Do you always seem to be digging in a drawer to find a fresh light bulb because yet another lamp has gone dark? Before you book an electrical safety inspection for your house, there are a few simpler things to consider about your light bulbs.
Using the Wrong Wattage
In this case, we’re talking about a mismatch between the bulb and the maximum rating on the lamp or fixture. Trying to put a too-strong light bulb into a fixture that is not built to handle it means that there will be excessive heat accumulation. That heat will degrade the filament and cause it to burn out quicker than expected.
If the lamp doesn’t have it marked (the labels can fall off over time), stick with a 40 or 60 watt bulb to be on the safe side. When the fixture’s limit is just too low for your lighting needs in that area, get a new lamp that is rated higher.
There may be a true problem in the electrical wiring if one particular lamp or fixture keeps blowing bulbs more than any other. For a lamp that plugs in, try moving it to another outlet and see if the problem persists. Wired-in fixtures are a little harder to experiment with. You can use an electrical meter to test the current but only if you are familiar with doing so. Otherwise, you should contact a professional to look into it for you.
Bulbs are Defective
Are you replacing your burnt-out bulbs with new ones from the same package? It is possible that all the bulbs in one package are defective, especially if you are using really cheap bulbs. Buy another box of better quality light bulbs and see if things improve.
Are They Really?
Sometimes when a couple of bulbs burn out one after the other, it can seem like they’re just not lasting like they used to. Except it just seems that way. A standard incandescent bulb should typically last you 1,000 hours. So if you are using that light for 4 hours a day, that means it can be expected to burn out in only 250 days.
In other words, it’s perfectly normal to change your light bulbs more than once a year. If that’s more often than you’d like, it’s not the fault of the bulb. That’s the best they can do.
Switch to CFL or LED
Chances are, when you start worrying about bulbs burning out too fast, you’re looking at the standard incandescent bulbs. These modern types of bulbs are far more long-lasting because they don’t have that delicate little filament in the center. So if you are getting tired of replacing bulbs, you can spend some extra money and try a different format altogether. LEDs are the current trend, and should last you about 10 years before going out. Add in that these bulbs use a fraction of the energy over the course of their long lifetime, then they are just a smart choice.