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Question DetailsAsked on 2/1/2017

Track lighting fixture is smoking around bulbwhy is t

There are 6 unis on the track, only one was smokinh

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2 Answers


Obviously, if smoking - turn off the switch and tape over it to prevent it from being used till the unit is replaced. Could be a bulb burning out (some CFL and LED bulbs catch fire when they go out), could be burning insulation in the socket or the wiring, could be the bulb is too hot for the fixture so it is scorching the ceiling material, could be a built-in transformer (some low voltage track lights have individual transformers on each head or unit). Not a good situation either way.

In addition to replacing the affected head and any overheated adjacent track pieces (if burnt paint, discolored, scorched or burnt insulation, etc), you need to check the bulbs against the rated bulbs for the unit to be sure they are not too high a wattage or ones not designed for upside down or enclosed canister use or such. These days, much of the import stuff is real marginal anyway so put too high a wattage bulb or one not rated for the application in and you get smoking, and sometimes actual fire. Some of them just fail or burn up due to poor design, undersized wiring, or defective manufacture, especially if a cheap box-store type unit.

Unless you are pretty electrical experienced, I would say probably cheapest to replace the entire thing unless it was definitely caused by a burnt-out bulb flaming out its base (not down in the socket), both because the diagnosis and repair time (including getting parts) is likely to be way more than the cost of replacing the whole track unless it is REAL pricey. Unless definitively traceable to a bad bulb, I would assume the other heads are similarly damaged - just not smoking yet unless proven otherwise, so in that case I would call the track system trash.

Other route, especially if pricey - especially if you have receipt for the track system - would be (if not caused by over-wattage bulb or failed individual bulb) to contact the manufacturer about getting a refund. Most try to send a replacement - problem is, replacement is likely to have the same problem.

If due to other than over-wattage bulb or a bulb not rated for that application, might also send a consumer report to the Consumer Product Safety Commission for them to investigate - so a recall can be enforced if the unit design/manufacturing is faulty. Might save some other person from a fire or electrocution.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD



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