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My Blog


Light bulbs 101

Posted on January 6, 2015 at 1:36 PM
Recently, I have had several clients asking about light fixtures that are blowing light bulbs very quickly. Although there may be an issue with the socket in the fixture or transient voltages (spikes or surges) causing the failure, if there is no visible damage to the fixture it is most likely the bulb you are using. Specifically in the Louisville market our voltage (normally) runs at around 128 volts. You should be purchasing light bulbs that are rated at 130 volts. They cost a little ore but the filament is better and they will typically last much longer.  Also, with the new laws (slowly but surely) eliminating the use of standard incandescent filaments (like we've used since Edison) manufacturers were trying to increase production to stock up before the laws went into effect. After certain dates they were no longer allowed to product the bulbs but could sell whatever they had in their stock piles. Unfortunately, if you are purchasing incandescent lighting (my personal favorite) you are going to have a few more duds than normal. If you are over-tightening the bulb into the socket, you could also break the vacuum within the bulb. If the vacuum goes and oxygen is introduced the filament will not last. 
Be sure you are not over-sizing the type of bulbs you are using. There is a rating on the socket of your fixture (Max 60 watt, 75 watt etc.) this will also extend the life of your light bulbs and prevent overheating of the fixture and wires, which could potentially lead to fire. If you have purchased newer fixtures (recently) be sure to check the sockets closely. Many manufacturers have begun installing sockets that are rated only for the 13 watt CFL light bulbs. Although a standard incandescent lamp will fit in the socket, it is not rated for it and could lead to fixture damage and / or fire. 
As always if you have electrical concerns or questions, please consult a professional. If you have specific questions regarding this blog (or any other topic), please visit or Facebook page and post your questions. We will do our best to answer them. 

Categories: Electrical problems