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I have a light bulb conundrum? Answered

 I have a house circuit of 3 sockets, one per bulb, the first socket has had more burnt bulbs than the rest of the circuit, as a matter of fact, 3 times as many!
is wattage the problem?



Best Answer 8 years ago

I've got a similar situation.  I have 6 recessed lights in the kitchen.  All 6 are on the same circuit.  All 6 are the same model intalled at the same time etc.  The insulation is pulled back away from each one approx the same.  One (don't know where it is in the circuit) burns out atleast twice as often as the others.  Even when I use cfl's.

1.  Have the electric co. check the grounding and power connections at the transformer.  My ground lug was loose and was causing spikes in one leg of my wiring.  That didn't fix it but might have made it better.

2.  Have that fixture replaced it might be bad or different than the others.  If it's recessed is the insulation packed too close or is it not venting.

3.  Put a better quality bulb in that fixture.  Maybe one of those 10 year bulbs.

4.  There is a piece that you used to be able to buy.  It was about the size of a quarter and had contacts top and bottom.  You put it in a light fixture and it made the light bulb last for a longer time.  It was a resistor or diode and cut the voltage to the light.  Made the light dimmer but made it last longer.

5.  Install a dimmer switch and bring the lights up to bright slower and that would make them all last a little longer since them hardest part of a light bulbs life is the first second when it is turned on each time.

P.S.  If you figure out what is causing it let me know so I can fix mine too!


8 years ago

 Thanks for the help!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i think these possibilities may have to do with the effects of the bulb issue,,,

> the lights are under a garage that is used constantly, so the vibrations could be causing the filament to be slowly vibrate apart,
> the Lights are on more than the rest of the house
>The heat from the computers could be warming the bulbs slightly,
( there are 3 computers,macs, and they are on constantly, and i also have a macintosh server that gets real hot, so i have installed high flow ventilation) 
>The HVAC system is on the other side of the wall, the Main air ducts are in the wall and go about 2 feet from lights.


8 years ago

 Several possibilities, the second bulb (middle of circuit) is closer to the circuit breaker. the wire runs 50-60 feet between the circuit breaker, the switch, and the first light.  there is a 8 foot wire between the first and second bulb, and a 8 foot wire between the 3rd and 2nd bulb. 

I did the math, 
    I had an average of 2.8573 : 1

    2.8573 is the average amount of bulbs replaced in the first socket, (the problem),  1 being for every replacement from the other sockets in the circuit.

 hope this will clear up the confusion,

I can see there being a case for the first one being replaced slightly more often the the others but not 2.8 to 1. 

Vibration, overvoltage, thermal shock, different environment (better- or worse-sealed bulb enclosure), different bulbs...

Which lamp is nearest the distribution panel, by wire length ? 



8 years ago

Could be a surge issue, if the bulb in the first socket is usually the first to be turned on, initially,  it may be getting hit with a slightly higher voltage than the successive bulbs, when turned on. Or, it simply may be that it gets used more often than the other bulbs on the circuit.

.  Higher wattage bulbs tend to run hotter and burn out faster.
.  Incandescent bulbs will burn out faster if installed base up.
.  You may have a wiring problem. Check the voltage at all three sockets.