Light Bulb Burnout


Old 11-07-05, 07:43 PM
Don Zorn
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Light Bulb Burnout

I have 4 recessed pot lights in the basement ceiling. These are the type that accept a standard 100-150W flood light with a screw type base. My problem is that the bulbs in one of the four pot lights always burns out pre-maturely. I average 4-6 weeks (4 hours/day) out of an incandescent bulb, and about 3-4 months (4 hours/day) out of a compact flourescent bulb. The bulbs in the rest of the pot lights last for years. This one has got me stumped.

Any ideas on what I could do to troublehoot the problem? I have a digital voltmeter but not an oscilliscope.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.
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Old 11-07-05, 07:51 PM
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1- Is voltage too high?
2- Is there excess vibration at this can light? Perhaps this is near a stairway?
3- Is insulation or something blocking the heat dissipation?
4- I'm out of ideas
Old 11-08-05, 07:17 AM
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Given that vibration and heat should not be an issue with CFL's and none of the other lights have a problem ruling out excess voltage on the circuit, I suspect a loose connection, possibly a worn or defective socket. Can lights aren't expensive. I would replace this one. Purchase a new one of the same brand, if possible, so that the trim can be re-used.

Doug M.
Old 11-08-05, 07:22 AM
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Heat is always a suspect. 150 watts base up is going to stress a bulb; and many CF's are not rated for base up, same reason.
Old 11-08-05, 03:33 PM
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The problem indeed lies in the socket. Over time, corrosion takes place at the crimps that join the wire to the socket base, due to the expansion and contraction of the crimp. When this occurs, heat is generated at the socket base and this promotes bulb failure. I replace fixtures (sometimes just the socket) all the time because of this. I can look right up in the socket and see the 'flash' around the crimp and know right away. This always solves my problem when the tenants call about premature burn-out of bulbs.
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