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Old 06-20-2011, 02:03 PM   #1
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Wiring Halogen pot lights


I installed 8 halogen pot lights on a new circuit using AWG14-2 wire and a 15 amp circuit beaker.The bulbs keep burning out, but the circuit breaker doesn't trip.

Do I need to re-wire using AWG12-2 wirie?
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:30 PM   #2
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Wiring Halogen pot lights


Sounds like too much load possibly, since the bulbs are acting like a fuse. What wattage are the 8 bulbs. Also, are they all burning out at the same time, or different times. Also, how did you wire the circuit, because other thing that comes to mind is that you may have wired it incorrectly.
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:38 PM   #3
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Wiring Halogen pot lights


Check for a loose connection from the switch to each light.
Lamps burning out have nothing to do with the size of the circuit.
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:53 PM   #4
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Wiring Halogen pot lights


I used to do a lot of lighting for galleries. I am not saying you should not be getting some mileage out of your halogens but will pass on that it seemed like manufacturing controls were not the greatest. I have returned more than a case or two because the bulbs kept frying almost instantly and then would get a box where they seldom burned out. Go figure.

They do get hot and turning them off and on and forcing an unintentional heating cooling cycle is something to consider.

Just additional food for thought. A loose wire somewhere would be my guess or even a loose neutral at the breaker in the box?
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Old 06-20-2011, 04:16 PM   #5
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Wiring Halogen pot lights


What voltage are they getting? If you remove one lamp, turn on the switch, then measure voltage at the empty socket then you will get the voltage for all of them (within plus or minus one volt which is inconsequential).

A loose neutral will cause overvoltage from time to time and this will greatly shorten the life of lamps of any kind. Undervoltage will not shorten the life of incandescent (including halogen) lamps and in fact slows down the progression towards burnout. Accidentally wiring them in series results in undervoltage.

Is there vibration from the floor above where the lights are installed? This can shorten the life of the lamps.

Touching the glass bulb of a halogen lamp with your fingers can lead to shattering later when it is turned on. If you accidentally touch the bulb, wipe it off using an alcohol soaked cloth or tissue.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 06-20-2011 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 06-20-2011, 04:19 PM   #6
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Wiring Halogen pot lights


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Sounds like too much load possibly, since the bulbs are acting like a fuse. What wattage are the 8 bulbs. Also, are they all burning out at the same time, or different times. Also, how did you wire the circuit, because other thing that comes to mind is that you may have wired it incorrectly.
They don't all burn out at the same time, and a few have lasted quite a while. I think they were wired in parallel, since some go out and others further down the wire stay lit. The wattage is 50 watts
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Old 06-20-2011, 04:22 PM   #7
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Wiring Halogen pot lights


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Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
What voltage are they getting? If you remove one lamp, turn on the switch, then measure voltage at the empty socket then you will get the voltage for all of them (within plus or minus one volt which is inconsequential).

A loose neutral will cause overvoltage from time to time and this will greatly shorten the life of lamps of any kind. Undervoltage will not shorten the life of incandescent (including halogen) lamps and in fact slows down the progression towards burnout. Accidentally wiring them in series results in undervoltage.

Is there vibration from the floor above where the lights are installed? This can shorten the life of the lamps.
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I haven't measured the voltage, but will do so. I believe they are wired in parallel, since some lights further don the wire stay lit. The burn-outs happen in at least 6 of the 8 lights.
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:23 PM   #8
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Wiring Halogen pot lights


Make sure tha you do not install he bulbs with bear hands. The oil on our skin can cause them to burn out quicker.
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:17 AM   #9
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Wiring Halogen pot lights


I am not saying you should not be getting some mileage out of your halogens but will pass on that it seemed like manufacturing controls were not the greatest. I have returned more than a case or two because the bulbs kept frying almost instantly and then would get a box where they seldom burned out. Go figure.

I ran into the same problem with bulbs that came from the box stores and until I went to a specialty light shop and bought a better grade of bulb I was always changing bulbs. Since then I am getting way more life from the better bulbs so the little extra cost saved money. Also as stated in another post do not used bare hands to handle the bulbs as the oil on your hands make them burn out much quicker.
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