Porch light keeps blowing bulb

Page 1 of 2  
About every 5th time (+/-) the light is turned on the bulb blows. Sometimes it can go a dozen times, sometimes just a couple times. There are other lights on the same circuit and they don't experience the same problem.
I'm going to get into it this weekend to check the line voltage and make sure all of the connections at the light and switch box are secure and insulated but I can't imagine a loose connection or even a short would blow a bulb (am I wrong on this?).
What else should I be looking for?
Thanks in advance!
-Dave
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Greedy corporations trying to sell more light bulbs is the answer. This never happened when I was a kid.
You can get a "rough service bulb". These are made to withstand vibrations. And being next to the door, when the door closes, this may be vibrating the bulb. Especially if you have kids running in/out.
Or might try compact fluorescent.
LED bulbs are quite expensive and not as bright, but will last forever.
"Dave" wrote in message

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yeah, I had considered the vibration possibility. No kids and no slamming of the door. Not that something else can't be causing vibration, but I doubt it's from the door.
I was more curious if it was possible there was some electrical anomaly causing this and if so, how I could find it.
I'm not opposed to CFL, and if my investigation turns up nothing I'll probably switch to CFL.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dave wrote:

Possibly water leaking into the fixture?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Would this cause a bulb to blow?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dave wrote:

Probably not right when turned on. A drip on a hot bulb will break it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

<EDIT FOR SPACE>

I have at a few times seen hot bulbs get cracked and last at least several hours afterwards. But when the bulb is alowed to cool, it sucks in air. The next time it is turned on, it burns out over a few seconds. The telltale symptom is a slightly greenish gray-white smoky coating on the inside surface of the bulb. This coating may be hardly visible in white frosted bulbs.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I had no kids and didnt slam doors either and my porch light was always blowing out too. It was due to vibration, but strangely, the rough service lamps didnt fare much better than the regular bulbs.
What fixed it for me was going to the high voltage 130V bulbs. Ace Hardware sells them. They have a beefier filament. After switching to them, I never lost another bulb in that fixture. They are less efficient though.
You could also try CFLs. If you live up north, you need to check the label and get one rated for -20 degrees.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

might be caused by bad socket that gets overheated because of poor connection and causes bulbs to burn out. I have had this happen..........
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Except for most white ones. Some keep 70% of their output for 50,000 hours if not overheated, some I have seen lose half their output in 4,000 hours. I am aware of ones only rated to last 10,000 hours even at "characterization current" and not overheated. I can cite one by a top manufacturer rated for 15,000 hours at charcterization current.
If you really want fade resistance without verifying what LED is in it and its honest life expectancy, get a bright green or blue LED light. The spectrum of those stimulates night vision well anyway.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Different brand of bulb. When I had my retail shop, Phillips bulbs would blow if they were vibrated (like my bench grinder). GE, I think it was, the bulbs would keep on lighting, while my bench grinder was running.
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Had same problin. Cured by adding a 5 amp diode in seris with the hot side of line voltage. Installed a 300 watt bulb. Diode dropped wattageto about 75 watts. That was 24 years ago, WW
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<EDIT FOR SPACE>

A 300 watt incandescent with a diode dims to brightness of about a 75 or 100 watt incandescent, but consumes about 175-180 watts. (Not 150 because the cooler filament has lower resistance.)
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Don Klipstein wrote:

Thank you. I will add that the same holds true for dimmer switches. They waste a hell of a lot of electric due to running lights at less than their rated wattage which makes them very inefficient.
Three way bulbs in table lamps save more $$ than any dimmer switch.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

An electrical appliance, motor, etc on the same circuit can cause a voltage variance. Have you tried other brands of light bulbs?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dave wrote:

Don't overlook the possibility that a loose neutral (read higher resistance than a "solid" connection) combined with current loads on the opposite side of the 230 volt service could be causing higher than normal voltage across that bulb. It's a long shot, but far from unheard of.
My own solution for increasing the life of incandescent bulbs is to install a solid state dimmer in a non accessable location and crank it slightly down from full on. I did that for all the 25 and 40 watt bathroom mirror surround lights in our home when we built it 23 years ago and its amazing how few times in all those years I've had to replace a bulb in those bathrooms. I willingly accept the slight lumen per watt inefficiency in return for the savings in bulb costs.
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<SNIP to here to edit for space>

If by bulb costs you mean only the price of the bulbs, I expect that your dimming is causing you to lose money unless the next lower available wattage is unacceptably dim and you have a cosmetic or light distribution problem with removing one bulb instead.
If you attribute value of time and effort expended to replace bulbs, then it gets reasonable to dim them a bit, maybe to extent of achieving average operating life around 3,000-5,000 hours. Use of 130V bulbs available from Lowes, with the same CC-6 or CC-8 filament used in "standard" incandescents 25 watts and up (more efficient with maybe less vibration resistance), has a fair chance of achieving this to extent that many desire.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Don Klipstein wrote:

Hi, When I had this house built in '94 all the bulbs were 130V commercial grade where ithey are needed. As fas as I remember none burnt out yet. Most are on dimmer.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dave wrote:

Hmmm, Over heating? What is the spec. of fixture?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dave wrote:

You should probably replace the bulb. Otherwise, it will probably continue to blow every 5th time you turn it on. ;)
Before I discard a bulb that looks good, I check it in another fixture. Fixtures and switches can have intermittent problems.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.