Trouble Shooting the Simple Light Bulb

Talking about bulbs in the other post made me think of this and thought we have fun with this.


**Light bulbs Burn Out Too Quickly **

a) Check the line voltage for excessive voltage. Call your power company if you determine for sure that your line voltage is excessive. Use longer life or 130 volt bulbs if the power company cannot or will not correct excessive line voltage.

b) Check for excessive expectations. If you have 12 750-hour bulbs each operated 6 hours a day, it is normal to burn out three of them a month.

c) Light bulbs are junk such as “dollar store” bulbs. Get ones made by one of the “Big Three” lamp makers.

Light bulbs in Recessed Ceiling Fixture Burn Out Too Quickly:

Check that the bulbs are of a type and wattage recommended by the fixture manufacturer. Heat builds up in these fixtures.

Light bulbs in Small Enclosed Fixture Burn Out Too Quickly:

a) Check that you are not exceeding the maximum wattage recommended by the fixture manufacturer. Many fixtures are rated only for bulbs 60 watts or less.

b) Off-brand bulbs, especially dollar store bulbs, may not be up to the job.

Light bulbs in Ceiling Fixtures and Desk Lamps Burn Out Too Quickly:

a) Many of these fixtures are rated to use bulbs no more than 60 watts.

b) Off-brand bulbs such as dollar store bulbs may not be up to the job.

Light bulbs Burn Out Prematurely and Have a White Smoky Appearance:

This means the bulb cracked and air got in and oxidized the filament.

a) This usually means the bulb was an off-brand piece of junk.

b) Water dripped on a hot bulb.

c) The bulb overheated by being the wrong kind/wattage for the fixture.

d) Something hits the bulbs and breaks them.

e) Bulbs heat up and then cold drafts hit the bulbs (unlikely)

f) Condensation on a bulb causes thermal stress when dry parts of the bulb get hot (not especially likely).

Light bulbs Break During Use:

a) See just above.

Long-life Bulbs Don’t Last as Long as Expected:

a) Bulb is a junkier off-brand one. Use long-life versions of “Big Three” bulbs, use traffic light bulbs especially if made by the “Big Three”, or use ones made in Poland (available in some hardware stores).

Light bulbs Sometimes Get Dim and/or Flicker and then Go Out:

a) Check for corroded contacts on the bulbs or in the socket.

b) Check for poor fit or mashed-down socket contact. You may be able to pry up the center contact in the socket (with power off!). Do not over tighten the bulbs.

c) Check for poor contact or wires screwed down too loosely in the fixture or in the house wiring, especially if changing the bulb does not change the behavior much.

d) Replace the socket or the fixture if necessary.

NOTE - Flickering with dimming must be fixed or avoided. There could be major heat production at the site of resistance due to poor contact. This is a possible fire hazard.

Light bulbs Sometimes Bet Brighter When Something Else is Turned On and also Burn Out at an Excessive Rate:

a) This usually means that you have a broken or poor neutral connection, usually in the main panel, or sometimes in a sub-panel if you have any sub-panels. Be sure that screws holding down wires in your fuse boxes / breaker boxes / panels are adequately tight. If you are not up to this fix or it fails to correct this situation, call an electrician. This is a dangerous condition that must be fixed urgently.

Light bulbs Break or Pop Off Their Bases when they Burn Out:

a) Some off-brand bulbs and a few production runs of “Big Three” bulbs have been known to lack internal fuse wires. The current surge due to a “burnout arc” reaches hundreds of amps and makes the wiring in the bulb explode.

Light bulbs Damage Dimmers or Electronic Switching Devices when they Burn Out:

a) This usually means marginal quality dimmer or switch that cannot withstand the current surge drawn by a burnout arc. Get a sturdier dimmer or switching device.

b) The light bulbs lack internal fuse wires - change brand.

c) For adventurous hacking homebrewers, replace the triac or (or SCR, less likely) in the dimmer circuit with one having much higher current capability and trigger current no higher than that of the original. Use a triac or SCR with slightly higher trigger current requirement at your own risk, although this usually works.

Light bulbs Burn Out Too Quickly Only In Certain Rooms/Fixtures:

a) Check for wrong kind or over-wattage bulb in the fixture.

b) Check if you are putting junky off-brand light bulbs such as dollar store bulbs in the fixtures in question.

c) Check for vibration from slamming doors, people dancing nearby, children jumping or bouncing balls, etc. Vibration-resistant bulbs may be the solution.

Light bulbs Seem Dim:

a) Check line voltage - if necessary, shift loads or upgrade the wiring. Call an electrician if you need a wiring upgrade that you can’t do yourself. Call your utility if the problem is upstream from your electric meter.

b) Long-life bulbs are dimmer than standard-life, “Big Three” bulbs.

c) 130 volt bulbs are dimmer than 120 volt bulbs - typically by 22-25 percent, more if the life at 130 volts is longer than “standard”.

d) Light bulbs with vibration resistant or shock resistant or rough service filament design are normally less efficient than standard light bulbs.

e) Junky off-brand bulbs such as most dollar store bulbs are dimmer than “big three” light bulbs.

Marcel :slight_smile: :smiley:

I used to agree with the “junky off-brand” bulbs, but about a year ago my GE and Sylvania bulbs started burning out in days rather than months. Considering that they were fairly expensive to begin with, I switched to the junky off-brand bulbs sold by Wal-Mart. They cost half as much and, interestingly, don’t seem to burn out at all, much less every week.

They do not last as long as they used to.
I think most power utiities still offer a bulb program , which may be worth checking out.
With the way my weight has gone up I may just suck out the fat and use it to make candles.

What’s a bulb program?

Replace the bulbs with compact flourescents.

The big con job .
Telling people how much money they will save and we can get by with less generating stations .
(1) I heat my home with Hydro and light bulbs or Resistance heating same cost.
(2) they cost too much
(3) in the summer we use very little light so little saving .
(4) they have mercury in them are are hazardous waste.
(5) they are a fire hazard ,I tried them and three were removed smoking .
(6) they give too little light .
There are many more reason why they are not an improvement.

… Cookie


One person’s particular situation (electric heat) and limited experience does not constitute a con job. I have been replacing burnt incandescents for about 2-3 years now and am very pleased. I joke with people that I may die with some of my cheap (On sale- bought at C’tire for about $1.50 each) CFL’s still on the shelf since they seem to be working so well.

I have only had problems with the relfector types that are in the track lighting for my kitchen…they burnt out prematurely and were replaced by the manufacturer.

The residential compact flourescent field is still relatively young and does have some growing pains. Hell, we’ve had incandescents for 125-130 years and how much did they improve recently???

If you have any amount of wattage installed like I did in my kitchen (300 watts), these will add a small parasitic amount of cost to air conditioning if they are used much. Plus you are paying more for lighting than you have to…then may have to pay for some extra cooling. Remember, in nature, the saying is : “No such thing as a free meal”

**The Compact Fluorescent Conspiracy
Forward this and warn everyone you know.

The Compact Fluorescent Conspiracy

Ever wonder why governments all over the world are really getting rid of incandescent light bulbs? It’s not to save energy or protect the environment. It’s so the government can spy on you.

All new fluorescent light bulbs have microchips, microphones and even microcameras implanted inside them. These devices record audio and/or video whenever a key word is spoken during a conversation or whenever a large movement occurs in a room.

Using simple broadband over powerline and data compression technology, the recorded audio and video is transmitted over regular electric power lines to the nearest telephone switching station which has several ]( hubs dedicated to NSA surveillance.

With the idea of “saving energy” or “saving the environment” in mind, most people will never question the presence of a fluorescent light bulb. They will unwittingly install these NSA snooping devices inside their own homes and be spied on in every private activity imaginable from using the](, taking a shower, getting undressed or having sex.

The police state control grid is being fully extended into the privacy of a persons home and makes the telescreens of George Orwell’s “1984” look like primitive junk.

If you wish to avoid surveillance by the the government, keep buying and stockpiling incandescent light bulbs before they’re completely banned because when light bulbs are outlawed, only outlaws will have light bulbs.

Attribution**. cgbs2012; a member of**
The Compact Fluorescent Conspiracy**


Exactly ( you have any amount of wattage installed like I did in my kitchen (300 watts), these will add a small parasitic amount of cost to air conditioning if they are used much. Plus you are paying more for lighting than you have to…then may have to pay for some extra cooling. Remember, in nature, the saying is : "No such thing as a free meal)

Exactly how about opening the curtains and saving the cost of 300 watts of lighting and the added cost of cooling win two ways.
When we need cooling the use of lighting is minimal as the sun shines till late in the evening .
You say limited experience does not constant a con Job.
Glad you feel you have so much more experience.
Electric heat or Gas you still require less when you use regulate lamps .
CFLs do not fit many fixtures enclosed or open.
Cfls do not work well in a dimmer .
Cfls Life is shortened considerably in areas where the lights are turn on and off frequently.
CFLs give inferior light.
CFLs should not be used around machinery due to the strobe effect.
A little bit of Mercury is like a little bit Pregnant There ain’t no such thing.

Added please re read Michaels post above ,Thanks Michael !!!

Dark Suckers vs. Light bulbs

For years it was believed that light wes emitted from an electric bulb; recent information has proven otherwise - dark is sucked into the bulb - therefore, the bulb is a dark sucker.

There are many types and sizes of dark suckers. The largest manufacturers of dark suckers are General Electric and Sylvania. Some modern dark suckers utilize solid power to operate properly. Solid power units can be purchased from Eveready, Exide, and Duracell.
The dark sucker theory proves the existance of dark suckers as well as proving that dark is heaver than light. Some examples are as follows:
Electric bulbs: There is less dark near the electric bulb than at a distance of 100 feet when it is operating; therefore, it is sucking dark and can be classified as a dark sucker. The larger the dark sucker, the greater the distance it can suck dark. The larger the dark sucker the greater its capacity of dark. The dark sucking capabilities are evident when the dark sucker has reached its capacity and will no longer suck dark. At that point you may notice the dark area on the inside portion of the dark sucker. The larger the dark sucker, the larger the area of dark found within. This type of dark sucker can be made directional by placing a shield around a portion of the unit or behind it. This will prevent dark from entering the dark sucker from that side thereby extending the range of the dark sucker on the unprotected/unshielded side.
Candles - primitive dark suckers: There is more dark 30 feet from a lit candle then there is at a distance of 3 feet. Proof of it’s dark sucking capabilities is relatively simple. Examine a new unused candle, notice that the center core is not dark. Ignite the center core. Allow the center core to burn for about 5 minutes. Notice the lack of dark around the candle. Extinguish the candle flame. Notice that the center core of the candle is now dark. The center core is a dark sucker protected by a soft insulator to extend it’s life expectancy and maintain rigidity to verify that this primitive dark sucker is operating properly. Ignite the center core and allow it to burn for a minimum of 2 minutes. Pass a clean pencil over the top of the flame, left to right, approximately 3 inches above the center core. Notice that there is no dark on the pencil. Pass the pencil over the center core now about 1/2 inch. Notice that the pencil now has a dark area. The pencil blocked the path of the dark being sucked to the core of the dark sucker. This type dark sucker is very primitive and does not suck dark any great distance nor does it have a large capacity.
Dark sucker solid power units may be purchased locally at a variety of outlets. Size does not determine the life expectancy of the dark sucker solid power unit. These solid power units work with many modern dark suckers, and absorb dark from the dark sucker. The absorbed dark is converted to solid power within the unit.
An example of the conversion of dark into solid power in the automobile of today. Notice an auto in use during dark hours. Two (possibly four) large dark suckers are located on the front. On the rear there are two (or 3) smaller dark suckers with red filters. You may also notice several dark suckers with yellow filters. These filters are required to remove a percentage of red and yellow from total dark so as to energize the solid power unit. The solid power unit permits the auto to be utilized during hours of no dark by the dark it has absorbed. The number of dark suckers varies with the age of the automobile. Newer automobile solid power units require a greater percentage of red filtered dark. Older units generally require more non-filtered dark. The solid power unit of the automobile has a dark interior. This can be proved by cutting the solid power unit in half.
Dark is heavier than light. Dark always settles to the bottom of a lake and/or river. Submerge just below the surface of a lake and you will notice an absence of dark. Lower yourself to 15 feet below the surface and you will notice a degree of darkness even on a sunny, bright day. Lower yourself to 50 feet (or more) below the surface and you are in total dark. Ergo, the dark has settled to the bottom; therefore, dark is heavier than light. Modern technology has allowed us to utilize the dark that has settled to the bottom of large rivers through the creation of turbines which push the dark downriver to the ocean, which has a larger holding capacity for dark and is a common safe storage location. As the dark is passed through the turbine, a percentage of solid power is removed and transmitted to various short term storage plants for many usages. Prior to turbines, it was much more difficult to move the dark from rivers to storage areas such as deep lakes or the ocean. The Indians would paddle their canoes very little and not very deeply if they were going in the direction of flow of dark so as not to slow it down. However, if they were traveling opposite the natural flow of dark, they would dig their paddles very deep and rapidly to assist the flow of dark to its ocean storage place.
Dark is faster than light. If you would open a drawer very slowly, you will notice that the light goes into the drawer. (You can see this happen.) You cannot see the dark leave the drawer. Continue to open the drawer and light will continue to enter the drawer; however, you will not see any dark leave the drawer. Therefore, dark is faster than light. Go into a closet, close the door, and turn off the dark sucker. Have a friend open the door about 1 inch. Your friend will not see any dark leave the closet, nor will you. Have your friend open the door until half the closet is dark and half is light. Since 2 objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time, and you do not feel any change in pressure, by compressing the dark, it is logical to assume that dark is faster than light.

CFL’s are part of my GREEN inspection.

I have already changed them in my house.
Starting to get used to them. They are slow to brighten up.

Here is more information on them.

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.
Earning the Government’s ENERGY STAR

ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs:

  • ENERGY STAR qualified bulbs use about 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer.
  • Save about $30 or more in electricity costs over each bulb’s lifetime.
  • Produce about 75 percent less heat, so they’re safer to operate and can cut energy costs associated with home cooling.
  • Are available in different sizes and shapes to fit in almost any fixture, for indoors and outdoors.
    How to Choose and Where to Use CFLs:

ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs provide the greatest savings in fixtures that are on for a substantial amount of time each day. At a minimum, ENERGY STAR recommends installing qualified CFLs in fixtures that are used at least 15 minutes at a time or several hours per day. The best fixtures to use qualified CFLs in are usually found in the following areas of your home:

  • family and living rooms
  • kitchen
  • dining room
  • bedrooms
  • outdoors
    How to Choose the Right Light:

Matching the right CFL to the right kind of fixture helps ensure that it will perform properly and last a long time.
For example:

  • CFLs perform best in open fixtures that allow airflow, such as table and floor lamps, wall sconces, pendants, and outdoor fixtures.
  • For recessed fixtures, it is better to use a reflector CFL than a spiral CFL since the design of the reflector evenly distributes the light down to your task area.
  • If a light fixture is connected to a dimmer or three-way switch, you’ll need to use a special ENERGY STAR qualified CFL designed to work in these applications. Make sure to look for CFLs that specify use with dimmers or three-way fixtures.
  • Choose a qualified CFL that offers a shade of white light that works best for you. For example, while most CFLs provide warm or soft white light for your home, you could choose a cooler color for task lighting.
  • To choose the ENERGY STAR qualified CFL with the right amount of light, find a qualified CFL that is labeled as equivalent to the incandescent bulb you are replacing. Light bulb manufacturers include this information right on the product packaging to make it easy for consumers to choose the equivalent bulb. Common terms include “Soft White 60” or "60 Watt Replacement."
    You should also check the lumen rating to find the right CFL. The higher the lumen rating, the greater the light output. Consult the following chart to determine what CFL wattage is best to replace your incandescent light bulb:

CFL Disposal — Closing the loop:

CFLs contain a small amount of mercury and should be disposed of properly, ideally recycled. More information regarding mercury in CFLs, including proper disposal options and what to do if a bulb breaks, can be found in this fact sheet.

Broken CFL?

If a CFL should break in your home, EPA provides clean-up guidelines that can be performed by the general public.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

What’s left? :margarit:

Except in some of my display cases where the light bulbs are too small for CFLs, I replaced all the incandescents with CFLs in my home in April 2005, when I had seven employees in and out of my home office all day. This past October, I compared two year’s worth of SDG&E bills and was able to determine that the CFL’s had reduced my electricity bill by about 22%. That led me to other energy savings stuff and le me to development of my GREEN inspection (energy analysis). As the cost of gas continues to go higher and higher, I continue to get more and more requests for energy analysis consulting.

Closets. bathrooms. storage, garage. Short use cycles.:smiley:

Yea, they forgot basements and washrooms too, I guess they don’t have basements. ha. ha.

Marcel :slight_smile: :wink:

If you want to talk,just turn off the lights.

Saturday Jan 5th /08 Globe and Mail

Shedding some light on CFL bulbs

January 5, 2008

Energy-efficient light bulbs will negatively affect the colour of your walls, your art, your fabrics and your complexion.
They will, however, save energy and money.
What a dilemma!
Light is not just a question of volume - brightness and dimness.
It has content - i.e. colour. Daylight has all the colours in the spectrum represented in equal amounts.
It looks good and feels good because it is a balanced diet of perfect colour. Artificial light, on the other hand, is usually wonky - fluorescents have more green than daylight, while LEDs have more blue and incandescents more yellow.
Full-spectrum lights, often used in spa settings, mimic the content of daylight but can seem a little unnatural in the evening when you want to relax and get cozy.
The problem is that the colour of the light affects the colour of an object. And we can see the resulting combination.
This is why those trousers that looked black when you left home look navy when you get to the office. It is called metamorism.
Most of us have happily gone about building the colour palettes in our homes using natural light augmented by incandescent or halogen lighting. The bit of extra yellow is not really a problem.
This light suits our decor but it also suits our psyche; we are biologically disposed to find the light cast by the glow of an incandescent light bulb’s heated filament “right.”
It mimics sunlight and firelight, getting cooler as it gets brighter and warmer as it dims. And we have lived quite happily this way for 100 years, with no one even trying to improve on the reality that more than 90 per cent of the energy used by the bulbs becomes heat, not light.
Enter the CFL (compact fluorescent lamp).
Everyone fixates on the fact that it is almost 10 times as energy-efficient. Because of this, we are supposed to forget that many fluorescents have a flicker issue that negatively affects some people.
They have a start-up time lag so they are not good to use over your stairs if you are always in a rush.
Most can’t be used outside when it is really cold. Unless you buy a special “three-way” CFL, they can’t be dimmed.
All contain small amounts of mercury (be very careful if you break one!) so they cannot be thrown out.
And, except for Ikea, most stores are happy to sell them but will not take them back for recycling.
But worst of all is their light content.
They give off a diffuse light, more like a cloudy day than a sunny one, which is depressing. (And if you have the misfortune to spend your days under large swaths of fluorescent lighting, be sure to get away from it on your lunch break. It makes us tired and depressed.
To cope with fluorescent light, our endocrine glands pump out cortisol, a stress hormone.
When it is exhausted, we are more susceptible to colds and illness.)
Even the “soft white” CFLs do not give off the same warm tones and crisp light we are used to.
They make existing colours look wrong.
Fluorescent lighting is efficient but not sociable. In my experience, it is hard to choose colours that look equally good with fluorescent light and daylight. Incandescents present no such problem.
The solution is not skipping CFLs and heading out to get LEDs (light emitting diodes), which are 50 times more energy-efficient and last “forever.” They, too, have their problems.
The white light is bluish and the intense pinpoint beam is not diffuse enough for most residential situations.
Even as Christmas tree lights, they don’t sparkle but merely sit like sullen bullets of colour.
An LED pot light would be about as pleasant as the beam of a Mercedes-Benz headlight burrowing into your eye.
Their long life and energy efficiency makes them wonderful for architectural lighting, light effects, dashboards, small appliances and under-cabinet lights. And some of the possibilities are exciting: as in organic LED lighting in flexible sheets that can be used as luminous wallpaper.
I know I am being irresponsible by sticking to my incandescents until someone solves the colour issues of energy-efficient bulbs, but I am willing to compromise.
I will use CFLs in utility areas. And my New Year’s resolution is to dim or turn off my inefficient lights whenever possible.
That will more than quadruple their efficiency.
Others may be more stoic and try to get used to the unnatural light of CFLs. But since it took two billion years for us to get used to a warmer and varied light, I’m not optimistic.
Janice Lindsay, interior colour and design consultant, is writing The Idea of Colour for McClelland & Stewart. 416-961-6281.

Here’s a cost saving tip. If you use a 300watt pool light, save some money and use a standard 100watt long life or even standard life. Not a big difference in brightness in the pool and you save energy and initial cost.

Our 100 watt pool light is 2 years old and my son has a habit of turning on the pool light when he goes outside to smoke. Now if I can only get him to stop smoking!

I have my pool lights on a dimmer

**Warning: Vacate room when CFL bulb breaks
Energy-saving devices called so dangerous everyone must leave for at least 15 minutes
Posted: January 6, 2008
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2008

Thomas Edison, inventor of mercury-free light bulbThomas Edison must be rolling over in his grave.
Less than a month after the U.S. Congress passed an energy bill banning the incandescent light bulb by 2014, the UK Environment Agency issued guidelines calling for evacuation of any room where an [FONT=‘Times New Roman’, Georgia, Serif]energy[/FONT]]( compact fluorescent light bulb is broken, releasing toxic mercury.
The warning comes a month before the British government begins its phase-out of tungsten bulbs, scheduled to be completed in 2011. The switchover to CFL bulbs will save at least five million tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year, the government said.
Health experts warned this week that people with certain skin ailments will suffer from the new eco-friendly bulbs which cause conditions such as eczema to flare up. Additionally, the bulbs have been linked to migraine headaches in some people.
The Environment Agency’s latest advice focuses on the 6 to 8 milligrams of toxic [FONT=‘Times New Roman’, Georgia, Serif]mercury[/FONT]]( in each bulb. Users who break a bulb should vacate the room for at least 15 minutes, the new guidelines say. The debris should not be removed with a vacuum cleaner, which could put toxic dust into the air, but with rubber gloves. The broken glass and all residue is to be placed into a sealed plastic bag and taken to a local official [FONT=‘Times New Roman’, Georgia, Serif]recycling[/FONT]]( site for proper disposal.
Because these light bulbs contain small amounts of mercury, they could cause a problem if disposed of in a normal bin," environmental scientist Dr David Spurgeon told the London Daily Mail.

“It is possible that the mercury could be released into the air or from land-fill when they are released into the wider environment. That is a concern, because mercury is a well-known toxic substance.”
The Environmental Agency noted that neither warnings about the bulbs’ toxicity nor directions for proper disposal is printed on any packaging.
Such warnings aren’t necessary, said one toxicologist who said a number of bulbs would have to be smashed simultaneously before there was a danger.
“Mercury accumulates in the body – especially the brain,” Dr. David Ray, from the University of Nottingham, told the BBC. "The biggest danger is repeated exposure – a one off exposure is not as potentially dangerous compared to working in a light bulb factory.
“If you smash one bulb then that is not too much of a hazard. However, if you broke five bulbs in a small unventilated room then you might be in short term danger.” The most-immediate hazard from the CFL bulbs may be to Brits’ pocketbooks. It costs about $1,300 to properly dispose of one municipal recycling bin full of bulbs – a figure that is sure to increase residents’ tax bills.