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Why are my Light Bulbs Burning Out So Fast

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Make Light Bulbs Last Longer: The Quality Issue of Light Bulbs and Electric Power, Light Bulbs and Light Fixtures, Different Light Bulbs for Different Light Fixtures, LED Lights.

Problem with Light Bulbs or Power Quality

Electrical Question: I have had several light bulbs burn out in my house really fast, just after replacing them. What would cause this?.

  • I had my basement finished and lighting installed recently. The job was finished a few months ago.
  • Since the electrical work was done 8 light bulbs have burned out in my house. No breakers are ever flipped.
  • The first one was the day the electrician installed sconces in the basement. He asked me for another bulb saying the first one was probably old. I have never had 8 light bulbs burn out in 2-3 weeks.
  • I think this is highly unusual. I haven’t had that many burn out in a year let alone 2 weeks.
  • I specifically asked the electrician if what is being done can hold the load and he said it can. I have gone through electrical inspections and have permits for all the work done.


This home electrical repairs question came from: Kathleen, in Elyria, Ohio.
Thanks for your home electrical question Kathleen.

Electrical Answer:

How to Make Light Bulbs Last Longer

  • The Quality Issue of Light Bulbs and Electric Power
    • First of all, I would think that if the basement wiring project was done with a permit and inspected then the electrical wiring has been installed correctly.
  • Light Bulbs and Light Fixtures
    • The problem with the light bulbs should be directed towards the light fixtures that were installed to make sure that the light bulbs are correct as indicated by the light fixture specifications.
    • If the light fixtures and bulbs are compatible then make sure the light bulbs are a well known brand that has a guarantee.
  • Different Light Bulbs for Different Light Fixtures
    • When installing standard light bulbs a Rough Service type should be considered which is rated for 130 volts and has a heavier internal filament which will help the bulb to last longer.
    • Heavier light duty light bulbs are recommended for ceiling fans where vibrations are produced that will cause light bulbs to burn out prematurely.
  • LED and Energy Efficient Lights

    • Advances in techn0logy have brought about several ways to save energy by installing a more efficient light fixture or replacement light bulb.
    • LED lights are now available in a variety of light fixture types and retrofit kits that enable you to convert many types of existing light fixtures.
    • The initial cost of LED lights may be more expensive than the old traditional incandescent light bulb, however the savings in electricity and the longer life of the LED light will more than pay for itself.
  • Electrical Power Quality
    • The quality of the home electrical power should be checked to make sure the it is within the specifications of the electric utility company.
    • Any irregularities should be reported to the utility company so they may correct the situation.
    • Poor power quality can affect many home devices including lighting and electronic equipment.

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