My buzzing wall lights

Hi all We have a pair of small, wall-mounted, metal reading lights mounted adjacent to our bed. If you lightly touch either of them, you can feel a very slight electrical hum through your fingertips. Although the house is RCD-protected, it freaked me out a bit first time I noticed it, but on taking the lights off the wall to check them, found them to be perfectly correctly wired (including earth). This vibration is detectable regardless of whether the lights are switched on or off.
So what's causing it? Anything I should be checking or worrying about?
Thanks David
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You say they're "correctly wired" - is this by visual inspection only? Do you have a meter with which you can measure both the resistance and the voltage between the metal body of the light and a Known Good Earth (such as the earth pin on your ring circuit)? If the voltage you measure is 0 and the resistance down at the "less than one ohm" level, you should be in good shape, and the "hum" you mention may be mechanical rather than electrical (plausible if the bulbs are compact-flourescent, or maybe low-voltage halogen with a transformer built in to the reading lights; hard to imagine if they're normal filament bulbs). If you measure a significant voltage or resistance, then (a) the earth isn't; and (b) you've some fault somewhere, which you need to sort out.
More exotic possibilities are that the "hum" - which you say is present whether they're lit or not: intriguing! - is caused by something else and is mechanically transmitted. If you don't have a meter, can you at least say whether they still "hum", i.e. seem to vibrate, just as much when you touch them wearing thin rubber gloves or through a bit of polythene, as when you [take your life into your hands in the presence of a possible mains electrical fault, I disclaim all responsibility for any ill effects ;- and] touch them with your bare hands? Or do you have a "mains tester" screwdriver which lights up, even faintly, when you touch the metal body of the lights? If the "hum" isn't there when you touch it through an insulator, or the screwdriver lights up, you *definitely* have a fault which needs fixing before it gets worse and zaps you hard.
HTH - Stefek
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On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 16:46:24 +0100, "David"
[snip]

I'm sorry I don't have an answer, just more questions, but is it just the lights? I have noticed for some time now a low frequency vibration which is often present in our floors, and in some items of furniture. At first I thought I was going batty, but a sprog returning home for a visit said she too could feel it, and without any prompting on my part whatsoever. I'd not even mentioned it to anyone else at this stage.
It can be present day or night, it does stop sometimes. It is there too often for other people running appliances to be a likely culprit I think. I can not figure out where on earth it is coming from.
It may have been there a long long time too, however it was after experiencing that Earthquake one Sunday night some time back that made me more alert it, since it's very low level as well as very low frequency.
A week or two back, I got visual confirmation of the fact by observing rings and ripples on the surface of some water in a mug in our kitchen sink. Finally a visual on this thing! It's almost like there is something heavy going on very deep underground! We're on the outskirts of Milton Keynes, fairly leafy area, and not close to motorways or anything like that which I might have otherwise reasonably suspected. We back on to a golf course, and are in a quiet cul-de-sac. There's not much scope for a source to this, which is why it's all the more surprising and rather tough to figure out. Mystified!
So, could what you are noticing be something like that, which you may not have noticed before? Main reason I ask is that you say it matters not whether the lights are on or off, I'm thinking that suggests that something else must be at play here, and this definitely qualifies as "something else". ;o)
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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David wrote:

Soundsd like they are energy saving or LV things with inbult transformners, OR that you have a nice stud wall that is resonateing with something lese.
My whole house hums gently... :-)

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Try cleaning the house. ;-)
Christian.
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This fascinating, what is the answer?

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Mark Atherton wrote:

Dunno. What was the question?
"She was only victor syslvesters daughter, but she really hummed at ragtime"

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