Does it seem like your light bulbs aren’t lasting as long as you think they should? The type of light bulb you use or the light fixture you screw them into could be the reason you have to buy new bulbs so soon.
Every light bulb type has a different lifespan. The Average Rated Life is the approximate amount of hours you can expect to get out of one light bulb. Here are the ranges of hours you can expect from different bulbs:
- Incandescent: 750 – 2,000 hours
- Compact Fluorescent
- Plug-in: 10,000 – 20,000 hours
- Screw-in: 8,000 – 10,000 hours
- Fluorescent: 24,000 – 36,000 hours
- LED: 40,000 – 50,000 hours
Here are some common problems explaining why your light bulbs keep burning out too soon and potential solutions.
Improper Fixture Connection
Every light bulb has a contact point that meets the fixture and connects to emit light from the bulb. If the bulb is screwed in too tightly, this could interfere with the connection, causing the light bulb to fail. In this case, there’s a chance the fixture is to blame, and you need to replace the fixture.
However, it could also be the quality of the light bulb you purchased. Cheap light bulbs have little to no solder on the contact point, which can significantly reduce the ARL of the light bulb.
Bulbs Get Too Hot
Just because a light bulb fits into a fixture, that doesn’t mean it’s ideal for it. Using a bulb with too high wattage or that wasn’t meant for the fixture to handle can cause your outlet to get too hot and short out.
The same thing can happen in a covered fixture, like a recessed light or globe light. Without adequate ventilation, the bulb can overheat and stop working. Double-check to make sure you’re using the right light bulb for enclosed fixtures and the wattage and size of the bulb are correct before screwing it in.
High Home Voltage
Standard American electrical outlets run on 120 volts. However, some outlets can run too high, which burns the light bulb brighter and shortens its lifespan.
If your light is plugged into an outlet, you can use a multimeter to check the outlet voltage. If it reads higher than 120 volts, contact a licensed electrician, like Deshaies Electrical Services in Odenton, Maryland, to come out and check for electrical supply issues.
Too Much Fixture Vibration
Vibrations are a fact of life, but they could be why your light bulbs keep burning out too fast. Fixtures in the ceiling with a room above them, like in a dining room with a child’s room above, could be causing excess vibrations.
If you use a light bulb with filaments, the stress could reduce the light bulb’s ARL. You can purchase light bulbs with thicker filaments or switch to LEDs, which don’t have filaments and can withstand vibrations more.
Poorly Installed Fixtures or Wiring
A loose wire or poorly installed fixture could be the root of your problem. Loose connections can create current fluctuations, zapping the ARL of your light bulb and making it burn out prematurely.
Testing this out requires cutting power and removing the junction box or taking apart your fixture. It’s best to leave this to a licensed electrician who can do this safely, so you don’t have to.
Dimmer Switch Incompatibility
If your home has an older dimmer switch and you’re using anything other than incandescent light bulbs, that’s likely your problem. New CFLs and LEDs are usually not compatible with the old switches. They could be causing the bulb to burn out or even damage the circuitry. Always check to make sure the bulb and switch are compatible before putting in the new bulb.
Calling in the Experts
Light bulbs burning out too soon could be an easy fix or a sign of a safety hazard in your home. When in doubt, call the licensed electricians at Deshaies Electric in Odenton, Maryland.
We offer free estimates, and if we can’t solve your problem over the phone, we’ll dispatch an electrician to help. Call us or fill out our contact form today.