Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting


03:47PM | 11/24/05
Member Since: 11/23/05
2 lifetime posts
I have a new addition on my house, basically three big rooms. The upstairs BR has 8 recessed light cans. The downstairs LR, directly below the BR has 8 recessed light cans. The Kitchen, adjacent to the LR has 5 light cans. The lightbulbs in the LR and BR are about 13 months old. The kitchen lightbulbs burn out every 4-6 months. I've tried several types of compatible florescent bulbs including the super-energy conserving coil bulbs that are meant to last three years. The kitchen is directly below a bathroom -- a small bathroom with very low traffic so not likely to cause any more vibration on the cans below than any of the others.

Why is this happening? How do I know if there is a problem with the wiring? How do I test this?

Many thanks!

Tom O

03:52PM | 11/25/05
Member Since: 09/17/02
476 lifetime posts
How often are the kitchen lamps turned on? If this is done frequently, it will cause premature burnout of any type of lamp. The worst thing you can do to a lightbulb is turn it on.

Lamp wattage and lamp type should match the trim & housing configuration. Most recessed fixtures have a label on the inside that staes what lamp types and wattages can be used with which trims.

If you have access to a voltmeter, take a measdurement in the socket, it should be less than the lamp voltage.For every 1% increase in voltage above the lamp rating , lamp life will be reduced by about 3% (if memory serves me, which it sometimes doesn't).

That's about all in my bag of tricks.


02:24AM | 11/26/05
Member Since: 01/18/99
47 lifetime posts
Agree with what you and Tom said but also I found out that if the center elctrode of the socket is not making a good contact, there will be minute arcing because the bulb is not making a good contact. This small arcing will shorten the life of bulbs. I ually take a small screwer or whatever and pull the center contact(tab) out a little. Make sure the CB is off. I forgot myself sometimes and get a surprise.

Let us know how it works out.


05:49AM | 11/26/05
Member Since: 11/23/05
2 lifetime posts
I should have clarified -- in my kitchen I have 5 lightcans, that are identical to another 16 in my house. (I also have three smaller ones in the kitchen that also burn out frequently - but for simplicity let's disregard those) All of the other 21 lightcans have the same lightbulb (brand, wattage) and are within the specs recommended on the inside label of the lightcan. All are turned on/off with about the same frequency. Only the kitchen light cans burn out. The others are all original lightbulbs. Even the long-life florescent bulbs -- the coil shaped ones, burn out in 6 months. They are supposed to have a life of 3 years.

I believe that those in the kitchen are all on the same circuit, the ones in the adjacent room and upstairs on different circuits. I'm pretty confident that the problem isn't in any one individual light can or lightbulb. I suspect that the wiring is somehow compromised for this circuit of lights. Any thoughts on how I can confirm/deny this? Without tearing out drywall how do I check the wiring ??

Thanks again for any advice you can offer.


12:26AM | 03/20/15
That last post you wrote Stanton, EXACTLY what I want to know! I know it's been years, but I'm hoping you be notified of my post and have figured it out by now! Help!


02:16PM | 11/20/16
I'm having exact same problem with kitchen can lights.


10:01AM | 11/19/18
I, too, am having this problem with my 3 kitchen can lights! The one on the end tends to stay light, but the other 2 is like a constant game of "Whack A Mole" in changing them!

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