I have a wall light switch that powers two sconce lights in my living room.

One of the sconce lights stopped working. My first thought is that it was just a dead bulb but the same bulb works elsewhere and a new bulb doesn't work in the non-working sconce.

None of the circuit breakers have tripped.

Is the most likely cause a severed wire or wire that has come unattached? If that is the case, is it possibly dangerous?

  • 2
    Depending on type of sconce/type of bulb, could be a contact a little out of shape. If you have a non-contact voltage tester then check if you have power in the sconce when the switch is on. If you do, the problem is likely the sconce bulb contacts. If you don't then it is a wire somewhere. Nov 21 at 3:57
  • 1
    it's probably not dangerous. Fires usually start from shorts/overloads, not from open circuits. Arcs are another matter, but if you're not seeing any flickering or smelling funny smells, it's probably not arcing. I would pull the fixture and test it with a pigtail or multimeter. Half the time (made-up stat) that fixes it because the wiring into the fixture was loose. Fixtures are often wired by homeowners or day labor, whereas the rough-in work from breaker to switch is done by pros. If that doesn't fix it, you need to call an electrician; it's about all you can do.
    – dandavis
    Nov 21 at 23:02


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