Question about Leviton Illuminated Decora-Style White Wall Switch

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I installed a Decora white illuminated wall switch to control a fluorescent bathroom fixture; the switch is advertised as working with fluorescent fixtures but does not. When I turn the light off the switch illuminates for a second or two and goes out. i've tried new switches - same problem. Does this have something to do with the fluorescent fixture? It is an older type - not CFL. Thanks

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Sounds like a problem with the fixture, not the switch. I'd say replace the ballast, or just replace the whole fixture.

Posted on May 08, 2011

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Fixture not working after bulb change


"CFLs" Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (with built in ballast) must be labeled as dimmable to be used on a dimmer circuit.

Traditional fluorescent fixtures must have a dimmable ballast installed inside and can be used with standard fluorescent lamps.

Fluorescent lamps must be sized to match the ballast. CFL's are matched at the factory, but others are not. Older fluorescent lamp fixtures have a ballast inside. A type rating is to operate (2) 48 inch / 40 watt lamps. Newer fluorescent lamps are rated for 32 watts, and these will not work - or will have a greatly reduced life.

If you installed CFL's, the first thing I would do is install regular incandescent lamps and see if it works as expected. If not, something else is wrong - otherwise - make sure you've got the right lamps in the fixture.

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First of all, I want to make sure that we're replacing a light switch. I am assuming that the two wires are the hot feed, and the switched-hot return to the light fixture. I dont' want to rule out the posssibliity that if, say, a receptacle used to occupy this box, the white white may actually be a neutral - in which case, installing a switch here will cause a short.

Assuming for the time being that it is a standard 3-way switch, of the three wires on the unit, one should be listed as the "common", and the other two as "travellers" - connect the common to one of the two house wires coming from the wall, connect one of the travellers to the other house wire, and place a wire nut on the remaining traveller (unused). If you can't figure out which wire is which, just guess and if it doesn't work, try a different wire combimation - there's only three possible ways to wire it and only one of them won't work.

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First, let me say that if you're not entirely comfortable doing high voltage electrical work, you might want to call an electrician. It's not impossible for you to get hurt or killed or burn down your house. At least be sure to turn of the circuit breaker while you're working on it.

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