I have three small recessed lights, set into a false ceiling where a mini-central air conditioning unit is set. The lights do not turn on.

The lights are small E14 base mini-spots

  1. I replaced the bulbs, I definitely have 3 fresh bulbs
  2. I checked the fuse (of course), and in any case it shares a circuit with other lights which are working fine.
  3. I used a multimeter to check the AC voltage across the light switch itself, it shows a normal 230V when open and 0V when closed
  4. I checked the voltage across the contacts for each of the 3 fixtures. They show 230V (as expected) when the switch is on.

And yet, when I put bulbs in, they do not turn on. I could see how one fixture might become damaged, or the contacts bent, or a wire frayed, but all 3 is unlikely.

One strange reading. With the switch off, I thought I saw a ~50V reading across the terminals of each fixture, whereas it should be 0V. I thought I must have the meter wrong.

Working with 230V/50Hz AC European-style.

Any suggestions what I can do next?

  • 2
    You have a lose or broken wire. See diy.stackexchange.com/questions/6685/…
    – longneck
    Sep 11, 2014 at 18:39
  • But the contacts of the fixture show 230V. @longneck
    – Mazura
    Sep 12, 2014 at 3:59
  • Do you elsewhere have a working E14 lamp to try a known working blub from and to test your new ones?
    – Mazura
    Sep 12, 2014 at 4:02
  • @Mazura I don't, but I have an E14 to E27 adapter, so I can check them.
    – deitch
    Sep 12, 2014 at 4:59
  • @longneck then why would I see 230V across the contacts?
    – deitch
    Sep 12, 2014 at 4:59