Working With Incredible Plumbers

Five Electrical Issues That Reduce Light Bulb Longevity

Light bulbs that are constantly burning out may indicate an issue with your fixtures or with the electrical system in your home.

1. Tight Fixtures

Screwing in a bulb too tightly can cause it to stop work. This is because it bends or warps the metal cap on the bulb and it may damage the inner socket on the fixture. If a bulb is a tight fit, then the issue could be that an older fixture socket isn't sized correctly for modern bulbs. Updating the socket or the entire fixture may solve the problem.

2. House Vibrations

Some houses vibrate more than others, perhaps because they are near a busy road. Constant vibrations shake bulbs and increase the chances of the filament or other parts of the bulb suffering damage. The best defense is to upgrade to all LED bulbs, as these are not as likely to experience vibration damage when compared to incandescent and CFL bulbs.

3. Outdated Switches

Sometimes the switches in your home don't keep up with the capabilities of modern light bulbs. This is especially true for specialty switches, such as dimmers. Modern dimmer bulbs and older dimmer switches may not connect well, and the amount of power that is allowed through an older switch may stress a modern bulb and cause it to burn out prematurely. The best fix for this issue is to update old switches to newer models that are designed to work with modern bulbs.

4. Electrical Surges

If your home experiences a lot of power surges and tripped electrical circuit breakers, this could be the cause of light bulb burnouts. The extra surge of power can be too much for a bulb to handle, so it blows — sometimes explosively! Constant electrical surges are more problematic than just with the bulbs, though, as they can damage appliances, electronics, and your home itself. If you determine that surges are the cause of your bulb issues, you need to have your circuit box inspected by an electrician. They may need to make repairs, or it may be necessary to install a whole-house surge protector.

5. Heat Stress

Sometimes bulbs go out because they overheat. Incandescent bulbs, and to a lesser extent CFLs, are most likely to suffer this issue. LEDs naturally run cooler. Switching out the fixture for a larger one that allows more airflow and heat escape may solve the problem.

For more information about electrical services, contact a local electrician.