Planning, installing and using either indoor or outdoor artificial lights.

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Why are bulbs burning out quickly in newly installed light fixtures?

I installed five incandescent, recessed light fixtures in the cathedral ceiling of my living room. The fixtures are wired in parallel series (A connects to B connects to C ...). All the wiring is done ...
5
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5answers
1k views

How to make lights turn on one at a time?

So we've all seen this scene dozens of times in movies: a character flips a switch and lights turn on, one at time, down a long tunnel, or throughout a giant garage, or something like that. I'd like ...
5
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9answers
18k views

How should I add lighting to a low ceiling basement?

I have a basement ceiling that's around 6'6" high and currently the lights are standard bulb outlets that are attached to the beams so they sit down at eye level in the room. This means when you're ...
5
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2answers
4k views

What about a light switch in the closet?

Okay you guys I have next question. And like all good questions this one begins with a story. I was reading the post about a nick in a wire and read a couple of you mention that light switch in a ...
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5answers
7k views

Can the socket in my recessed light be replaced without replacing the entire framing kit?

I have recessed lighting in my living room. One of the bulbs went out. I tried replacing it with a fresh one, but no luck. There is electricity flowing to the socket, but the socket appears to have ...
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4answers
5k views

My living room needs more ambient light and I'm reluctant to drill holes in my ceiling. What are my options?

Problem: My living room needs more ambient light. Constraint: My living room does not have an overhead light fixture and I'm reluctant to drill holes in my ceiling. Questions: What are my ...
5
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1answer
988 views

What's the best way to plug circular drywall holes left by electrician?

I'm having recessed lights installed and want to know the best method to plug the holes left by the electrician. I was thinking of something like paint stirring sticks and construction adhesive to ...
5
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2answers
552 views

How do I wire a 3 way light switch?

Two way light switching is common, but how do I setup a 3 way system so the light can be controlled from 3 places?
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2answers
3k views

What is the silicone-like coating on CREE LED light bulbs?

I recently bought some CREE LED bulbs, the kind pictured below, and while they are the same shape as glass incandescent bulbs, they seem to have some sort of cloudy and sticky rubber coating, as if ...
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2answers
1k views

Confused about two way wiring on stair case

I have two light bulbs controlled by three light switches. I replaced two of them a while ago (can't remember what the wiring looks like) with no problems. However, I encountered the following issue ...
5
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1answer
14k views

Is it ok to wire light switches and lights with 12/2 cable?

It sounds like light switches and lights are usually wired with 14/2 cable. Is it okay to use 12/2 cable instead? Would I need special switches?
5
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1answer
161 views

How do you replace a ballast?

We have fluorescent lights in our office and someone said that the ballast was bad. How can you replace a ballast?
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4answers
4k views

How do I fix a garage door opener light that loosens in its socket?

The light on my garage door opener keeps getting loose in the light socket, causing it to not work. Giving it a slight turn to tighten it fixes it temporarily, but it comes loose again within a week ...
5
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3answers
2k views

Are there any other reasons to use 130 volt halogen light bulbs instead of 120 volt bulbs?

I recently had PAR30 50W Halogen light bulbs installed. I would have gone with 75W, but 50W is the max wattage supported by my light (shallow 6" can). I'm very disappointed with the how dim the lights ...
5
votes
1answer
5k views

How do airtight recessed lights compare to IC-rated ones?

I'm trying to figure out what recessed lights to purchase. The ceiling room has an attic directly above with insulation in between. It appears that IC-rated cans are necessary here, correct? How ...
5
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1answer
939 views

What should I consider regarding recessed lighting above kitchen sink?

I'm planning to replace the million year old florescent light (I think it was the first one ever made) above my kitchen sink with a couple recessed lights. Is there anything specific I should be ...
5
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2answers
3k views

How does a 2 way light switch work?

A two way light switch allows the light to be controlled from two locations, how does this work?
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1answer
6k views

How can I replace multiple 3 way switches with motion sensors?

My tenants never turn the lights off in the stairwells of my 3 family house, so I'd like to replace all of the light switches with motion sensors. Here is a crude diagram of how this is set up now. ...
5
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2answers
4k views

How do I know if my lightswitch is wired incorrectly?

I recently replaced a couple of the really old lightswitches in my house. Shortly afterwards I heard Shirlock Homes on the StackExchange podcast and he mentioned that you can shock yourself if you ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Parallel Fluorescent Wiring

I've got a few ceiling lighting 'boxes' that have one capacitor, two ballast, two starters, and two fluorescent lamps in each. Everything seems to be nicely wired up internally and I just need to ...
5
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1answer
496 views

Replacing chandelier with new, No ground wire in old chandelier

I am replacing a chandelier with new one, No ground wire in old chandelier and my vaulted ceiling is at least 30 feet high. Can I just not connect the ground wire and coil it up so it is out of the ...
5
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2answers
3k views

Is this 2 way light switch wired dangerously?

One of the switches in this 2 way setup has been acting up, I popped it off to replace it and it's wired like this: The only configuration I know of that is like this is the Carter system. Is this ...
5
votes
1answer
941 views

What is the best way to light a Lexan (Polycarbonate) sheet?

I've recently installed a Lexan 'whiteboard' in my garage which works as well as I'd hoped. I now want to use some type of lighting to light up the board in a useful/visual appealing way. Shown ...
5
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1answer
192 views

My mid 50's home has ballasts on incandescent lighting fixtures. Can I remove them?

For some reason unknown to me, my house that was built in the mid 1950s has "tungsten or ballasts" wired to each of the light fixtures on the main floor of the house. All of these light fixtures house ...
5
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1answer
344 views

How do you mount fluorescent strip lights on drywall?

How do you correctly mount and wire fluorescent strip lights to drywall? I've seen these on drywalled walls/ceilings before but never looked at how they get installed, other than there doesn't ...
5
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2answers
372 views

What is a good PWM driver for LED lighting?

I am looking at lighting options for my new flat. I'm looking for any recommendations and suggestions for the components to power and control the LEDs. If we consider the main room (i.e. the open ...
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3answers
1k views

How can I utilize a light switch for a specific outlet?

I just moved into a new apartment and in one of the bedrooms, there is a light switch that switches one of the outlets on and off. Unfortunately, this outlet is placed in the opposite side of the room ...
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4answers
18k views

Why won't my bathroom light fixture work?

Had a surprise this morning when I went to turn on my bathroom light and it didn't work. All the incandescent bulbs (4 of them) appear to be fine, and the fan which is on the switch beside the light ...
4
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2answers
827 views

Old light fixture box

I live in an older house (California) and the overhead light fixture boxes seem small. They unreceptive to the fixtures my wife has purchased from Ikea in that they have two holes for accepting ...
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3answers
1k views

Concerns about replacing a worn out light switch

Our home is about 3 years old. New construction. New parts. The main lights in the kitchen are a 4-way circuit (3 switches, + lights). Since we primarily come into the room from one side, one ...
4
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4answers
14k views

Can I safely ground a light fixture if the ceiling box has two hot and one neutral wire (no ground wire)

Checking for dupes, I saw this question, but the situation appears different as my box is metal, among other things. I'm fairly new to electrical projects, so bear with me. I recently installed a new ...
4
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2answers
604 views

Will this light fixture wiring pass inspection?

I helped my grandpa install a light fixture in his kitchen(he's in the process of remodeling) and noticed the wiring was a little weird. The wiring is going from the fixture to the switch which I ...
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4answers
493 views

How can I wire an array of ceiling lights for easy reconfigurability?

I want to put in 16 new recessed lights (roughly a 4x4 grid), and I want to control them with two panels (one on each entrance to the room) of switches. But since we are constantly rearranging the ...
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4answers
1k views

Toaster oven makes my kitchen lights flicker

Today, I got a new toaster oven. When it's heating, my kitchen lights (plugged into an adjacent outlet) flicker/pulse. What can I do to reduce the flickering? If I get a power conditioner, can I put ...
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3answers
10k views

How to replace 12v halogen under cabinet lighting with LED lighting from scratch?

Somebody initially wired up six 12 vac 10 w halogen bulbs under my kitchen cabinet, wiring them in parallel. The 12 vac power supply was putting off a lot of heat, and within a day or two appeared to ...
4
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1answer
2k views

Is it generally safe to use a lower wattage bulb in a light fixture? (Specifically Halogen bulbs)

I just bought a light fixture that uses GU10 base Halogen bulbs and came with 50 watt bulbs that are way too bright for my purposes. The documentation lists the maximum wattage bulbs that can be used ...
4
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2answers
14k views

Can I upgrade existing T12 fluorescent fixtures to T8 just by replacing the ballast and bulbs?

I was going to replace the fluorescent T12 fixtures around my house with T8 fixtures, but I noticed that the T8 bulbs seem to fit just fine into the T12 fixtures. It seems like I could save myself a ...
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5answers
1k views

Can I use flexible LED strips to get better lighting in my kitchen?

My wife and I really hate how the lights in our kitchen are central and overhead, making it so that when we cut vegetables or work on the counters, our shadow blocks the light from being able to see ...
4
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4answers
2k views

Customizing christmas light strings

Generally, when hanging my christmas lights, I run a line around the gutters on my second floor. From there, I drop down and put a string across the roof line on the front porch of my house. This ...
4
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1answer
331 views

Why does turning my kitchen light off turn on my outside light?

when I turn my fluorescent kitchen light off, my outside p.i.r security light comes on, why? the problem started when my father moved the p.i.r up above the door
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1answer
4k views

How do I wire a two tube ballast to a single tube fixture?

I am replacing a ballast for a single tube. The new ballast I purchased is designed for two tubes but states that it is also compatible with a single (more powerful) tube corresponding exactly to what ...
4
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3answers
605 views

What's a good way to customize or recess a lightswitch?

I saw this etsy project: Working Arcade Light Switch And while it's pretty cool, I'm not huge into arcade or fighting games, so I was going to make my own, and change the buttons. How would be a ...
4
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3answers
4k views

Can I use a cord and plug to power a wall sconce?

I have a wall sconce that my wife really likes and wants installed on a brick wall. The sconce she purchased is designed to sit on top of a wall box that has been prewired. I don't want to install ...
4
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4answers
6k views

Can I use a motion sensor to control fluorescent lights that are plugged into an outlet?

In my garage, the light switch by the door is wired to an outlet on the ceiling. I've got two, inexpensive 4' fluorescent lighting fixtures plugged into that outlet. I know that wiring a fluorescent ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

How do I repair a canned light that's falling down?

I apologize if the term is not "can light", but I don't know what these types of lights are called. Anyhow, the "can" of one of our lights has fallen out from the drywall ceiling (just a bit), and ...
4
votes
3answers
777 views

How do safety labels on light fittings work with energy saving bulbs?

My lamp says "Max 40W or Energy Saving 8W". I have a halogen bulb which says "28W = 36W". Is it safe to use with the lamp? Why / why not? (Sorry if the answer is easily available on the web - I ...
4
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6answers
2k views

Why will 26 1.2W 220V LED lights not work with an 800W inverter?

We live off the grid and have just installed 26 220V 1.2W LED lights. We are using 220V as the batteries are some way from the house and and thick copper wire is expensive. Everything works on the ...
4
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2answers
1k views

How can I make tiki torch holders from PVC pipe or equivalent?

I have a plan to attach some short segments of PVC piping to a pool fence and use them as holders for tiki torches. These are the questions that I'm trying to find answers to: Can you suggest ...
4
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1answer
777 views

Can I use the white from one switch, but the black from another?

Some terminology, because I don't know any better: light-fixture - An existing, separate, light fixture...currently with dedicated 14/2 vent-unit - A new vent just installed, has three ...
4
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1answer
473 views

When choosing lighting fixtures for new construction, should I go integrated or non-integrated CFL?

I do facilities maintenance for a company in Boston, and one of our newer buildings (built in 2006) has non-integrated CFL fixtures. I was really surprised when I went to HomeDepot to buy some new ...