I can't believe this.
I was working up in the loft in the shed when I bumped my trouble
light. As always, there was a bright flash and the bulb burned out.
They always burn out at the worst possible times. I was in total
black, and getting down from that loft is no easy task. After saying
a few 4 letter words I grabbed the light and was preparing to climb
down from the loft. All of a sudden the light flashed on for a
second, then off again. I shook the light and once again there was a
very bright flash. I knew for sure the bulb was dead after that......
Or so I thought.... Still holding the light, I shook it again, not
expecting it to re-light. Much to my amazement, it lit again. This
time it was normal brightness, but as soon as I moved it, it went
black again. This happened about 4 times, and then the light stayed
on. I hung the light from a nail and proceeded to do what I had been
doing, and waiting for another bright flash. I was almost done with
my tasks up there and just hoped that the bulb would last long enough.
I really suspected that as soon as I started to pound a nail with my
hammer, the vibration would destroy the bulb. I finished pounding in
about ten nails, and the light remained burning. I grabbed the light
and proceeded down the ladder. The bulb remained burning. I hung it
up next to my workbench and shut it off. I closely looked at the
bulb. I could see the scrape marks in the inside coating where the
filament had scraped off that coating. At least six very noticable
scrapes. I was sure that as soon as I turned the switch back on, the
bulb would burn out with a bright flash. I flipped the switch, and
the bulb worked as a normal bulb......
This all happened a week ago. I've used that trouble light with that
same bulb several times. I've moved it, banged it, and turned it on
and off many times. I can tell the filament is loose because whenever
I move the cord even the slightest, the movement of the filament is
visible. I have been carrying around a new bulb, but I dont plan to
install it until this bulb really does burn out. I simply can not
believe that a bulb that burned out with a bright flash TWICE, and
shows all the scratch marks on the glass from a dangling filament, is
still working and apparently healed itself. I have never seen
anything like this...
Better would be a low-voltage bulb. Line voltage filaments are long and
thin -- most have "coiled-coil" construction and that makes them act like
flabby springs. Low voltage (12 volt, say) are short and tough. The
automotive types that plug into a car's lighter socket are quite rugged.
Maybe we need a transformer model to use those on line voltage. But the
fluorescent trouble lights are fairly rugged too.
I know a cat has nine lives, but that bulb of yours is beating tabby by
That's the kind of thing which probably gave the inventor of those old
Xmas tree bulbs with the thermostat blinker switch built into them his
bright" idea. <G>
As has been said by another poster, there are better options for
trouble lights... low voltage models and even fluourescent models.
But, if you like the old fashioned ones with the incandescent bulb in
a metal cage, you might want to consider using what are called "Rough
Service lamps". These have thicker filaments and are less
susceptible to damage from vibration.
Happens a lot with automotive bulbs and is a good tip for those
occasions when a headlight bulb blows and a spare is not available.
Turn the lights on and give the fender or the lens a good tab.
Sometimes - not always - the filament will reweld itself and work
I haven't used an incandecent bulb in one of these for at least years.
Spring for a couple of compact fluorescent bulbs. It costs a lot more
when you break one, but it's MUCH harder to do. You also won't burn
yourself on the light or start nearly as many fires. You can also work
under a car with the light next to your ear without it ever causing you
to use foul language...
Actually I did start a fire on my engine once. I was using a gas
coated rag to wipe grease off my engine. Prior to this, I used
commercial engine cleaner and a putty knige to remove the heavy
I bumped the trouble light, it fell and the bulb cracked. igniting the
rag. I threw the rag onto the lawn. The fire on the engine went out
in a few seconds because I had not coaked the engine with gas, just
wiped it, but the fumes were still there.
A few wires on the engine melted their insulation and I had to tape
them. Otherwise no damage to the car. My shirt was burned badly and
my arms had painful burns. The rag was destroyed, it just burnrd up.
A real freak accident.
(good tale snipped)
Treat yourself- get one of those 2aa maglite or similar penlights, and a
belt holster, and carry it along as backup when you work in dark places.
That way, next time the droplight gets dropped and goes dark, you still have
a backup light source to make your escape with.
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.