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Sounds like a ground wire issue.

Grab a test light and turn on the brights. Probe all 3 wires to find out which one is the ground (won't light the test light).

When you find the ground try tracing it to the ground, or run a dedicated wire to a clean spot of metal to the end of the test light probe while testing the ground (wrap a piece of wire around the probe after you ground it, and poke the probe back into the wire).

Let me know what happens (if the lights get brighter).

Or unplug the new bulb and plug it back in a few times to test the contact.

Remember to not touch the bulb at any time with your fingers. Oil on your fingers + halogen (type) bulb = hot spot and bulb overheating and *POP*.

If you do...wipe it well with rubbing alcohol.
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