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Old 03-30-2013, 05:54 PM   #1
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Outside light not working (with pictures)


My mother has security lights that turn on at dusk and off at dawn. One single light in the string has not worked in years. I opened it up and power is getting to the fixture when it is dark outside. However the power is not making it all the way to the socket. I replaced the socket because when I tested it, I found only a trickle of voltage getting to it. I later discovered that the problem is between the socket and the hot wires coming into the fixture.

There is a 2 inch black device (see pictures) between the hot wires and the socket and I do not have a clue what it is supposed to do. I suspect that it is bad, but I do not know why it is even there. This device has a black wire going into it, a white wire going into it and a blue wire that connects it to the light socket.

What does this device do and do I need it? It is not a photocell, because it is tucked away in the attic. The light bulb is a standard screw in light so I don't think it is a ballast. The light fixture is probably about 20 years old. Does anyone have any ideas? I would assume that I could bypass it and simply run a black wire and white wire to the socket, but I didn't want to take any chances.

Thanks,
Sam
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:01 PM   #2
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Outside light not working (with pictures)


i believe that is a Lightolier type recessed light ...that is the Thermal over load device ...

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Old 03-30-2013, 10:26 PM   #3
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Outside light not working (with pictures)


Those black thingies are insulation sensors. They are supposed to shut off the recessed light if it is covered with insulation, preventing thermal overload. Newer recessed cans have actual thermal sensors internally mounted in the can.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:31 PM   #4
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Outside light not working (with pictures)


Quick and simple answer that is thermal switch so if get overheated it will open up to prevent the luminarie running.

So therefore if you have insluating materals packed pretty tight next to the housing.

Some case it can go bad over the years so check with the manufacter ( I do not know if they are still in bussines or not ) to see if they have replacement thermal protecton device otherwise just replace the whole recessed luminaire.

If that luminaire is square housing there is some of the new recessed luminarie which they do sell it in square verison so it should be not too bad ( due you can able get it from attic side )

Merci,
Marc
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:06 PM   #5
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Outside light not working (with pictures)


You guys are great. That is exactly what this thing is. This particular light is over the outside porch. If I can guarantee that no insulation is within 1 yard/meter of the fixture, can I simply bypass it. You are also correct that it is a square recessed light. It's not really anchored to anything in the attic because I can push it all the way up and out of the way. That is how I was able to get the picture of the back of the sensor. This light was added after the house was built and it simply fits snug in the hole cut into the plywood ceiling.

I found this thermal/insulation sensor at www.lightingdirect.com. It is a 3 wire 120V Insulation Sensor for an Incandescent Fixture:

http://www.lightingdirect.com/elco-rp-1b-insulation-sensor-for-incandescent-fixtures/p1662993

Do you think this is what I need if I really shouldn't bypass it? I wish I could find a store that had a better picture, but like you mentioned, these things are not used in newer fixtures.

Thanks Again,
Sam
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:31 PM   #6
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Outside light not working (with pictures)


Quote:
Originally Posted by sterracina View Post
You guys are great. That is exactly what this thing is. This particular light is over the outside porch. If I can guarantee that no insulation is within 1 yard/meter of the fixture, can I simply bypass it. You are also correct that it is a square recessed light. It's not really anchored to anything in the attic because I can push it all the way up and out of the way. That is how I was able to get the picture of the back of the sensor. This light was added after the house was built and it simply fits snug in the hole cut into the plywood ceiling.

I found this thermal/insulation sensor at www.lightingdirect.com. It is a 3 wire 120V Insulation Sensor for an Incandescent Fixture:

http://www.lightingdirect.com/elco-rp-1b-insulation-sensor-for-incandescent-fixtures/p1662993

Do you think this is what I need if I really shouldn't bypass it? I wish I could find a store that had a better picture, but like you mentioned, these things are not used in newer fixtures.

Thanks Again,
Sam
Bonjour Sam.,

That should be the direct replacement of the old thermal switch but I can not garraintee if that is a driect fit but that one it should work in there.

And do not go overwattage of the luminaire if you do see the max wattage label then go by that numbers IIRC the 8 inch sqaure luminaires useally limited to either 60 or 75 watts ( rare case 100 watts if no insluating materals around it ) otherwise use the CFL it will work pretty good for your useage.

Whatever you do with them one golden rules is do NOT bypass the termal sensor that is in there for your protection.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:03 PM   #7
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Outside light not working (with pictures)


Merci Marc,

I really appreciate your help.

Sam

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