Pentair Intellibrite 5g is one of the many energy-efficient pool lights available today. Since it is an LED light, it consumes less energy than incandescent or halogen lights. According to Pentair, “IntelliBrite 5G light is one of the most efficient underwater lights available”.
Now while it may be all true, it doesn’t change the fact that Intellibrite 5G comes with a fair share of problems. Most users have a love-hate relationship with these underwater lights.
On that note, if you’re considering buying the Intellibrite 5G pool lights, make sure to find out the problems that accompany them. By the end, we’ll also recommend an alternative for the Intellibrite 5G, just in case.
How Long Do Pentair Pool Lights Last?
Typically, LED lights claim a lifetime of 50,000 hours, but with the Pentair pool lights, it’s not the same. Despite being LED, Pentair Intellibrite 5G has a short lifespan in most cases.
For most users, Intellibrite usually stops functioning within the warranty period i.e., 1 year. If not that, the lights definitely fail a few weeks after the warranty period, even if they’re not close to the 50k hours run time mark.
Pentair Intellibrite 5G Problems
Below are some of the common problems you may encounter with the Pentair Intellibrite 5G lights.
1. Improper Thermal Management
Most LED lights fail due to a poor thermal management system. The earlier generations of the Intellibrite have a similar problem.
The internal board of the Intellibrite is backed by a thin aluminum heat sink, which is insufficient for absorbing the heat generated by the LED module.
The inadequate heat dissipation causes a higher than normal operating temperature of the Intellibrite, which in turn reduces its lifespan.
However, Pentair has replaced the aluminum heat sink with a thick copper heat sink in recent Intellibrites, reducing the thermal management issues to a reasonable extent.
2. Internal Board Fails
Another major issue with Intellibrite 5G is that it houses a terrible circuit board that breaks down quite often. A low quality circuit board fails to dissipate heat properly, and consequently, it fails to protect the bulb from heat damage.
A defective internal board leads to a failure of the lights. So if you plan to use Intellibrite 5G, know that you’ll be signing up for frequent board replacements.
3. Short Lifespan
With a subpar thermal management system and faulty internal boards, you cannot expect the Intellibrite 5G to last a long time.
Most of these pool lights stop working within the warranty period, which is somehow acceptable because you can get them replaced for free.
However, it doesn’t change the fact that Pentair lacks quality control as their pool lights fail even with little to no run time. Given their price range, the short lifespan of the Intellibrite 5g is beyond disappointing.
4. Chrome Ring Stains
Even if you get lucky with the functionality and lifespan of your Intellibrite 5G, you’ll have to deal with its ugly appearance. Pentair has compromised on the finishing of the pool lights.
The chrome ring of the LED light is not stainless, and therefore, it causes the ring to lose its shine very quickly with ugly rust stains around. This is downright unacceptable for an underwater light, especially at a $800+ price point.
5. Poor User Interface
Most users are disappointed with the programming and feature set of the Intellibrite 5G. Buying these pool lights, you’d expect to have the LEDs showcase millions of colors in a beautiful pattern that is instantly modifiable with fast and easy user control. But sorry to burst your bubble, that’s not the case.
The light changing system is terribly slow. If you change the color or pattern of the Intellibrite, the light goes out for an extended period. You may even wonder if the lights or controller died.
In short, every time you change the light or the scene, you’ll end up frustrated with the waiting time.
On another note, the controller is known to malfunction a lot too. If you are facing such an issue, make sure to read my detailed troubleshooting guide.
Is There a Better Alternative to the Intellibrite 5G?
Every product comes with its own set of issues. But after spending 700 bucks or so on an LED pool light, you expect it to function a million times better than the others. Pentair Intellibrite 5G, unfortunately, doesn’t live up to that standard.
Therefore, we found a better alternative for you and your pool. It is not perfect but it is cost efficient and does not disappoint like the Intellibrite. So let’s find out more about it.
S.R. Smith TREO LED Pool Light: A Better Alternative
The S.R Smith TREO LED pool light offers an exceptional performance. Unlike the Intellibrite that requires a Pentair professional for installation, the TREO light can be installed easily without professional help.
With the Pentair Intellibrite, durability is a major issue. But the TREO performs well season after season. The best part is its 3 year warranty that allows you to get free replacements in case of any problem. You can buy it from Amazon by clicking on the image below:
The controls of the TREO are excellent. You get 6 color options, 2 light shows and 49 variations to choose from and yes, the scenes change instantly unlike the Intellibrite that makes you wait for quite a while.
Last but not the least, the S.R. Smith TREO light will not cost you an arm and leg. It costs around $250 for a 50′ cord which is far less than what you payed for Intellibrite. You can check the updated price on Amazon, where it is frequently discounted.
Clearly, the Intellibrite doesn’t seem to be worth the crazy money when you can find cheaper alternatives with a better warranty.
Here are a few other critical reviews by us: