2 hanging candelabra style lum-inaires, each with three 40w bulbs...
owner says have always been dim since house was built... today a bulb burns out in the upper lum. and the other 2 bulbs in that lum. get brighter, at the same time the other 3 bulbs in the lower lum. get dimmer. so they put a new bulb in the upper lum. and the 2 lum's balance out as before... both lum.'s revert to being as equally dim as they have always been
so, they tested it... they screw the 3rd bulb into the upper lum., and the lum.'s are equally dim, all 6 bulbs dim. then they unscrew that 3rd upper lum. bulb and the other 2 upper lum. bulbs get brighter, and the 3 lower lum. bulbs get dimmer
is this obvious to the most casual observer? i bet its really easy and i'm going to be embarrassed [again] ;-)
Cindy, it sounds like a strange series/parallel connection of the sockets from the factory. Are the 2 luminaires hung separately or are they a factory combination unit? Has the voltage been checked at different points of that circuit, starting at the switch?
Re: lit'l help#30447 10/20/0304:39 AM10/20/0304:39 AM
Cindy, I agree with the series wiring but not necesarily in the fixtures. Think of the fixtures being reisistors in a series circuit (the house wiring, in this case the three way wiring) and by removing a piece of the resistor (one lamp) you are changing the voltage drop across this resistor.(luminare)
For fun remove all the lamps from one fixture and see what happens.
Re: lit'l help#30450 10/21/0308:58 AM10/21/0308:58 AM
I'll just bet that the 3-way travellers go from switch to light to light to switch, and that there are only three conductors between the two lights.
In this threeway scenario, one needs four wires between the lights for each light fixture to be in parallel with the switched leg and the neutral.
I'll bet when the original installer found his(er) mistake, the two fixtures were put in series with each other and connected between the switched leg and the neutral. Some light is better than no light (and maybe no one will notice .
It does sounds as though the fixtures have been wired in series somehow, in which case if you remove all the bulbs from one, the other should stay dark as well.
Assuming that both lights are switched together on 3-ways top and bottom of the stairs, do they react the same way when the switches are turned on the "other" way? (e.g. if both up=on, do the lights still act like this when both switches are down?).
Re: lit'l help#30453 10/24/0308:35 AM10/24/0308:35 AM
thanks, good ideas..... will check voltages and travelers... will see if in series too removing bulbs, but the position of the 3-way didn't make a difference... they used to have normal 3-way snap switches but now have X-10 types with master and slave, but it never worked right with either set of switches... thanks again