Questions tagged [lighting]

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

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9
votes
4answers
4k views

How to shape the zone a radar motion sensor detects?

The light in my bathroom is controlled by a radar motion sensor. The idea was that radar based sensors can be hidden inside the lamp itself and thus be invisible (so no sensor, no switch, only the ...
8
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5answers
67k views

Is it safe to leave light socket without a light bulb?

We have several light sockets with light bulbs, controlled by a single light switch. I don't need that much light, so I want to remove a couple of light bulbs from their sockets. Is that safe ? In ...
8
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3answers
15k views

Black and white wires crossed in the ceiling

Replacing a ceiling fixture in a house (1989); removed the old fixture, which worked perfectly fine, but now I see up into the box there are 3 cables to this box that includes two blacks and one white ...
8
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7answers
22k views

Why is my new garage door going through lights so fast?

A little while ago our 14 year old garage door opener broke and we had the choice of retrofitting it with modern safety gear (required by code before they could even try to fix it) and then a "...
8
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3answers
11k views

Wall dimmer switch is warm to the touch after leaving the light on - cause for concern?

Our house is about 25 years old, though we have lived here less than 2. Our master bath has a dual light switch, one for the main light bar over the sinks and one for the lights above the shower ...
8
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4answers
27k views

How to hang modern fixture over old square recessed box?

I purchased a home built in 1958 and a few rooms have these square recessed light boxes. I would like to hang a larger diameter modern flush-mount fixture over them, but I'm not sure what the way to ...
8
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3answers
27k views

Why does my fluorescent light fixture take minutes to turn on in high heat and humidity?

Our kitchen fixture won't come on for 3 to 5 minutes when the temperature goes over 90°F (32.2°C) and 90% humidity. It flickers and only reaches 80% brightness after that. It will occasionally ...
8
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2answers
32k views

Can I install recessed lighting in vaulted ceiling with 6" rafters?

I would like to install recessed lighting in my vaulted ceiling. One contractor I spoke with suggested not doing that because the rafters are shallow (only 6 inches), which does not leave much room ...
8
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1answer
74k views

Do I need an outlet box to install an outdoor light fixture?

We're getting a sliding door and deck installed this week and the town inspector said I need to have an outside light by the door. I'm ready to tackle this part myself. Most of the howto stuff I ...
8
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6answers
57k views

How do I stop a dimmer switch from humming?

I installed a dimmer switch in my washroom and it's making a buzzing noise. The more I increase resistance/rotate the dimmer clockwise, the louder it gets. The humming seems to be coming from the ...
7
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6answers
15k views

About how much does it cost to leave 12 led bulbs 60watt replacement burning for 24 hours?

I changed to LED bulbs, and I wonder if it pays to buy a switch timer or if it is cheaper to leave it on at all times?
7
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5answers
27k views

Can I use a 23 W CFL in a fixture that's rated for a 60 W incandescent?

I have a lamp that is rated at 60 Watts for an incandescent bulb with a disclaimer to use a 13 Watt bulb instead when using a CFL replacement. Do I really need to respect that disclaimer? Would not a ...
7
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2answers
1k views

How do I upgrade a conventional switch to a dimmer?

I have a single pole light switch (I guess that means 1 switch controls the light?). The top switch turns the light on, the bottom switch turns the fan on. I bought a dimmer, that has a black screw, ...
7
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2answers
1k views

Changing Out a “Vintage” Dimmer Switch

First off ---- I am by no means an electrician. That said, I have a dimmer switch that needs to go..and be replaced by a new one. However, upon searching the internet and reading the instructions ...
7
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5answers
88k views

Are T-8 lights and T-12 lights safely interchangeable?

I have a fixture that came with T-12 lights. Is it safe to use T-8 bulbs instead?
7
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2answers
4k views

Why is my light switch leaking electricity?

I have a home built in 1950 and a laundry room added sometime in the unknown future. There is a light switch that seems to be emitting electricity according to my Fluke voltage tester. I noticed it ...
7
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3answers
1k views

Why would a light fixture be incompatible with dimmer switches?

I'm considering buying the Aero Pure AP80-RVL, which is a recessed bathroom light/exhaust fan combo. It's important to me to be able to use a dimmer switch for the light, but the installation ...
7
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4answers
47k views

Can I safely power a three-prong electrical device from a light socket?

I have a covered lampholder (light socket) outside my house that I want to use to temporarily power a plug-in string of indoor/outdoor lights. Using CFLs, the total wattage of the string of lights ...
7
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9answers
31k views

How do I put a fluorescent light on a motion sensor?

I have a couple closets in my basement that I have outfitted with a fluorescent light attached to a motion sensor (this one). The idea was that when you open the closet door, the light comes on ...
7
votes
1answer
23k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
808 views

What kind of lightbulb(?) is in this chandelier?

I've come across images from a chandelier by Mathieu Lehanneur for Chateau Borely. Even after looking at it quite for a while and going through everything I've ever seen, I couldn't really imagine ...
7
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5answers
54k views

Why do light bulbs all over the house burn out disconcertingly fast?

I've found a couple answers to this question. This generally revolve around the scenario where it's bulbs in a general area such as a fan. My issue is that light bulbs all over the house burn out ...
7
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2answers
11k views

How to find LED Christmas lights that look more like traditional incandescent bulbs?

We just bought some LED Christmas lights that are labeled 'warm white', but when we hook them up they look ugly in the light they emit and seem very blue in their color to me. The specific kind I got ...
7
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2answers
880 views

Fluorescent lights that turn on very slowly

So I've got an older house, built in the late 1950's. All the lights in the bathroom fixtures and the garage are fluorescent. Sometimes, but not always, they take several minutes to actually turn on ...
7
votes
4answers
68k views

Australia: Which wire is hot / active and which is neutral?

Here's a photo of wires coming out of my ceiling (grey, yellow/green and black) and the wires going into a ceiling lamp (brown and blue). So in Australia the general colouring codes go like this: ...
7
votes
1answer
121k views

Why does an LED light turn on and off irregularly while the switch is in the on position?

We have had a LED light in the family room for several months now. In the past week it has started to act funny. We turn on the LED light and after a while it turns off and then goes back on and then ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Are there energy saving lamps which work with touch/electronic dimmers, timers, etc.?

Dimmable energy saving bulbs are usually labeled as "Use only with standard dimmers. Not to be used with touch dimmers, electronic dimmers, timers, ..." After reading https://diy.stackexchange.com/a/...
7
votes
6answers
24k views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the type of this light bulb?

I need to replace this light-bulb. It is very slim and I have never seen it anywhere else. What is the light bulb's type?
6
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9answers
46k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
8k views

Why are my downlights constantly blowing?

I have a strip of 3 downlights in my living room, and I am constantly changing globes. Usually two of the globes blow in the first day or two of use, but the third globe will last much longer (at ...
6
votes
2answers
17k views

How do I install this flush-mount ceiling light?

I bought a new flush-mount ceiling light and am having a tough time figuring out how to get it installed. The instructions that came with it are completely useless. Here are all of the pieces that ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Does lamp maximum wattage matter for CF bulbs? [duplicate]

Say I have a table lamp that states (via a slightly scary sticker) that it takes a 60W max bulb. Of course, that was based around incandescent wattages. Is there any risk with putting in a CF bulb ...
6
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3answers
7k views

Why does using a dimmer with this ceiling fan and lights cause energy saving bulbs to flicker?

At a hotel I manage we purchased 34 ceiling fans with two integrated light sockets that operate on a dimmer all controlled by a remote control. Obviously using a dimmer with fluorescent bulbs won't ...
6
votes
4answers
138k views

How can I install a light fixture in the ceiling of a finished room?

In my dining room, I would like to install a ceiling light in the center of the room. This room is on the ground floor of a colonial two-story, so there is no attic access into the ceiling; my work ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What do I need to replace 4 light switches on the same circuit?

So we have a single light in our living room that can be turned on/off from four different switches at various entrances to the living room. We're currently replacing all the switches in our house as ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

HPS lamp goes on and off all night long

We have a lamp post in front of our house, that uses a 50-watts HPS (high-pressure sodium) lamp, and opens by itself at night using a photo-cell. For a while now, it's been acting out: when it opens ...
6
votes
3answers
8k views

What is this strange, linear light bulb?

Thanks to previous occupants of my house, one of the bathrooms is lit with a pair of lights that are unlike anything I've seen. The bulb is a narrow cylinder, about 3 inches long and maybe 1/4 inch in ...
6
votes
2answers
25k views

What is the standard 120V light bulb screw base in the US?

I know that standard incandescent bulbs in the US use Edison screw bases, but I'm not sure which designation / number is the one which is used for prolific non-candelabra 120 volt fixtures.
6
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2answers
7k views

What are the pros and cons of LED vs CFL vs incandescent bulbs for outdoor lighting?

I'm planning to install some light on my balcony and was just wondering what would be the best choice of lamp. I live in a relatively cold climate, and the current temperature at night is around -10°C....
6
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
10k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
63k views

Can an incandescent light dimmer be used to dim LED lights?

I have two dimmers which control 500 incandescent lights. Now I need to replace the lights with LEDs. Can I use the same dimmers?
6
votes
6answers
75k views

Can a mix of receptacles and light fixtures be installed on a single circuit?

A while ago we had some renovations done in our house. After the electrician was done, we realized we now had one light switch in our kitchen that was no longer connected to anything. It is in a 2-...
6
votes
2answers
459 views

Installing spotlights but hole in ceiling is too big

I bought 4 of these bad boys which I want to attach to my concrete ceiling (Oriel Baril LED Adjustable Spotlight). They are pretty lightweight. Mounting cup diameter is 80mm However, the mounting ...
6
votes
3answers
725 views

What type of light bulb connector is this?

Hi there I have just bought this hanging lamp whose bulb connector type I cannot identify, I got it in Italy and the only thing I am sure is that the light bulb must be some kind of tube shape for it ...
6
votes
6answers
32k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
83k views

Why am I getting 50V at a light when the switch is off?

I am trying to put in a switch and a light it controls in a storage building and this is how I wired it. Click for larger view When I checked the wiring it registered 120V when the switch was on, ...
6
votes
2answers
28k 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 ...