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First time buying a house and noticed one of my stairs light is not turning on (but all 6 other lights do turn on). I opened up the cover plate and I noticed that there are 3 wire nuts; 2 of which had a good connection and 1 that had a wire hanging out of the wire nut (white wire). I took off the wire nut and saw this:

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I then tried to connect the 3 white wires together using a Wago 221 like this:

enter image description here

But, it still doesn’t turn on. If it is helpful, the house was built in 2019 so the light is at most 4 years old.

Based on the label on the light (seen in first pics), it should be an Elite SE109. I tried to find a new replacement for the SE109 but noticed it isn’t something you can just buy on Amazon or at Home Depot. Also, the SE109 seems to have a different cover plate; mine looks like this:

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which is more like the SE108 than the SE109:

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What’s the best next step?

  1. Is there anything else I can try to get the LED to work?
  2. Is it worth calling Elite to see if I can purchase another one of this unit? Or is it better to call the builder?
  3. Is there a different LED unit I can put in that should match the aesthetic of the other 6? Or do I just replace all of them at the same time to get uniformity?

Also, does anyone know why they are connecting 3 wires together in the splice rather than 2? Is there anything I need to be careful about for that?

Thanks for any help!

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  • How picky are you about color? LEDs age and change color, so if a new one being slightly different in color than the older ones, you might be in for replacing more of them.
    – KMJ
    Commented Sep 20, 2023 at 1:06
  • Funnily enough, many active users on this site have been assuring me this is no big deal, because integrated LEDs fail very rarely anyway, and it's not a problem to just replace them occasionally: diy.stackexchange.com/q/282063/165202 Commented Sep 20, 2023 at 1:17
  • Have you tried swapping "bulbs?"
    – Huesmann
    Commented Sep 20, 2023 at 11:28
  • @KMJ That's a good warning to think about! I may end up just buying multiple if the builder/manufacturer have them available. Now that I've tried gomennathan & Huesmann's suggestion, I know the light is bad and the wiring is good. So, at least I know this isn't a dumb error on my part from connecting wires poorly. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions & help!
    – Kevin
    Commented Sep 20, 2023 at 16:11

1 Answer 1

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It sounds like you have 7 stair lights. 1 is not working, the other 6 works. There is some mystery about why the 1 is not working given the wiring situation and the age of the house.

First question is whether it's the light or the wires. It's a bit odd to me that the wire "fell out" of the nuts - usually they're wound up there pretty tight even after decades, and your house is very new. But based on what can be seen in photos, what you say sounds logical.

Anyway, take out one of the working lights, call it 2, and put it in this box, call it 1. Since you know 2 works, if it works in box 1 then you know your wiring is fine. You'll have to replace the busted light no 1.

If 2 doesn't work in box 1, then it could be one of two things: Either the box is just wired badly and doesn't power the light, or it's wired really badly and destroys lights you plug in. To tell which, you of course put light 2 into box 2 again and if it works, great. If not, you need to buy 2 replacement lights, not one.

Also, try wiring light 1 into box 2, to confirm that it's really light 1 that's broken.

A bit of tedious rewiring but luckily you're using the Wagos so it should make things a lot easier.

If it's the light you will obviously have to replace it. I'd call both the builder and the manufacturer. One of them might be more helpful or might offer a lower price.

If it's the wiring, carefully examine the box and make a diagram of which wire is going where. You can compare this to box 2 which has correct wiring.

Is there a different LED unit I can put in that should match the aesthetic of the other 6? Or do I just replace all of them at the same time to get uniformity?

Well, that's better settled by just searching on some sites or stores that sell stair lights. It looks like there's a wide variety of designs, so it seems unlikely that you'll find an exact match, but there might be something that is close enough. If you can't find a close one online, and the buidler and manufacturer both turn up nothing, then I suppose you'll have to replace all 7 (or just get used to it not matching).

There might possibly be a way to repair the light, or to swap the cover with another working one that's a different model, so it looks the same. But it's hard to tell from your photos.

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    Thanks for the detailed reply! After testing this, I’ve realized the unit is definitely bad. I’ll be calling the builder/manufacturer to see if I get any leads. If anyone is curious, I ended up trying all options of swapping lights & boxes. The good light works in both boxes. The bad light doesn't work in both boxes. So, turns out I need to get a new unit.
    – Kevin
    Commented Sep 20, 2023 at 16:00

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