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There are multiple questions on this page. Be sure to scroll down to find the one you're looking for.

I bought a motion light to replace porch light. The wires from the motion light are thinner than the wires from my house. Is this safe to hook up?

Yes, as long as the fixture carries a UL or similar listing, then it is safe to use.
Manufacturers are allowed to make size reductions to lead-in conductors for equipment, since it is certified to use a fixed (predetermined) amount of electricity.

I have an outdoor motion light that goes on and off intermittently during the night. What would be causing this to happen? Nothing is moving in front of the light when it goes on.

The four most common problems we typically encounter with motion lights are:
1. Sensitivity setting on motion light is too high - try turning it down a little.
2. Check to see if the detector is pointed towards anything that might move in the wind.
3. Make sure that it is not pointed at something less than 10 feet away, such as a wall in a narrow alley.
4. Try cleaning the lens.

If none of these items help, it sometimes is just easier to replace the entire unit. We find that these lights aren't as reliable as they were years ago. We're frequently replacing units that are less than five years old...



I want to replace a ceiling fixture with a plug-in overhead fixture that I would like to hardwire directly to the ceiling box. The plug is two prong, no ground. Is it as simple as cut the plug off, then connect white to white, black to black? Is it dangerous or a fire hazard with no ground connection?


Usually, a fixture is UL listed to be used as originally shipped from the factory. That would preclude the ability to cut off the plug from the end of the cord to hard-wire the light unless the manufacturer listed that as an acceptable wiring method in the installation instructions.

If it is allowed and if you decide to do it, just make sure that you install a ground wire from the metal shell of the fixture to the junction box (if it is metal) or to a ground wire to properly ground the light to the building’s electrical system.

I recently had recessed lights installed my kitchen ceiling. The electrician installed them from the attic, where the tops of them are visible. I was told to keep the insulation away from them because they can get hot. Should I be worried about this or are they safe?

Your electrician should have installed IC-rated recessed lights for you. These are designed for direct contact with insulation. If non-IC lights were used, then insulation (and any combustible material) must be kept a minimum distance of 3" from the fixture.
Also, it's very important only to use bulbs that are recommended for the fixture to prevent overheating. There should be a list of approved bulbs (and maximum wattages) on a label on the inside of the fixture. That same label should also tell you if the fixtures are IC or non-IC.


Wurtsboro Electric Service, Inc.

Licensed electricians serving Orange county, Sullivan county, and Ulster county in New York
(845) 888-8000 

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