J-type halogen light fixtures

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Kiko, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. Kiko

    Kiko Member

    Jul 20, 2009
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    I replaced a ceiling light fixture that takes a j-type halogen bulb, and the wires seemed to be "baked" from the heat given off by the bulb. Part of each wire broke off when I removed the wire nuts, and the insulation on the remaining wires was so hard, I had to "chip" it off rather than "strip" it off to make the new connections.

    I replaced the fixture with a conventional light fixture that uses CFL's. My parents have about 4 more of these j-type bulb fixtures. I advised them to go ahead and replace these fixtures, as well. Has anyone else ever heard of wires "baking" from the heat with this type of fixture?
  2. sixlashes

    sixlashes Plumber in Previous Life

    Aug 6, 2008
    Retired USAF Aircraft Maintenance Superintendent,
    Pensacola. FL
    How old is the house? It may have 60 degree C (centigrade) rated wiring. I'll bet those (newer) fixtures require at least 75 degree C rated wires in the installation instructions. If this is the case, it seems the wires simply got too hot for the insulation. It is possible to splice newer (90 degree C rated) wire in the system, but that would most likely be a job for an electrician.

    If the wiring is new already, the fixture is getting too hot. Is the fixture installed per the manufacturer's instructions? There is something wrong causing too much heat. Have the light(s) cut off unexpectedly for no apparent reason? If not, is also possible the temperature limit switches are defective and the fixture is overheating without tripping them.

    Either way, I would not use the fixtures in their present configuration for obvious reasons.
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  4. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob In the Trades

    Apr 2, 2008
    Yes I have seen quite a bit of this in older homes. Also with wall mounted fixtures like in a bathroom.

    And that is the reason fixtures will say 60 watt bulb max or whatever. Lots of heat generated and all going straight up.

    Also the reason they say not to place insulation in the attic over ceiling light fixtures - let the heat out.

    Important to follow installation instructions as to the wire type as pointed out above as well as insulation above fixture, wattage of bulb(s), and other things.

    Basically follow the installation instructions when installing the new fixtures and replace the old damaged wiring.
  5. Kiko

    Kiko Member

    Jul 20, 2009
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    Thanks to you both.

    An electrician installed all new wiring in this house when my parents bought it 15 years ago, and these halogen fixtures were installed then. I believe the heat given off from these j-type bulbs is what baked the new wiring from the outside, rather than from the inside due to 60 C rated wiring.

    I was just wondering if anyone else has had this experience with j-type fixtures.
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