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Recessed Lights Go Off & On

To minimize the risk of fire, recessed lights have a thermal protector that shuts them off when they get too hot. Be sure the bulb doesn’t exceed the maximum wattage indicated inside the metal housing.

recessed light problem©Don Vandervort, HomeTips

And check whether a reflector-type bulb is required. If the bulb is the proper size and type, loosen the wing nuts or screws that adjust the bulb-holder’s position inside the metal housing, slide the bulb unit down a little, and then re-tighten.

If possible, be sure insulation inside the ceiling is held back away from the fixture at least 3 inches. A flicker or spark indicates faulty wiring or a defective switch.

If you’re competent at handling electrical problems, shut off the power to the circuit and check the wire connections at the switch and fixture. Otherwise, call an electrician.

About Don Vandervort
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Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years, as Building Editor for Sunset Books, Senior Editor at Home Magazine, author of more than 30 home improvement books, and writer of countless magazine articles. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert for several years. Don founded HomeTips in 1996.

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