be cleaning as you go, since residue tends to build up in pool lights.
Once you’ve finished the replacement process, celebrate your new beautifully-lit waters with new accessories. Choose from pool slides, to conversation-starting floaties, to floating pool party pong—all made with durable material and designed to increase the fun.
6. Put the New Light Bulb In
Once all the fixture parts are wiped down and that old bulb is discarded, gently screw in the new bulb. Carefully rotate it until it’s secure and tight, but not far beyond that point—you don’t want your brand-new bulb to break. After getting the light in, reassemble the fixture.
7. Test the Light Out of the Water—Fast
Speed is essential for this next step. You’ll potentially save yourself a ton of time if you make sure that the light is working now, before you install it back into your pool. But remember, pool lights are designed to work underwater. So test the bulb now, but make it quick—if the light doesn’t go on and you have more troubleshooting to do, you’ll know right away.
To test the bulb, quickly turn the power on. But once you’ve finished the test, be absolutely sure you power down again. Make sure the power is off!
8. Check for Leaks!
Light working just fine, and the power has been turned off again? Submerge the fully-assembled fixture to make sure that there are no leaks. If you do see air bubbles, you’ll want to assemble the unit again. Don’t move on to the next step until the fixture emits absolutely no air bubbles.
9. Restore the Fixture to the Pool Wall
Almost there! Now you can push the wiring back into the pool wall, and place the fixture back in position. Still have that pilot screw, right? Go ahead and screw it back in, exactly the way you found it. Again, it’s usually located at the top of the fixture.
10. Power ‘er Up!
Well done—you made it to the final step. Once the fixture is screwed back in and secure, you can turn the power back on—and maybe even put on your swimsuit for a celebratory dip.
The secret to a perfect evening dip? That’s having the perfect heat pump, like the Energy-Saving ComforTemp Pool Heat Pump 95,000 BTU to heat 18,000 Gallons. According to customer Steve, “Simple install and simple set up. Heated my pool from 66 to 82 degrees in about 2 complete days.”
There’s the Light at the End of the Tunnel!
Would you look at that! Now that you’ve changed the bulb all on your own, you’re ready for anything that comes your way—in this case, that’s beautifully-lit waters at night, and a peaceful atmosphere. Or a pool party! No matter how you choose to enjoy your pool, it’s all because you learned a new skill. Well done, and have fun.