Real Basic Electricity Question

I have a motion sensor light in my driveway. One night I turned it on and the bulbs flashed on and then immediatelywent out. I put in new bulbs, but the light wouldn't work at all. Not even a flash when I turned it on.
What could the problem be? Where should I start?
Thanks in advance,
--
8^)~~~ Sue (remove the x to e-mail)
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wrote:

I have over a dozen motion detectors of the various home store brands and they go bad a lot. You might have had a bulb blow it or it muight have just give up the ghost.. Sometimes when a bulb goes bad an internal standoff will bridge and short out. That blows the triac in a dimmer or motion detector. I have even had them trip a breaker.
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when someone first told me this i didnt believe it, but after seeing a few go and testing them its true.
for some reason the sensor seems to go bad in those fixtures. you could probably trace it to cheaper fixtures. maybe better ones dont do it. ive ripped into a couple and after testing them enough to know the sensor was bad component, i cut the sensor out of a couple of em and used them in locations that just needed a swtich...
its extremely unlikely something happened that is causing both bulbs to instantly burn out.
did you try those bulbs someplace else? i bet they work. i'd just replace the fixture.
randy

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Suzie-Q wrote:

Was bulb burnt out? Replaced with same Wattage bulb? Or maybe it's dead. The solid state relay burnt out. If it's dead, not worth repairing I guess. Tony
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wrote:

The electronics has gone south. You can send it in for repair but it will cost triple what a new unit costs.
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Suzie-Q wrote:

These low-cost motion sensor lights seem to be a high failure rate item. Fortunately, they are also cheap. I suggest:
1. Make sure the lamps you have used as replacements are really good. Check the new ones with an ohmmeter if you know how, or try them in a table lamp. (I mention this because it is amazing how often I get a call to repair a light fixture that someone absolutely knows has good lamps in it, but doesn't. I get to bill them my minimum for changing their light bulb. Yes, I do mention this when they call, but they're absolutely sure. Also, brand-new lamps are sometimes defective and may either not work, or fail during the first few seconds or minutes of operation.)
2. Are other devices on the same circuit working? If not, it is probably a breaker, or possibly a wiring problem. Once in a while a breaker will trip for no apparent reason. If it happens just once, don't worry about it. If it keeps happening, you should have it diagnosed soon.
3. If you are up to it, check that the fixture is getting power. Do this only if you know how to do it safely.
4. If the lamps are good, and the fixture is getting power and it still doesn't work, just replace the fixture. They're cheap.
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Tony Electric
http://dotznize.com/electric
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RMUH wrote:

Lately I've noticed this happens more with GE bulbs than other brands. I guess they've outsourced their bulb manufacturing to the cheapest third world country they could find. Bob S.
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Last year I bought a 20 watt GE halogen bulb that failed within 30 seconds. I called the number on the package and had them send me a new one. That one has been going for a year now.
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wrote:

Do the old bulbs work if you put them in some other fixture?
I'd be looking for a GFCI outlet somewhere upstream, and only failing that, for fuses or other problems in the fixture.
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