Skip to content

How To Test & Repair A Halogen Downlight

Shock your friends with this post.

Skefos from Florance Electrical here with another handy electrical tip! We would like to help show how to diagnose which component of a downlight is faulty using a simple process of elimination and describe each part of a downlight and it’s the function.

The first component of a halogen downlight that we are going to look at today is the silicone lead. Now, this lead is connected to the ELV or extra-low voltage side of the transformer and is safe to handle if you have 12V downlight installed in your home or business. We ofter find that these silicone lamp holders become loose through standard wear and tear.

This loose connection from the transformer to the globe can cause excessive heat to be emitted and therefore raises the resistance of the electrical circuit.

When plugging and unplugging the silicone lead, it should feel tight against the lamp or globe and not fall away from the pins of the globe too easily. If it does, this could indicate a loose connection and maybe the cause of the downlight ceasing to function.

It is also a very good idea to perform a visual inspection on the silicone lead and look for signs of discolouration or feel for heat. These two signs are also an indication of a loose connection against the halogen globe if present.

If you don’t feel any resistance and you find that it’s a little bit loose, turned it on from the switch and plug the lead into the glove and move it around and see if the lights flicker. If it does, congratulations! You have found the issue with your faulty halogen downlight. Now, these silicone leads can be purchased from any electrical wholesaler are relatively inexpensive to purchase.

They are also easy to replace by yourself with a simple screwdriver. Just be sure that you are only working on the ELV / 12V side of the transformer and if in doubt, call a licensed electrician. The next component that we will look at is the transformer.

If you have a Transformer with a lead coming out of it like this which should be plugged into a 413 plug socket, which looks like this. Then you will know that you will not need an electrician to replace your downlight as the 240V live electrical circuit is safely contained within the 413 plug socket and not accessible.

Do not under any circumstances open this plug socket if you are not a licensed electrician as it is very dangerous and potentially fatal. If you have a spare 12VAC transformer with a suitable or equivalent amperage to the downlight, simply swapping the transformers would be the ideal way to eliminate a faulty transformer without further testing.

If the replacement transformer functions, the existing transformer was faulty. If a 413 / plug socket is existing, simply unplug the faulty downlight and plug in the working one as you would with a power point, test and then re-install into the ceiling.

The two clips either side of the downlight frame pullback towards the centre of the downlight and spring against the gyprock inside the roof cavity once the downlight is pushed up and into the cut-out.