Recessed Light Not Working? Troubleshooting the Most Common Issues

Recessed lighting is some of the most popular forms of lighting in most homes today. Why? Because it’s reliable, cost-effective, and suitable for almost any area of the home. 

This being said, recessed lighting is not impervious to its own set of issues—after all, most things in the home tend to need maintenance over time. 

If your recessed light is not working, these common issues could be at play…

Why is My Recessed Light Not Working? 6 Common Problems

A recessed light that suddenly begins to blink may seem like a complete mystery to you—but there is generally a very simple issue at hand. 

Most of the time, recessed light problems boil down to 6 main causes: 

1. A Sagging Light Trim 

Recessed lights are designed to sit flush with your ceiling, making for a chic, streamlined look and feel. But as soon as the trim around the light fixture begins to sag, this can cause lighting issues.

When the trim begins to sag, the light fixture becomes exposed—allowing drafts into your home, while also posing a potential fire hazard. To add to this, the light fixture will no longer have the support it needs and could go on-the-blink (quite literally!). 

Luckily, a sagging light trim is easy to spot and simple to fix! 

2. A Blown or Damaged Bulb 

As with most light bulbs throughout the home, they have a tendency to become damaged over time or simply die out. 

The only way to know for sure is to inspect the light bulb within the fixture. Make sure your recessed lighting is switched off and the bulb itself is cool. Remove the bulb and inspect it for gray or black spots—this means it’s blown. 

Simply replace the bulb and your recessed light should work as good as new. 

3. A Blown Light Socket 

This is not a very common occurrence but is still something to look out for if you’re having lighting issues. One of the first signs of a blown socket is when the light does not turn on, but the bulb is still in perfect condition. 

Alternatively, listen out for a slight buzzing sound coming from the light fixture itself. Otherwise, if you’re having to replace bulbs far too often, this is a sign of a faulty socket.

4. Incorrect Wattage 

When a light bulb with a high wattage is used, this can cause the light fixture to overheat. Make sure to compare the light bulb wattage with the rating on the light fixture.

If the wattages don’t match up, it’s likely that your recessed lighting won’t work! Go for a lower-wattage light bulb if this is the case. 

5. Over Insulation 

Recessed lights are designed to fit into a small, compact space, but if this space is packed too tightly around the fixture, this could lead to over-insulation. 

Ultimately, this leads to your light fixture overheating, causing the entire light fixture to shut down or blow. Ensure there is enough insulation and space around the light canister to prevent overheating. 

6. A Faulty Limit Switch 

Recessed lights are operated by a limit switch – once this switch detects too much heat around the fixture, it will go off automatically. 

However, if your bulb wattage is correct and there is enough insulation and air around your light fixture, this is a sign the limit switch could just be faulty! 

Find Expert Services With Petersen Electric

Based in Tom’s River, New Jersey, Petersen Electic is your local expert in all things lighting – no matter the issue. 

So, if you find yourself asking ”why is my recessed light not working?”, even after reading this blog, get in touch for expert assistance!