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Old 10-16-2010, 01:24 AM   #1
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Dim bulb after changing socket


I replaced socket of recessed light fixture.

I basically had to make the wire connections with existing 12 gauge copper core wire to 12 gauge stranded copper wire using wire nuts. In addition, the old housing had a thermal protector (sensor) in it that was NOT removable, and so I left it....however I also kept in the thermal protector that came with new socket wiring (....this possibly could be source of problem?...having 2 sensors?....not sure). But, basically everything worked as far as getting 120v from socket....

HOWEVER.....HERE'S THE PROBLEM.....I tried several different regular incandescent bulbs of various wattage, and they all lit extremely dim. Then, I thought to try a screw-in compact fluorescent bulb....THIS LIT FULLY....

What's going on? Is is possible my wiring connections are not good (poor connections)?....but would the CF bulb still light fully?.....possibly because it uses lower wattage than incandescent?.....or is it possible that having 2 thermal protectors affects this?.....

What would cause I regular incandescent to light dim and for a CF to light fully?....HELP PLEASE!!!!

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Old 10-16-2010, 02:12 AM   #2
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Dim bulb after changing socket


which part ya talking about the inside the can if so did you hook up black to black and white to white??

That should be a correct way.

For the termal sensor it have to be in series with the black conductor.

I will try to type a crude drawing here.

==S==O------

= mean black conductor
S mean thermal sensor
O mean lamp socket
- mean white conductor

Hope that help a bit.

Did you get into the main junction box of the lumiaire ? if so double check the connection all black together and white all together.

If not normal fashon let us know we will have a extra step to deal what we call switch loop we will explain in a bit if you have that set up.

Merci.
Marc

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Old 10-16-2010, 02:26 AM   #3
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Dim bulb after changing socket


Sounds like either there is a dimmer on that circuit, or you installed a socket with a diode in it, instead of a thermal sensor.

While that CFL bulb seems to work fine, my bet is that the bulb life will be shortened substantially with such a setup.
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Old 10-16-2010, 02:40 AM   #4
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Dim bulb after changing socket


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Originally Posted by kbsparky View Post
Sounds like either there is a dimmer on that circuit, or you installed a socket with a diode in it, instead of a thermal sensor.

While that CFL bulb seems to work fine, my bet is that the bulb life will be shortened substantially with such a setup.
Thunk !!!!!!!! I almost forgot about the diode socket thank for bring it up.

{ The last time I have see it was on SORTIE ( EXIT ) luminaire }

Merci.
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Old 10-16-2010, 05:19 AM   #5
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Dim bulb after changing socket


Dimmer. What was the reason you changed the lamp socket?

Last edited by bobelectric; 10-16-2010 at 05:23 AM.
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Old 10-16-2010, 11:02 PM   #6
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Dim bulb after changing socket


OK----I will try to respond and answer all of the replies posted (and, thanks all for your replies and help...appreciate it).

-First, no diode.
-I am changing it out because it was one of those "push in" cf bulb sockets (which I hate)...I want screw socket to be able to use different bulb types. What I had to do was basically "rebuild" old recessed housing by taking a screw socket out of a new housing fixture.
-Yes, I did have the connections as frenchelectrician suggested....that is how it is wired (with the thermal protector).
-NOW, what I tried today is bypassing the "old" thermal protector and just having it connected to the "new" one....So, I now have black from Romex running to thermal sensor and then to black on socket. I have white from Romex connected to white from socket.
- As my next last resort, tomorrow, I will redo all my connections. I am thinking that because I had to connect 2 solid wire blacks to 1 STRANDED black and 2 solid wire whites to 1 STRANDED white, that my connections are not good using the screw caps (screw caps dont work well with stranded).........So, what I will do is screw cap 2 of the solid wires onto a "pigtail" and then screw cap the SINGLE pigtail black/white wire to the single stranded.
-I have a good feeling it IS a connection problem

HOWEVER, I am puzzled about the electrical THEORY of WHY the incandescent would be dimmed, but the fluorescent would light up fully.....anyone out there understand the theory of this?....thanks.

Renee
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Old 10-17-2010, 01:18 AM   #7
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Dim bulb after changing socket


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....-I am changing it out because it was one of those "push in" cf bulb sockets (which I hate)...I want screw socket to be able to use different bulb types.....
ah HA!! You are attempting to use a regular socket in a fixture that has an integral ballast! No wonder you are having problems getting a standard bulb to light up!

First of all, you should be aware that you most likely have voided any UL listing associated with this fixture. It may not be designed to be able to handle the heat that will be generated by the use of incandescent light bulbs.

Secondly, that push-in socket is designed for "PL" type lamps, which are a bit different from "CFL" bulbs. While some of the CF bulbs may work, you are in essence feeding it through 2 ballasts here ...

Time to scrap this project and buy a new fixture ....
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Old 10-17-2010, 02:14 AM   #8
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Dim bulb after changing socket


Now that make sense the oringal luminaire is wired for CFL and as KBsparky is right the only way you can do this in correct way is swap the whole luminaire to the indentscent verison that why the indentscent bulb stay dim due the ballast is reguating the current.

There are few diffrent style of two pin CFL bulbs and colours as well.

The only way you can get the recessed luminaire change out is cut the drywall out and pull the whole thing out and install the new indentscent luminaire in.

Merci.
Marc
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Old 10-17-2010, 02:33 PM   #9
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Dim bulb after changing socket


Thanks guys for all your input on this, but.....after "redoing" all my connections methodically, it worked.

As far as the "ballast"....no, I wasn't using the ballast. What I did was, basically, swap out the ENTIRE ballast socket and all for the screw-in.....The only thing I used from original fixture was can itself and junction box. All of it's wiring was from new fixture.

The reason I HAD to do it this way.....I was going to do as you suggested and replace ENTIRE fixture....that was my original intent....was because being that there is no attic access, it was virtually impossible to remove old built-in fixture attached to the ceiling joists.

The new fixture is made for "remodel".

But, then I got the idea to leave the basic fixture in place (well,..I HAD to do that...)....but, instead of pushing aside old fixture and adding new fixture to sit up there as well.....I got idea to just change out the entire socket, since everything else about the fixture (can itself and junction box, etc. was fine).....I did change out trim as well.

But, anyway, this worked, finally....so, it HAD to be a poor connection. The way I IMPROVED connection was instead of trying to wirenut the 2 solid core blacks to stranded black.....I pigtailed a SINGLE black off the 2 blacks and then wirenutted the ONE solid core black to stranded black. I did same for the whites. This did the trim.
As far as the question about the ability of the fixture to handle the heat.....I did install the retro fit thermal protector off the new fixture into the old for protection. Also, I intend to use Hallogens which do not get as hot as incandescent.

Still, though.....I am puzzled as to the theory of HOW I had dim light with the incandescent but full light with the CFL bulb........

I really appreciate all of the electrician's input.....i am FAR from that kind of expertise....but, I'm learning....lol...


Renee
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Old 10-17-2010, 05:19 PM   #10
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Dim bulb after changing socket


I'm not going to comment on the installation, but the reason the incandescent was dim is roughly the same reason that a CFL can't be dimmed.

If you reduce the power flowing to an incandescent, as by a loose connection, you reduce the light output.

CFLs have an electronic ballast in the base that steps up the incoming voltage to what the bulb needs. They don't need very much power to light up the bulb, and the bulb will always be at it's normal brightness. If you reduce the power too much, they'll just start to flicker, and then shut off. This can also cook their electronics, which is why you need special dimmable CFLs if you have a dimmer switch.

So, short answer: CFLs draw less current than incandescent bulbs. That's what makes them energy efficient.
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Old 10-17-2010, 08:39 PM   #11
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Dim bulb after changing socket


McSteve-
Thanks......I really appreciate the explanation....makes sense. Now I can sleep...hee hee.. This did not have a dimmer switch, though.....
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Old 10-17-2010, 10:35 PM   #12
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McSteve-
Thanks......I really appreciate the explanation....makes sense. Now I can sleep...hee hee.. This did not have a dimmer switch, though.....
In your case, the light was probably being "dimmed" by a loose connection adding resistance to the circuit. Some of the current that was supposed to be flowing through the light bulb was instead being converted to heat at a loose connection, so it's lucky that you seem to have fixed it, because that's a good way to start a fire.
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:04 AM   #13
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Dim bulb after changing socket


Most CFL recessed can I have ran into they will have ballast on the junction box where you see the rest of the conductors hook up and normally the ballast will have more than 2 conductors in there { it can go anywhere from 2 to 6 depending on what model }

And you are wise to put a thermal protection in there.

Now with halogen bulbs they typically run little more hotter than plain jane indentscent bulbs are but they will be brighter.

Merci.
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:23 AM   #14
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Dim bulb after changing socket


Any modifications will negate a U.L. listing.
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:30 AM   #15
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Dim bulb after changing socket


When I had the "loose" connection, I DID test the voltage at the socket....and, I WAS still getting full power of 120v.....if there was increased resistance, would I still have gotten a reading of 120v?

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