Incandescent garage bulb turns off immediately after being turned on

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I have a light fixture in my garage, and when I put a normal incandescent light bulb in it, I cannot reliable turn the light on. That is, when I flick the switch to "on", I can see the bulb turn on for a fraction of a second and then turn off, and stay off. If I repeat this process a few times, the light will eventually stay on for a few seconds, but then turn off again.
The fixture does not have a light sensor in it, and it was working reliably for years until recently. Can anyone give me a clue as to what's going on?
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Could be a bad switch, possibly a bad lamp socket
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In

IMO switch or wires to the switch; unlikely switch vibratons could affect the light fixture, which is apparently what's happening.
HTH,
Twayne`
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Is there anyone, anywhere still using incandescents? Try a cfl and let us know if the problem is still happening.
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On Sun, 05 Sep 2010 19:37:02 -0400, h wrote:

Can you use CFLs in your oven and freezer?
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Umm, your oven and freezer have lights? Weird.
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Why wouldn't they? Makes it easier to see what is going on in the oven and what you have in the freezer. My top freezer does not have one, but the side by side and the regular freezer have lights.
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Not Wierd at all. Both my stove/oven and my freezer have light bulbs in them that go on and off when the doors are opened and closed. It really does help to see what you are doing in both places.
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On 9/5/2010 8:55 PM, h wrote:

I don't think I've ever had an oven without a light. My current one is controlled by a switch up with the other controls. My current refrigerator only has one light on the fridge part, none in the freezer but my previous side by side one had lights on both sides. I've also never had a clothes dryer without a light, although I have seen a few that didn't have them.
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Oven lights are not that uncommon. 40 watt appliance and "home oven" incandescents are rated to go in those. There are even also 100 watt "commercial oven" incandescents, maybe a few other wattages. My family has even had a few ovens that use those. I have also seen at least one illuminated electric convection oven, and the bulb there appears to me to be subject to some of the heat.
I have not seen many illuminated freezers, but most refrigerators have interior lights. Have you seen how much light is produced by a 35 or 40 degree F CFL that needs to be seen by before it warms up? And what is the economy of more-energy-efficient bulbs with higher upfront cost and/or starting-related wear if they are used only minutes per day?
CFLs also usually don't do well in motion sensor outdoor lights, due mostly to short on-time.
--
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)

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I have no CFLs in my house and it'll stay that way as long as possible.

Yes (though with this one it's an LED), and yes (incandescent). Not weird at all.
How do you know the light in your 'fridge go out when you close the door?
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Because it turns-off just before the door closes!
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On 9/5/2010 7:28 PM, Gary H wrote:

The heat from the oven would roast the electronics of the CFL. In a refrigerator or walk-in cooler, the cold temps keep the light dim at the start because it must warm up for full brightness. The CFL lamps that work best in cold weather are the cold cathode bulbs that use the same technology as the lights behind most LCD computer and TV monitors.
http://www.expresslightbulbs.com/compact-fluorescent-bulbs-cfl-cold-cathode-c-31_196.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/33k65yg
TDD
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Cold cathode CFLs don't get around temperature restrictions on achieving a mercury vapor concentration that is between insufficient and excessive. Most of those also have electronics that must not be overheated. And it is the mercury vapor concentration that causes a CFL to be dim when the temperature is wrong.
What "cold cathode" is good for:
1: Longer life, especially at lower wattages where hot cathodes are smaller and have accordingly shorter life.
2: Lack of starting related wear. Hot cathodes have to be in a specific temperature range to work properly, while cold cathodes do not. Cold cathode CFLs can even be blinked, and are often used in chasing marquee lights in Las Vegas. Most cold cathode CFLs are also dimmable, since one of the obstacles to dimming of hot cathode CFLs is cathode insufficiently hot during dimming. (Another dimming obstacle is what kind of electric load the CFL is, according to the nature of the ballast in the CFL.)
The downside of cold cathode: The cold cathode has higher losses than the hot cathode, so a cold cathode CFL is not as efficient as a hot cathode one, even for the same wattage (especially 7 watts or more). However, cold cathode CFLs are still around 2.5-3 times as efficient as better incandescents of the same light output. An 8 watt cold cathode CFL is likely to match the light output of a 25 watt incandescent.
Cold cathode CFLs make good "bright nightlights". However, beware that they will fade, and may produce about or somewhat over half as much light after 25,000 operating hours as they do when they are new. Cathode technology does not stop the phosphor from deteriorating.
--
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)

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The problem started some time after I switched to a CFL bulb. I thought maybe the bulb just didn't like the garage environment. So I tried two incandescent bulbs, and they also exhibited the problem.
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Many are still using incandescents. Some don't like the slightly different color rendering of CFLs, some don't like the light pattern with some fixtures, some don't like the need of many CFLs to warm up, some don't like the mercury, some had bad experiences, some are penny-smart pound-foolish with the upfront price, and some would go against gubmint and do-gooders telling them what kind of lightbulbs to use.
Personally, I use CFLs and I am happy with them.
Meanwhile, my experience with this symptom tells me that the problem is a switch going bad, which changing to a CFL will not fix.
--
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)

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Agreed, also a loose connection somewhere.
Switch is easier to check but I had a bad lamp socket that gave intermittent function, dining room over the table fixture...... a real job to change out based on the fixture design.
cheers Bob
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Timur Tabi wrote:

1. At the risk of insulting you, have you tried a different bulb with similar results? If not, you know what to try next.
2. See if the center contact inside the socket is mashed flat so it can't make firm contact with the tip of the bulb base. If so, Turn off power and pry that center contact up with a L-bend on end on a piece of wire....straightened paperclip works well for that.
3. Does the bulb flick on if you give the socket a swat? If so, there may be a "loose disconnection" where the feed wires attach to the socket. Turn power off, drop the socket and see/fix.
4. The switch itself may be bad or one of the wires connected to it may be loose, particularly if it's a back stabbed connection. Solutions are to replace the switch or change to the screw connects.
Let us know what you find.
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
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Timur Tabi wrote:

1. At the risk of insulting you, have you tried a different bulb with similar results? If not, you know what to try next.
2. See if the center contact inside the socket is mashed flat so it can't make firm contact with the tip of the bulb base. If so, Turn off power and pry that center contact up with a L-bend on end on a piece of wire....straightened paperclip works well for that.
3. Does the bulb flick on if you give the socket a swat? If so, there may be a "loose disconnection" where the feed wires attach to the socket. Turn power off, drop the socket and see/fix.
4. The switch itself may be bad or one of the wires connected to it may be loose, particularly if it's a back stabbed connection. Solutions are to replace the switch or change to the screw connects.
Let us know what you find.
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
  Click to see the full signature.
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1. At the risk of insulting you, have you tried a different bulb with similar results? If not, you know what to try next.
2. See if the center contact inside the socket is mashed flat so it can't make firm contact with the tip of the bulb base. If so, Turn off power and pry that center contact up with a L-bend on end on a piece of wire....straightened paperclip works well for that.
3. Does the bulb flick on if you give the socket a swat? If so, there may be a "loose disconnection" where the feed wires attach to the socket. Turn power off, drop the socket and see/fix.
4. The switch itself may be bad or one of the wires connected to it may be loose, particularly if it's a back stabbed connection. Solutions are to replace the switch or change to the screw connects.
Let us know what you find.
Jeff
Jeffry Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE) The speed of light is 1.8*10e12 furlongs per fortnight.
Timur Tabi wrote:

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