home office light bulb issue

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I have a home office in my spare bedroom. My overhead light fixture, which just uses one 60W light bulb, blew on Monday. I replaced the light bulb a nd used it yesterday while working. Late last night, I went into my office and when I turned on the light, the new bulb blew. I left it until this m orning. It got me thinking on what could be causing two light bulbs to blo w with 48 hours. It's either the switch or the fixture.
I went out and bought a new wall switch (20A Leviton)and installed it, and replaced the blown lightbulb. It's working now, but for how long, I don't know.
Has anyone had any experience where a bad light switch would cause light bu lbs to blow only upon turn-on? Once the switch is turned on, it seems to w ork fine. I'm an electronic technician by trade, so I understand power concepts, but I haven't heard of a switch causing a spike above the normal AC voltage.
BTW, I checked the line voltage at the lightbulb and its 115 Vac.
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On Wednesday, July 10, 2013 9:29:54 AM UTC-7, rlz wrote:

ch just uses one 60W light bulb, blew on Monday. I replaced the light bulb and used it yesterday while working. Late last night, I went into my offi ce and when I turned on the light, the new bulb blew. I left it until this morning. It got me thinking on what could be causing two light bulbs to b low with 48 hours. It's either the switch or the fixture.

d replaced the blown lightbulb. It's working now, but for how long, I don' t know.

bulbs to blow only upon turn-on? Once the switch is turned on, it seems to work fine.

t I haven't heard of a switch causing a spike above the normal AC voltage.

It’s more likely that the problem with the light bulbs is lack of quality control in the manufacturing process. One my jobs is changing light bulbs and I have seen a wide variation in how long a light bulb lasts even though they come from the same package.
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I remember the day I blew two or three Phillips in a row (lamp over the work bench with grinder). Some other brand worked, fine. This was about 1988, so can't remember what was the other brand. Not that the QC is same, so many years later. . Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org . .
It’s more likely that the problem with the light bulbs is lack of quality control in the manufacturing process. One my jobs is changing light bulbs and I have seen a wide variation in how long a light bulb lasts even though they come from the same package.
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Coincidence.
That's my guess. I don't think it's that unusual for a brand new bulb to blow. It was tested at the factory (at least according to How It's Made on TV), but it's new, and it got shaken and moved around on it's way from the factory to your home.
I don't see how any defect in the switch could cause a bulb to blow. It's either going to pass current or not.
--
Dan Espen

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On 07/10/2013 12:38 PM, Dan Espen wrote:

Agreed, I think it was just bad luck with the replacement bulb. The light switch is simply a set of contacts. There's nothing in there that can cause anything other than maybe a little arcing, worst case, but a good quality light switch shouldn't arc significantly with only a 60W load.
An incandescent bulb failing on turn on is a fairly common failure mode. The resistance of the filament increases dramatically with temperature, meaning that the current drawn on a "cold start" is much higher than normal for a brief period until the filament warms up (which happens in a fraction of a second.)
nate
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+1 for the defective bulbs.
I've been in these DIY forums for a long time and it's common for people to buy a package of light bulbs and find that an unusually high number of them burn out in an unusually short period of time.
And, just like you, they presume the problem has to be in the house wiring somewhere.
--
nestork


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On 7/10/2013 2:19 PM, nestork wrote:

Hello, AC Service Company.
Uh yea, I'm Dillard Dumbass at 1402 Defected Lane and I'm having trouble with my air conditioner.
What seems to be the problem sir?
It's not cooling, I think it needs a new thermostat.........
TDD
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What a dufas. Not cooling means low on freon. . Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org . .
Hello, AC Service Company.
Uh yea, I'm Dillard Dumbass at 1402 Defected Lane and I'm having trouble
with my air conditioner.
What seems to be the problem sir?
It's not cooling, I think it needs a new thermostat.........
TDD
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On 7/10/2013 6:39 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

No Silly Stormy, "Dufas" is a proper surname, "doofus" is the idiot designation. o_O
TDD
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On 07/10/2013 08:16 PM, The Daring Dufas wrote:

"The Count of Monty Crisco by Alexandry Dumbass..."
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Sorry, I think I've made that misteak once befo. . Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org . .
On 7/10/2013 6:39 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

No Silly Stormy, "Dufas" is a proper surname, "doofus" is the idiot designation. o_O
TDD
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On Wed, 10 Jul 2013 19:39:44 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

Or a blown fuse, or a plugged up condenser, or a bad wire somewhere - - - -
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If you had my customer base, or TDD's customer base, you'd understand the signifigance. It's an in house joke. . Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org . .
wrote: > Not cooling means low on freon.

Or a blown fuse, or a plugged up condenser, or a bad wire somewhere -
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I also vote for just bad luck with a defective bulb.
I've never seen a switch cause failure and can't really picture how it would work.
High voltage could, maybe, but I've never run into that either.
What I have seen quite a bit is the center contact in the socket bent down too low. Then people end up screwing the lightbulb in too hard trying to make contact. That can damage the base of the bulb.
You may need to bend that contact out, gently, with the power off, and with a nonconductive tool like a popsickle stick. Then turn the power on, screw the lamp in until it lights, and go 1/8th turn more. Not 1/4, not 1/2. 1/8 is correct.
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On 7/11/2013 8:22 AM, TimR wrote:

The OP didn't write what type of light he has. A light switch that's arcing can blow a CFL but not necessarily an incandescent light. ^_^
TDD
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On 07/11/2013 09:22 AM, TimR wrote:

And if it is a seldom replaced bulb, put some nose grease on the threads. Srsly.
nate
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writes:

Also agree. No matter how good the quality control in the factory, a bulb can get a stress crack during shippling, handling or even sitting on a shelf. The crack will let air into the bulb and than the filament will burn out. Sometimes that happens quickly; or, it may take a while. You can tell an "air leaker" by looking at the burned-out bulb. It will look cloudy or smoky inside.
Tomsic
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The quality od incandescent bulbs available in North America has taken a very STEEP nose-dive over the last number of years. Even "brand name" bulbs are likely to be Chinese made - with the implied lack of quality control - and a good percentage of "brand name" bulbs (and other commodities) are counterfeit - which usually means even lower quality and less quality control.
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We could say that the quality really blows? . Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org . .
The quality od incandescent bulbs available in North America has taken a very STEEP nose-dive over the last number of years. Even "brand name" bulbs are likely to be Chinese made - with the implied lack of quality control - and a good percentage of "brand name" bulbs (and other commodities) are counterfeit - which usually means even lower quality and less quality control.
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On Wednesday, July 10, 2013 10:29:54 AM UTC-6, rlz wrote:

h just uses one 60W light bulb, blew on Monday. I replaced the light bulb a nd used it yesterday while working. Late last night, I went into my office and when I turned on the light, the new bulb blew. I left it until this mor ning. It got me thinking on what could be causing two light bulbs to blow w ith 48 hours. It's either the switch or the fixture. I went out and bought a new wall switch (20A Leviton)and installed it, and replaced the blown lig htbulb. It's working now, but for how long, I don't know. Has anyone had an y experience where a bad light switch would cause light bulbs to blow only upon turn-on? Once the switch is turned on, it seems to work fine. I'm an e lectronic technician by trade, so I understand power concepts, but I haven' t heard of a switch causing a spike above the normal AC voltage. BTW, I che cked the line voltage at the lightbulb and its 115 Vac.
Thanks everyone for the post. I'm suspecting the light bulbs as well, but the previous owner of this house did shoddy work in the wiring as far as I can tell. When I replaced the switch this morning, I found both ground wir es (live & load) physically attached to the grounding screw. So I disassem bled them, crimped them together while adding a pigtail to attach to the sw itch. I didn't think this was allowed having two ground wires on one groun ding screw.
I also went back and looked at the package of lightbulbs. I think they wer e a cheap brand to start off with.
Robin
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