Home » Outdoor Lighting » Pool Lights » LED Pool Lights Troubleshooting: 7 Most Common Problems

LED Pool Lights Troubleshooting: 7 Most Common Problems

LED pool lights are a great way of illuminating your pool for those relaxing summer evenings.

They’re energy-efficient, long-lasting, and powerful enough to cast a beautiful light across your pool without being harsh or blinding.

But sometimes, like all electrical devices, they go wrong.

Common LED pool light issues include leaking, tripped circuit breakers, problems with a transformer, or loose wiring connections. Lights can also flash or fall out of sync and may need to reset.

Let’s take a look at some LED pool light troubleshooting, including:

  • Common LED pool light failures
  • How to troubleshoot your pool lights
  • Resetting your lights

What Are The Most Common LED Pool Lights Failures?

Modern swimming pool area with lights from a garden

Here’s a look at the most common LED pool light problems, what can cause them, and how to fix them.

Leaking Lights

Pool lights are designed to be installed underwater and are sealed to prevent liquid from getting into the bulb.

But that seal can only last so long, especially with chlorine wearing it away.

When water gets into your lights, it can cause various malfunctions – it may trip the breaker, cause the light to flash, or not switch on.

It can also be an electrocution risk.

To fix this issue, remove the light, drain the liquid and dry the light out.

Replace the gasket – the waterproof seal – and then you can reinstall the light, checking there are no more leaks.

Tripped Circuit Breakers

Male finger switching circuit breakers

If your light has tripped the circuit breaker, it could be caused by a random spike of power, it could be a loose wire somewhere, or it could just be that the breaker itself is bad.

There’s a way you can test whether the breaker is bad, though.

The only reason it should be tripping is if there’s a difference in voltage on the live and neutral wires at the breaker.

So, test them with a multimeter.

Check the milliamps – they should be within 5ma of each other on each wire. If they aren’t, then there’s a problem in the circuit somewhere.

If they are, but the breaker has tripped, it is at fault and may need replacing – though you can reset it and see if it behaves.

Transformer Problems

Most LED pool lights are low voltage and therefore are wired into a transformer which steps the voltage down to the 12-14 volts needed.

Sometimes the transformer can develop a fault, which would cause your lights to either stop working or potentially flash/run dim.

If the transformer is broken, it’s not usually repairable – you’ll need to replace it.

Bad Bulb

If the pool lights don’t turn on, it could just be that the bulb has died. LED lights tend to have a lifespan of 20,000 hours or more, but cheaper ones might fail sooner.

If you’ve had your lights for a long time and you’ve ruled out a power issue (your other lights are working correctly), you may need to replace the light.

Lights Out Of Sync

modern villa with lit up pool

Colored lights can sometimes fall out of sync – when you turn them on or try to set them to a different color, they might not all be aligned.

This can usually be fixed with a reset – I’ll explain how below.

Lights Flashing

Suppose your pool lights are flashing or flickering. It could be for many reasons, including loose wiring, voltage drop, water in the fixtures, or a faulty transformer.

You can check the connections in the junction box or the transformer for loose wires. To test voltage drop, try disconnecting all the lights, then trying them one at a time and adding more.

Voltage drop is caused when you run too thin a wire from the transformer to the junction box or the distance is too long.

If the lights work individually but stop working when they’re all on one circuit, the best solution is to put some of the lights on a separate circuit.

Lights Won’t Change Color

A calm swimming pool with glowing lights

If the pool lights won’t change color and are LEDs, it could be that part of the bulb has gone bad or the lights need a reset.

If only one bulb won’t change color, or it tries to change color but either dims or switches off, it’s a bulb issue. If it stays on the same color in full brightness, reset it.

How To Troubleshoot LED Pool Lights?

Repairman is repairing pool with equipment

The first thing you need to do when fixing faulty pool lights is, work out the issue.

Some of the problems above are really easy to find.

For example, you can see when your pool lights have water inside them.

You can check the integrity of the wire connections at the junction box or transformer visually.

But for some of the other issues, you’ll need to narrow down where the problem is happening using a multimeter.

With this, you can:

  • Check the milliamps at the circuit breaker to ensure they are within 5ma. If they aren’t, there’s a short somewhere on the circuit
  • Check the voltage at the transformer, ensuring the current is 120v coming into the transformer and 12-14 volts at the other side.
    • If the current coming into the transformer is not 120v, you have a problem with the wiring at the circuit breaker
    • If the current is 120v but it’s not dropping to 12-14v, the transformer is faulty and needs replacing
  • You can set the multimeter to test continuity and check each light’s wiring at the junction box. If it doesn’t beep, the light is breaking the connection and so is faulty

Use the multimeter to work out where the problem is on the circuit. Then you’ll be able to identify the issue and how to fix it using the tips above.

How Do I Reset My LED Pool Light?

Person Controlling Light With App On Phone

Resetting your LED pool lights varies by manufacturer. You should check the manual for instructions on how to carry out a reset.

For Hayward lights, here’s what you need to do:

  • Remove the batteries from the remote if you have one – you don’t want that to interfere
  • At the control panel, manually shut the lights off for two minutes, then turn them back on. This is the master power cycle.
  • To reset the color mode, make sure the lights are on, then turn them off for 11-13 seconds (you need to be precise, so time it). Then turn them back on.
  • Do this two more times, and you’ll see which color mode they are currently in. Do it once more to reset the color mode, and then turn the lights off and on immediately to cycle through color modes.
  • When it is set to the right mode, turn the lights off for two minutes to store the settings.

Other lights may be different, so check the instructions for your own lights on how to reset them.

Resetting lights can solve many issues, including where colors are out of sync or where the lights are flashing.

If it’s a color sync issue, or the color won’t change, a reset should be a ‘permanent’ fix (although it could have problems again in the future).

Is the light flashing? Reset could be only a temporary fix.

If it still flickers, you’ll need to investigate other potential causes, including the transformer or lose wiring.

Final Words

The perfect pool lighting setup will look incredible, but it will need some maintenance from time to time – and you don’t want to have to call out an electrician every time something goes wrong.

Most of the issues you’ll have with pool lights can be easily fixed, even by someone with little experience working with the wiring.

Just be careful to follow the steps to identify the cause, and then use these tips to fix the issue or replace the faulty element.

Always go back to the manual of your lights’ manufacturer as they often include handy troubleshooting tips specific to those lights – such as Hayward’s troubleshooting guide does.

Have you had any issues with your pool lights, and if so, did you fix them yourself? If so, how did you resolve it?