68 votes

How do I keep the lights on permanently?

In increasing order of difficulty: Write "Leave On" on tape on the switches. What, really, are you worried about? This gives you 99.9% of the result for 0.1% of the effort. Install ...
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  • 19k
56 votes

LED Light bulbs burning out much sooner than expected

Yup, that's marketing. And then, these bulbs don't last long, either. They work fine for about 3 months, but then they start randomly getting dim for a minute or two, then getting bright again for a ...
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34 votes

Are mini wall switches available that are less conspicuous?

Low voltage is the key. LEDs are naturally low voltage devices. That is different from traditional incandescent. While incandescent bulbs can be low voltage (e.g., in cars), they require a lot of ...
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29 votes
Accepted

What is the device attached to my recessed light junction box?

It is a thermal protector for a recessed ceiling light. It will cut out the light if the temperature of the outside of the fixture exceeds the rating of the protector. All UL approved fixtures will ...
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  • 58k
19 votes
Accepted

Can I replace a bulb with one with more watt?

The wattage limit on a light fitting is related to the amount of heat generated by a tungsten bulb of that wattage. Putting a 60W bulb in a 40W or 25W fitting is definitely not recommended. However, ...
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  • 5,205
19 votes
Accepted

Strange wiring of previous owner

These look like Striplight fittings, not fluorescent fittings. Striplights are incandescent and were commonly used as down/uplights in furniture or in the positions you describe. However, your ...
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  • 1,294
18 votes

LED Light bulbs burning out much sooner than expected

Advertising around LED bulbs is a big problem today, and it was even a problem back when "long life" compact florescent bulbs came out. The issue is that the actual LED will in fact last ...
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  • 26.8k
15 votes
Accepted

What is this electrical device with two wire terminals mounted to the outside of a junction box?

Looks like a transformer. Might be a doorbell. If you have a helper, you could disconnect the wires (turn off the breaker first), and use a continuity tester to check if pressing the doorbell button ...
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  • 1,370
14 votes

LED Light bulbs burning out much sooner than expected

I'd like to know where you folks are getting LED bulbs with constant current sources that can be adjusted. The bulbs I've disassembled didn't bother with such niceties. They have capacitive dropper ...
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  • 408
14 votes

How do I keep the lights on permanently?

The LEDs themselves do have a long life, but their drivers to work them do not. Do not know UK rules, but most electrical boxes must be accessible, no plaster or permanently mounted stuff in front of ...
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  • 9,557
13 votes

Strange wiring of previous owner

It's an old cove lighting system using strip lighting. It was done with AC powered lights in a cheap and flimsy way. Toss it all in the trash. There are better ways to do that today. Today you use 12 ...
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12 votes
Accepted

Are mini wall switches available that are less conspicuous?

It's not really a matter of the switches. House wiring needs to connect in approved boxes, which in turn need to be accessible. The somewhat large plate is a symptom of those requirements. I suggest ...
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  • 108k
12 votes

Is there a standard for wire type in conduit?

Whichever you find more convenient. It doesn't matter to the wires. Stranded is certainly more pleasant to work with, it pulls easier and is more resistant to kinking or snagging. However, stranded ...
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11 votes

What are the different types of LED tubes on the market?

As you problably know, electricity flows in loops. It needs 2 wires/contacts/etc. to be effective. You also may know most fluorescent tubes have 2 pins per end, or 4 total. That is more than is ...
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10 votes

LED Light bulbs burning out much sooner than expected

My background: When I was in engineering school I worked summers at a Westinghouse light bulb plant (eventually in the engineering department). This was a very long time ago (when tungsten filaments ...
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  • 201
10 votes

How do I keep the lights on permanently?

You can buy key-operated wall switches. I think they tend to be called 'fish key' operated, due to the shape of the flat metal key / operating implement. I have one installed on my LED lighting in an ...
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  • 584
9 votes

All LED lights (with embedded circuitry) in my house strobe every 44-55 seconds for 5 seconds on all circuits

For anyone who experiences this in the future, if you have multiple different LED lightbulbs/fixtures strobing on different circuits, check your input voltage from the power company. If it's around ...
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  • 341
9 votes

Can 3-way wiring that works be wrong/dangerous?

This is safe as long as the black, red-black, and white-black wires between the switch boxes are all in a single conduit or cable. That is, the switched-hot and the two travelers must be physically ...
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9 votes

Why are there three sets of wires for two switches, and how to wire up the neutral?

To clarify a little, your setup is one of two common setups: (Ignoring ground - everything should have ground, all grounds always go together.) One incoming cable from the circuit breaker (may stop ...
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9 votes

Is there a standard for wire type in conduit?

You should check your local code. Problem with stranded wire in screw connections is that the screw will usually not clamp the whole wire, only whatever strands it happens to catch, which makes a ...
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  • 7,270
9 votes

What's the best position for under-cupboard lighting?

In our kitchen, we have relatively low upper cabinets compared to many. It was quite dark underneath, despite good ceiling light, because there were no under-counter lights. What I did to help ...
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  • 1,839
8 votes
Accepted

How do I keep the lights on permanently?

The power to the switches should be in a single drop from the main circuit that runs through the ceiling. That means you can simply short the permanent live in the rose & disconnect all the ...
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  • 5,205
8 votes

Ceiling fan light has "MAX 9w LED" sticker, but doesn't mention incandescent

You mean "the particular 9W light which I selected does not output enough lumens to light the room to my satisfaction". Okay. What you actually want is lumens of light. The apocryphal ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Thoughts on building a brace for a heavy chandelier?

You could attach blocking to the joists on both sides of the existing electrical box and bracing, etc. By attaching the blocking vertically, you will maximize the weight capacity, but by attaching ...
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  • 3,488
7 votes

What are the different types of LED tubes on the market?

There are at least 2 types of LED tubes: Those that work with a ballast and those that are direct connected. According to code, the interior of the fixture should have a sticker indicating it was a ...
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7 votes

Turning on light no matter which switch is on

You can't - without some active component or spare poles on the switches. If you have spare poles on your switches, simply connect all three switches in parallel and to the 4. light. If you don't, ...
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  • 934
7 votes
Accepted

Why are Fauxwood vertical blinds not as thick as Fauxwood horizontal blinds?

It is just a guess, but something held vertically from the top and still be straight, doe not need to be thick at all. Now take the same piece of material used horizontally and it will potentially sag ...
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  • 31.5k
7 votes

How do I keep the lights on permanently?

With a lot less effort - get a nightlight. You need a socket handy, but anyway it's a little lamp you just plug into the socket and leave there. I won't post a link because they are very easy to find. ...
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  • 447
7 votes

How much space do you need between windows for a king, jack and hardwired light?

For the minimum amount of space between windows you can run the headers to a shared king, with a jack on either side of the king. Then furr out the wall by 1.5 inches and install a shallow device or ...
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  • 10.7k
6 votes
Accepted

How to determine if a light bulb is compatible with a lamp?

Those LED replacement bulbs are not a drop-in replacement for TL tubes. You will need to do a bit of rewire to the fixture to take the starter out of the picture. If you are uncomfortable with that ...
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