I replaced a flood light lightbulb in recessed light fixture, thinking the previous bulb had burned out, but that new bulb isn't working either. I've tried a regular lamp bulb to ensure my new floodlight bulb was actually "good" and I checked the fuse board to make sure that outlet hadn't been tripped. What other reasons would the light not turn on? the house is only 10 years old and there's no evident damage or anything wrong with the wiring in the recessed lighting.

  • 1
    Is the switch on? Does the new bulb work in a different fixture? Are there any other lights controlled by the same switch? Do the other lights work?
    – Tester101
    May 19 '14 at 10:18
  • The power runs from the breaker panel (you say fuse - is it screw in fuse or a switch breaker?) to the switch, then from the switch to the light. The points of failure are the breaker switch (or fuse), the switch itself, the light housing, or the wiring. Over time, screws that hold the wires to the switch and housing can back out, especially if there is a strain on the wire. You can take the switch cover off easily and take a peek at the switch, and with the fuse pulled or breaker off for that circuit (verify, as you can't use the light on/off to tell!), verify they're attached.
    – mikegreen
    May 19 '14 at 14:37
  • thank you, yes, i meant fuse panel. the switch is on, the light bulb works in different fixtures. There is only one fixture for this particular switch.
    – user21594
    May 19 '14 at 23:48
  • I would look for a thermal cutout , + for Kris.
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 22 '18 at 18:34

Any number of things.

  1. Most recessed light fixtures contain what is called a thermal cutout. These cut off the power to the light when the heat from the light exceeds the temperature rating of the fixture. They go bad.
  2. Sockets go bad
  3. Switches go bad
  4. Loose wire connections inside the fixture.
  5. Loose wire connections behind the switch.
  6. Loose wire connections feeding the switch from another source.
  7. It is not uncommon for a wire staple to penetrate the wire and over time the wire burns up inside the wall.

Test the switch. If you don't have a meter, bypass the switch (line to load). If that doesn't work, you might have a short in a box.

  • 1
    How do you test a switch? What meter? Why would you expect a short, if the OP didn't report a tripped breaker or blown fuse?
    – Tester101
    May 20 '14 at 11:33

More than likely thermal coupling is bad in fixture replace it or recessed fixture itself.

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    I can't see what this adds to the answer by Kris from several years ago. Jan 22 '18 at 15:30

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