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Problems with halogen spots

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by aargh, 23 Oct 2010.

  1. aargh

    aargh

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    Hi, I have had some good help from people on other boards here before, so wondering if someone can help me with a couple of lighting questions!

    We moved into a new house a while back, which has halogen spots all over the place, but we don't have much information on the type of bulbs and fittings so I am having some trouble with them.

    The first problem is that 2 of the ones in the hall have stopped working, I assumed it just meant the bulbs had gone but am having problems getting them working again.

    The bulbs seem to be standard MR16 halogen spots (12v, 50w, 2 straight pins as opposed to the ones with the lumps on the end). So I got some new bulbs which seem exactly the same. But when I put these into the fittings, they don't work. Before I tried replacing them, one of the lights was completely dead (didn't switch on at all), and the other would switch on briefly but then fade out after a short time. But with the new bulbs, I can't get either of them to switch on at all. (PS I tried with different bulbs from the same packet, so it's not just a case of one duff bulb). Worse, now I have put the old bulbs back in, the one which would come on briefly before is also completely dead...

    Is it possible I have the wrong type of bulbs, or what else could be stopping it working? I wondered about a bad connection or similar, but wiggling them a bit didn't seem to make any difference.

    The other problem I've had is with the spots in the bathroom. They are in a different type of fitting, with the bulbs completely enclosed in a casing (presumably a bathroom safety thing?). But I can't figure out how to get them out to replace the bulbs that have gone. I can get them slightly loose but it seems like they are held in somehow and I can't see enough to figure out how (unless you are meant to get at them from above?? but very impractical if so!). I am a bit scared of damaging something if I try to force them too hard - anyone know the proper way to get these out?

    Thank you!
     
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  3. wingcoax

    wingcoax

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    Main problem seems to be that your transformer has gone,I;E you have tried new bulbs without success and the second problem, Do your lamps have a metal ring round the bottom? if so use a small screwdriver and spring it out, this will allow the bulb to be removed(be careful you don't drop the glass)
     
  4. Steve

    Steve

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    First problem is a dead transformer. And possibly that the new lamps are a higher wattage therefore they wont even come on to start with, like the old lamps do.

    But you need new transformers. Pull the fittings out of the ceiling (literally, pull them out), and a transformer might drop out after it. A white or black box, about the size of a mobile phone, with Pri and Sec written on it.

    The bathroom lights - again, pull on the trim, and it'll come out. Do be careful because the springs that hold them in can be very powerful, and could damage the ceiling if you arent careful. And they could also spring back out at your hands which WILL HURT. (but try the advice above first - theres sometimes a retaining ring around the base of the lamp which will come out if you grip its ends with pliers.
     
  5. aargh

    aargh

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    Thanks for replying!

    Is there one transformer for each bulb then? As the other ones in the same area are still working. (Hall has 4 bulbs I think, at the moment 2 working and 2 not).

    I will have another look at the bathroom ones later (need to get the ladder out again) and try what you said with the screwdriver. They don't have the same sort of metal clip as the downstairs ones do (which I can remove by hand quite easily) but have a white ring of metal or plastic covering the bottom of the glass bit with the bulb in.
     
  6. 1john

    1john

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    Be careful with just pulling the bathroom ones, they may have a bezel which unscrews.
     
  7. sparkwright

    sparkwright

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    As well as checking transformers, the lampholders may be knackered as well. They can overheat, and give a poor connection.

    If your downlighters are fire rated they may require heat forward lamps, so check that before replacing any lamps.
     
  8. aargh

    aargh

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    Well thanks all, I have now managed to get the bathroom ones working! It just took a bit more force, think I was just being a bit too gentle with them as I was worried about breaking something. The base bit and glass cover was on metal clips and could be pulled out, with the bulb clipped inside; and the bulbs I already had were the right ones - and worked this time! (The same ones that didn't work in the hall).

    So now I just need to do a bit more investigating to find out whether it's the transformers or the lamp holders causing the problems in the hall.

    How do you find out whether they are fire rated please sparkwright? It doesn't say anything about it on the fittings (there was a little bit with writing on, with the voltage/wattage etc) but not sure how to double-check it? The bulbs look the same as the spares I have though.
     
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