Pot lights keep blowing

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Posted by: from Newmarket
1/9/2014 at 2:15:27 PM

Last summer we did a full basement reno including installing pot lights. The customer called and said that the bulbs keep blowing (halogen - 50W) and are expensive to keep replacing. There are pot lights in a family room (6), a sitting room (4) and two bedrooms (5 each) and all are on separate circuits (only the lights are on these circuits (15 amps)).

Before purchasing the pot lights, I did some research and these ones got a rating of 5/5 (out of 7 reviews).

Can anyone suggest what might be happening to cause the bulbs to keep blowing?

Someone suggested that there may be too much power (?) and perhaps using 75 watt bulbs would be better or a dimmer switch. Thoughts?

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Date/Time1/9/2014 at 2:23:11 PM

Sorry everyone . . . I forgot that I had posted this same question back in September. I will review the responses from then as well.

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Date/Time1/9/2014 at 3:19:50 PM

First off, I'll start out by saying; hire an electrician to do electrical work it's the law.

The idea of having too much power because you have limited device on a 15amp circuit is incorrect. The breaker is there to protect the wire from overheating. A 15 amp breaker does not mean it's putting out 15 amps. It does not allow more then 15 amps to go through the wire. I would check the polarity white to white black to black. If incorrect will cause bulbs shorter life span. Check all your connections to ensure know arcing is occurring.

All the best.

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Robert from Electrilight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time1/9/2014 at 4:58:13 PM

What brand? Sounds like they are overheating, par 20? Insulated ceiling? Were they wired by an Electrician who checked the feed first?

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Robert from Electrilight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time1/9/2014 at 5:00:03 PM

Do not put 75 watt in a 50 watt fixture. 75 will generate more heat. Who ever told you to do that certainly has no idea what they are talking about.

You can always buy LED bulbs to fix it, providing the wiring is right.

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Walter from 360 Contracting in Mississauga
Date/Time1/9/2014 at 6:10:43 PM

Question. Are u using MR16 or GU10 lights ??

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Date/Time1/10/2014 at 8:45:29 AM


I will need to check to see what specific bulbs are being used. Can you tell me what the difference is between the two you mention?


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Date/Time1/10/2014 at 3:22:51 PM

I have heard of this type of thing before, but I have never yet come across it personally.

Nowithstanding all the parts about hiring an electrician and getting your work inspected; there are essentially three things that make lights not work properly.

Voltage, connections and vibrations. Connection and vibrations could be interrelated.

If you have continuous voltage fluctuations such as brown-outs or spikes then quality bulbs will not last. That is correct, I said quality bulbs. Cheap bulbs tend to be more tolerant of voltage fluctuations then quality bulbs / lamps.

Loose or improper connections will dramatically decrease the life of a lamp. The most common fault is an improper neutral connection that is either loose or "shared".

Vibration is the last item that effects the life of a bulb / lamp. If the bulbs are under a walkway / hallway, kids running, doors slamming, etc these all create a shock to the lamp and cause the filament to break. The same is also true for less then proper connections in the fixture or junction boxes.

If voltage is the problem, there may be two options available. The first is use a bulb / lamp that has an increased voltage rating. Look for a lamp that is rated for 130 or 140 volts instead of 120 volts. Keep the maximum wattage the same however - do not increase the maximum wattage. The second is the installation of a dimmer. This also reduces the voltage to the lights if it is the right type of dimmer.

If it is related to the other issues, then you simply need to call and electrician to sort it out.



John Kuehnl-Cadwell

Master Electrician

Datawise Solutions Inc

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Mat in Mississauga
Date/Time1/12/2014 at 10:50:56 PM

My advise go with LED. Low voltage, non over heating and choice of daylight or regular. Might cost you a bit but gives a long life. Safe from fires caused due to over heating in the casing. Now a days they have LED that work on dimmers.

Best place to buy at a reasonable price are at Flea markets. their overheads are low so low cost to you.

I recently replaced all my halogen lights in the basement with LED and they work beautiful. All dimmeable.

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Date/Time1/13/2014 at 2:52:44 PM

If they have teenage kids with heavy feet jumping on the floor above, the vibration is sometimes enough to cause a light bulb in a fixture mounted below to blow. Sounds crazy I know, but I have seen this happen before.

Also have the meter base and panel checked. If there is a poor neutral connection, this can cause high voltage conditions therefore blowing these light bulbs.

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