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Old 02-23-2012, 03:12 PM   #1
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wire diagram for pot ceiling lights


I recently renovated my basement and installed new wires from the panel to the lights (3" pot lights in ceiling). The wire i used is copper 14 gauge / 2 wire + ground (black is hot & white neutral). I have 8- 3" pot lights all on one 15 amp breaker switch. Two are in the bedroom with reg. switch, 2 in the hallway with reg. switch and 4 in the rec room with a dimmer switch. They all work OK but the bulbs (50 watt GU 10) seam to get hot and they burn out qwickly; i repalced them all with the same type bulb but they don't last long and burn out lest than 30 days of use. I have done lots of wiring in homes, even 3 way switch, dryers, stove, hot water tanks, recepticals, lighting and never had any problems. i am familiar with 110 & 220 currant and was taught by an experience licence electrician, he also taught me how to hook up to the panel with the proper amperage and not to overload the circuit. I never hooked up pot lights before tho. The wire starts at the panel with a 15 amp breaker switch to the switch, than to the 1st light, than to the second, than the 3rd and finaly to the 4th were the wire stops. I did the same to the bedroom and the hallway. I even checked online for wire diagrames for pot lights and they were the same as mine. Could it be just the lights? I have them installed inside an 12" x 12 " metal box in the ceiling and the metal boxes are vented with 1" holes, so they all have ventilations. Or is there too much current running through the lights?

Last edited by Dan thehandyman; 02-23-2012 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:54 PM   #2
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wire diagram for pot ceiling lights


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I recently renovated my basement and installed new wires from the panel to the lights (3" pot lights in ceiling). The wire i used is copper 14 gauge / 2 wire + ground (black is hot & white neutral). I have 8- 3" pot lights all on one 15 amp breaker switch. Two are in the bedroom with reg. switch, 2 in the hallway with reg. switch and 4 in the rec room with a dimmer switch. They all work OK but the bulbs (50 watt GU 10) seam to get hot and they burn out qwickly; i repalced them all with the same type bulb but they don't last long and burn out lest than 30 days of use. I have done lots of wiring in homes, even 3 way switch, dryers, stove, hot water tanks, recepticals, lighting and never had any problems. i am familiar with 110 & 220 currant and was taught by an experience licence electrician, he also taught me how to hook up to the panel with the proper amperage and not to overload the circuit. I never hooked up pot lights before tho. The wire starts at the panel with a 15 amp breaker switch to the switch, than to the 1st light, than to the second, than the 3rd and finaly to the 4th were the wire stops. I did the same to the bedroom and the hallway. I even checked online for wire diagrames for pot lights and they were the same as mine. Could it be just the lights? I have them installed inside an 12" x 12 " metal box in the ceiling and the metal boxes are vented with 1" holes, so they all have ventilations. Or is there too much current running through the lights?
How many hours are the bulbs rated for? How many hours do they operate for before they burn out?

Is they any kind of insulation or thermal blankets near or on the pot light housings?

Did you check for voltage at each switch and lights to see if there are any irregularities or low voltages?
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:34 PM   #3
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wire diagram for pot ceiling lights


Why are they inside of a metal box w/ holes drilled in it?
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:25 AM   #4
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wire diagram for pot ceiling lights


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Why are they inside of a metal box w/ holes drilled in it?
the metal boxes were already there, each box is aprox. 12" x 12" by 8" high and the 3" pot lights are centered inside the box and flush with the ceiling. the boxes has holes for the wire. i removed the casing on top of the 3" pot lights where the wires go; what puzzles me is that the wire on the pot light are smaller gauge, wonder if the wires are getting to hot.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:54 AM   #5
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wire diagram for pot ceiling lights


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the metal boxes were already there, each box is aprox. 12" x 12" by 8" high and the 3" pot lights are centered inside the box and flush with the ceiling. the boxes has holes for the wire. i removed the casing on top of the 3" pot lights where the wires go; what puzzles me is that the wire on the pot light are smaller gauge, wonder if the wires are getting to hot.

Yeah lights are typically 18ga stranded wire.

I would check the voltage through the fixture.

Are all 10 bulbs burning out quickly or is it just the bulbs in the rec room. These bulbs tend to run very hot, but shouldnt be burning out so quickly.

BTW, I also live in Sarnia.

Last edited by psilva8; 02-24-2012 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:58 AM   #6
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wire diagram for pot ceiling lights


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How many hours are the bulbs rated for? How many hours do they operate for before they burn out?

Is they any kind of insulation or thermal blankets near or on the pot light housings?

Did you check for voltage at each switch and lights to see if there are any irregularities or low voltages?
the bulbs are GU10-50 Watts, dont say anything about hours of operation or how long they last
there is no insulation and adequate venting around the pot lights
i have a small hand held voltage reader, but never used one. this one has OHM, DCV, ACV, BAT. AND DCA settings not shure where to set the dial
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:07 AM   #7
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wire diagram for pot ceiling lights


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Yeah lights are typically 18ga stranded wire.

I would check the voltage through the fixture.

Are all 10 bulbs burning out quickly or is it just the bulbs in the rec room. These bulbs tend to run very hot, but shouldnt be burning out so quickly.

BTW, I also live in Sarnia.
that is awsome that u live in Sarnia, i'm a carpenter and work for local 1256, are u an electrician?

not shure how to check the voltage. I have a small hand held reading divice with several settings; ACV, BAT., DCA, OHM, AND DCV
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:08 AM   #8
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wire diagram for pot ceiling lights


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the bulbs are GU10-50 Watts, dont say anything about hours of operation or how long they last
there is no insulation and adequate venting around the pot lights
i have a small hand held voltage reader, but never used one. this one has OHM, DCV, ACV, BAT. AND DCA settings not shure where to set the dial

ACV check from hot to neutral. Should be 119-121V or so

No I'm not an electrician. Handyman like yourself. I have taken some residential wiring classes though. Are you working right now? Seems to be really slow for alot of the trades.
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:08 AM   #9
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wire diagram for pot ceiling lights


Set the dial to ACV (alternating current volts). At least 250 volts if the dial has those distinctions.

The test leads may or may not have a choice of holes on the device to plug into. Normally the black lead goes into a hole marked "common" or "C". The holes would also have markings including ACV or even the number of volts and you must match or select the appropriate hole for the red lead. (For AC volts and ohms, it doesn't matter if you exchange the red and black leads.) Circuit power OFF for ohms (continuity) testing, on for volts testing.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 02-24-2012 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:11 AM   #10
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wire diagram for pot ceiling lights


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Set the dial to ACV (alternating current volts). At least 250 volts if the dial has those distinctions.

The test leads may or may not have a choice of holes on the device to plug into. Normally the black lead goes into a hole marked "common" or "C". The holes would also have markings including ACV or even the number of volts and you must match or select the appropriate hole.
yes i have all these settings, thanks i will give it a try. Thanks, what should the readings be?
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:15 AM   #11
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wire diagram for pot ceiling lights


Is there noticeable vibration from walking around on the floor above? This can shorten the life of light bulbs in ceiling fixtures.

The 12x12 metal boxes were there to spread out the heat from the light fixtures and prevent hot spots that would more easily start a fire.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 02-24-2012 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:27 AM   #12
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wire diagram for pot ceiling lights


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yes i have all these settings, thanks i will give it a try. Thanks, what should the readings be?
I set the device to where u told me and got readings at the switch and the lights and they both read "119"
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:30 AM   #13
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wire diagram for pot ceiling lights


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Is there noticeable vibration from walking around on the floor above? This can shorten the life of light bulbs in ceiling fixtures.

The 12x12 metal boxes were there to spread out the heat from the light fixtures and prevent hot spots that would more easily start a fire.
yes the floor above could be the problem, thanks!
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