DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Electrical and Wiring > Burn marks, fire hazard?

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Old 12-07-2013, 01:52 PM  
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Default Burn marks, fire hazard?

I have an attic bedroom with the track lighting as shown in the photo. Above each bulb appears to be a scorch mark. These bulbs came with the track lighting fixture and are 50 watts each. Are we in danger of a fire from these lights?

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Old 12-07-2013, 02:12 PM  
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This may be an inducation of little or no insulation in the attic. These light are hot and likely cause some movement in the air. Warm moist air does carry dust and as this air is moved up past the light it runs into the ceiling and cools there leaving moisture and dust on the ceiling. If you had a smoker in the house the stains would be brownand would appear much sooner.
Do you burn candles in the house or that room?

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Old 12-07-2013, 05:09 PM  
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Default yup

neal is right on. This is what we call "ghosting"...notice you can also see your rafters on the ceiling and any nails below the surface will also show up.
It has nothing to do with a fire., you just need better insulation, some air sealing and a paint job.
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:54 PM  
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Wow, Great thread, I always "knew" what it was but never really knew how to explain it well.
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:28 PM  
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Consider that you have what looks like at least 6, and maybe 8, 50 watt halogen lamps. 300 to 400 watts total.
Incandescent lighting converts about 85% of that wattage to heat...makes your fixture more efficient as a heat source than a light source. Tape a thermometer to the ceiling after the fixture has been on for awhile to see how hot.
Also noted that your ceiling is peaked, and very narrow, so all that heat has nowhere to go.
While I agree there is some rafter ghosting, the black spots are likely from the paper on the sheetrock being overheated.
I would get rid of that fixture and replace it with fluorescent or surface mount fixtures with LED A lamps.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:49 AM  
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To be sure, turn the lights on for 4+ hours and feel the ceiling above them. But frankly I do not see these bulbs at that distance causing scorching heat. I would guess that you have the "ghosting" as mentioned above. And if heat is a problem, you could reduce it by going with fluorescent bulbs that would use 1/4 the wattage (although a bit ugly).
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:31 AM  
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With an IR meter or contact thermometer/thermistor/thermocouple and this link you can figure your relative hazard.

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