You are here
Home > Electrical Repairs > Light bulbs: what causes light bulb to burn out very quick?

Light bulbs: what causes light bulb to burn out very quick?


Related image

 How long was a light bulb design to last?

          Light bulbs can’t illuminate, shine or light forever, the fact is bulbs were designed with lifespan, The typical incandescent bulb is designed to lasts for about 1,000 hours, while a 15-watt CFL bulb is designed to last for about 10,000 hours and a 12-watt LED bulb are design to lasts for about 25,000 hours. Using a maximum usage of eight (8) hours per day, In other words, incandescent can last for about four-month, while CFLs bulb can last for about three years and the LED bulb can last for about eight years.

         Looking at the estimated lifespan of each type of bulb and equating it with what happens to your light bulb every day is it the same? though we electelectglobe are not there with you to see what is happening to your light but we can affirmatively, it not the same. So what then causes the frequent bulb burn out?

 #Fun Fact to know about a light bulb.

Switching a light bulb ON at each moment sends a jolt of electricity through the filaments, which is more likely to scatter it than a continuous flow of current — that’s why light bulbs often burn out as you keep turning them on. The frequent turning off and on of lights, likely reducing the lifespan of the bulb faster.


What causes the frequent burn out of a light bulb?

1. High Voltage

When the supply voltage to your home is too high, the bulb turns to be very bright when they are switch ON. This is not always healthy to light bulb because it causes them to burn out faster. So whenever there is power supply to your home, and you observe the bulbs are unusually brighter, you can use a voltage tester or voltmeter to test and be sure that voltage supply is to standard (either 120-volt or 240-volt) ensure you know how to do this safely, if you are not sure, invite a professional electrician to do this for you.

To avoid electric shock, if after testing the voltage is above the standard voltage, invite an election to come and check what could be the problem or reach out to your utility company provider. This is because when voltage above the rated voltage of bulb keeps powering a light bulb, it causes it to burn out very fast.


2. Excessive Vibration close to a light fixture.


Another thing that may cause your light bulb to burn out very fast is excessive vibration. When a ceiling fan is installed close to a light fixture is a good example of this. If the blades of ceiling fan or hock or it hanger becomes unbalanced, the fan will start shaking unnecessary, and the vibration goes a long way to jiggles the filament in the light bulb, thus reducing or shortening its lifespan. Thereby causing the light bulb to burn out very fast.

The same issue is very common with light bulbs in garage door openers. You can consider using a rough-service bulb to correct this problem in such a location in your home, this bulb can withstand vibration because they have heavy-duty filaments.

3. Depressed Socket Tab

illustration of  light bulb socket

                                                                    illustration of  light bulb socket

What delivers current to a bulb is the hot terminal, which is usually at the bottom of a light bulb socket, while the surrounding threaded metal serves as the neutral connection? Which enables the current flowing into the bulb to leave, making the circuit complete. So if this socket tab in the bulb is not contacting properly to the lamp fixture, it can cause the bulb to stop working. Though the problem here is not that the bulb is actually burned out, the electrical contact to the bulb is loosed.

To remedy this problem, turn off power to the bulb fixture and remove the bulb, use a wooden Popsicle stick to raise the tab up to about 1/8 inch. Then fix the bulb back into the fixture and see if it works.

Though this repair may not work with old sockets, where the metal tab has lost it spring or is brittle entirely. In this case, it is best to replace the light bulb socket or the entire light fixture because this might be the best solution.


4. Using the Wrong Type of Bulb

Related image

                                               image showing different types of  bulb

Has highlighted above CFLs bulbs are known to last longer than incandescent, though this is true, they are notorious for going bad before their time lifespan elapse. CFLs are commonly said to have a lifespan of 10,000 hours, but if you have been using this light bulb you will agree with us that this number is grossly an exaggeration in my cases. Research shows that if CFLs bulb which is rated for 10,000 hours are switch ON and OFF for a few minutes each time within the day it can reduce the lifespan of this bulb to about 3,000hours.

The best solution to this very problem is switching to LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs. They’re more efficient, last longer, and they don’t have mercury substance like CFL bulbs do.


5. Loose Connections

  image showing flickering of a bulb 

                                          image showing flickering of a bulb 

When the contact of a bulb is not tight to its fixture, and it having a loose connection with its fixture, it could cause the bulb to be flickering ON and OFF. To correct this problem, simply tighten the bulb firmly in its fixture. Another problem may be a loose wire connection to the bulb fixture.

To correct this issue, turn off the power and inspect the wires feeding the fixture. This should only be done if you have basic knowledge about the electrical wiring system, if not invite a professional electrician to come and correct it for you. The contact of the bulb socket or the fixture might have worn out or corrode, in this case, it is best to replace either the bulb or fixture if that is what is bad.

Frequently loose connections, either at the socket terminals or with the wire connections, can make the bulb burn out very quickly, as well as cause the bulb to flickering. When a loose connection occurs it increases the electrical resistance and heating passing through a bulb which can shorten the lifespan of the bulb.


6. Short Circuit

 image of an electrical short circuit

             image of an electrical short circuit

When a short circuit occurs it can cause a light bulb to suddenly go dark. A short circuit in an electrical system circuit line can cause the light fixture—as well as all other devices on the circuit—to suddenly become dark. When a short circuit occurs, this situation causes resistance to lessen, which rapidly increases the flow of current through the circuit. This sudden increase in current flow makes the circuit breaker to trip (or the fuse to blow) and interrupt the flow of current. Thus causing the lightbulb (and everything else) to go suddenly dark.

A short circuit can be a result of a number of circumstances. The bulb fixture or appliance cord might have a wiring problem, a cord plug could be bad, or the light socket could be defective. In any of these cases, before resetting the breaker or fuse it is best you replaced the defective part.

Note, before assuming that a bulb that suddenly goes dark bulb is a burned-out, confirm to ensure that the circuit breaker controlling that lighting circuit hasn’t tripped due to a short circuit.

7. Bulbs Too Large for Light Fixture

a bulb which is too big for small light fixture                                                                                      a bulb which is too big for small light fixture                         

Most light fixtures have a label specifying the maximum bulb wattage to use in the fixture. If you notice that lightbulbs burn out too quickly in a particular lamp holder or light fixture, open the fixture globe or cover and verify to see if the bulb wattage is too large for the rating of the fixture.

This common problem with the use of CFL or LED bulbs, which makes the bulb to operate at fairly low wattage, but it is also a very common problem with traditional incandescent light bulbs, where it is easy to exceed the rating of the light fixture by using bulbs that are too large. Doing so generates excessive heat, reducing the bulb lifespan and potentially melting the insulation on the fixture wiring which can result in a short circuit.

To avoid such a problem from occurring use bulbs with wattage ratings that don’t exceed the maximum rating of the fixture. Change to energy-efficient bulbs (such as LEDs) that have much lower wattage ratings will also prevent such problems from occurring in the future.


8. Insulation around Recessed Lights


Image result for Recessed lighting fixture

               Recessed lighting fixture

Recessed light fixtures which are sometimes called CAN LIGHT, often have covers that look like housing that extends into the attic. This is normally done to provide the fixture with attic insulation, though on der design, the insulation must be held back to at least 3inches to avoid making the fixture becoming too hot.

Overheating can make the fixture to shut off automatically, or it may lead to the flickering of the bulb or early burnout. If a recessed light is overheated it can potentially result to a fire outbreak in the house. Note if your fixture is not rated with IC it should never be covered with insulating material.

You can construct a box (chase) around the fixture housing to allow for the appropriate space around the fixture. Or, better install a new IC-rated fixture that will tolerate contact with insulation.


9. Wrong Type of Dimmer Switch

If you observe that a light bulb used in a particular fixture which is control by a dimmer switch burns out very quickly, there possibility of it being that you are using a wrong and not compatible dimmer for the light fixture is fat.

Older dimmer switches were designed to be used with standard incandescent bulbs only, and if you use CFL or LED bulbs in such light fixture instead, the standard dimmer may cause the circuitry of the bottom of the bulb to be damage and quickly burn out before it lifespan elapse.

Fortunately, there are dimmer switches designed which are compatible with CFL or LED light bulbs, and replacing the old dimmer generally solves the new ones to solve the problem.

Where you enlighten about something, or do you now better understand why your light bulb goes bad unnecessarily? Leave a comment below and also tell us the challenge you are facing in your home with lighting. Let see how we can better help you solve them. Don’t fail to also share with us what you enjoy most about your lighting system.


13 thoughts on “Light bulbs: what causes light bulb to burn out very quick?

Leave a Reply

Enable Notifications    OK No thanks