Lens gaskets are the most important part to pool light upgrades
August 05, 2017
Many of the customers that I speak with on the phone describe the disappointment they have when trying out some of the newer color led bulbs available in the market today. This disappoint is primarily related to the short lifespan of the light. Typical LED bulbs in pool fixtures are rated for over 50,000 hours of continuous use. Even if you ran your pool light for 8 hours each evening for 6 months out of the year it would take over 34 years to reach that amount of use. So the short answer is LED pool bulbs don't burn out and really will last until the fixture leaks. And fixtures leak because the lens gasket eventually fails. 99% of all color LED bulb failures are due to exposure to water because the light housings leak.
A typical high end silicone lens gasket will last anywhere from 5 - 10 years before the chlorine in your pool water finally takes its toll on the gasket and causes it to leak. Because of this, it is of utmost importance that anytime to break the seal to open your light to replace a bulb, you always must install the bulb with a new gasket. Its not a nice to have or maybe next year type of thing, you HAVE to replace the gasket. Think of it as taking your car for a oil change and having them just top if off instead of actually changing the oil. Its a BIG NO NO. Don't skimp on a $20 gasket when you are installing a bulb that likely costs over $100 dollars.
And if you really want to be proactive, since the typical lifespan is between 5 - 10 years and a bulb will last over 30 years, change the gasket at year 4 to get an additonal 5 - 10 years out of the light. The bulb isn't going to be what fails, it will be the gasket.
Below I found a very helpful online video from eHow that goes over the steps necessary to change the gasket. Its really much easier that you may expect. And upgrading your pool light to color LED is really almost as easy as changing a light bulb.
Pentair has a line of underwater pool and spa lights that they sell under the brand name Intellibrite 5g. Both of these lights have inside of them a part that they refer to as a color LED light engine. This part consists of both computer chips and led chips that control the LED's and the color and shows that are projected out of the lights underwater. Over time these boards will eventually fail. When this occurs, consumers have two basic choices: 1 - Replace the board with a new one or 2 - Replace the entire light fixture.