I have a two-story family room, with two indoor flood lights in the ceiling,
so it's a pain in the butt to replace them, bringing in my extension ladder.
I'm using the kind of bulb that the previous owner had, a 120V 65W indoor
flood light bulb, which has a several inch diameter almost flat top. The
bulb housing has a spherical cover with an opening for the bulb so that the
bulb top completes the sphere. The housing can be rotated for directional
For one of the two lights, I've noticed that a replacement bulb keeps
burning out within a couple of days of replacing. I just replaced the other
one for the first time after we've been here 21 months, and it was there
Any advice on how to resolve the one light fixture with a new bulb burning
out within a couple of days would be appreciated.
Several possibilities and my suggested fix --
First, the fix (probably) -- buy 130V bulbs from a good-quality
supplier, not the cheapest Chinese import you can find. The higher
rated filament will last _much_ longer.
Now the questions/possibilities --
Are the replacements you're using the "low-priced spread"? See above...
Is there a vibration source near the one and not the other light? Like
the kids' playroom above or something?
Is there a difference in venting or insulation or airflow obstruction
near the second and not the first causing high(er) temperatures?
Check for loose connections of the fixture to the house wiring at the
fixture and that the bulb base is clean and the socket base tab is
making good contact w/ the bulb base.
Same switch controls both I presume? If not, check the switch
connections on the second for similar issues as above.
Don't know, but if the cause is no contact with the housing causing an arc,
this won't help.
The family room ceiling is an "A-shape, with a small level strip at the top.
Each fixture is on each side of the "A", near the top. The bulb that burns
out is under the master bedroom. The other fixture is on the rear side of
the "A", which has it's own roof above. Because it is an "A" shape, there
is a gap between the family room ceiling and the master bedroom floor.
I will. I haven't yet, but my other post references a web site that
suggests this is the problem, not the bulb - socket base tab is pushed down
from a previous bulb over-tightening.
Yes, one push button with dimmer controls both bulbs.
I just surfed for an answer and found a site that indicates that a
previously over-tightened bulb pushed a brass tab at the base of the housing
down, so subsequent bulb installs don't make contact, causing an arc, which
burns out the new bulb. It instructs to shut off the breaker, use
needlenose pliers to pull the base tab up about 1/4 inch, turn on the power,
install a new bulb, and only apply 1/8 turn after it comes on.
That's one of the possible causes I discussed.
I don't worry about precise dimensions or turns, simply make sure the
base connection isn't mashed flat and has some spring left in it after
you pull it up and is clean.
I simply tighten a bulb until it's firmly seated, but not excessively
tight. It ain't rocket science.
I'll comment on the other response to Don here as well for _my_ :)
convenience...that the new bulb failed doesn't really mean there wasn't
one or more defective bulbs in the package(s). Infant mortality is a
manufacturing issue and while the "Big 3" are still better at their QC
and overall quality than the knock-off Chinese imports, I don't think
they're up to what they used to be either simply because of those price
pressures have forced them to economize, too.
The neutral problem w/ dimminng/brightening Don mentions is the point of
the connection(s) checking -- if it's happening, it's unlikely you
haven't noticed it if you use the room when the lights make a
difference. If it does happen and only on the one fixture, that
isolates it to the fixture itself as the location of the problem.
I still recommend 130V lamps in _any_ location that has difficult access
simply because they will last longer owing to the heavier filaments.
First, I would try a different brand of bulb, especially if you are not
using a "Big 3" one (GE, Philips or Sylvania).
See if you can find the original bulb (that lasted 21-plus months) or
remember what brand and model it was.
Second, see if the problematic fixture is being shaken by children
jumping or bouncing basketballs or dropping heavy objects upstairs.
Third, if the fixtures are on different circuits, see if the problematic
one has excessive voltage or is prone to unusual variations in brightness
or is fed by a subpanel. Lightbulb blowouts are a common symptom of
an neutral in a line feeding a panel, which can cause some circuits in
your house to get overvoltage while others get undervoltage. This is not
a common problem, but it is serious and if you actually have that it needs
to be fixed urgently.
Fourth, see if water is somehow getting into the fixture and dripping
onto the bulb.
- Don Klipstein ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
I'm assuming you are testing these "bad" bulbs in a known good socket after
removing them from the recessed fixture. If it is a depressed tongue or
other bad contact issue, the lamps will still be good. One problem I've
found very often in recessed fixtures, especially Lightolier brand, is the
wires are attached to the socket by rivets and sometimes from heat, the
rivets loosen up and the connection randomly makes and breaks
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