Recessed Lighting Overheating

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Old 12-15-08, 07:05 PM
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Recessed Lighting Overheating

I've recently moved into a new condo and the recessed lighting above our kitchen goes out all the time. I brought this up to lead contractor and he acted like it's normal and that it's a feature to make sure the bulbs don't overheat. That's great but obviously it's a safety feature and something that isn't supposed to happen regularly. We have about five of them in the kitchen and end up not turning them on unless we really need to. You can be in the kitchen for an hour and they are constantly turning themselves off and back on when cool. At times there can be two or three out and sometimes all five.

I figure one of two things is happening here. My first guess is that the bulb isn't right for the fixture and it's generating too much heat. If not that then I think the fixture might have too much insulation.

The bulb is an Eiko 50w 130v:



Bulb in fixture:



Empty fixture:








What do you guys think?
 
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Old 12-15-08, 07:48 PM
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Wink

I find it somewhat surprising that 50 W light bulbs are getting hot enough to trip thermal protection; perhaps itís a hot region or and the lighting doesnít have enough ventilation.

In any case if the lights are not on a dimmer control; I would suggest replacing the tungsten incandescent light bulbs with cooler more energy-efficient fluorescent light bulbs, that would be less likely to trip the thermal protection.
 
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Old 12-15-08, 07:48 PM
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If you pull down the cover, you may be able to see the limits on the size bulb that can be used in the fixture. 50 watts should be in the parameters, but if you try a smaller bulb and it performs well, then it is possible it will only take a smaller bulb or you have over sensitive thermal switches. Are all of them extinguishing or just one or two?
If the fixture is a NON-IC and has insulation packed around it, it will perform as you indicate. If it is accessible from above, check the insulation around the top of the can.
 

Last edited by chandler; 12-15-08 at 07:50 PM. Reason: Second thought
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Old 12-16-08, 12:26 AM
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Normally with this type of can / trim combo the limit is useally 50 watts but you may want to check the insulating materars around the cans if you can get above space like attic space then you can otherwise you can pull the can down after ya remove the trim cover off and unscrew the can mounting screw typically 3 screws hold in place.

However when you pull the can down expect some insuating materals may come down so just watch out on that one if none then check how far back the insulating materals it should be.

the other thing it may cause them to burn out fast is viberations as well it will affect them.

Check the label in the cans for max wattage listing with the proper trim.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 12-16-08, 06:55 AM
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Just a quick comment to add to what has been said. You are using a flood, you might try a spot. If the flood is directing too much light onto the perimeter of the fixture, that may be causing too much heat. I know, if it is the correct bulb, it should work, but this may, (sorry) shed some light on the problem.

Some fixtures have adjustable socket depth. I have never used one, so can't tell what yours are, but it suggest the same issue of moving the heat out of the can.

Oh, and I wonder how he became the lead contractor, #*%!.

I'll go away now

Bud
 
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Old 12-16-08, 09:18 AM
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Since you are using a 130v bulb, it is not using 50 watts. More likely somewhere around 43-47 watts. If you don't have these on a dimmer use a compact fluorescent reflector like was suggested below.
 
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Old 12-16-08, 11:39 AM
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Thanks so much to everyone for taking the time out and responding to me. You've all been very helpful and I'm glad to have run into this site.

As for the lights, I can't come in from above as another unit is above me and unfortunately the ceiling is at least 15 feet high so I'm only able to get the bulb out with one of those extenders. I'll have to see if I can find a ladder to borrow so I can get up there and remove the trim and fixture. I'm going to buy CFL's at a lower wattage today but I'd like to at least figure out if the building has a fire risk. I guess all it would take is for a thermal sensor to go bad and then the insulation could catch on fire? I guess it's probably somewhat heat resistant?

Thanks again.
 
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Old 12-16-08, 12:29 PM
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If you go with CFLs, make sure they can be installed pointing down, I think some of them can't.
 
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Old 12-17-08, 05:13 PM
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I purchased four 14W R-20 Soft White CFL's. Unfortunately I managed to break the fourth one as it fell off the extension pole I was using. What was interesting is that when I only had three of the four installed I turned on the lights and they seemed really underpowered. I installed one of the original incandescent bulbs and when I turned the lights back on this time they were pretty powerful. Is that normal? The good news is that I haven't seen one of them turn off and back on. That includes the original incandescent which I know for a fact has gone out and back before in that fixture. Again to me it seems like the circuitry is related like the other three bulbs running at lower wattage helped this fourth. I just don't know if that makes sense. Now yesterday was one of the coldest days we have had so it's possible that the environment itself was better but I really think the switch to CFL's made the difference.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 12-17-08, 09:08 PM
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Is that normal?
No, that's not normal. But sometimes fluorescents take a bit of time to reach full brightness, so maybe it was just the additional time, rather than the additional bulb, which brightened them. You could remove that incandescent as an experiement to see if the CFLs then get dimmer. I hope not.

Yes, colder weather by itself might make the problem go away temporarily. But I think the CFLs will help.
 
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