Porch lights burning out bulbs in a few days?

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Old 02-28-12, 08:47 PM
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Porch lights burning out bulbs in a few days?

I have two porch lights (dusk to dawn type) that are burning out bulbs in a matter of days. (I have tried the bulbs afterward in a lamp and they are indeed burned out.) Now that I have discovered this, I realize that this may be a result of a lightning strike that I had this summer. I posted about that here:


http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...i-go-here.html

I had a LOT of items damaged, and wound up replacing several things (reciever/tv/toaster oven/oven element/garage door opener/driveway light over the garage...etc.) in my house. I also had an electrician come and check everything out, but at the time, I put new bulbs in the fixtures and since the lights came on that night, I mentally checked them off my list. The light over the driveway did not work at all, so that one was easy to identify. But if the porch fixtures somehow received damage that would make them burn out bulbs...(is that even possible?), then I did not notice it at the time. Between my son constantly forgetting and turning off the light, and me assuming that he turned them off and not checking them...they may have been screwed up this whole time. So...I'm wondering if it would be better to call the electrician and have him check this out, or if I should just go and buy new fixtures...and see if they work? What would you do?
 
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Old 02-28-12, 10:01 PM
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Check wattage of bulbs

The first thing I would do is to check the wattage of the bulbs and make sure that they do exceed the maximum wattage posted on the fixture. A lot of people put 100 watt bulbs in fixtures that are enclosed and meant for 60 watt bulbs. In which case the bulb will burn out very quickly, especially if they are left on for any length of time.
 
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Old 02-29-12, 01:52 AM
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I would also check for moisture, moisture is one of the leading causes of premature bulb failure. I imagine too you are using bulbs that are certified for outdoor use and if not then you need to make sure you are. It will say so on the bulbs package whether you can use it outdoors or not. If there is no excessive moisture by the fixture and the bulbs are rated right both in watts and type meaning outdoor use then you need to replace the fixture.
 
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Old 02-29-12, 03:09 AM
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Check the voltage going to the fixtures as well. Since you had a strike, things can happen and your service may have been compromised. Worst case get some "rough duty" bulbs. They are rated at 130 volts and may not burn out as quickly as the ones you have. You are buying quality bulbs and not the ones in the bargain bin, right?
 
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Old 02-29-12, 05:28 AM
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There is no moisture. This is a deep, covered porch, and the lights are beside the door. These bulbs are the SEVEN-year rated kind - bug light bulbs - so yes, they are of proper wattage and certainly outdoor rated.

As fas as checking the voltage going to the fixtures... I am not an electrician. Are you saying that the next step should be to get the electrician out here? That was what I was asking.
 
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Old 02-29-12, 05:32 AM
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Do you own a volt meter? if not, they aren't all that expensive and are fairly easy to use.
 
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Old 02-29-12, 07:23 AM
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Use a different brand of bulb. It could be a manufacturing error and all the bulbs were from the same lot. Once got a package of bulbs and none burned longer then 10 seconds, yes seconds.

Another possibility is vibration. Is there any source of vibration.
 
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Old 02-29-12, 07:35 AM
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Vibration

Another possibility is vibration. Is there any source of vibration.
Such as slamming a door?............................
 
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Old 04-30-12, 09:12 AM
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Just wanted to update this...

The problem was the porch light unit itself. I replaced one, to try it, and the light has been burning ever since, no problem. So not the bulbs, not the wiring to the unit.

Obviously it was the lightning that did it - just like it took out so many of my other appliances last summer.
 
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Old 04-30-12, 10:56 AM
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Thanks for letting us know the solution.
 
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