This is a long explanation, but basically I am looking for what could cause
a light bulb to light up only dimly. Could it be a short to GND or some
Here's the situation.
I have a three floor apt. building with a common panel feeding a lighted
fire escape. They are not switched, always on for safety. On this same
circuit, before reaching the stairwell is a single light in the basement. No
problems with this light. There are 2 other leads I have not yet verified
where they go (either disconnected or feeding something I am unaware of). On
the outside of the stairwell is a spot light with a motion sensor to go on
at night when you go around back. The problems started with the spotlights
remaining on all the time. Not knowing the age of the sensor I replaced it,
wired as directed on the package. Since it was summer, I don't know if it
ever worked properly. I was unable to test it fully. Later, I noticed the
spots were very dimly lit. The stairwell lights were full power and lit
properly. I removed one spot and the other would light fully. I left it that
way, but still unsure if the motion sensor is working properly. Again weeks
later, now the lights are out in the stairway. I've been using fluorescent
bulbs. The bulbs light up in other sockets on another circuit. I replaced
one with a regular incandescent and it is barely lit.
I test the motion sensor by turning off the breaker, then turn it on. The
single spot lights up brightly, but the stairwell lights are out (except for
the dim incandescent). Then after 2 mins. the spot goes out and so does the
The stairwell lights are NOT switched by the sensor. I have removed the
sensor completely, and these bulbs are still not lighting up.
How can the sensor affect the stairwell lights? Why would they not get
enough power to turn on completely?
Obviously, I am not an electrician, but I do have a clue how this stuff
works. I'm about ready to re-wire the darn stairwell.