How do we get a ceiling light working again?

Problem

One of the ceiling lights needs replacing. Sometimes you replace the bulb and it still does not work.

Likely cause

There are two probable causes:

  1. The bulb has burned out.
  2. The bulb connector is corroded and not making a good connection.

What you can do

Replace the bulb

  1. Buy the correct type of replacement bulb: these are 12 volts.
  2. Get a stepladder to stand on, and someone to hold it to be really safe.
  3. Although the wires you will be touching only carry 12 volts when live, turn off the lights. To be really safe, turn off the lighting circuit at the box under the stairs.
  4. There are two types of bulb holder fittings in use in the Marcia Road houses:
    a) a clip type – push the clip with a flat screwdriver or something similar and pull the clip downwards
    b) bayonet type – turn the holder ring itself to release it. When lined up, it will drop down
  5. Pull the pins of the old bulb out of the plastic or ceramic connector they are pushed into and push in the new bulb.

If you have left the other lights on ( 3 above!) and the old bulb lights up when it is moved, you have the second problem, which is a corroded bulb connector.

Replace the bulb connector

The bulb connectors originally installed seem to have been susceptible to corrosion, making the connection to the bulb poor and causing it to not light up. Replacement connectors (see photos below) can be bought via the internet or at specialist elecrical supplies stores, such as Edwardes (nearest in Penge).

  1. You will need one of those little screwdrivers designed for electrial terminals.
  2. Remove the bulb, as above, and pull the wires down from the ceiling until you can hold the terminal block into which the wires of the bulb connector are wired.
  3. Unscrew the connector wires from the terminal block.
  4. Connect the wires from the new bulb connector.
  5. Fit the bulb and replace in the holder.
[photos]

If this doesn’t work

Each halogen light has a transformer to reduce the current to 12 volts. It is possible that it has burned out. It is in the ceiling, comnnected to the bulb holder. You MUST get an electrician to check and replace it.