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Old 03-17-2012, 06:17 PM   #1
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Installing track lighting no power when screw in bulb


Hi,

Thanks in advance for any help. I've been spending all day installing track lighting and finally think I figured out the issue but can't figure out why it's happening. I have the track installed & confirm that there is power to the unit (I used a test on the wires and then also on one of the lighting fixtures without a bulb in it). As soon as I plug in a bulb it seems I lose electricity to the whole unit. I have tried several bulbs so it's not a case of a broken bulb. I also plugged in a second fixture and left it without a bulb in it. When they are both without a bulb they each have electricity going to them but as soon as I plug the bulb in they don't. I'm installing a Hampton Bay 50 Watt GU 10 Halogen fixture.

Any idea what's going on?

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Old 03-17-2012, 06:27 PM   #2
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Installing track lighting no power when screw in bulb


What are you using to test with? If it is a non contact tester, you are seeing phantom voltage. As soon as you put a load on it, it disappears.
You have an open wire somewhere. Get a multimeter to test.

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Old 03-17-2012, 06:31 PM   #3
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Installing track lighting no power when screw in bulb


I'm using a voltage meter, one that has 2 cords (red & black) it measures 110 - 220. I get a good reading on the wires & the fixture but not when the bulb is plugged in. Can it really be a phantom reading?
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:33 PM   #4
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Installing track lighting no power when screw in bulb


more specifically a 2 range voltage tester
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:38 PM   #5
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Installing track lighting no power when screw in bulb


Open connection somewhere. Tell us how you connected it and if there is a wiring issue maybe we can identify it.
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:41 PM   #6
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Installing track lighting no power when screw in bulb


We took down an old track lighting fixture, it looks like originally it was a round fixture that they turned into track lighting. We connected the 3 wires (black, white, green) from the new fixture to the wires in the ceiling. Only difference is the grounding wire in the ceiling is just copper (no plastic coating). Right now we still have the wires exposed, we wanted to get it working before we put them back up in the ceiling and finished securing the track. Do you think the open connection could be where the wires attached or is it in the track system?
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:48 PM   #7
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Installing track lighting no power when screw in bulb


I don't know that track configuration from memory but looking at the side of the fixture are you seeing one copper fin on each side or one on one and two on the other? If you are twisting the fixture into place the wrong direction you may not be engaging the track properly. Try rotating it 180 degrees and see if it works. Is the fixture designed for that brand and configuration of track? They are not universal.

Multitester is not a bad investment.
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:52 PM   #8
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Installing track lighting no power when screw in bulb


I'm 99% sure i have it installed correctly, I have the piece with the 2 connectors facing the side with the 2 copper wires. It was a kit so everything should be compatible.
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:48 AM   #9
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Installing track lighting no power when screw in bulb


Many testers with an high impedance input,
such as digital multi meters, non contact testers
and many more,
can give false readings !
What you are seeing is a voltage thru a bad /loose joint.
But the minute you try to pull any real current
thru the bad joint the losses become significant.

It is definatly a bad connecttion some where !
For a simple reliable tester, just use a test lamp !

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