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Jason
Jason, Service Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4286
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
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I recently replaced an outdoor incandescent fixture with 100

Customer Question

I recently replaced an outdoor incandescent fixture with 100 bulb with a dual halogen 150w fixture. It seemed to work for a day. The next evening the brightness goes up and down and one lamp if the two stopped working. I replaced the switch and repeated all wiring connections, but the brightness still goes up and down continuously.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer.

Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.

Do you have a volt meter?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.

Are you able to put the meter probes in the splices between the supply wire and the fixture wire, and watch the readout on the meter as the brightness of the light fluctuates? With this test, we would be checking to see if the actual voltage going into the fixture is fluctuating.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
but not until tomorrow. What could cause variation in voltage levels?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Should I check at te switch feeding the fixture too?
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.

My apologies for the delay. I'm cleaning up from dinner. Yes, if you can monitor the voltage at the switch, while watching the brightness of the fixture, that would be beneficial as well.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
That I can do now...
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.

Sounds good. Just reply when ready.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Steady at 121 at the switch, but still changing brightness level at the lamp.
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.

Does the halogen fixture use any type of ballast, or transformer? Some do, and some don't. At that wattage, most wouldn't.

Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.

I missed your earlier question about why the voltage would fluctuate. If it were fluctuating, there are a few things that would cause it.

Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.

It could be a problem with the transformer that feeds your house. In that case, all of the power in the entire house would be fluctuating, on at least one leg (there are 2 legs of power).

Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.

Another possible cause is a loose connection. When a wire is loose at a termination or a splice, it can cause the voltage "downstream" from that location to fluctuate.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok. I will trace the wiring, clean oxidation from the conductors and re seat wire nuts.
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.

Those are all good steps. It sounds like you've been doing this type of work for a while.