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Thread: Recessed cans flickering off/on

  1. #1

    Default Recessed cans flickering off/on

    Recently I noticed one of my recessed cans flickering off & on. Now I have another flickering which is controlled from a different wall switch. It's not the bulbs or the wiring at the can so it must be at the wall. This is how the wall switch controls the lights . Three on/off switches at wall control: 3 large cans, middle large can only, and 4 small cans. There is another single wall switch on a different wall that turns the 3 lrg. cans off/on. I have not checked the wall plates wiring, what would I look for?

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Can lights often have thermal hi temp cut off switches in them. What you describe is a situation I have seen before....too large a wattage bulb, and/or insulation too close on a non-IC fixture. The can heats up, the switch turns off, then it cools and light comes on again for a while.

    Can you tell us what the label on your can says about bulbs, and what bulb you have in there.?
    Is your can rated as type IC, and is there insulation on top of it?

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    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    90% odds, your light bulbs are too high-watt for the fixture, or you've got regular bulbs when you should have reflector bulbs.

    10% odds, the fixture is old & the thermostat is malfunctioning.
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  4. #4

    Default Recessed cans flickering on/off

    Thanks so much for the replies. I'm using 60 watt reflector bulbs which is much lower than max because of the heat it puts out. Also there is no insulation around cans because there is no attic above the dining room. Also the bulbs are doing a disco flickering, not staying on for 5-10 min then shutting off.We put new bulbs in. The reason I thought it might be at the wall plate is when I was turning each switch on/off, one of the cans started flickering immediately.Could it be a wiring problem at the wall plates?

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default flickering

    It could be that, or any of several other things, but we would be guessing, just like you are. To make a definitive diagnosis requires someone to be there with a tester.

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    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    absolutely could be at the wall plate but it would affect all the bulbs on that circuit at the same time if it was...like hj said get someone in who can diagnose it properly... a competent electrician will work...

  7. #7
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkjlkjlkj View Post
    Also the bulbs are doing a disco flickering, not staying on for 5-10 min then shutting off.
    Oh. In that case, I honestly have no idea; I've never seen anything like that...

    Ditto others' suggestion to call in a professional electrician.
    Master Plumber Mark:

    there is nothing better than the
    manly smell of WD 40 in the air
    while banging away on brass with a chisel and hammer...

    it smells like......victory......

    do not hit your thumb...
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  8. #8
    Code Enforcement codeone's Avatar
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    You need to check the type of reflector bulb for the trim you are using. EXample par 30, These would be according to the trim you are using. If you are sure you are using the correct ones. Then deffinately get someone that is qualified to check out your wiring.

    If you do want to try make sure you have the circuit turned off at the panel before taking anything apart. About all you can do without the proper equipt and knowledge is make sure all the joints are ok.

    I still would suspect you have a bulb problem with the ratings with your description. Try to find the listing on the trim.

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