Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting

jaxbrian

11:31AM | 01/01/09
Member Since: 12/31/08
1 lifetime posts
I have a outside light that will burn out in 2 to 2 weeks. The last bulb was a florescent and it lasted about 3 months. It has good connections, is clean, and is not getting wet.

TimBonham

09:33PM | 01/01/09
Member Since: 01/09/07
199 lifetime posts
Typical causes of light bulbs burning out quickly are:

* poor environment (dirty, dusty, wet)

* overheating

* vibration

* over-voltage in the circuit

You've already checked for the first one.

Overheating typically happens when someone places a larger bulb in a fixture than it is rated to handle, like a 100W bulb in a 60W fixture. But since it happened with a CFL bulb (which runs much cooler, generally), this seems less likely. But check it after it's been on for an hour or so and see if it seems real hot.

Vibration is often a problem with outdoor lights. Often they are mounted high up, and wind alone can cause excessive vibration. You can check this by seeing if the fixture is securely mounted, and if it holds the bulb securely, without too much wiggle or potential vibration.

Finally, over-voltage -- more than the normal 120V in the circuit. You can check that with a meter, but it also seems unlikely. In houses, the most common such wiring error is 240V instead of 120V, and that would burn out bulbs almost instantly; no way would they last a couple months. (But if the reading shows this is the problem, you can buy 130V bulbs instead of 120V ones. They will last longer, but they cost more, and don't shine as brightly. But it's an easy fix.)

househelper

06:16AM | 01/02/09
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
Check that the bulb socket is providing good contact to the center of the bulb. You may have to clean and/or lift up the center contact (with the power OFF).


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