Recessed Ceiling Lights...Only 1 Works!

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  #1  
Old 08-30-07, 06:12 AM
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Question Recessed Ceiling Lights...Only 1 Works!

Hi

I have 7 recessed ceiling lights that are all tied to the same dimmer light switch. I did not do the work; this is how the kitchen lights were set up when I bought the house 4 years ago so I can't answer any questions about how they're wired.

Up until the other day, when I turned on the light switch all 7 lights came on. Now only the one closest to the light switch comes on and the other 6 don't. I changed all the lights to test but still only the one light nearest the light switch comes on.

We moved in 4 years ago and we have never had any work done on the kitchen lights. This is definitely a dome-scratcher! :-(

Does anyone know what could be going on?

Thanks in advance for your help!
 
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  #2  
Old 08-30-07, 06:58 AM
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One of the wires has come loose. It is either at the working light or at the next one. A failed wire nut connection is most likely to blame. You need to check the wire connections at these two lights.
 
  #3  
Old 08-30-07, 07:45 AM
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Thanks Bob for the quick response!

I've never worked with recessed lighting before; only fixtures and fans that are installed on the "room" side of the ceiling. I don't want to damage my ceiling. Checking the wire nuts is a no-brainer, but are recessed lights easy to work with (special handling?) or should I be calling in a pro?
 

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  #4  
Old 08-30-07, 08:23 AM
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With can lights you are able to access the box where the wires connect from either side. If you have an unfinished attic above that will be easiest.

However, if you have no access from above then you must get at them from below. Remove the light bulb and the trim. Inside you will find one or two screws that hold the can in place. Remove these and the can will release and you can remove it. You should then be able to access the junction box. It's cramped quarters, but it can be done.

Remember that your problem could be at the working light, or the next one down the line, which may or may not be obvious. Remember also to do this work with the circuit breaker off.
 
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Old 08-30-07, 06:25 PM
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One more quick thing, make sure they are not the fluorescent flood bulbs. Seen it, even though the bulb clearly states not dimmable. These will do wierd things that involve some lights being on while others are off, buzzing, humming and lights being brighter then others, when used in conjunction with a dimmer. I gotta admit though, it does sound like a loose wire nut.
 
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