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mrsrobinson

02:46PM | 08/24/04
Member Since: 08/23/04
1 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
Please help! The basement utility room has a basic light with switch. We are trying to add another light to be controlled by the same switch on the other side of the room. We can get both lights to turn on with the switch, but they are both dim, like they're only getting half power. What are we doing wrong? Thanks!!!!

Jim D

12:47AM | 08/25/04
Member Since: 01/06/01
345 lifetime posts
MrsRobinson - hi, it sounds like you've wired the second light up as part of a series circuit. From the switch, you have a wire to one side of the first light fixture; from the other side of the first fixture, the wire runs to one side of the second fixture; and the wire from the other side of the second fixture completes the basic circuit. By running in series, the line voltage is "dropped" by both lights so each light only gets 1/2 of the available voltage. Also, I'd guess that if either light burns out, neither light will work...you can test that by unscrewing the bulb in either fixture. (Think about the older strings of Christmas lights and how, when one bulb went, the whole string went out. The newer strings stay lit even when one or more bulbs go out.)

You need to make the circuit a parallel circuit. Both fixtures need to get the same amount of voltage. You'd have to have two wires running from the switch to feed the fixtures - one wire going to each fixture. The wire from the other side of each fixture would both complete the circuit. Also, if one light bulb failed, the other light would still work.

That's a really basic description, and I'm sure the knowledgeable electricians who frequent this board will be able to better explain it. (My background is electronics, which is different than electricity.) I hope this helps some - good luck! Jim D/West Point, VA

joed

04:26PM | 08/25/04
Member Since: 09/17/02
527 lifetime posts
You have them wired in series. I you tell us how you connected them we can tell you what you did wrong.
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