Bulb-Eaters....... - Electrical - Contractor Talk

Bulb-Eaters.......

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-22-2020, 09:42 PM   #1
Goin' Down in Flames....
 
Seven-Delta-FortyOne's Avatar
 
Trade: Highwayman
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Somewhere Between Heaven And Hell
Posts: 4,619
Rewards Points: 1,692

Bulb-Eaters.......


I run into these light fixtures all the time, for the past 20 years.

There'll be one, that just eats bulbs.

Incandescent, florescent, whatever.

I put a new ballast into an older fixture in a walk-in closet. Kept eating bulbs.

So I put a new fixture in. It eats bulbs. Changed out the ballast in the new fixture, still eats them.

I've checked voltage, looked for vibration, checked the bulb sockets, all appear to be fine.

The entire house is protected by surge arrestors. Nothing else in the house has any problems, to the best of my knowledge.

Another, new installation in a garage. Florescent. Bulbs die about once a month. New ballasts, all the usual checks.....Nothing.


Been researching this topic for 20 years, and I still haven't figured out why some fixtures or locations just have problems.
Seven-Delta-FortyOne is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 05-22-2020, 09:54 PM   #2
I own stock in FotoMat!
 
480sparky's Avatar
 
Trade: 132 on Bush, I've got him at gunpoint!
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 12,285
Rewards Points: 12,724

Re: Bulb-Eaters.......


Didja ever check the supply voltage?

Advertisement

__________________
This post has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen and edited for content.
480sparky is online now  
Old 05-22-2020, 10:14 PM   #3
Pro
 
KAP's Avatar
 
Trade: Custom
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 12,299
Rewards Points: 40,122

Re: Bulb-Eaters.......


I don't know what the problem is either, but these LED bulbs have turned into the biggest screw you I've seen... they're supposed to last years, and after replacing them all, it feels like I'm replacing them at the same rate as incandescents...
KAP is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 05-22-2020, 10:18 PM   #4
Pro
 
hdavis's Avatar
 
Trade: remodeling
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: CoastalME
Posts: 25,426
Rewards Points: 1,606

Re: Bulb-Eaters.......


Temperature, they're getting hot. LEDs are even more sensitive to it than florescent.
hdavis is online now  
Old 05-22-2020, 10:44 PM   #5
Pro
 
KAP's Avatar
 
Trade: Custom
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 12,299
Rewards Points: 40,122

Re: Bulb-Eaters.......


Quote:
Originally Posted by hdavis View Post
Temperature, they're getting hot. LEDs are even more sensitive to it than florescent.
What do you mean by hot? Ambient or the fixture?
KAP is offline  
Old 05-22-2020, 10:50 PM   #6
Goin' Down in Flames....
 
Seven-Delta-FortyOne's Avatar
 
Trade: Highwayman
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Somewhere Between Heaven And Hell
Posts: 4,619
Rewards Points: 1,692

Re: Bulb-Eaters.......


Quote:
Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
Didja ever check the supply voltage?


Yep.

At the fixture, and at the panel, just for gits and shiggles.

120.8V
Seven-Delta-FortyOne is offline  
Old 05-22-2020, 11:16 PM   #7
Pro
 
hdavis's Avatar
 
Trade: remodeling
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: CoastalME
Posts: 25,426
Rewards Points: 1,606

Re: Bulb-Eaters.......


Quote:
Originally Posted by KAP View Post
What do you mean by hot? Ambient or the fixture?
At the bulb or fixture.

A combination of ambient temp and airflow. LED bulbs are just electronics, they don't like heat. Same thing with CFLS, they have electronics in the base

Florescent have electronic ballasts, same thing.

You can have a location that doesn't allow for natural air currents, and the heat can build up. Closed fixtures are obviously worse. Bulb orientation even makes a difference. CFLs and LED replacements for incandescent bulbs do best if the bulb is upright IIRC.
hdavis is online now  
Old 05-22-2020, 11:22 PM   #8
Fire up the BBQ
 
griz's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: ex-calif
Posts: 23,245
Rewards Points: 2,174

Re: Bulb-Eaters.......


fug it...

go to candles & kerosene lamps...
__________________
SOME JOBS JUST AREN'T WORTH DOING:
griz is online now  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to griz For This Useful Post:
KAP (05-23-2020), Seven-Delta-FortyOne (05-23-2020)
Old 05-22-2020, 11:55 PM   #9
Fire up the BBQ
 
griz's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: ex-calif
Posts: 23,245
Rewards Points: 2,174

Re: Bulb-Eaters.......


kidding aside...

had this problem several years ago in a school...

architect brought in a really down to earth & VERY cool guy, electrical engineer to evaluate the problem.

all manner of voltage/line tests, recording meters etc...

verdict was vibration, from mechanicals...

some isolation dampers were installed and the problem went away...

EE said vibration could come from a long ways away & cause the problem which could making the diagnosis more complicated...
__________________
SOME JOBS JUST AREN'T WORTH DOING:
griz is online now  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to griz For This Useful Post:
hdavis (05-23-2020), Seven-Delta-FortyOne (05-23-2020)
Old 05-23-2020, 12:31 AM   #10
Pro
 
Dirtywhiteboy's Avatar
 
Trade: Home Framing- Roof Stacking
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Honolulu Oahu,Hawaii
Posts: 16,559
Rewards Points: 4,950

Re: Bulb-Eaters.......


There are entities in there that don't want the light on.
__________________
I Have Done So Much With So Little For So Long, I Can Do Almost Anything With Nothing Now
Dirtywhiteboy is offline  
Old 05-23-2020, 06:20 AM   #11
Pro
 
KAP's Avatar
 
Trade: Custom
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 12,299
Rewards Points: 40,122

Re: Bulb-Eaters.......


Quote:
Originally Posted by griz View Post
kidding aside...

had this problem several years ago in a school...

architect brought in a really down to earth & VERY cool guy, electrical engineer to evaluate the problem.

all manner of voltage/line tests, recording meters etc...

verdict was vibration, from mechanicals...

some isolation dampers were installed and the problem went away...

EE said vibration could come from a long ways away & cause the problem which could making the diagnosis more complicated...
Isolation damper for light bulbs? Tell me more...

Now I have to buy MORE stuff to get the stuff that was supposed to work in the first place to work?
KAP is offline  
Old 05-25-2020, 11:04 AM   #12
Talking Head
 
EthanB's Avatar
 
Trade: Poking Things With Sticks
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 5,388
Rewards Points: 438

Re: Bulb-Eaters.......


I have a fixture where one of the two bulbs burns out really fast. Can't figure it out for the life of me.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaws View Post
Planer.....
EthanB is offline  
Old 05-25-2020, 12:13 PM   #13
Pro
 
hdavis's Avatar
 
Trade: remodeling
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: CoastalME
Posts: 25,426
Rewards Points: 1,606

Re: Bulb-Eaters.......


Quote:
Originally Posted by EthanB View Post
I have a fixture where one of the two bulbs burns out really fast. Can't figure it out for the life of me.
Sometimes you have a socket that doesn't have a good connection, so it runs hot.
hdavis is online now  
Old 05-25-2020, 08:26 PM   #14
Goin' Down in Flames....
 
Seven-Delta-FortyOne's Avatar
 
Trade: Highwayman
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Somewhere Between Heaven And Hell
Posts: 4,619
Rewards Points: 1,692

Re: Bulb-Eaters.......


I must say, though....

I haven't yet disconnected any of these fixtures, and Ohm'ed out the circuit from the bulb socket to the power feed.

Although that won't tell me if the bulb-to-socket connection is high resistance.
Seven-Delta-FortyOne is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Seven-Delta-FortyOne For This Useful Post:
hdavis (05-25-2020)
Old 05-25-2020, 08:33 PM   #15
Pro
 
hdavis's Avatar
 
Trade: remodeling
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: CoastalME
Posts: 25,426
Rewards Points: 1,606

Re: Bulb-Eaters.......


Non contact thermometer or thermal imager.

If I have a problem fixture, I just change fixtures.....
hdavis is online now  
Old 05-25-2020, 08:37 PM   #16
Goin' Down in Flames....
 
Seven-Delta-FortyOne's Avatar
 
Trade: Highwayman
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Somewhere Between Heaven And Hell
Posts: 4,619
Rewards Points: 1,692

Re: Bulb-Eaters.......


Quote:
Originally Posted by hdavis View Post

If I have a problem fixture, I just change fixtures.....
Did that on one of them.

Kept on burning out florescent bulbs.
Seven-Delta-FortyOne is offline  
Old 05-25-2020, 08:39 PM   #17
I own stock in FotoMat!
 
480sparky's Avatar
 
Trade: 132 on Bush, I've got him at gunpoint!
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 12,285
Rewards Points: 12,724

Re: Bulb-Eaters.......


Put a voltage recording meter on that circuit. You may have an intermittent open neutral (either in a MWBC or the entire service) that causes voltage spikes.
__________________
This post has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen and edited for content.
480sparky is online now  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to 480sparky For This Useful Post:
hdavis (05-25-2020), Seven-Delta-FortyOne (05-25-2020)
Old 05-25-2020, 09:20 PM   #18
Pro
 
hdavis's Avatar
 
Trade: remodeling
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: CoastalME
Posts: 25,426
Rewards Points: 1,606

Re: Bulb-Eaters.......


Quote:
Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
Put a voltage recording meter on that circuit. You may have an intermittent open neutral (either in a MWBC or the entire service) that causes voltage spikes.
I like this.

I've never seen it because I never looked.

Advertisement

hdavis is online now  



Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?