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Ask John Faulty Light Bulbs Main Image

Why Do My Light Bulbs Blow Out?

John Turpin is our resident home service repair expert here at Service Direct. He’s got the knowledge and experience to help homeowners like you make sense of most home repair issues. And with Service Direct, we connect you with top-tier service professionals to help with any repairs needed.

Find Out Why Your Light Bulbs Keep Blowing Out

Light bulbs aren’t built to last forever. Generally, incandescent bulbs average only approximately 1,000 hours. They have the shortest lifespan, while fluorescent light bulbs make the longest-lasting, running from 15,000 to 20,000 hours.

Sometimes, light bulbs blow out before their lifespan is passed for seemingly no reason. But there are various possible causes behind light bulbs blowing out, from over voltage to manufacturing defects.

Common Light Bulb Issues
This article explores some of the common causes for light bulbs to fail early.

Common Reasons for Light Bulbs Blowing Out Frequently

“Why do light bulbs keep blowing out in my house?” We know how frustrating and expensive it is to have light bulbs blowing out all the time. Understanding the common reasons behind frequent bulb failures can help you address the underlying issues and prevent future incidents.

That said, we’re here to dive deeper into the various factors contributing to light bulb failures. Besides exploring the different reasons you have multiple light bulbs blowing out, we’ll also provide practical solutions to prolong their lifespan.

Poor Quality Bulbs

Another common reason for light bulbs blowing out is the use of low-quality or counterfeit bulbs. Poor quality bulbs with weaker filaments, inadequate insulation, or improper gas filling can lead to premature burnout. This makes it crucial to choose trusted, high-quality products, not cheap ones.

You can avoid this problem by purchasing bulbs from trusted suppliers or reputable brands. While they may be slightly more expensive initially, their superior quality pays a lot. These light bulbs have a longer lifespan, ultimately saving you money in the long run.

Excessive Heat

Light bulbs generate heat as a byproduct of producing light. It is one of the biggest contributing factors to light bulbs blowing out. If the bulb is exposed to excessive heat due to poor ventilation, it can often reduce lifespan. This issue is common with bulbs installed in enclosed fixtures or recessed lighting, where there’s limited heat dissipation.

When purchasing bulbs, ensure they are suitable for use in enclosed fixtures. It’s also a great idea to invest in heat-resistant or LED bulbs, which emit less heat. Additionally, make sure there is adequate airflow around the bulb. This will help dissipate the heat and prevent more bulbs from blowing out.

Power Surges and Fluctuations

Power surges and fluctuations also contribute to frequent light bulbs blowing out. They usually occur during electrical storms or when large appliances are turned on or off. The sudden changes in voltage can cause a bulb to fail instantly or slowly reduce its lifespan.

Fortunately, it’s easy enough to prevent this from happening by installing surge protectors or voltage stabilizers in your electrical system. These devices can help mitigate the impact of power surges and fluctuations, ensuring a more stable and consistent voltage supply.

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Overvoltage is one of the primary culprits of light bulbs blowing out when turned on. When the voltage supplied to the bulb exceeds its recommended operating range, the filament gets excessively hot and causes premature failure. But why did the voltage exceed? There are various reasons, such as faulty wiring, power surges, or incompatible voltage ratings.

Addressing this issue involves ensuring that your electrical system is properly grounded. It’s also important that all connections are secure. Additionally, you might want to consider installing surge protectors. These devices safeguard your appliances and lighting fixtures against power strikes and fluctuations.

Voltage Fluctuations

Besides power surges, voltage fluctuations can also cause light bulbs to blow out. Fluctuations can occur due to issues with the electrical grid. It also happens when large appliances with high power demand are turned on or off.

Rapid changes in voltage can put stress on the filament of the bulb, leading to premature failure. If this is the case with your light bulbs blowing out, consider consulting with an electrician to check your electrical system and address any voltage fluctuation issues.

Vibration, Mechanical Shock, and High Humidity

Light bulbs installed in rooms or areas of the house prone to vibrations or mechanical shock are more susceptible to failure. The constant movement or impact can weaken the bulb’s filament or other components, causing premature burnout.

Areas with high humidity, such as laundry rooms or bathrooms, are prone to bulb failures. These rooms can cause increased moisture inside the bulbs, leading to corrosion and shorter lifespans. Vibration, water, or moisture-resistant bulbs should help with this.

Our resident home repair guru, John Turpin, discusses what is causing your light bulbs to fail early including, some DIY suggestions and solutions.

Manufacturing Defects

It is relatively rare, but sometimes, light bulbs blowing out can be due to manufacturing defects. Some of these defects include issues with the filament, gas filling, or overall construction of the bulb.

If you notice a pattern of repeated failures from bulbs of the same batch or brand, it could mean a manufacturing issue. In this case, contact the manufacturer or supplier to inquire about warranty replacements or refunds.

Dealing with blown-out light bulbs can be annoying, but you can minimize the frequency of bulb failures by learning about the possible causes of premature burnout. In doing so, you can also learn about effective solutions to keeping your light bulbs long-lasting and reliable.

Loose Connections

One of the possible reasons light bulbs keep blowing out of the same pocket is loose connections. If the connections between the bulb and the fixture are loose, it can lead to electrical arcing, where heat is generated and causes the bulb to blow out.

It’s essential that when changing bulbs, you always ensure they are screwed securely into the socket. Also, inspect and tighten connections regularly to prevent arcing and extend the bulbs’ lifespan. It also helps to clean the contacts and ensure they are dust or debris-free.

Dimmer Switch Compatibility

Dimmer switches are a possible culprit of light bulb failure. It’s important to ensure the switches are compatible with the light bulbs. This is because they are not all designed to work with dimmer switches.

If the dimmer switch and light bulb are incompatible, it can result in flickering or early burnout. This is why, when shopping for bulbs, look for ones labeled “dimmable.” Or, consult the manufacturer’s recommendations to find the right bulbs for your dimmer switches.

Environmental Factors

Harsh environmental conditions can also contribute to light bulb failures. Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, can put additional stress on the bulb’s components. This can lead the bulbs to wear out faster.

For instance, incandescent bulbs used in outdoor fixtures during freezing temperatures can lead to filament breakage and thermal shock. Knowing that, you might consider using bulbs specifically designed for outdoor or extreme temperature environments.

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Light Bulb FAQs

Can electrical wiring cause light bulbs to blow out?

Yes, faulty wiring can contribute to light bulbs blowing out and other failures. Issues like improper grounding, overvoltage, or loose connections are common reasons bulbs receive inconsistent or excessive electrical current, leading to premature burnout. If you think your electrical system has issues, we recommend consulting with a qualified electrician to inspect and repair any problems in your electrical system.

Can the type of light fixture affect bulb lifespan?

Yes, the type of light fixture can impact a light bulb’s lifespan. Some fixtures, like recessed lighting, restrict airflow and trap heat around the bulb. Excessive heat can cause bulbs to fail prematurely, leading to bulbs constantly blowing out. When choosing a bulb for a specific type of fixture, check the packaging or manufacturer’s specifications to know if it is suitable.

Are there safety precautions I should take when changing light bulbs?

When changing light bulbs, first turn off the power to the fixture. Allow the bulb to cool down to avoid burns. Also, use a stable step ladder or platform to reach high fixtures safely. Avoid twisting or forcing the bulb during installation to prevent damage. Also, dispose of old bulbs properly, considering recycling options for certain types.

Hire a Local Electrical Pro

Numerous factors could be causing our light bulbs to blow out. Depending on the issue you may be able to solve it yourself by following the DIY tips discussed in this article. However, if you’re not sure how to resolve the matter, you can reach out to our local Electrical experts using the phone number or form on this page.

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