What Can Cause Light Bulbs To Burn Out?


Modern LED light bulbs are built to last for years at a time. What should you think, then, if bulbs in your home start burning out early or all at once? This electrical problem often stems from user error, loose wires, or a bad batch of bulbs, but it may also be the symptom of a serious electrical problem. Although you can rule out a few common causes on your own, call an electrician when in doubt to diagnose this potentially dangerous issue.

Assessing Bulb Quality

Sometimes, bulbs burn out close together because they're all from the same package. A shared defect or low-quality design can restrict each bulb's functional lifespan. This is especially common when someone moves into a new house and replaces every bulb at once. If one type of bulb burns out but others seem fine, the issue may be limited to that item.

Comparing Bulb and Socket Wattage

What happens when you install a bulb with a higher wattage than its socket? It depends on the type of bulb. Incandescent bulbs will eventually overheat and burn out. If the bulb heats up too much, however, it may also melt the surrounding socket and wires. LED bulbs don't suffer from this issue; they might simply shine brighter than intended. If the bulb in question was incandescent, check that its wattage doesn't exceed that of the socket.

Updating Fixtures

Occasionally, bulbs burning out is caused by outdated technology. Many homes were built to accommodate incandescent bulbs, and the switch to LED isn't always smooth. Some fixtures designed for incandescent bulbs damage LED ones. Old dimmer switches are common culprits here and should be updated.

Tightening Wires

In other cases, faulty connections between a bulb and socket can shorten its life. Corroded metal and loose wires both make it harder for the bulb to draw electricity, causing it to burn out faster. This fairly common issue is often recognized by flickering lights. Tightening wires and cleaning up connection points usually fixes it.

Checking for a Lost Neutral

Most residences use a split-phase electrical system, which allows appliances to run at 240 V or 120 V. In simple terms, the neutral wire in this system is responsible for completing the circuit to the transformer. If this wire is broken or knocked loose, your electrical system can quickly overload at dangerous voltage levels. This causes appliances to overheat and break, including light bulbs. Lost neutrals are a pressing fire hazard, which is why you should always have an electrician inspect your home if light bulbs start burning out. Quick action on your part can mean the difference between an easy solution and tragedy. 

For more information, contact a local company like Zapp Electric Inc.


12 August 2022

Conquering All Your Electrical Questions

There are so many electrical issues you can encounter daily. Are your lights flickering? Is your microwave not working right? Do you need more outlets in your home? What type of outlets do you need? Regardless of what type of electrical issue you are facing and what kind of electrical issue you are facing, we have a resource to address it. At Conquer All Electrical, we want to conquer all your electrical questions and provide you with the resources to make informed electrical decisions. We want to guide you through your most challenging electrical question so you know what to do to fix the issue at hand and who to call to assist you. Let’s conquer your electrical issues!