Where To Buy Recessed Light Insulation Sensors (Thermal Protectors).

Ravenvalor

Senior Member
Does anyone know of a good supplier of recessed light insulation sensors (thermal protectors). He ordered some from Amazon but it does not say what lamp wattage it is rated for.

Thanks for the help....
 

ptonsparky

Senior Member
Could it be they are looking for temperature only? Safe temperature is below (randomly picked) 163 degrees. We don’t care what lamp wattage it takes to exceed that temperature.
 

Ravenvalor

Senior Member
Could it be they are looking for temperature only? Safe temperature is below (randomly picked) 163 degrees. We don’t care what lamp wattage it takes to exceed that temperature.
I see. He installed one and measured a temperature of 150-degrees with his thermometer aimed at the protector. Now he is afraid that it could be a fire hazard. He even went so far as to put insulation over the light and got a reading of about 225-degrees and the new device did not open circuit.
 

Knuckle Dragger

Master Electrician Electrical Contractor 01752
I was under the assumption that the replacement sensor had to be specific to the light fixture model.
If in doubt of how it's going to perform I would replace the entire unit. The liability isn't worth the risk of a "mishap".
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Talked about this here maybe a year ago. I had the same problem. Technically you are supposed to replace the thermal protector with an OEM part. But the fixture I had was 30 years old., so that wasn't going to happen.

The thermal protector consists of a bias resistor across the line and a bi-metallic switch that is influenced by the heat given off by the resistor as well as the ambient temp. When the combined temperature exceeds the rating because the sensor is packed in insulation, the bi-metallic switch opens and turns off the lamp. So the lamp wattage only matters when it causes heat to build up under the insulation the fixture is covered with.

I did find a supplier (I think I Googled the original manufacturer and part number off the switch) and came up with what I figured to be a suitable replacement from the available temperature ratings. (163 deg sounds familiar.)

Now, with all that said, the fixture was being used with a CFL which I changed to an LED. How much heat do you think that's going to produce? Sure, someone could put a 100W incandescent back in there. But that's not likely today. Somebody from here suggested to put a big sticker inside that says "LED ONLY". Sounds like a good idea.

So, unless you or the customer are willing to replace the fixture with a new one and accept the collateral damage to the ceiling, I would just do as I did or just jump out the sensor completely and require LED lamps.

-Hal
 
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