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Why Do You Need to Replace Light Bulbs so Often?

Why Do You Need to Replace Light Bulbs so Often?

Photo by Anton Fomkin on Flickr

Photo by Anton Fomkin on Flickr

If it seems like you are replacing light bulbs all the time it may begin to make you wonder why. Often you will find that it is the same bulb or same area of the home that regularly has a problem. Most people chalk it up to possibly using that light more frequently or just bad luck, but chances are good there is a reason for it. Many people do not realize all of those little numbers and symbols on the side of a box of light bulbs has a reason besides telling you how bright the bulb is. Actually looking at the purpose a bulb is made for and choosing the correct one will save you time in changing and money when purchasing bulbs as well as cut your electric bill.

There are many complaints about the new compact fluorescent bulbs. These are the more expensive bulbs that look like twisted tubes instead of just a glass bubble like an incandescent light. We are all told of the lower electric bills from using these as well as the fact they will last 5 years or more justifying the higher price. In practical use, many find they do not last as long as a standard incandescent bulb. If that is the case in your home there is likely a simple explanation.

The life of the bulb is measured by total hours burnt and no the number of times it is turned on and off. Frequent turning of the bulb on and off drastically reduces the longevity. When a factory measures the time, it bases it on continuous use or blocks of 4 -8 hours. Lights in the bathroom for instance that are turned on and off many times a day but are only on a few minutes each time will never make it near to the “expected life” of the bulb.

Bulbs that are used with dimmer switches or ceiling fans also ten to blow much faster. The bulbs are calibrated for a steady current and the dimmer switch and different settings of a ceiling fan make that variable causing them to blow much faster. In many homes, simply being on the same circuit as a dimmer switch will have the same effect even if not directly connected to it. There are bulbs designed specifically for use with dimmer switches and fans and there use will save you in the long run.

Many specialty shapes and styles of bulbs exist. Scotlight Direct has hundreds of examples. The use of designer bulbs in a standard socket or standard bulbs in a designer light can not only cause bulbs to burn out quickly, but also pose a fire risk. Look at the labeling to determine the proper use for a bulb rather than choosing it just by shape, brightness, and price.


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