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Old 07-24-2011, 08:07 AM   #1
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dust to dawn fixture burns out

Hello again,
I posted a question on 7/8/2011 about dust to dawn light keeps burning out. There have been about 95 viewings of my post, but no responses. Does anyone have any idea at all. I find it hard to believe that no-one out there knows anything.


I installed a dust to dawn light on garage gable. The fixture burned out and the bulb as well (which is design for 10,000 hrs). I know this because I put a new bulb in and the light did not come on that evening.

I wired the fixture black wire to black, white wire to white. There is no ground wire on the fixture, so I wired the panel feed ground wire to the conn box behind the fixture.

Since my first posting to this forum, I replaced the fixture and installed a 40amp dual pole sub panel using 8ga-3 wire to meet code. Then an indenpent 15 amp circuit to support the fixture of the sub panel. So, now the fixture is not tied to anything except the sub panel back to the main panel. This was 2 weeks ago. The fixture burned out again a few days ago.

So, please if anyone has some kind of idea of what is causing this and/or the what steps I need to do correct this. Please help.


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Old 07-24-2011, 09:17 AM   #2
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You don't have any dimmer switches in the part of the circuit feeding the light, do you? Generally non-incandescent fixtures do not work with dimmers not expressly meant for those fixtures.

Measure the voltage across the fixture (between black and white) at the fixture. It should be about 120 volts.

Putting in the wrong kind of bulb can fry the fixture, even if the new bulb fits. For example putting in a bulb meant for the first fixture into the second fixture if of a differnet brand.

Or maybe you bought el cheapo fixtures of which maybe one in every twenty is bad and you had bad luck getting two bad fixtures in a row.


The good conscientious technician or serviceperson will carry extra oils and lubricants in case the new pump did not come with oil or the oil was accidentally spilled, so the service call can be completed without an extra visit.

Last edited by AllanJ; 07-24-2011 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 07-24-2011, 09:21 AM   #3
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You haven't described the fixture, the lamps, or the installation in much detail. We'd need more information to give you any help. What kind of fixture is it? What lamps? How long do they last? How and where is the fixture installed? In addition to providing that info, measure the voltage at the fixture while operating, see if it's normal.
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:45 PM   #4
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You should get a full 120 volt to the common dusk to dawn luminaire { there were few case you may run into older 240 volt verison which they are pretty rare item I know there is one specfic manufacter still making them but only thru the electrical supply centre this item will not be in big box store at all }

And when you read the voltage at the luminaire try to play around with any switches to make sure it do not kick up voltage if that happend then you may have loose netural connection somewhere between the house and subpanel which I have see it happend before.

Did you any chance you have three way switch between the house and garage ?

The answer will be based on NEC ( National Electrical code ) or CEC ( Cananda Electrical code ) or ECF ( Electrique Code France )
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