lightbulb burnout

If you feel like you’re constantly replacing lightbulbs in your home, you might be a victim of premature lightbulb burnout.

Is this really an issue? The answer is: it’s possible.

Types of Lightbulbs

The life of a lightbulb is partly dependent on its type. Incandescent bulbs last about 1,000 hours, while compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) and LED bulbs usually have a much longer life, up to 10,000 hours for CFLs and 25,000 for LEDs.

The Whys

If your bulbs aren’t living up to these averages on a regular basis, there could be many reasons, including:

1) Your power voltage supply is too high. North American homes typically have a standard120-volt outlet. If you’re connecting to an outlet more powerful than this, you might experience issues. A licensed electrician can tell you if you have an electrical supply issue.

2) Your bulbs are loose or not connected properly. Flickering is a sign of this issue. Be sure to turn the bulb until it is snug. Don’t twist too tightly or you may damage the socket tab.

3) Vibrations in the home could cause filament breakage. Sources here could be ceiling fans, automatic garage doors, or doors if the bulb is near an entrance/exit. Consider using an LED bulb near these areas as they have no filament or install a “rough service” bulb designed to better handle vibrations.

4) You may be using the wrong kind of bulb. If a lamp calls for a 60-watt bulb and you use a 120-watt bulb, you’ll diminish its life and it could even cause a fire hazard. LED bulbs use less power, so you may want to consider using them for brighter and more efficient lighting.

5) Insulation in recessed lighting could be causing overheating. Install IC-rated fixtures so bulbs don’t overheat if they come in contact with insulation.

6) Your bulb and the dimmer switch are not compatible. Older switches are compatible with incandescent bulbs only.

7) You have loose fixture wiring. Another possible issue is corroded contacts on the socket. Turn off power to the unit to be sure wires are firmly attached to screw terminals. If socket contacts are damaged, the socket or fixture may need to be replaced.

Be sure to investigate lightbulb issues as they can be imminent fire hazards as opposed to mere annoyances.

Need help with your lighting fixtures or are you looking to upgrade them? Reach out to Stevens Electric in Fleetwood, Berks County, Pennsylvania, at or call 610-316-9998 and we’ll be happy to help!