Working with the 24v Test Lights on the Breakout Box
How to interpret light bulb intensity
- The light comes on
- If the intensity is bright=healthy circuit.
- A steady light-good connection and you have a good ground.
- A dim light: resistance, lower voltage, bad connection, broken wire strands, corrosion, poor ground, etc. Swap components and instantly see any difference.
- A flickering light: bad connection, bad switch, bad relay. Lightly tap the switch, sensor relay, etc., to see if it flickers. It may be your intermittent problem.
- A slow-to-light test light may indicate a weak sensor of component, the timer is working etc.
- With the breakout box test light and mini voltmeter, you have done the check…
- You have seen the bulb and voltage readings
- You know what the health of the circuit is
- You now have proof and confidence in signing off the check
- Now you have the confidence to eliminate what checked good from your possible-cause list when troubleshooting
The importance of the 24v test light, as opposed to a neon bulb test light (that shows only an indication of the presence of voltage), is the 24v incandescent bulb’s brightness or dimness shows the health of the circuit; where a dimmer glow shows evidence of resistance issues (which reduce voltage) like broken wire strands, corrosion, poor ground, burnt contacts on relays or switches, loose connections, connector pin and socket issues, old brittle wiring, etc.
We also have 24v LED bulbs. They will also go dim with lower voltage. However, we don’t see as accurate an indication because we can’t see the element as we can see in the incandescent bulb.