I have an outside pole lamp. The bulbs have been blowing out every 4
weeks or less. Instead of merely burning out, 2 have actually had the
globe shattered and the rest have a black sooty spot at the top. Any
ideas as to what it is and/or how I stop it?
There is a leak in the fixture and the lamps are getting wet while they are
hot. When that happens, they often shatter. Try sealing the fixture, or
replacing the lamps with CF type lamps, or replacing the fixture
Was using 100 and have since I got it three years ago. The blowing out
is more recent, starting in December or so. I don't recall what it is
rated for anymore (and the markings seem to have gone away over the
years) but I have been using 100s all along. I did do a 60 this time to
see if it makes any difference.
Once you fix the water leaking in, try reducing your wattage to 60 or even
40. In the dark of night that is generally plenty of light to see and per
our local police neighborhood watch coordinator is plenty of light to be a
crime deterrent, and will save your plenty on your electric bill too -
particularly if you have other lights with 100's in them that you can reduce
We got better use from bulbs when we switched to 40W appliance bulbs in
lights. The system is old, and we get lots of surges and outages, but
lower wattage bulbs
helped a lot. We also got better use from "hard use" or something like
that - don't recall
what the brand was.
Just a regular outside light that takes a regular incandescent bulb.
Like you see in front yards. I don't see any obvious signs of water
(nothing running down the sides of the glass that contains the bulbs, no
obvious signs of rust, etc, but the bulbs do fail at pretty much the
same spot every time/
There are Teflon coated lamps available which are less prone to shattering.
You might want to give one of those a try. I think they have them at Home
Depot, but they call them rough service bulbs. You will see that they have
a plastic coating over them. If not Home Depot try an electric supply
Rough service lamps come with and without the Teflon coating. I think the
ones with it are called shatter resistant or some such thing. I would first
try a CF lamp as they don't get as hot so may be less likely to shatter
Nobody suggested it, so I will- turn off the breaker, and take the
fixture apart (including any screw connections or accessible wire nuts),
clean it all, and put it back together. I suspect the contacts in the
socket are gunked up, and it is arcing at turn-on. Maybe, just for
laughs, while it is apart, replace the socket- they are cheap. Most
builder-grade pole lamps I have seen are pretty much junk to start with.
Is this thing switch-only, or does it also have an auto sensor? If those
get full of dead bugs, they can start doing flakey things.
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