A light shining at the bottom of a pool, lighting up the words "Replacing a Pool Light"

A swimming pool light allows for greater safety and a beautiful ambiance as people swim in their pool. This means that when your pool light bulb burns out or breaks, it’s a good idea to replace it as soon as you can.

Fortunately, this isn’t generally a tough repair to perform on your own. Read on for a guide to replacing your inground pool light bulb.

Deciding What Type of Pool Light Bulbs to Get

Often, if you’re going to change your pool light bulb anyway, it’s a good time to evaluate your lighting choices. If your lights were installed at the same time and are used with equal frequency, it’s likely that your other light bulbs don’t have much life left in them once the first has burned out.

An LED pool light is far more efficient than a traditional incandescent pool light, using about 75 percent less electricity to provide the same level of illumination. LED light bulbs are also more customizable than other pool lights, allowing you to set up a unique pattern or vary the lighting colors you use.

What You’ll Need to Replace the Light Bulb

Before you begin this project, you should gather these tools:

  • A screwdriver (if you’re not sure what type of screws your light has, have both a Phillips and a flathead screwdriver handy);

  • A voltage tester;

  • A gasket;

  • Goggles;

  • Replacement screws; and

  • A clean towel.

Steps to Replacing the Light Bulb

Cut Off the Power to the Light

The first (and most important) step is to shut off power to the pool. Combining electricity and water rarely ends well. If your pool has its own breaker box, you can shut off power there; otherwise, you should be able to find the switch (or switches) at your house’s main electrical control panel.

Once you think the power’s off, place a non-contact voltage tester against the pool’s light switch. This voltage tester should beep to let you know if a current is still running to the switch. Turn the light switch on and test again to make doubly sure there’s no power.

Unscrew the Light Housing

Next, look for a screw near the bottom of the light housing. Depending on how far below the water’s surface your light is located, you may need to put your head underwater to see and reach it—goggles can come in handy here. Unscrew the screw and put it in a safe place.

Once you’ve unscrewed this bottom screw, you can usually just pull the housing straight off. This housing will have a cord long enough to allow you to place the light on the edge of the pool so that the rest of the process can be performed poolside.

Behind the bezel, you should see a screw (or line of screws) that connects the light housing gasket and lens to the outside housing. Loosen these screws and put them aside with the main bezel screw.

Check for Corrosion

Now carefully look over the light housing for any signs of corrosion, cracking, or other damage. If the housing itself is damaged, you may need to replace more than just the pool light bulb. Corroded screws could also snap, sending your light plummeting to the bottom of the pool. If any screws show signs of rust, you can replace them with pool-safe screws purchased from your local pool supply store.

Replace the Bulb

Use your towel to grab hold of the burned-out light bulb and untwist it from the housing. Replace it with a fresh bulb. If you’ve chosen to replace the light housing gasket (due to rust, age, or other issues), install the new gasket around the lens edge. Then put the bezel back over the lens and replace the screws you removed. Finally, you’ll want to wind the light cord around the housing so that it doesn’t get tangled.

Test for Air-Tightness

Once all the screws have been tightened, it’s time to test the air-tightness of your light by submerging it into the water. If any air bubbles begin floating to the surface, this means there’s a leak somewhere. Remove the light from the water and disassemble (and reassemble) it, making sure to replace the gasket so that your light bulb doesn’t get wet.

After ensuring your pool light is watertight, you can put it back into its housing and replace the anchor screw.

If you run into problems while replacing your pool light bulb, it may be time to enlist help from the professionals at Liquidus Pool Services. Give them a call at (214) 677-5955 or visit their website to learn more about the services they offer.