Exterior Bulbs' Early Death


Old 11-29-05, 04:51 PM
B-ham Gary
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Exterior Bulbs' Early Death

I have three exterior lights controlled by a single switch. The bulbs seem to be dying an early death -- as quickly as two weeks. I've tried different brand bulbs and different wattages (65w - 100w, with a 100w maximum recommended on the fixture). The house is only five years old. The circuit is controlled with an automated timer (Intermatic 7-day programmable).

I know nothing about elctrical trouble-shooting, so what would be the likely culprit (one of the three fixtures?, wiring between components?, the timer?). The timer has been in place for several years and has worked flawlessly.

Thanks for any hints you can provide that might save the cost of an electrician.


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Old 11-29-05, 05:08 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Bulbs that are used outdoors tend to burn out quickly. The weather (heat, cold, wind, rain, snow, etc.) take their toll on them.

Another possibility is excessive voltage. You might try bulbs rated for 130 volts.

Finally, the timer may be to blame. If this timer gets it's power by sending a small amount of current through the circuit, that will lead to premature bulb death.
Old 11-29-05, 05:10 PM
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How exposed to the elements are these fixtures? Not that that is the cause for sure, but this is a start in finding out at least SOMEthing.

Ever check the voltage coming out of the timer?
Old 11-29-05, 05:41 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 973
Has this been a problem for the entire five years, or did it just start recently?

If recent, did some event occur around the time this started? (Wiring changes, installation of something new, other electrical problem, etc.)

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