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Questions tagged [lighting]

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

54
votes
10answers
61k views

When I turn down the dimmer switch on my lights, do I actually use less electricity?

My wife and I have several lights on dimmer switches throughout our home. We generally prefer the ambient lighting provided by dimmed lights. I am curious, though, if we are saving any electricity by ...
33
votes
3answers
240k views

How should I rewire a miswired 3-way switch?

I have a 3 way switch that was wired incorrectly when the switches were replaced with a different color switch. Is there a methodical way for me to identify which wires represent which piece of the ...
31
votes
3answers
301k views

Why do my LED lights stay on, even when the switch is off?

I have two LED lamps in my corridor, and when I switch them off, they keep emitting light (not very strong, but it's annoying at night). What can it be? How can I fix it?
25
votes
17answers
68k views

How do I change a light bulb I can't grip?

We have two bulbs in our house that need replacing. They appear to be PAR38 bulbs. The bulbs are both in recessed sockets. There is not enough space between the bulb and the well to get fingers ...
24
votes
10answers
70k views

Why do my led bulbs state: not for use in totally enclosed luminaires?

I recently bought some nice inexepensive LED bulbs but I noticed the warning states: (see image below) not for use in totally enclosed luminaires I am guessing that it gets too hot but I find it ...
21
votes
8answers
15k views

Are standard light bulb bases being phased out?

Recently we've been shopping for light fixtures, and have noticed a dramatic increase in non-standard bulbs. CFLs in particular seem to be drifting away from the common threaded base, in favor of 2-...
19
votes
6answers
19k views

Can I safely use a 9w LED bulb in place of a 40w incandescent?

I bought a reading lamp that on the box says: Max 1x40W The shop also sold me an LED light bulb that says: 9W=75W So my question is, can I use light bulb or not? I am confused between the 75W and the ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it permissible to have exposed mains conductors in holiday lights?

I've just had a holiday lights company install some outside tree lights, and I found they had done it so that at several places the prongs of mains cable plugs had been left exposed, and carrying ...
19
votes
1answer
86k views

What do I need to install LED strip lighting?

I've been looking to install LED strips, either RGB or white for lighting and ambiance. It wouldn't be the main lighting of the room, so no necessity for high power LEDs. The perimeter of the room is ...
18
votes
3answers
182k views

Do I really need a special bulb in the oven?

My oven light burnt out recently. After dismantling it I found a 40W 130V "appliance" bulb with a standard Edison connector. The bulb is slightly smaller than a normal incandescent bulb. Looking for ...
18
votes
4answers
183k views

How do I remove a flush mounted ceiling light fixture dome?

My bedroom has a very nice looking flush mounted ceiling light with a glass dome. However, all the bulbs have gone out and I cannot get the glass out to replace them. I'm 5'4" and standing on the ...
15
votes
2answers
4k views

What type of bulb is this?

This bulb is found inside a fancy light fixture, I haven’t seen one before and it doesn’t have any markings on it. I need to order replacements. More images showing the context of where I found this ...
15
votes
3answers
6k views

Do new wire runs in an existing ceiling need to be stapled down?

I've heard some people say that code requires wiring in the wall to be stapled to framing every so often (how often?), but when you are doing a remodel, is that necessary? I have a two story house, ...
14
votes
4answers
213k views

What does that mean if my LED light bulb starts blinking when I turned it on?

I have an LED light bulb: Philips 60W incandescent equivalent I've owned it for about a year and have been very happy with it. This morning when I turned it on, it started blinking. Not flickering, ...
14
votes
5answers
93k views

What is the difference between R20 and PAR20 lightbulbs?

Are they compatible? What do R and PAR prefixes represent in general? Important decision, need to buy several replacement lightbulbs!
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Can I safely use a switch rated for “1A at 125V” with 240V, assuming I stay below 125W?

I recently purchased a foot switch for a standing lamp. The switch is rated for 1A at 125V. I would like to use this switch with a low energy lamp (typically 10W or below) but with a 240V supply. Is ...
14
votes
9answers
105k views

Can I use an LED bulb in a 3-Way fixture?

Is it possible to use an LED bulb in a 3-way light fixture? Will all three work?
13
votes
4answers
9k views

Do I NEED to use correct colors when wiring always?

What I am wondering is if there is any code that is violated if the wrong colors are used in wiring outlets? For example, it is standard to use white as neutral and black as power but if I only had ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

What could cause halogen bulbs to explode?

I changed several halogen spotlight bulbs and after less than one hour, one exploded. See image. It's an Osram Decostar, 35W. Although the bulb doesn't carry a "CE" mark, the box did. We regularly ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there a good rule of thumb for how many lights you need in a room?

I want to use ceiling recessed wall washers in a 13 ft by 24 ft room. Any advice on light spacing so I don't create dark spots? How far from the wall vs how far apart from each other should they be?
12
votes
5answers
16k views

Why do my new dimmable CFL bulbs hum?

I just spent $100 upgrading our dining room lighting from regular incandescent bulbs with a dimmer switch to a CFL friendly dimmer switch with specifically marked dimming capable CFL bulbs. At full ...
12
votes
7answers
61k views

How should I hang Christmas lights where I don't have any gutters?

I finally got around to hanging Christmas lights this year. I bought gutter clips so I wouldn't have to permanently install anything, but I just realized that I don't have gutters along a pitched ...
12
votes
4answers
261k views

How can I override a motion detector light?

I am going to be installing one or two motion detector lights to cover my backyard. I would like the ability to "override" the motion detector. What I mean by this is that I would like to be able to ...
11
votes
3answers
25k views

Turn one light bulb ON and another OFF at the same time with one switch

I am trying to operate two AC current light bulbs with one switch so that while the switch is in the OFF position, bulb B1 is OFF and bulb B2 is ON, and while the switch is in the ON position, bulb B1 ...
11
votes
6answers
36k views

Are CFL bulbs safe for enclosed fixtures?

I just got 3 dozen CFL bulbs for free, and was planning on replacing all the non-downward exposed fixture lights in my home with these bulbs. In the past I haven't even considered switching to CFL ...
11
votes
3answers
73k views

What's the difference between dimmable and non-dimmable LED lamps?

I have a large room in my house with 3 light fittings, with a total of ten 40W GU10 bulbs. So, this is using 400W when they're at max output (they're all on dimmer switches). I'm interested in ...
11
votes
7answers
74k views

What exactly is a PAR type LED lamp, how does it differ from R/BR type LED & CFL lamps?

I am in the process of replacing my incandescent bulbs with more efficient alternatives. My home is about 14 years old, I've owned it for a little over three years. It seems most of the bulbs that it "...
11
votes
4answers
10k views

What are the pros and cons of LED lighting for home use?

I'm interested in installing LED lights in my home, and I'm having a dilemma between buying LED bulbs and rolling my own solution. I have some questions on how to DIY: How efficient is it? Single ...
11
votes
5answers
46k views

What should I do to increase the dimming range of LED bulbs?

We started doing most of our homes in LED last year. I am a big dimmer fan and would pretty much put a dimmer on any light switch. One thing that I haven't gotten down is the dimming range of the ...
11
votes
2answers
75k views

Is it ok to wire light switches and lights with 12/2 cable?

It sounds like light switches and lights are usually wired with 14/2 cable. Is it okay to use 12/2 cable instead? Would I need special switches?
11
votes
5answers
117k views

Can I upgrade existing T12 fluorescent fixtures to T8 just by replacing the ballast and bulbs?

I was going to replace the fluorescent T12 fixtures around my house with T8 fixtures, but I noticed that the T8 bulbs seem to fit just fine into the T12 fixtures. It seems like I could save myself a ...
11
votes
1answer
7k views

How to replace a standard 2-gang light switch with an electric dimmer switch

I'm looking for a some assistance in fitting a new electric dimmer light switch. I'm in the UK if that makes a difference. I am trying to replace my existing two-gang light switch with a LightWaveRF ...
11
votes
3answers
48k views

Convert One 3-Way Light Switch to Belkin WeMo Light Switch (Single Pole)

Our foyer chandelier has three switches that control it. I want to control it with a Belkin WeMo light switch, which specifically states is not compatible with 3-way switches/fixtures, sadly. Well, if ...
10
votes
4answers
9k views

What is this copper-looking wire on my light fixture?

I had an electrician install two hanging pendants over a kitchen island. The install went well and the pendants work fine. However, after the install I've had an opportunity to look at the fixtures ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

Light won't switch off after blowing fuse

I recently tried to change a bulb using an adaptor (converting from a E27 to B22 fitting). After switching on the light fitting the fuse had blown. After inspection it turns out the adapter is faulty ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is a neutral wire needed for most 'smart' light switches?

Why do most smart light switches need a neutral wire?
10
votes
1answer
3k views

Is it okay to regularly turn off lamps (2) via a power strip rather than their individual switches?

Okay, full disclosure: I know next to nothing about electronics. Just trying out my first little amateur diy project: adding lights to my vanity. So here goes my question. I just bought 2 little ...
9
votes
3answers
5k views

How can I stop bulbs from buzzing when dimmed?

I've got some hanging lights with "Fat Albert" bulbs that are plugged into a dimmer switch. When they're dimmed to certain levels, the bulbs make a soft buzzing sound. The buzz is amplified and ...
9
votes
8answers
8k views

Can I safely run 595 watts of lights with a 600 watt dimmer switch?

I have 7 85-watt lights (a total of 595 watts) that I want to control using a 600-watt dimmer switch. Is that too close to be safe? What if I remove one of the lights?
9
votes
1answer
20k views

How can I change the bulb in this three-clawed, ceiling-mounted dome light fixture?

I am having trouble retrieving the light bulb in this fixture: I tried bending the claws to release the dome, but that did not work. I tried twisting the whole fixture many times in either direction, ...
9
votes
1answer
137k views

Is it normal to have a light switch setup using only the hot wire?

I was changing the light switches around the house when I came upon this setup. The two switches to the right are all wired using the hot wire (black) from the two electrical wires on the back panel. ...
9
votes
1answer
13k views

What is the difference between dimmable and non-dimmable CFL bulbs?

I have a dimmable ceiling light fixture in the Dining room. I put in CFL bulbs a few months ago. It all seems to work fine, no problem. I went to a hardware store yesterday and saw that there were CFL ...
9
votes
1answer
21k views

Are track lighting systems standardized/universal?

Our business has track for track lighting, but the previous tenants took the fixtures with them when they moved out. I want to buy and install some pendant and spotlight track lights, but I'm not ...
9
votes
3answers
112k views

Is it okay to have an ungrounded light fixture?

I recently moved into an older home (built in 1968) and have been replacing some of the older light fixtures. We pulled down one of the lights and found that there is a ground running into the box but ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I change the bulb in this light fixture?

I would like to change the light bulb in the room because the bulb died on me. Trouble is, it is fixed to the ceiling and I cannot take the bulb out. I am attaching two pictures here. On one of the ...
9
votes
4answers
3k 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
votes
5answers
58k 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
votes
3answers
10k 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
votes
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
votes
3answers
10k 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 ...