fluorescent bulbs keep buring out in ceiling fixture

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  #1  
Old 03-15-14, 08:09 PM
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fluorescent bulbs keep buring out in ceiling fixture

Greetings

I started using the compact fluorescent bulbs in my ceiling light fixture which is made to use standard bulbs.

But it seems that every few days or so the bulb burns out.
Didn't have problem with standard 60w bulbs.

I was going to check out the fixture wiring so I went to check for any voltage in the light bulb socket with switch off.
Used a voltage sensor and was surprised to see sensor lamp slightly glowing.

I tried voltage meter and was getting about 50- 55 volts with switch off.
With switch on it read 118 volts.

Why would I read any current when the light switch is off?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Matt
 
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  #2  
Old 03-15-14, 08:25 PM
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IF you are using a digital meter it might be phantom voltage.

However, it also could be that you have a lighted switch or a dimmer for that light fixture.
 
  #3  
Old 03-15-14, 09:09 PM
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I agree if it is on a dimmer most of the time there is some voltage going through. Also what makes me think even more that this is on a dimmer is the fact that you are having the cfl bulbs burn out quickly. Most cfl bulbs are not made to be dimmed also if you switch to led bulbs some of those are not made to be dimmed.

Led bulbs are cheaper to use and some are cheaper than others too. Home Depot sells Cree brand around here fairly cheaply and the package says it can be dimmed. However not all dimmers may be able to work with led bulbs. I have heard you need a special dimmer for those so it pays to check first.
 
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Old 03-16-14, 06:32 AM
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I'd also take another look at the self ballasted CFL lamps. Some of them are not to be installed in enclosed fixtures.
 
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Old 03-16-14, 12:11 PM
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CasualJoe makes a good point some CFLs are not meant to be installed in enclosed fixtures and neither are some LED bulbs. This Old House.com has a good article about LED bulbs here is a link to the article Getting Better | Demystifying LED Lightbulbs | This Old House .
 
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Old 03-16-14, 07:01 PM
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Thanks guys for your replies.

However, it also could be that you have a lighted switch or a dimmer
Definitely no dimmer switch. Although fixture is controlled by two switches.

IF you are using a digital meter it might be phantom voltage.
Maybe. But I did try measuring a different light fixture and in this case zero voltage with switch off. Only difference is it's a single switch fixture.

Still suspicious about the reading.
As soon as I get a chance this week I'm going to disconnect the fluorescent fixture and do further measurements. Especially on the neutral to ground.
 
  #7  
Old 03-16-14, 10:15 PM
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A lighted switch will flow current through the bulb and cause them to burn out quickly. A couple of days sounds extremely short lived.
 
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