LED Pool Light Bulbs: A Complete Guide

pool light bulbs

Pool lights can add a charming glow to our pools, but they also need regular maintenance. If the pool light bulb can be easily replaced, then the maintenance work will become more convenient and cost-effective. In this guide, we will introduce you to some common types of LED pool light bulbs, their advantages and disadvantages, and how to choose the best one for your pool.

What are Replaceable Pool Light Bulbs?

Replaceable pool light bulbs consist of light-emitting parts (such as LED chips for LED lights), lenses, housings, some electronic components, and other components. You can remove them from the pool light by twisting or plugging them in and out. They not only emit light, but also determine the power, beam angle and other parameters of the pool light.

Why do We Need Replaceable Pool Light Bulbs?

All pool lights may encounter various problems during use, such as light decay, water ingress, flickering, etc. Even big brand products with more stable quality and longer warranty period are no exception. If only the bulb is faulty, replacing the damaged pool light bulb can save a lot of costs and avoid the trouble of discarding or reinstalling the entire pool light.

Why do Some Pool Lights Not Have Replaceable Bulbs?

Although replaceable bulbs have many advantages, there are still a large number of LED pool lights that do not design their bulbs as replaceable.

This is mainly due to the following reasons :

Long Service Life

Today, LEDs are the absolute dominant product in pool lighting. the theoretical lifetime of LEDs exceeds 50,000 hours, which means that they do not need to be replaced or maintained as often under normal use.

Strong Integrability

Pool lights with non-replaceable light bulbs

LED can be flexibly designed according to needs and integrated into various shapes and specifications of pool lights. Manufacturers have developed various pool lights with unique shapes and large size differences according to market demand. However, different manufacturers and different models of LED pool lights have huge differences, making it difficult to adopt a unified standard.

Market Demand is Low

The above reasons lead to the market demand for LED bulbs being far less than pool lights. Many manufacturers do not design replaceable light bulbs for their products because they want to reduce manufacturing costs and minimize the manufacturing process.

Common LED Pool Light Replacement Bulbs

Although the above reasons lead to the development scale of LED replaceable bulbs not being large, there are still two specifications of pool light replacement bulbs that are more popular in the market.


What is PAR?

PAR is an abbreviation for “parabolic aluminized reflector”. It is a lighting product widely used in personal and public lighting fields. PAR bulbs usually consist of luminous parts (such as LED chips), tempered glass or PC plastic lenses, and parabolic reflectors (used to focus and control the beam angle). Most PAR bulbs are non-detachable and completely sealed.

What is PAR56?

PAR56 pool light bulbs

PAR56 is a standard size circular reflective light bulb. The diameter of circular PARs is expressed by the nominal diameter of the reflector in eighths of an inch, so dividing the PAR size by 8 gives an approximate nominal diameter (in inches) of the lamp bell mouth at its widest point. The diameter (in millimeters) can also be obtained by multiplying the PAR name by 3.175. For example 56/8=7,56×3.175=177.8. By calculation, the diameter of PAR56 is 7inch or 177.8mm.

In the field of pool lighting, most PAR56 bulbs use LED chips instead of traditional halogen bulbs for their light-emitting components. Many pool light manufacturers have developed LED pool lights based on PAR56 bulbs.

Common PAR Sizes

PAR has various standardized sizes, here is a table of common PAR sizes :

NameDiameter (inches)Diameter (mm)Usage Scenarios
PAR202.563.5Recessed downlights
PAR303.7595.25Track lighting
PAR465.75146.05Stage lighting
PAR567177.8LED Pool lights
PAR648203.2Aircraft landing lights

Unique PAR56 Bulbs

PAR56 pool light bulbs have two main designs, one with a parabolic reflector and one without a parabolic reflector. The bulb with a parabolic reflector is larger in size than the one without a parabolic reflector. However, these two types of bulbs have the same installation standard and can replace each other. Manufacturers also develop unique features for their PAR56 bulbs according to market demand.

For example, some PAR56 bulbs have anti-glare lenses, which make the light more uniform and soft.

Pool light bulb with cut-out design


What is E(ES)?

ES stands for Edison screw, which is an electronic component interface standard developed by “Thomas Edison” and patented in 1881. Bulbs that use this standard have metal bases that can be screwed into matching threaded sockets.

What is E27?

E27 pool light bulb

The “E” in E27 stands for Edison screw interface, and 27 indicates the diameter measured in millimeters at the peak of the bottom (male) thread.

In the field of pool lighting, the most commonly used Edison interface is E27. E27 and E26 have a 1mm difference, but they are compatible with each other.

pool light width E27 bulb

This pool light manufactured by Pentair, which can be replaced with a light bulb of E27 specification.

Common Edison Interface Sizes

There are four common types of E interfaces :

  • Candelabra light holders: They use E12 in North America, and E11 in Europe
  • Intermediate light holders: They use E17 in North America, and E14 (Small ES, SES) in Europe
  • Medium or standard light holders: They use E26 (MES) in North America, and E27 (ES) in Europe
  • Mogul light holders: They use E39 in North America, and E40 (Goliath ES) in Europe

The difference between PAR56 and E27 pool light bulbs

PAR56 and E27 bulbs are the most popular types of bulbs in the pool lighting field, but their shape sizes and installation methods are completely different, so they cannot replace each other.

Size Difference

PAR56 bulbs are circular reflective bulbs with a diameter of 7 inches or 177.8 mm. They are usually installed by inserting them into a niche or a bracket in the pool wall. E27 bulbs are cylindrical screw-in bulbs with a diameter of 27 mm. They are usually installed by screwing them into a socket on the pool light fixture.

Power Difference

Some PAR56 bulbs are available with a much higher maximum wattage than E27 bulbs.


The above details the types, features, and differences between pool light replacement light sources. We also explain why many LED pool lights do not have replaceable light sources. We hope these contents can help you make a wiser choice when selecting pool lights and light source products.

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