Lights have a mind of their own.

sparky1118

Member
Hello everyone I have a customer who says that there lamps are turning on and off automatically. There is no remotes controlling these lamps. They are just randomly doing this. I think it’s a demon personally any thoughts on the issue?


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LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
We need much more detail about the specific circuit(s), lamp type(s), all at once or separately random, time(s)of day, etc.
 

sparky1118

Member
Just basic lamps not touch lamps. They are in different rooms and have the typical socket with the turn on off. The bulbs are not LED they are 60 watt incandescent bulbs. I would understand if it was touch lamps but this issue is odd


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hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Just basic lamps not touch lamps. They are in different rooms and have the typical socket with the turn on off.
Obviously there is a problem with the keyed lamp sockets. Are they (the lamps) all of the same manufacture?

-Hal
 

kwired

Electron manager
More details as mentioned. Can be thermal protectors cycling because too high wattage of lamp is being used, recessed lighting could be insulation covering a non IC rated luminaire and thermal protector also doing what it is supposed to do.

Fluorescent or LED's may have failing ballast or driver that has thermal protection, or even overloaded driver (driving more watts than designed for)

All those instances I mentioned the protection will reset itself once it cools enough and start another cycle.
 

480sparky

Senior Member
.......Can be thermal protectors cycling because too high wattage of lamp is being used, recessed lighting could be insulation covering a non IC rated luminaire and thermal protector also doing what it is supposed to do.
...........
That was my first thought.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
You happen to have automated meter reading there?
i had an instance where a customer had cheap led bulbs in his living room. I initially thought it was the watt limiters as mentioned.
when the customer told me it was happening only at specific times, I installed a monitor on the incoming power.
we found out the PLC meter readings were causing the lights to flicker off and on.
we fixed it by buying him higher quality bulbs.
 

K8MHZ

Senior Member
Sometimes the center conductor of the socket gets deformed from bulbs being screwed in too tight. I have seen this cause the bulbs to not only go on and off, but to fail pre-maturely.
 

kwired

Electron manager
What I got is that these are just ordinary table lamps with 60W incandescent bulbs and this socket:


-Hal
Ok, looks like that is pretty likely.

Now more details are still needed. Do they all turn off at same time or is it random for each?

Are they all on same circuit or is multiple circuits involved?

Is it only the lamps that are doing this or is other loads having troubles?

If they all turn off at same time chances are pretty good there is one failure point that is common to all of them - you need to find it.
 

powerpete69

Senior Member
Is there a lighting contactor somewhere that was installed that is doing exactly what it is supposed to do?
Had to at least ask.
I guess you could answer this by asking if there power at the switch when the lights are out?
 
I've seen this using keyless fixtures with quickwire. The metal would heat up from the lamp and lose wire connection. Then it would cool down and make contact again. It was about 12 lights in a garage intermittently turning on and off. Last time I ever purchased keyless with quickwire.
 
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