How to Install Long LED Strip Runs For Above-Ground Pool Lights
Illuminating the inside of an above-ground pool can make nighttime swimming more enjoyable. But finding a way to evenly light the whole space from one source can be tricky. Our guide below creates a solution for connecting and powering long runs of LED strip lights. It can also be used for any project that requires multiple strip lights to be linked together and rely on one power supply.
Why choose LED strips over other underwater fixtures?
Waterproof LED strip lights are a great choice for underwater pool lighting because of the dynamic light display options they offer. With a multitude of RGB, RGBW, single-color, and smart control options available, there are endless possibilities for what you can display. Program your swimming pool lighting to fit your outdoor lighting design or match the evening atmosphere.
Before You Get Started
Make sure to use strip lights that have a rating of IP67 or higher for installation in a wet environment. For higher protection or full submersion, use IP68-rated strips. Since these lights will have contact with water, it is important to use low-voltage strip lights (12V-24V) to reduce the risk of danger if a problem with the strips or power suppliers were to happen. Some jurisdictions require above-ground pool lighting to meet National Electrical Code (NEC) Article 680 standards, which would limit possible pool lighting installation locations. Before you purchase pool lights, check your local code requirements.
Take caution when handling and installing electrical components near water. It is imperative to turn off all power supplies during the installation, use watertight wire connectors, and make sure there are no exposed wires. If you are not comfortable completing your pool light installation, have a certified electrician install your lights.
Additionally, exposure to harsh chemicals such as chlorine and salt water may cause the housing of your strip lights to deteriorate over time. To extend the lifetime of your lights, we recommend installing the strip lights a few inches above the waterline to decrease contact with water. It is important to regularly check your lights to make sure they are working properly and do not have any exposed components.
The following installation involves connecting 4 waterproof RGB LED strip lights. With several color-changing patterns and watertight construction, these strip lights create a fun atmosphere for kids and grown-ups alike. Customize the brightness, color, and dynamic modes with a controller to tailor the lighting to any event.
(1) DiodeDrive® Series 240W Power Supply
(1) CPS Barrel to Terminal Connector
(1) RGB LC4 Controller and Remote (or substitute for an IP68 controller)
(1) LC4 Splitter Cable
(2) LC4 Pigtail Power Connector (female)
(8) Waterproof Wire Nuts
(4) Waterproof RGB LED Strips
Recommended Tools and Materials:
(Depending on weatherproofing and installation location needs)
3M Double-Sided Foam Pads
12 mm Silicone End Caps
Dolphin Connectors With Sealant
18-Gauge Two-Conductor Power Wire
12 mm Mounting Clips
3M Adhesion Promoter
Speed Nuts/Cotter Pins
Before ordering your LED strip lights, measure the perimeter of your pool. This number indicates the total length of strips you need. The 21-foot pool used for these installation instructions has a circumference of 65.94 feet and requires 4 runs of 16-foot LED strips.
2) Set up Power Supply
Drain your pool before beginning your LED strip light installation. Begin by creating or locating a dry area away from your pool for the power supply. The power supply should be contained in a weatherproof enclosure. Power supplies should be installed between a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protected circuit and the pool’s junction box. It’s crucial to use a GFCI-protected circuit, as it shuts off if the current flow to protect from electrical shocks.
Wire the included plug to the power supply, but do not connect to power until the installation is complete.
3) Set up Controller
Using the CPS Barrel Connector, connect the power supply to the LC4 controller.
4) Connect the RGB LED Strips
Connect the output LC4 connector of the controller to the LC4 splitter. Then connect the LC4 pigtails to the pigtails of the strips. Use the waterproof wire nuts to seal your connection. Connect strips 1 and 3 together using the connectors already attached to the strips. Repeat for strips 2 and 4.
If your strip lights are longer than the pool circumference, you can easily cut your strip light at the nearest cuttable segment to trim it down to length. Use a waterproof silicone sealant and silicone cap to seal the end of the cut strip.
Please note: the LC4 connectors, splitters, and controller are not waterproof. Therefore it is essential you store them in a waterproof junction box or housing to protect from water splashes and outdoor elements.
5) Mount the RGB LED Strips
When deciding where to mount your waterproof strip lights, remember that prolonged exposure to harsh chemicals like chlorine and salt water could wear down the strip housing over time. We recommend mounting your lights around the rim above the water.
Apply strips 1 and 3 clockwise around your pool rim and strips 2 and 4 counterclockwise. If you have a flat surface, use mounting clips to secure the strips in place as you go.
For above-water installation, drill small holes under your pool rim in the trusses approximately every 2 feet. Use cable ties to anchor the strip to the truss. You can also use speed nuts or cotter pins for strip anchoring to avoid drilling holes.
6) Turn on Power
Plug the power supply’s attached cord into an outlet, and enjoy your LED pool lighting system! Refill your pool with water, but make sure to leave space between the water line and the lights.
For more waterproof lighting solutions, see our entire line of IP68 LED strip lights. Our large collection features single-color and color-changing options. Complete your outdoor space with our wide selection of landscape lights— from motion sensor security lighting to decorative deck and patio illumination.
For technical questions, don’t hesitate to call us toll free at 866-590-3533. Our customer service and technical support teams are available from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. CDT Monday-Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. CDT on Friday.