How to Change a Pool Light (Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Change a Pool Light

There are several things you need to do when preparing your swimming pool for the season. They range from ensuring the pool chemistry is okay to checking that fixtures like the pool lights are working fine.

Like any other light type, pool lights will burn out at some point or even get damaged. Hence the need to do a replacement. When it comes to changing pool lights, you need to know how to choose the correct replacement bulb and how to do the job the right way.

How to Find a Replacement Bulb? 

Before you can replace the light bulb in your swimming pool, you first need to get the right one. The easiest way to do this is to check the part number on the bulb you currently have and look for the same model.

That said, sometimes it is not always easy to get the exact bulb you have. Also, in some cases, you might want to get something different to improve the lighting. In such cases, you need to watch out for things like the wattage and voltage to ensure you get something that can work for your pool.

Additionally, consider other things like the type, and here LED is often the best choice as it is more energy-efficient and bright enough. Also, other things like light color and patterns matter a lot, and here the right option for you depends primarily on your preferences.

If you need some help choosing an ideal pool light, the Life-Bulb LED Color Pool Light Bulb is a good recommendation. The bulb has some delightful light patterns and color, remote control, and comes with a lifetime replacement warranty.

Step by Step Directions 

Step 1: Switch off the Power and Drain Some Water

The first step when replacing your pool light should always be switching the power off to ensure you can work safely. Remember, you will have to touch the wires when changing bulbs, so you do not want any power reaching the pool.

Also, you can drain some of the water from the pool as this will make it easier to reach the light fixture. However, draining is not always necessary, and it is crucial to note that by doing it, you will be adding more work as you have to refill and rebalance it later on.

Step 2: Remove Pilot Screw from the Old Light

Next, you need to remove your old light, and here the first step is to take out the pilot screw, which is what holds the light fixture in place. In most instances, the screw will be at the top of the fixture, but this can vary from one type to the other.

Also, the screw types will vary from one light fixture to the other, but in most instances, you will need either a Phillips screwdriver or a flathead.

You need to reach your hand in the water to get to the screw. Depending on how deep the light fixture is, you might have to lay down next to the pool. In some instances, you might even have to get into the water to reach the light fixture.

Step 3: Remove Light Fixture from the Box

Once the screw is off, you will need to pry out the light fixture from its niche box. Most light fixtures have lots of extra wire around them, so it should be possible to pull out the entire unit and place it on the pool deck.

It helps to use a screwdriver to loosen and pry out the light unit. Also, remember to check how the cord sits in the box so you will not have any issues returning it to the position later.

Step 4: Take Fixture Apart and Remove the Old Bulb

With the light fixture out, you can now take it apart to remove your old bulb. Here you have to take out all the screws and things like clamps, gaskets, and lens to reach the bulb.

Some of these components might be rusted, so you need to be careful to ensure the debris does not get into the water.

Also, make sure you clean up the corrosion and replace the parts that are too corroded to be used again. Once this is done, you can unscrew the old bulb by using a towel to hold it gently. Make sure you clean and dry the interior of the light fixture after removing the bulb.

Warning: Remember to test the wires before you take apart the fixtures. You have to be sure there is no electricity flowing through the wires before touching them with bare hands.

Step 5: Screw-On and Test the New Bulb

You can now screw on the new bulb and make sure you do it slowly a gently. Also, ensure you tighten the bulb enough but not overdo it as this can break it.

When the new bulb is in place, you should reinstall the other light fixture components like the lens and gasket to reassemble the fixture.

Before you put back the light fixture to its niche box, you need to test whether the new bulb is working okay. Here you should turn on the power to check whether the light comes on.

Warning: Pool light bulbs are for underwater use only, and they do not work well in other environments. Therefore, make sure you do the job fast.

Step 6: Fix Back the Light In the Wall

When you are sure the light is working, you can fix it back into the wall. However, make sure you check whether there are leaks by submerging the fixture to see if some air escapes.

Fixing the light into the wall requires you to arrange the excess wall neatly and line up the screw wall before adding back the screw. Once this is done, you can power on the light and enjoy the new bulb.


When you need to replace a pool light bulb, you should always start by choosing a good one, and the good news is that there are more than enough options out there.

The actual job is also pretty straightforward as it is all about removing the light fixture from the wall, taking out the old bulb carefully, and screwing in the new one.

However, you have to take precautions for your safety, but once you hack it the first time, future bulb replacement will be a breeze.

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