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Burned Recessed Lights

Here at Wes Carver Electric, our electricians in Abington, PA and other towns throughout Bucks and Montgomery Counties have extensive training on replacing recessed lighting. Our team takes great pride in helping all customers facilitate a safer, more comfortable living space for their family, friends and guests.

Recently, a homeowner contacted us about a problem that they were experiencing with a light fixture. Not only did a bulb pop, but there was also smoke coming out of the housing. Clearly, this an issue that the pros at Wes Carver Electric needed to address as quickly as possible.    Here’s what we found during our inspection:

Here’s what we found during our inspection:

  1. Right off the bat, we noticed insulation pushed right up against the housing. Since this doesn’t allow the heat to escape, it was immediately recognized as one of the main contributors to the overheating.
  1. Secondly, the homeowner was using a higher rated bulb than what should have been in the fixture; as a result, it exceeded the maximum rating for the light and contributed to heat buildup.
  1. Thirdly, there was no thermal overload relay since it was an older recessed light. To prevent fire-related issues from overheating, these devices shut off the power to the bulb when the rating is too strong for the housing, or when there’s too much heat generated in the fixture because of the insulation around it.
  1. Finally, when we looked at the wires used between the fixtures in the ceiling, we noticed several parts where there was obviously too much heat in the area, leading to the deterioration of the insulation. There were even parts where the protective covering was almost completely corroded and crumbling to the touch.

Surprisingly, these problems are more common in older homes than you might think. Since certain recessed lighting is less expensive and quicker to install, a lot of companies avoid suggesting the correct option to their customers.

Simply put—if you want your recessed lighting to be safe, you need to install bigger housing boxes with IC ratings, which means that they can go directly against any insulation around the box.

Although you’ll prevent any overheating caused by the insulation with a larger unit, you still want to be conscious about exceeding the maximum bulb rating for the fixture. Failing to do so won’t cause the bulb to pop, but the overload relay will continue to shut off its power.

A telltale sign that you need to upgrade to better recessed lighting is if the bulbs continue to pop. If this hasn’t been an issue, but you’re still concerned about the functionality of your system, give our professionals a call to check things out. A lot of times what you see on the face of it doesn't tell the whole story. Normally, the rest of the story is behind the wall or above the ceilings.

Call Wes Carver Electric at 215-240-4391 or visit our homepage to learn more about all our services relating to recessed lighting replacements, general wiring, inspections, generators and landscape lighting in Furlong, PA and its surrounding areas.

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