Electrical Problem has me stumped .. .. ..

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I have a pair of post lights at the sides of my driveway area that burn thru an inordinate number of bulbs for no apparent reason. Sometimes they'll last several weeks or even months, sometimes only a few days. I've tried special bulbs for post lights, and most every standard and extreme duty bulb available .. .. no appreciable difference. They are simply 2 posts fed by a single piece of buried Romex and actuated by a light sensor. Components all seem to be OK and I even replaced both of the fixtures with new ones .. .. no help. Any ideas what else to look for ?? ?? ??
BOB
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You say post lights, so we're all assuming that the bulbs are sitting upright rather than upside down. Is that right? And are the fixtures ventilated?
In any case, you might also try a bulb (actually called a lamp)that has a heavy duty filament which will resist vibration and heat better than a regular bulb.
--
Doug Boulter

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The bulb might be too big for the fixture. It may be overheating because of poor ventilation in the fixture, that would shorten bulb life. If it was over voltage all other bulbs in your house would have same short life span. Try flourescent, they run cooler and usually run longer.
Stretch
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You could try fluorescent lamps, or if there is a high voltage situation you can get from an electrical supply, a lamp called a traffic signal lamp, which as the name implies, is made to last a long time in traffic signals

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Are pole and socket solid, wind and vibration can shake it and shorten bulb life
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<<<__ Bb __>>> writes:

A shrewd neighbor is swapping his old bulbs for your newer ones late at night. Probably the same one whose dog has been all over your lawn.
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Bad connection somewhere in the circuit. It's making intermittent contact, causing the lights to flicker. This in turn causes premature failure of the bulbs. Check *every* connection in the circuit, both hot and neutral conductors. Make sure they're good and tight, and *clean*. If you find any corrosion, clean it off with a wire brush, and coat the exposed ends of the wires with anti-oxidant compound (for example, OxGard, in the electrical department at any home center or hardware store) before reconnecting. Of course, kill the breaker first.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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Good point, do the posts move, swing, or get mechanically shocked by perhaps wind, vehicle/foot traffic, nearby doors slamming or whatever? Is anything subjecting them to any kind of vibration?
If so, check out those bulbs made for drop light use... they're great!
Good Luck!
Erik
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On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 20:44:26 -0400, "<<<__ Bb __>>>"

I'd go with a low wattage bulb. I've seen well ventilated low wattage standard bulbs last over 10 years.
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agreed its a vibration problem
Mark
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Unless the posts are getting jarred(I think wind would be too gentle to take out extreme duty bulbs) I'm for the neighbor switching bulbs on you. In fact I never would of thought of that but I have a lifelong friend as a neighbor and practical jokes are an ongoing thing. That's my next one. I love it. To disprove it, put a mark on the bulbs in there now. Next time it burns out, look for the mark. My second thought is, are you verifying the bulbs are actually bad by putting them in an indoor lamp that works fine? You don't want to be throwing away good bulbs. I would think if it was high voltage, you'd see problems with other bulbs. Another thing you can do is buy one of those screw in sockets that have an electrical receptacle in it and next time the bulb doesn't work, check the receptacle with a meter to see if power is actually there. Under ground wiring is probably ok or you would see your breaker trip or fuse blow especially after a rain. Keep us filled in. I REALLY LIKE THE SWAP THE LIGHTBULB TRICK.

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Doug, Anti-oxidant is for use with aluminum wire. Nothing more.
wrote:

the
the
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Doug B.,
He already stated he's tried these. Duh!
wrote on 11 Apr 2005:

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Stretch, Contrary to popular belief, lamps running hot do NOT cause premature failure by any significant amount.

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Michelle,
"..Moisture and corrosion" would result in a lower voltage being delivered to the lamps, therefore LONGER life, not shorter.

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"<<<__ Bb __>>>" wrote:

Normally we look for vibration, heat and over voltage. In this case I will add one more, defective light sensor.
A defective light sensor goes along with the same lines as those who suggest an intermittent connection. You might try replacing it. If they each have their own sensor, then that would almost rule that issue out.
Over voltage could be the result of a floating neutral. Measuring the voltage when turning on and off various loads in your home, could ID this problem. This problem could be a serious safety and possible fire issue.
You don't have aluminum wiring do you?
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia\'s Muire duit
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Bob, Look for moisture and corrosion in the sockets. Michelle
<<<__ Bb __>>> wrote:

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Gee, that's odd. You'd think the manufacturers of OxGard would have thought to mention that somewhere on the packaging... All it says is "for wire connections and aluminum conduit joints".

-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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Not necessarily. Moisture and corrosion, depending on exactly where they occur, could also produce intermittent low-current line-to-neutral shorts, which will cause the bulb to flicker and shorten its life.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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I'll try replacing the sensor as this problem occurs on both lights (one sensor controls both)
Nothing else upstream on that circuit is having any problems, so I kinda doubt the neutral problem, but I will check it just the same
No Aluminum wire (thank goodness)
            thanx .. .. ..
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