Introduction: Swimming Pool Lights , Remaking Defective Lights for Solar Power

About: A glass of ouzo always goes down well . Bios ;-, from the greek for "life" , Ran away to live in Greece, no regrets

Hi ,

I am a retired electronics engineer , and am always interested in making or remaking things . My pet peeve has been about surface mounted pool lamps . Having bought 2 sets of 2 lights , that have only run for a couple of seasons before failing , I decided , instead of buying another new set of lamps , to find out why they fail in the first place . They are easy to disassemble , all you need to keep is the shell , lens , gasket , and the plate the leds are mounted on .As far as I can see , both sets of lights failed because there are too many electronics stuffed into the small space, the latest ones had 18 x3W leds on the panel .plus numerous transformers,regulators etc , and there is evidence that the panels cook themselves . I decided to run them on 12 Volt solar power , using an old car battery as storage.If you don't want to go the solar route , but retain the 12V AC transformer , that's not a problem , you will have to add (preferably externally) , a small 12v ac to 12v dc bridge rectifier .Each lamp housing only consumes around half an amp.Assuming you have opened the lamp housing by undoing the stainless steel screws , remove the bezel and plastic lens, and disc that the leds are mounted on . If your power lead is in good condition and no water leaks are evident inside,thats great, if the lead is in anyway damaged , replace it by digging out the epoxy and replacing the lead , then you can remove the leds from the disc , with a small blowlamp on the reverse (soldered) side of the disc , keep tapping and all the leds should fall out . I cleaned the disc and sprayed it with a grey paint . Now you are ready to go to step 1

Step 1: Wiring the Disc With New Leds

I bought these leds already "daisychained" together from a local electronics shop , they are fully waterproof and because you will not have to do any cutting , just soldering the ends to the end of the supply cable , its not a huge problem if you get water ingress at a later date , just remove the lamp housing and put it on the poolside, and work on it to waterproof it . I got 8 led strips on the panel , and I find 2 lamps are sufficient to light my 12 metre pool ok . These leds come in cool white, warm white , red, yellow,green and blue . I have used some of these colour to illuminate the front garden with solar .It takes a little thought to wire the strips up , without cutting wires, loop the excess wire to the back .I used a two pack epoxy to secure them ,they do have double sided sticky on the reverse, but I wanted to make them secure , I suppose you could use a good hot melt glue gun to do the same .Basically you are finished , any joins should be waterproofed with epoxy ,silicon or hot glue . You can power these units out of the water without any risk of them burning out as they run so cool.When you re-assemble them , replace any damaged bolts with new stainless steel ones , and put just a lick of clear silicon seal around the gasket edge , water may find its way in otherwise.Leds can be found on Ebay , if you search for cob waterproof module 20 pieces , you should find something similar , I have shown you the latest leds from our local shop , they are really bright !.You can see how bright from the dragonfly that I wired to come on with the pool lights.

Here too is the wiring sequence ,so you do not need to make any cuts , make sure the holes you drill will take the 2 lots of conductors , and simply fix the array to the power cord in the shell . You will need to waterproof the connections ,

Step 2: Step 2 Powering Your Pool and Surround With Solar

For solar power you will need :-

A solar panel ,this is your one big expense and the wattage depends on what you want to illuminate, mine is 100 W 12 V , running 20 plus leds , and now in the Autumn , the charge controller tells me all the charge is back in the battery within 2 hours , so simple math I could probable run 4 times the leds I have,( figuring on 8 hours of daylight) .

A solar controller , regulates the charge into the battery ,and the one I bought from also has a built in timer from 1 hour after dusk up to 23 hours . The timer is fantastic , if a thunderstorm comes , the lights will come on , but as soon as it passes , they will be switched off . (about 13 dollars)

A good car battery , one that still can just crank over a car , mine is a 70 AH from my Jeep

Last thing , I would advise , use a voltage regulator in the line to the leds, as the output from the solar can reach almost 13 Volts, and I am told these led strips do not like excess voltage . The diagram is there to help , it is only a simple circuit but it works .From the wiring diagram you could make yor own camping or tenting light and the bonus is there are 2 x usb on the controller to charge your phones !

Wiring up the leds is easy , buy a spool of twin flex , marked red/black or brown/blue and simply open the cable , where you want the led , tap the conductors and solder on the led , and then waterproof .I used shrink wrap and silicon seal .

Step 3: Leds Around the Garden Running Off the Solar Panel

These are little items to show the look leds will give you

1 3 green leds

2 Bbq and oven lit with 5 leds

3 dragonfly lit with one blue one yellow led

4 one cool white led on its own

5 3 green leds around tree