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63 votes
Accepted

If a light bulb is dead, does it still consume electricity if the switch is in ON?

It depends on the type of bulb. Regular incandescents won't consume any electricity if the bulb is dead, since there's no continuous path for the current to take. It's just like an open switch. ...
mmathis's user avatar
  • 8,892
38 votes

Old ceiling light fixture with 9 wires (5 black/4 white)-how to install a new fixture?

From the looks of those pictures you won't be able to properly wire this without some major rewiring. Those wires have insulation that is cracking/ crumbling all the way up up the connectors that hold ...
JACK's user avatar
  • 82.7k
26 votes

Is light flickering only on camera bad?

LED lights actually flicker very quickly. It only shows up in video, your eyes don't care. It's fine.
Tiger Guy's user avatar
  • 2,401
19 votes
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Why would the light be on when the switch is off?

A "short" as you call it seems unlikely since that should cause the breaker to trip. As a next step, you should SHUT OFF THE BREAKER, and then check the switch since you already seem to ...
jwh20's user avatar
  • 23.4k
19 votes

Old ceiling light fixture with 9 wires (5 black/4 white)-how to install a new fixture?

Professional Electrician here, I hate to say it, but those are fabric coated wires, they stopped being installed in new homes back in the 60's and very early 70's. Any surviving cloth wiring is way ...
ryuukei's user avatar
  • 191
17 votes

I want light controlled by one switch, not two

This is what happens when you randomly tear stuff off the wall without taking pix first. I'm guessing you assume the wire colors are meaningful in some way; colors mean less than than you think, and ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

Can 12 gauge wire be inserted into 14 gauge switch connector sockets?

That is a side clamp switch, and it's your friend. Unfortunately, whoever wired it didn't do a friendly thing. This image is a snippet from yours: Where that red arrow points is called a "...
FreeMan's user avatar
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14 votes
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Is the lifespan of a led affected drastically by the type of sensor?

LEDs are the best choice for motion sensors Someone told me that the motion sensor (I guess the IR in this case) will drastically reduce the lifespan of it because it the lifespan depends on the ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Why is a white electrical wire connected to 2 black wires?

The cable with the white wire that's connected to the two black wires is a switch loop: Normally wires with white insulation are used only for neutrals, but code makes an exception to allow for use ...
batsplatsterson's user avatar
13 votes

Bizarre behavior after replacing a three-way switch

All three way switches have two travelers and one common. But the positions vary. Usually the traveler screws will be one color (eg brass) and the common another (eg silver). Figuring out which wires ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
13 votes

Is light flickering only on camera bad?

The majority of artificial light sources flicker, but they do so with different amplitudes and frequencies. If you have lights powered by direct current (DC) from a battery: An incandescent bulb will ...
Nayuki's user avatar
  • 235
13 votes
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How should I install rope lights across a stair?

Fix it to the underside of the step nose so that it illuminates the riser and the deck below the step. You could possibly drill through the nose and install light pipes (pieces of PMMA, or other clear,...
Jasen's user avatar
  • 21.9k
13 votes

Replacing light bulb in flat fixture

That's an LED fixture without a replaceable bulb. The form-factor and color-temperature switch are both indicators of that. You might be able to get a new driver (most likely part it actually would ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 221k
12 votes

Can 12 gauge wire be inserted into 14 gauge switch connector sockets?

In addition to what FreeMan have said, the tip of the wires seem to be wrapped in electrical tape and have exposed wiring. You'll need to re-do these and make sure they are wrapped up after ...
Nelson's user avatar
  • 1,909
12 votes

How should I install rope lights across a stair?

An example of under-the-nose lighting. This was installed shortly after a friend broke her foot in someone else's garage when she missed a single step between bays. Garage steps: Bottom view: Bottom ...
HABO's user avatar
  • 1,647
12 votes
Accepted

Lightswitch Feels Loose

Obviously, the switch is failing. The only real danger is that it could produce a poor connection when on and and cause heating within the switch; this is a low probability and I really wouldn't worry ...
DoxyLover's user avatar
  • 13k
11 votes

I want light controlled by one switch, not two

Here's a quick diagram. Switch 1 in the first box has 3 wires, and so does switch 2. In this diagram sw1 is "up" and sw2 is "down" so no current flows left to right. Just join ...
Oliver Williams's user avatar
11 votes

Why would the light be on when the switch is off?

The contacts in switches can definitely "weld" or stick in the closed position or the switch can just wear out so it doesn't separate the contacts. Turn off the power and examine the switch, ...
JACK's user avatar
  • 82.7k
10 votes

Can 2 light bulbs of 120V in series be used on 230V AC?

It is possible, as long as they use the same power (or resistance). However, it comes at a risk. If one of the bulbs uses less power (for whatever reason, maybe damaged/end of light ... see Ferrybig'...
Michel Keijzers's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Odd wiring setup in light switch

Someone ran out of white wire It appears the previous installers ran out of white wire to use for running neutrals, so they grabbed the spool of green wire off the back of the truck to keep the job ...
ThreePhaseEel's user avatar
10 votes

Strange fan/light switch wiring - what in the world am I looking at

They did a naughty thing, from the look of it. They were too cheap to buy /3 cable, so they converted white to neutral and they are bootlegging ground to be the neutral. They didn't even bother to ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
10 votes

Run single strand of K&T wire through conduit under floor?

I can't say it is official code. But my hunch is that even if code may technically allow reinstalling knob & tube in existing circuits, it is not a good idea. Certainly if anything goes wrong, ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Dimmer switches have no ground wire

Add some ground pigtails Take the existing bundle of bare (ground) wires, and add a couple pigtails of bare or green wire to the bundle, making sure the bundle is joined properly using a wirenut or ...
ThreePhaseEel's user avatar
9 votes

How can I add lights and a switch downstream of a pull-chain fixture?

So your existing fixture (assuming standard US wiring, you'll have to verify) has a hot (black), neutral (white), and ground (bare) and has constant power. The additional lights will need 4 wires - ...
JPhi1618's user avatar
  • 28k
9 votes
Accepted

Can I change which switch controls which light?

Why are light switches so often wired in the wrong order. For example, on a single board, the switch closest to the hallway is for the lounge while the switch closest to the lounge turns on the ...
Ack's user avatar
  • 5,729
9 votes

Running neutral wire between two circuits

The reason this trips the breaker isn't really relevant, since you're not allowed to do this thing. You can't steal neutrals from other boxes NEC 300.3 all related wires must be together in the same ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
9 votes

Kitchen light switch reversed itself

Look carefully at the switch. If the toggle has "on" and "off" imprinted on it, it's a regular switch and the switch should be replaced. If it is a blank toggle, then it's a 3-way ...
JACK's user avatar
  • 82.7k
8 votes

Bathroom Light Fixture with no stud or box

I found almost that exact same image behind a bathroom vanity light fixture that I took down to replace. Needless to say I was flabbergasted that such garbage workmanship would be hidden behind a ...
Michael Karas's user avatar
  • 65.3k

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