I have a home in CA that was built in 1995 and it has 6 lights in the
kitchen. They are recessed canister type fixtures and takes the 65 watt
flood lights that slightly protrude from the fixture. Five of the six lights
are wired together on one switch and the other is all by itself on another
switch. The one that is alone had a different type of bulb in it then the
others. It is a kind of a four tube fluorescent light that plugs in instead
of screwing in like a normal bulb, but about the same size. It wasn't very
bright and I wanted to replace it and make it look and light up like the
rest, but still remain on a separate switch. I bought a new connector for
the bulb that matches the other type of lights and cut the black and white
wires from the old fluorescent fixture and wired the new one in. Put
everything back in the canister, screwed in the new light, and turned it on,
but it was still very dim. It's now just like the other lights, but not
nearly as bright. What could be wrong? The old fixture that was in the
canister did not have a ground wire coming from it, and the new socket that
I bought did not come with a ground wire attached either, but I guessed that
the canister itself was grounded as were some of them that were at the
store so I did not add one. If you do think is the ground how would I add
Thanks for any help provided
It's not the ground. The ground is for safety and should not affect
the brightness of the lamp unless something is very wrong.
My guess is that this fixture was intended to be left on as a "night
light" and so they chose a more energy efficient fluorescent fixture.
When you rewired the socked, did you actually remove the can and
remove the ballast that would be used with a plug in flourescent bulb?
The screw in flourescent bulbs designed for regular sockets have
internal ballasts, but the plug in type use an external ballast wired
to the socket. If you didn't remove the ballast, that would explain
the dim light. It also is probably not safe, so don't use it until
One more thing. Incandescent bulbs run hotter than flourescents, so
your can may not be rated for a regular bulb. The safest thing would
be to totally remove the can and replace it with one that is designed
and rated for incandescent use. These are available in "remodeling"
style that allows them to be installed in an existing ceiling, but
getting the old one out may be a problem. You also need to determine
if the can has insulation around and against it. If so, you need a
can rated for insulation contact. Again, the issue here is the heat
generated, and a can rated for insulation contact with a flourescent
bulb may not be rated for IC with an incandescent.
Be safe, replace (or have it replaced) the can with one properly rated
for the application.
The can is exactly like the others except it looks like they took the
adjustable slider bracket that was in the can off that one and replaced it
with the plug in type florescent. I compared it to the ones at the store
and they looked just like the others except that adjustable slider bracket.
There is no insulation next to the can at all. I had the can out and
nothing was attached to it. Would the ballast be in the junction box where
the wires go in from the can? I will take the can out again and open the
junction box that was next to the can.
Thanks again for the help.
the other four lights are directly wired from the bulb to the power
source.. the last one was florescent and probably has a ballast in
it.... you got to get that out and go directly with the wires to the new
plain old type incadescant bulb.... when not measure the voltage from
the screw in plug on the last one and it is probably less voltage that
the others due to the ballast.......
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