New recess lights wont work

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  #1  
Old 05-31-20, 02:11 PM
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New recess lights wont work

So I replaced 6 older canned halogen recess lights in my living room with six new 6" recess led lights (canless version). That worked out beautifully.

After that, I brought eight more 4" recessed lights (can-less again) to replaced the older canned halogen recessed ones in the bathroom. The bathroom only has a black and white wires and no ground to the halogens. The wires are stranded and not solid, so instead of using the push connect I just used a wire nut. I installed as normal and didnt do anything with the ground since there is no ground. Not sure if thats the issue but the lights wont turn on. I tried tagging the white into the ground to see what that does but also nada. I know the switch is working because the green light is lit on the dimmer. There is power coming into the new lights too.. For diagnosis purposes, I disconnected the power to the chain, so that only light # 1 and light #5 has power but still light #1 and light #5 still wont light up.

I swapped out the switch to see if that was the problem but still doesnt work. The old lights work fine still if I out the old housing and lights back.

Any ideas? Here is the drawing of what I can see in the walls. I dont know how the light from #1 and #5 reach the switch but I assume they are piggtailed in the wall together?


The
 
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  #2  
Old 05-31-20, 02:35 PM
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Most likely dimmer is not compatible with the LEDs. Could also be LEDs are not dimmable. What does the package for the LED state?
 
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Old 05-31-20, 02:43 PM
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Its a brand new lutron dimmer, the same one that worked in the living room. The lights are halo dimmable led's. I also switched it out with a regular switch (non-dimmable).

These lights: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Halo-HLB...-306050711-_-N
 
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Old 05-31-20, 03:11 PM
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Are the halogen lamps 2 pin MR16 lamps? If so then there is a transformer on the can junction box changing 120 volts to 12 volts. You will need to bypass the transformer and wire the socket wires directly to the incoming wires. That or just replace the bulbs to MR16 LED lamps.
 
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Old 05-31-20, 03:27 PM
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Yes! They are the MR16.. I removed the cans.. but I didnt see a junction box. I only saw wire strands directly wired to the older light... Maybe the junction box is deep in the wall. I will check.
 
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Old 05-31-20, 03:48 PM
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Okay, reached in as far as I can.. I only see the stranded wires, no junction boxes. I cant get farther because its blocked by the 2x4s. I check the other lights, and all the same, only the stranded wires.

Could there be a junction box located somewhere in the cieling or by the switch? Would that make sense that 1 box is used for all 8 lights?
 
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Old 05-31-20, 05:10 PM
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only the stranded wires
That's a strange setup. There shouldn't be stranded wires in the ceiling. There should be NM cables as you had in the other room... or possibly conduit. I agree with Tolyn, the transformers are probably somewhere, and when you connect to the stranded wires, you're actually connecting to the 12v supply.

Are the stranded wires just individually running through a hole in the 2x4? It's uncommon to have a single transformer, but maybe that's what you're dealing with?
 
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Old 05-31-20, 05:21 PM
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Okay, reached in as far as I can.. I only see the stranded wires, no junction boxes.
All can lights I have ever seen have junction boxes as it is required by code that the splices are in an accessible junction box. Follow the metal conduit covering the wires off the can housing and you will find the junction box.

Would that make sense that 1 box is used for all 8 lights?
No. Every can normally has its own junction box.
 
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Old 05-31-20, 07:47 PM
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I found the junction box. There's one huge one, but only one.. It was in the attic..



Do you think, based on the stranded wires I will need to rewire the ceilings, or can I just bypass the junction box and call it a day? They are big stranded wires but no ground.

 
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Old 06-01-20, 06:23 AM
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Do you think, based on the stranded wires I will need to rewire the ceilings,
You have to rewire to install line voltage light fixtures. You can replace transformer with a junction box and rewire from that point.
 
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Old 06-01-20, 06:26 AM
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Hi, thatís not a junction box itís a transformer thatís feeding your low voltage recessed lights, you canít have a dimmer controlling that transformer, have you tested for voltage on those cables? you should read 12 volts on one of them when that transformer is energized.
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Old 06-01-20, 08:40 AM
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I just bypassed the transformer and connected the two lines together. Kept the same wiring in the walls for now. It looks like 12g stranded. So far the lights work now.. I probably will have to rewire for normal NMB at one point.

Without the ground and using the 12G stranded, will that be a problem long term?
 
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Old 06-01-20, 09:50 AM
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I would not keep it like that. While it works electrically, it's against code and isn't correct.

You need to rewire from/to each device with standard NM-B wiring (14ga or 12 ga depending on the breaker size).

Do it right and never worry about it again!
 
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Old 06-01-20, 11:13 AM
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Without the ground and using the 12G stranded, will that be a problem long term?
You created a fire hazard, is that a problem for you?
 
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