Left In The Dark: Why Are My Light Bulbs Burning Out Prematurely?

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Business Advice: Electrical Inspections

If you own a business, you will understand that you cannot operate without power. If your electricity supply fails, you will not be able to operate your computer, your cash register or the air conditioning and lighting systems. That is why it is so important to have the electrical system in your business checked and repaired from time to time. I didn't know the first thing about the wiring and fuse boxes in my office until I called in a professional electrician. He made sure that everything was working as it should be. I am really happy and I wanted to pass on some advice to other business owners.


Left In The Dark: Why Are My Light Bulbs Burning Out Prematurely?

20 December 2017
 Categories: , Blog

Turning on a light only to watch the bulb fizzle and burn out isn't exactly the end of the world, however annoying it may be. However, it's also not a problem you should experience very often, and having to replace prematurely burnt-out light bulbs regularly can signify more profound problems with your home's lighting system that you may not be aware of. 

A wide variety of problems and design flaws can cause a light bulb to die before its time, and if left unchecked, these problems can cause more significant (and expensive) issues with your home's electrical wiring down the line. Consequently, calling in a licensed electrician to inspect your lighting system and look for problems is highly recommended. The following issues can all cause premature light bulb failure and can be detected and repaired by your chosen electrician service:

Excessive voltage

In theory, all Australian homes recieve 230 volts of electricity through their mains supply. In practise, this voltage can be significantly higher, especially if you live close to a power station or electrical substation. Excessive voltage can cause your lightbulbs to burn out more quickly due to the extra heat and electrical resistance generated by the excess voltage.

Persistent problems with high voltage can also cause problems with other electrical appliances in your home, and it can increase your energy bills significantly. If you suspect your light bulb burnout problems are caused by excessive voltage, have your power supply professionally tested. If the voltage of your supply is too high, electricians can fit transformers, breaker systems and other devices to optimise the voltage of your power supply. 

Incorrect bulb selection

Each light fitting in your home has a maximum wattage at which it can be safely used. Using a bulb that draws more watts than your fixture's maximum rating can cause them to burn out more quickly due to the excessive heat the bulb generates.

As such, you should take care to choose your bulbs carefully when you buy them, and match your bulb wattages to the ratings of your individual fittings as closely as possible. If a fitting's maximum wattage rating limits you to using bulbs which are too dim for your needs, have an electrician replace them with higher-rated fittings.

Overheating in recessed fittings

A bulb that gets too hot while turned on will not last as long, and keeping your bulbs properly ventilated so the heat they generate can dissipate freely is all-important to extending the life of your bulbs. Generally, this just means avoiding thick, heavy shades and covers for your light fittings, but if you have recessed light fixtures, keeping their bulbs suitably cool can be more problematic.

If your recessed light fixtures are burning through the bulbs, you should first ensure that the bulb is not taking up too much space inside the fitting. Traditional round bulbs tend to be unsuitable for recessed fittings, as they take up too much space and do not allow air to circulate freely within the fitting. Opt for more slimline models instead, such as candle-style bulbs.

Because recessed light fittings often intrude into attics and wall cavities, you will also have to ensure that your home's insulation is not causing your fittings to overheat. Fittings that are smothered by insulation will not be able to dissipate heat effectively, and your fittings may need to be professionally redesigned and replaced to keep them away from built-in wall and attic insulation.