Issues with kitchen halogen lights


Old 08-26-15, 01:27 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Canada
Posts: 16
Issues with kitchen halogen lights

A friend of mine is having issues with her kitchen lights. They're 6 MR-16 halogen lights and she noticed that two of them were not working. When she replaced that one with a new lightbulb, it still wasn't working, but then suddenly it was. But it would stop working every time she tried to put the lightbulb and the thing it attaches to back into the fixture inside the ceiling.

She also noticed that the lightbulbs, and the little round plates that it attached to get very hot. She also heard a humming noise.

She also tried putting an LED lightbulb. Same problem. Then she took all the lightbulbs out. When she then turned on the lights, the humming noise would creep back starting after 5 or 10 seconds, and then would remain noticeably loud. There's also a vibration inside the ceiling, behind or next to one of the fixtures.

There is a dimmer. All the above problems happened while the dimmer was on max on. She did *NOT* play around with it to see if the humming/heating changes with the dimmer setting.

She doesn't know what's happening and neither do I. Here are some pictures:

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Thanks, people. Appreciate the help.
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Old 08-26-15, 01:54 PM
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Location: NC, USA
Posts: 17,114
The sockets could be old and corroded. Sometimes repeatedly sliding a bulb in and out will wipe the electrical contacts clean but the problem will eventually return. Replacing the socket is the only thing I've found that reliably cures the problem but that was 10 years ago. These days I'd just get rid of them and install LED's in their place.
Old 08-26-15, 02:05 PM
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Any low voltage lightning needs to have the dimmer switch meticulously matched to the lighting transformer, which will be located in a hidden location somewhere around the lighting. If you're driving LEDs the LED lamps also need to be matched to the transformer for compatibility. In my mind any kind of humming or buzzing is either incompatibility between the components or a transformer going bad until proved otherwise.
Old 08-26-15, 02:09 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Canada
Posts: 16
I can confirm a bit more information:

When all the lightbulbs are out, and the humming starts, the humming is at its loudest when the dimmer is just slightly below max.

And again, when all the lightbulbs are out and the switch is turned on, to the left of one of the pot lights (which is sort of in the middle of all the lights), is where the vibration comes from, and where it's getting hot. Transformer?
Old 08-27-15, 06:23 AM
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That's a pretty good guess -- transformer mounted in the attic on top of or next to the can.

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