Without taking numbers (ie using a volt meter), then all
answers will be either speculation or solutions to the
symptoms. If your line voltage is high, then those failing
light bulbs would be symptoms of other (undesirable)
problems. If the voltage is not high, then recommendations
such as 130 volt bulbs would not be useful. No way around the
advantages of first learning those numbers.
Meanwhile, what was the voltage rating of those 55 watt
My house is ~10 year old. Bulbs installed by lighting contractor were
marked commercial duty, 120-130V. In 10 years only one bulb burnt out.
We have ~3000 sq. ft. 2 story with lots of bulbs. So find some bulbs
like this at your local supply house. Also check your in-house wiring.
Make sure everything is tight.
I have this exact problem in a recessed shower light.
The recessed fixtures should have a heat breaker installed on the
inside of the can. If there is not enough heat dissipation around the
fixture, the heat breaker will trip and prevent power from getting to
the light. This is an important safety feature. If you let the
fixture cool and cycle the switch the light will come back on it is is
not burned out yet.
The NEC specifies what kind of insulation fill you are allowed to have
on the outside of different types of recessed fixtures.
This is Turtle.
Light bulbs of to day are trash but you need to get 130 volt rated bulbs and not
the 120 volt or 115 volt rated bulbs. 130 volt rated bulbs can be bought but
mostly at auto parts houses or electric supply houses. these places call these
bulbs Ruff service bulbs and if you look at them and they are not rated for 130
volt service -- they are not ruff service bulbs.
Now off the shelf of stores if you see 130 volt rated light bulbs. They are ruff
service light bulbs and will last a long time. 130 volt rated bulbs should last
atleast 3 times what a 120 volt rated bulb will last.
now here is why bulbs are burned out so quick lately. the bulbs are rated to
operate at 120 volts and most supply voltage to houses now a days is from 122 to
124 volts. your running the bulbs on 124 volt service and they are only rated to
operate on 120 volts. Your just over volting the bulbs and wondering what is the
Never over volt a light bulb and ask why it burns out so fast !
Only you could say something like over volt and get away with it ;)
On another note, burned/corroded bases can also cause premature failure.
The little brass finger in the middle of the socket can be cleaned with
a flate blade screw driver (with the breaker *off* of course). Sorry for
borrowing your spelling of flate :)
The bottom line of the economics above is that given the cost of the
energy and bulb, use 120V bulbs. 130 volt bulbs are equivalent to long
life bulbs; they last longer but produce significantly less light. Long
life bulbs are worth using in locations where the bulb is hard to replace.
I seriously doubt that line voltage is 122-124 volts in significant
areas of the US.
The OPs 55 watt bulbs probably produce 55 watts worth of light, not 60
watts worth. (I havn't followed the whole thread; this may have been
I have used several different voltmeters in quite a few homes in the
Philadelphia area, and most were anywhere from 121 to 126 volts. I even
got a large number of readings over quite a period of time in a few of
these and voltage was a little higher than 120 most of the time.
Then again, with PECO rates, I would worry more about energy efficiency
of lightbulbs than about how long they last, even to a greater extent than
with electricity at USA average rate.
- Don Klipstein ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
In some locations, voltages approaching 130 volts have been
reported. A location where the primary wires were not
sufficient. Line voltage was increased causing some areas to
have high voltage during high consumption periods - so that
other areas farther downline had minimally sufficient
voltage. Eventually the utility rewired those primaries;
eliminating the voltage variations. Meantime, higher voltage
variations were observed.
The utility recently upped a 4K primary to 33K. This
eliminated voltage variations once observed in an adjacent
Don Klipstein wrote:
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