How to Test Recessed Lighting

How to Test Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting works in any room and with just about any type of décor. It’s a reliable option to have in your home, although issues can occur. If your recessed lighting isn’t working properly, there are ways to troubleshoot the situation to determine what is wrong. We’ll now explain how to test recessed lighting to decide how to proceed.

Determine Why It Isn’t Working

If you’re having trouble with recessed lighting, first look for these possible issues:

  • Blown Bulb: This is a simple test. When the light is switched off and the bulb has cooled, remove the bulb and examine it. If there are black or gray spots on it, the bulb has blown and must be replaced.
  • Incorrect Wattage: Check the wattage on the bulb if it’s not working. If it doesn’t match the wattage of the fixture, your recessed lighting might not work. The fixture can also overheat if the bulb is the wrong rating.
  • The Area Is Over Insulated: If the recessed light fits too tightly into a space, it can overheat and shut down. To prevent this, make sure there’s enough space around the light canister.
  • Limit Switch Problem: The limit switch turns off the fixture if there’s too much heat. Check for the correct bulb wattage and proper spacing around the fixture. If so and it still doesn’t work, the limit switch may be faulty.
  • Damaged Socket: If the bulb looks fine and the light doesn’t work, you may have a blown socket. Also, check for a buzzing sound from the fixture. If you’re replacing bulbs frequently, this can also mean the socket is damaged.

Test the Fixture/Circuit

If your recessed lighting isn’t working, it may be necessary to test the circuit. One way to determine whether this is necessary is to swap bulbs between fixtures. If more than one fixture doesn’t work, the problem may be a tripped circuit breaker; if you reset the breaker and are still having trouble, get hold of a circuit tester and proceed with the following steps:

  1. Turn off the circuit breaker
  2. Remove the cover from the recessed light switch.
  3. If using a screwdriver, do not insert it into the switch mounting box.
  4. Touch the tester’s leads to the screw terminals on the switch.
  5. The tester will light up or give an audible signal if the switch is working.
  6. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for removing the fixture.
  7. Remove the bulb from the fixture.
  8. Touch the test leads to the appropriate metal contacts.
  9. Check for indication the fixture is receiving power from the switch.

If the circuit tester doesn’t receive a signal, there’s likely an electrical issue that would be unsafe to try to fix yourself. It’s time to call an electrician to troubleshoot the problem and find the right solution to repair it.

Contact Express Electrical Services

Our trained, certified Los Angeles electricians are experienced residential lighting installers who can repair and help maintain your recessed lighting. If testing a fixture indicates a problem, or you’re still not sure how to test recessed lighting, we’re here to help. We can also provide lighting updates to improve your home’s overall look and feel. Recessed lighting is an effective way to modernize your home but installing it can be complicated.

Able to install recessed lighting anywhere in your Southern California home, we’re also available for emergencies — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For help, request service online or call 323-727-7799 today.