A burnt out light bulb usually isn’t a big deal as long as you follow a correct light bulb installation. But, if you find that the same bulb keeps burning out repeatedly, then it’s time to investigate. The longevity of your light bulb will depend on the type of bulb you have installed. Incandescent bulbs will burn out more quickly than compact fluorescent or LEDs. However, any of these types of bulbs should last at least 1,000-25,000 usage hours. Having to replace light bulbs over and over can be both frustrating, expensive, and dangerous (due to fire risks). Therefore, it’s important to get to the bottom of why your light bulbs keep burning out. When it comes to bulbs that burn out frequently, here are some of the most common causes to guide your light bulb installation.
Improper Light Bulb Installation/ Loose Bulbs
If a bulb is not installed correctly, it could lead to fluctuations in voltage. This, in turn, can reduce the life of your bulb. You want to make sure your light bulb is screwed in until snug. You do not want a loose or wobbly bulb. On the other hand, You want to avoid over screwing the bulb so that the socket is not damaged. If you are installing your bulbs correctly and none of the other common causes are found with your fixture, try switching the brand of bulb you are buying.
Too Much Vibration
The filament in incandescent bulbs is delicate, making it susceptible to damage caused by vibrations. You may not even notice these vibrations, but they could be causing damage to your bulbs, reducing their life. For instance, excessive vibration from a ceiling fan, automatic garage door, or even heavy foot traffic above a light installed in the ceiling can lead to your light bulbs burning out quickly. One sign of excessive vibration is the light flickering. One solution to this problem is to switch to a bulb that does not have a filament, such as an LED bulb. Just make sure your fixture is compatible with LED bulbs.
If you find that your bulbs are burning out despite using the correct wattage, excessive heat may still be the cause of your bulb’s shortened life span. Using a bulb that is too big for your fixture or using the wrong kind of bulb in an enclosed fixture can cause heat to build up. The size of the bulb matters since it affects the way heat disperses throughout the fixture. If you are unable to find a smaller bulb that your fixture needs, try using a bulb with a lower wattage.
Excessive heat can especially be a problem in recessed lighting. Oftentimes with recessed lighting ventilation may be inadequate due to dust. The best way to tell if excessive heat is your problem is to look for signs of heat damage. If you find any signs of heat damage take immediate action. Lights that are getting too hot pose a fire risk to your home.
Wrong Type of Bulb
Every light fixture is built with a specific type of bulb in mind. If a different type of bulb is used, it can shorten a bulb’s life, cause excess heat, or even cause a fire. Therefore, you want to make sure you don’t exceed your fixture’s recommended bulb wattage. A lower wattage is fine, but a higher wattage will lead to trouble. If you want your room to be brighter, consider changing an incandescent or CFL bulb to an LED bulb.
While the recommended bulb wattage is important, it is equally important to consider how you use the fixture. For instance, CFL bulbs are prone to damage with frequent turning on and off, reducing their life. Another example is using a CFL or LED bulb with a dimmer switch. These dimmer switches are designed to be used with incandescent bulbs. Using the wrong kind of bulb with a dimmer switch can damage the bulb as well as the circuit, so always be sure to use the correct type of bulb for your fixtures and switches.
Loose Wiring During Light Bulb Installation
Another possible cause of light bulbs that burn out quickly is loose wiring. When your fixture’s wiring is loose it can cause current to fluctuate quite a bit. This fluctuating current can easily shorten the life of your light bulb, taking it from 1,000+ usage hours to burning it out in a couple of days. Additionally, loose wiring poses a significant risk of fire due to excessive heat. With loose wires, a fire could start even without tripping your breaker or blowing a fuse.
If you are finding that your light bulbs are burning out quickly in multiple fixtures, the problem may be your voltage. Time to avoid bigger electrical damage in the future. Having too much electricity coming into your home can significantly shorten the lifespan of your bulbs. Your voltage can easily be checked using a voltage tester. If you find that your home has a bit higher voltage you can try switching from 120V bulbs to 130V bulbs. However, a more sustainable solution is to simply get the voltage issue rectified with the help of a professional electrician.
Get It Checked Out
If you’re not able to figure out why your light bulbs keep burning out, consider enlisting the help of a professional. WOur team of professional electricians at Wire Craft Electric can help you get to the bottom of the issue so that you can stop wasting your hard-earned money on bulbs that burn out before they’re supposed to. We can also help you do complex light bulb installation.
Give us a call at 206-524-0208 to talk to one of our team members or request an appointment online today for any electrical inspection.