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Why Are My Light Bulbs Burning Out So Fast?


You can expect to change the standard incandescent light bulbs in your house every 2–3 years depending on how often they’re used. Most of these bulbs can burn for around 900 hours. LED light bulbs can last for much longer, sometimes only needing to be changed every 8–11 years. But no light bulb will last forever.

But what if the light bulbs in your house are burning out far sooner than they should? Such as maybe less than a year, or lasting only a few months. You might have problems with the bulbs, the fixtures, or even your home’s electrical system. We’ll go over some of the reasons for short-living light bulbs below and what you can do about them.

The wrong bulbs

One of the first things you should check on if you’re noticing bulbs burning out before their time is that you’re putting improper bulbs into the sockets. Check the socket for the wattage. And yes, a bulb with a larger wattage capacity than the socket is as bad as one that’s lower wattage, because it creates additional heat that will make the filaments wear down faster.

Excessive voltage in the house

If the problem with bulbs burning out rapidly is happening all around your house at many different types of fixtures, then you may have a supply voltage in your home that’s too high. We recommend calling for an electrician to measure the voltage in your house. If an electrician discovers that the voltage is more than 125 volts, then it’s too high. This isn’t just bad for your bulbs, it’s bad for appliances all around the house. You can ask your electrical pro for recommendations on what to do about this.

Problems with a recessed socket

Recessed light sockets are good choices for many homes, since they help save space and create a smooth and clean look to a room. But recessed sockets that extend into the attic can be in danger of overheating because of the insulation in the attic. When the socket overheats, it will often lead to a flickering light and an early light bulb burnout. This is a serious issue because an overheating recessed socket is a fire hazard. Call a professional electrician to examine the socket and find if it needs repairs or needs to be removed.

Shaking fixtures

This is a problem that occurs most often in the lights in ceiling fans. A ceiling fan needs to be installed securely in place, or else it will vibrate when it operates. This can damage the ceiling (even causing the fan to fall from place) but it can also shake the filament in the light bulb and cause it to fail early. The fixture will need to be repaired or replaced to solve this.

Along with lights burning out early, also watch out for tripped circuit breakers, which warns of wiring problems that are leading to short circuits.

You’ll need experienced and licensed electricians in Wayne, NJ to handle any jobs requiring work on wiring or light sockets. Amateur work creates a risk of a high voltage shock and electrical fires—only trust a professional electrician to solve problems.

Anderson Electric Corp. is your trusted electrician. Call us for electrical solutions of any kind.

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