How do I test for mains power?

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I'm sure this is basic stuff, but would really appreciate any help.
I have a light fitting with halogen bulb. The bulb blew, so I bought another one exactly the same. Put bulb in, turned light on, nothing. Odd. Tested the bulb with my circuit tester. The beep beeped, meaning it was intact. Took light fitting off wall and tested it with new bulb in, by putting my prong things on the junction connectors, that I had just detached from the mains power. The beep beeped, so it's not the light fitting that is at fault. There is no transformer to worry about, so that just leaves me wondering if there is any power coming out of the mains wires. There was two days ago, when the light worked. Also, at no point has the circuit breaker tripped. How do I test whether there is a sudden wiring problem? Obviously if there is, then I will get an electrician in, but if there's something I can do myself, I'd rather.
I have heard that you can't actually test for a complete circuit in a halogen bulb with a little battery powered circuit tester. Is this correct. Should I go and buy another bulb, just to check? The one I've got looks fine...
Thanks
 
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Your beep beep thing is only indicating the presence of a live feed.
For the lamp to light you also need a neutral. The fault may well be in the neutral connection.
Go and buy a multimeter (£6-£10) or you'll be chasing your own tail all day.
 
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Your beep beep thing is only indicating the presence of a live feed.

Perhaps not even that - my Fluke T100 seems to class practically anything under 100kOhms as continuity, and will indicate and bleep as such across a dead supply with parallel loads in the circuit.

Still, a volt stick should be sufficient for testing L-E, L-N and as it seems to have a continuity checker, it might be some use for checking for voltage and continuity between N-E.
 
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a volt stick is a none contact device than uses the magnetic field created by a live wire..
it will not indicate continuity and will not measure ohms..
 
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nope..

the proximity of the "volt stick" to a live wire sets it off..
but then again so does any alternating magnetic field.. the microwave, rubbing it on your arm...
 
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a volt stick is a none contact device than uses the magnetic field created by a live wire..
it will not indicate continuity and will not measure ohms..

You are of course correct. Volt stick is indeed not what I intended to write, but what I type or speak and what I intend to write/say in my head are two different things! :LOL:

I'll leave my post as-is, otherwise yours wont make a whole lot of sense any more.
 

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