Why do my Light Bulbs Keep Burning Out - 6 Smart Tips

Updated: Apr 8, 2021

There is that one bulb or area in your home or business that you seem to have to change out bulbs frequently and you have no idea as to why. It is frustrating, and expensive to have to keep changing out bulbs to keep an area lit up Today in this blog, we are going to go through some of the big things that will cause a light bulb prematurely

living room with LED lights

Voltage May be Too High

This is probably one of the most common reasons that a light might burn out in a short amount of time. If you look careful at any standard light bulb, it will usually have a operating range specified 110V to 130V in North America.

If it does not stay within the specified range, the bulb will not work effectively, thus shortening its lifespan. If you live in a rural setting or sometimes even in a urban setting, there may be problems with consistent Voltage coming out of the transformers at the pole. If it is a major problem at your property, the power provider might have to check on their end what the cause of the problem actually is.

Operating Temperature of the Light Bulb

Every light bulb has a standard operating temperature that the bulb will work effectively. If it is too hot or too cold, this may cause your bulb to flicker or just burn out. Every bulb is slightly different from one another, so check the packaging to see what temperature that your light bulb can operate in properly without causing too much trouble.

Light Bulb is not Installed Correctly

This is another common problem that causes premature burnout on any style or size of fixture. On a common 4 foot fluorescent tube style light, the ends of the bulb may not be sitting correctly in the tombstones and the end of the fixture. On a standard 120V light bulb, the bulb may be too loose or too tight.

If there is a herd of children that stomp their feet or machinery that vibrates, this can cause a bulb to become loose. When the light bulb base is not properly making contact with the light bulb itself, this will cause small arcs that will degrade the bulb over time.

Over tightening is just as bad, as it can damage the base and cause poor connection between the socket and the bulb. It can cause warping and is just not a good idea in general.

One thing you can check on a standard style light bulb base is the tab inside the base. If it gets bent down too far, it will not make proper contact with the bulb. It can be bent back up to correct this problem and prolong the light bulbs life.

Wrong Bulb for the Fixture

Just because the base of the light fixture accepts the light bulb that you screwed in, doesn't mean that it is necessarily correct. A lot of the time, there is a sticker somewhere on the light fixture itself that will tell you the correct wattage and bulb style for the fixture. If you do not follow the manufacturer's recommendations, it could potentially cause a fire or damage if their product is being used not as intended.

If you have recessed pot light cans, typically the information can be found written inside the can as there might be more than one accepted bulb for the fixture. This information will help you select the proper bulb for as intended.

Incompatible Products - Dimmer VS Light Bulb Type

A common problem with older style dimmers, is that they are not designed to work with newer technologies like LED bulbs. If you try to use incompatible items, you will may see flickering or no dimming happening at all. Just left like this, it will most definitely cause premature burnout.

One other common mistake people make is that they do not realize that all bulbs have the capability to dim, especially with LED bulbs in particular. They install them, and may get some dimming, but may include the classic disco effect(on and off like a strobe light) or flickering. If just left, they will most certainly shorten the life expectancy of the light bulb.

Loose Wiring or Connections

This is also another area that should be mentioned in this blog as loose connections can cause a variety of problems including bulb burnout. This more than likely will be something that your friendly, neighborhood electrician can take care of unless you have the eye of a trained professional.

If the circuit is not connected properly from beginning to end, this could cause voltage fluctuation and more dead bulbs to replace.

Get Help From an Expert

If you are having problems with lights burning out prematurely or anything else electric, please feel free to contact us at Firestorm Electric. We will be able to get your lighting problem sorted out in a jiffy so you can enjoy the better parts of life! With 17 years of electrical experience, you can be assured that we can take care of you in a professional manner and get the job done right!

satisfied customer from Firestorm Electric


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