Don’t we all wish that the light bulbs in our home would last forever? But the fact is that incandescent bulbs provide about 900 hours of illumination. Based on a usage of 8-hours per day, the bulb should last for approximately four months. A compact fluorescent bulb is supposed to last much longer, but we all know this isn’t the case.
LED technology has come a boon and these bulbs are resilient and can easily provide 40,000-50,000 hours of illumination, depending on the brand you buy. If you find yourself replacing bulbs too often in your home, and feel their lifespan isn’t what it should be, the problem may lie with the bulb itself. However, there are a number of other aspects that can impact the longevity of bulbs in your home. Let’s take a look at why light bulbs are burning out too soon:
#1 HIGH VOLTAGE
If the power supply voltage to your property is very high, bulbs will typically burn brighter and will also burn out much quicker. You can easily get the voltage checked for various electrical outlets in your home. Your electrician will use either a voltage tester or multimeter to carry out this check and provide a suitable solution if they identify that a problem exists.
#2 EXCESSIVE LIGHT FIXTURE VIBRATION
This is another common cause of bulbs burning out. A classic example of this is ceiling fans with light fixtures. If a fan blade becomes unbalanced, the entire fan begins to shake. The vibration impacts the filament inside the bulbs and will result in a shorter bulb life. Similar problems cause light bulbs in the garage door openers to burn out quickly. We recommend you use a rough service bulb, with heavy-duty filaments to fix this problem as they are able to better withstand vibration.
#3 DEPRESSED ELECTRICAL SOCKET TABS
The small metal tabs at the bottom of light bulb sockets are the “hot” connections that deliver the electrical current to bulbs. If this socket is pushed too far down, it may not make contact with the bulbs. To fix this, unplug your lamp or turn off the electrical power to that fixture. Use a simple wooden popsicle stick to carefully bend the tabs up about 1/8”.
#4 BAD BULBS
CFLs (compact fluorescent bulbs) are notorious for burning out before their time. While these bulbs are commonly believed to have a long lifespan (about 10,000 hours), this number is considerably exaggerated in most cases. As mentioned at the start of the article, LED bulbs are the answer. Not only do they have a very high lifespan, but don’t contain mercury and are 80% more energy efficient than traditional bulbs.
#5 FLICKERING BULBS
When bulbs are loose in their sockets, they can flicker off and on and. All you have to do is tighten the bulb to fix the problem. Another common problem may be a loose wiring connection. Turn off the electrical power and check the connections on the lamp fixture. Corroded or worn contact bits in the centre of the socket can result in flickering lights. Replacing the fixture or socket will solve this problem.
#6 BLOWN FUSES OR TRIPPED CIRCUIT BREAKER
If your circuit isn’t functioning due to a blown fuse or tripped breaker, there might be a short in the fixture cord; or a defective bulb may be the cause of the problem. Sometimes the light socket itself may be defective or shorted. In all of these cases, you would have to replace the impacted component before replacing the fuse or resetting the breaker.
Aside from these problems, burnt or overheated bulbs and heating issues in recessed light fixtures may also cause the bulbs to burn out before their time. You can build boxes around recessed fixture housings to allow for the needed “breathing” space.