Why do pool lights get water in them?

pool light get water in

You may be struggling with these questions :

Underwater pool lights are supposed to be waterproof, so why do they still get water in?

Are there any safety hazards if the pool light gets water in?

Can I continue to use my pool light after water has entered it?

What can I do to solve the problem of water ingress in my pool light?

If you are interested in any of these questions, please be patient and read this blog, where I will provide detailed answers to the above questions.

Common causes of water ingress into pool lights

There are many reasons why water can enter a pool light during the manufacture, installation and use of a pool light. The following is a list of the most common causes of water ingress into pool lights :

Substandard materials

Pool light housings are commonly manufactured from plastic, stainless steel and some combination of sealing gaskets. Pool lights made from poor materials are less resistant to heat, corrosion and ageing.

At the very beginning of use, there may not be any problems with the light body. However, this does not mean that you should let your guard down, as poor quality materials deteriorate significantly during use. This will gradually lead to the pool light becoming less insulated from water, allowing water to seep into the body.


Poor quality plastic is susceptible to ageing due to water temperature, water pressure, internal heating and sunlight exposure. When the plastic ages, the material characteristics change and it is prone to deformation, fragility and other problems.

Stainless steel

The stainless steel used for pool lights is mainly SS304/316, some manufacturers of stainless steel pool lights are not up to standard. Poor quality stainless steel will gradually become corroded and rusted by the pool water after a period of time, resulting in leaks or cracks.

Sealing gasket

Poor quality sealing gaskets are susceptible to gradual deterioration due to water pressure, temperature and other factors. These ageing gaskets become less elastic and deformed, resulting in a reduction in the sealing properties of the joint.

Design and processing problems

Design and machining problems can make it difficult to seal the luminaire or make the connection securely. Common causes are design flaws in the luminaire, large dimensional errors in the manufacturing process and poor welding or sealing during assembly. These problems are caused by the manufacturer’s lack of strength.

When purchasing, take care to choose a luminaire from a competent manufacturer. Strong manufacturers have proven experience in the design and processing of pool lights, and they produce pool lights that are more consistent in quality. In addition, a strong manufacturer will carry out strict quality checks on each batch of products.

Problems during construction

Pool repairs

During pool maintenance, some replacement or repair operations may damage the seal of the pool light and cause water to enter the pool light.

Problems in use

Water quality issues

Stainless steel contains the element chromium (Cr), which forms a dense oxide film that adheres to the surface when it comes into contact with oxygen. This oxide film prevents the stainless steel from being further corroded. This is the principle of rust prevention in stainless steel pool lights.

Excessive oxidising or reducing ions in the water will accelerate the destruction of the protective layer on the surface of the stainless steel, leading to corrosion of the light body.

Application scenario error

Underwater pool lights must have IP68 protection. Some pool lights are only available in other protection classes such as IP67 and it is a mistake to use them in underwater environments.

Normal ageing

Pool lights that have been used for a long time will also experience natural ageing. The gasket is more susceptible to water ingress due to deterioration than the housing.

Performing strenuous activities

During vigorous diving, water volleyball and other activities in the pool, water splashes and waves can impact on the pool light. The pool light may loosen under the long-term impact.

Pool water sport

If you regularly engage in vigorous water sports, you need to avoid choosing surface mounted pool lights. Compared to recessed pool lights, surface mounted pool lights are more susceptible to the effects of water movement. Some particularly thick open-mounted pool lights may also bump against the human body, posing a safety hazard.

Large temperature variations

Some pool lights may be required to operate in environments where there are wide variations in temperature. Rapid and large temperature changes can cause the sealing performance of the pool light to deteriorate.

water get in pool light

What is the effect of water entering the swimming pool lights?

Safety hazards

If water enters the body of the lamp, the current may enter the pool water creating a current path. A person coming into contact with the pool water will be susceptible to electric shock.

LED pool lights are very safe. Most of them use a safe voltage of 12/24V (AC,DC) and are not harmful in case of electric shock. However, in order to prevent other effects, it is still important to avoid electric shocks.

Easy to burn out pool lights

Water entering the light body can burn out the electronics or the light source, which you will have to repair and replace. Some burnt out pool lights can also release substances into the pool water or onto the pool wall, damaging the water quality and the aesthetics of the pool. When a pool light burns out, you will have to spend more money and time on repairing and cleaning the pool.

How can I solve the problem of water ingress into my pool light?

Obviously, we need to try to avoid water ingress problems with pool lights.

Take care when purchasing to choose a underwater pool light from a quality manufacturer and follow strict specifications for the installation of the pool light and the cleaning of the pool. Take care to ensure that the pool light is used and maintained properly and that the pool is cleaned regularly.

If installed and used properly, the likelihood of water ingress into your pool light is greatly reduced. It is also advisable to find the cause and fix it quickly if you find water ingress during use. If necessary, have it repaired by a professional to avoid further repercussions.

If you are looking for a reliable manufacturer of pool lights or can’t solve a problem such as water ingress, feel free to contact WAKING Lighting. We have a wide range of underwater lights and have also developed low-voltage LED replacements for industry-standard products such as the Pentair GloBrite, Pentair IntelliBrite, Hayward ColorLogic 80, Jandy Radiant, and more. We have professional technical engineers and a sales team who can solve all your problems.

Are you looking for a professional underwater light supplier? Contact us now!

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