In short the answer is now a resounding yes! You can control a swimming pool grade light with a hot tub Spa Pack.
The Old Problem
When you are building your own hot tub, there is nothing better than having it lit up at night. However, the LEDs that are designed for the plastic shell tubs are not suitable for concrete or block built tubs. They are not big or powerful enough.
The solution – a swimming pool light. What is the problem with that? Well, in my experience, it was the “swimming pool tax” as I call it with them being expensive. Then there was the supply chain which was ropey at best with long lead times. Then there was the fact you needed a specialist power supply which cost the earth. The lights themselves in my opinion were also too big and bulky.
So, this was the reason that I created the Buildahottub light. Slim, bright, easy to install and doesn’t cost the earth.
So what is the problem? The problem (was) that the lights draw way too much current to be plugged directly into a Spa Pack. Most Spa Packs will only allow a current draw 1A at 10-12VAC from the main board itself. That means, if you want to press the light button on your topside control and the light come on – it is not going to work. Why, because your board will go bang – I learnt the hard way with my own build.
Secondly, LEDs as most lights are these days all run on DC voltage not AC which was the tradition used for swimming pools and hot tubs.
Even the buildahottub.com light requires 12VDC at 3A to run the super-bright 35W of colour.
That meant that until now, you had to have a separate switch to control your light and could not use your topside – UNTIL NOW!
What is the solution?
For those of your that have read the blog and watched the YouTube channel, you will know my background is technology. I’ve been trying for a number of years now to come up with the solution. The problem I was facing is that traditional relays would want a low DC voltage to switch a high AC voltage.
This is not what we were looking for with our setup. What we needed was a low switching AC voltage off the Spa Pack to switch another low DC voltage that powered the LED.
There was a workaround for a period of time with a power strip but that was only available in the USA so no good for my customers outside the States.
Simple in theory but not that simple in that it has literally taken me best part of 4 years to come up with a solution and find the correct components.
Bingo! – the Buildahottub.com “Hot Tub Light Connection Kit” has been born.
Light Connector Box
What Is a Hot Tub Light Connection Kit
The Buildahottub.com Hot Tub Light Connection Kit is a bridge between a swimming pool grade light and the traditional Spa Packs that power our hot tubs. By using the connection kit, you can control the on/off of the swimming pool grade light with the standard topside on your tub.
On the input, you have a 2 pin AMP connector on a 50cm / 20″ cable. On the other side, you have a switching cable. Think of the box as a switch and you need to wire in one of the cables into your 12V DC power supply for your light and the other end into the Power V+ on your transformer.
Voila! You can now control the on/off of your swimming pool grade light with your Topside control unit.
What Swimming Pool Lights is the Connection kit compatible with?
The connection kit is compatible with all swimming pool lights. The connection kit is designed to switch 12VDC, 24VDC and up to 240V AC at 10A. This means you can run up to 3 of the Buidlahottub.com lights through the kit.
The current draw on the AMP connection (the parts that connects to your Spa Pack) is low at 0.04A (40mA) – much less than they are able to output. (Means your pack will not go bang!)
What Spa Packs is the Connection Kit Compatible with?
The Connection Kit is compatible with all Spa Packs that have AMP connectors. You may be able to change the connector to fit your pack but they are supplied with an AMP connector on them.
The AMP connector will accept between 9.5V and 12V both AC and DC vastly increasing the compatibility with Spa Packs.
What about the Buildahottub.com Light?
Super Thin LED Pool Light In Box
The good news, is that all Buildahottub.com lights will now be supplied with the connection kit as standard. This means that you will be able to connect your buildahottub.com light directly into your spa pack. You will still set the colour mode with the remote control, but it means you will be able to turn it on and off from the tub via the topside control.
Dimensions – 120mm x 60mm x 30mm / 5″ x 2.5″ x 1″
Input – 9.5-12V AC/DC
Switching Load – 12VDC, 24VDC and up to 240V AC at 10A
Current Draw – 0.04A (40MA)
EMC Directive 89/336/EEC
LVD Directive 73/23/EEC
CE Directive 93/68/EEC