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#199129 02/14/11 01:14 PM
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I finished trimming out a new house about 6 weeks ago. Everyody was happy. I got a call from the homeowner today about his bulbs burning out. It is mainly the can lights. They are burning out all over the house. app 40 cans. They are 6in junos. I did purchase the bulbs at lowes. They had the Sylvania 65w, 120 volt floods at $1 each. Good money savings so I thought. The problem would problably be solved with 130 volt bulbs. However, they did change one bulb and the new bulb "exploded" in the room which brings concern to the homewner. They also had 2 incandescent bulbs on porch fixtures go bad. It is a new house, ch panel and breakers. Any ideas would be appreciated.

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What is the voltage? When it starts getting up in the 125 range, bulbs go fast.


Greg Fretwell
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Any dimmers on the can lights?



John
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. .

Vibration also shortens bulb life. Any mosh pits or marching bands practicing in the house?

Overheating the bulb also shortens life. Does the bulb packaging state anything about burn base up or down?

Do the occupants work swing or night shifts? Increased voltage at night can also wreak havoc.

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I haven't checked any voltage yet. I got the call today and am trying to get ideas before I troubleshoot.

There are no dimmers and they do live next to the hospital with helicopter traffic. It is however, a solid house with minimal vibration. I will check the voltage. If it is over 120v, should I recommend that he use only 130v bulbs.

Would the increase voltage cause the bulb to explode. The shrapnel was a concern for them.

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Bulb envelope failure may be from severe overvoltage, but IMHO not in your case. BTW, dimmers help bulb life dramatically!

Also, IMHO the old addage of 'ya get what ya pay for' applies to bulbs.



John
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I have heard complaints from friends about 230v 50W GU10 halogens exploding. The challenge was to find all the bits! These were 'quality' replacements for the original chinese bulbs that expired after 2000 odd hours. Could be a bad batch? BTW, low-energy bulbs must be switched on for a minimum of 15 minutes, or their life will the same as a tungsten filament bulb. That's a challenge in some locations [bathroom, wc etc. ] and a halogen fitting would be better.


Wood work but can't!
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Hotine, you are right about buying the cheaper bulbs. I will probably replace his bulbs or give him some kind of a credit. Lesson learned.

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You can also have a loose neutral problem that wreaks all sorts of havoc but blown bulbs is one of them. Check both rails to neutral and be suspicious if they are not exactly the same. Try tripping a couple of the breakers on one phase while watching the voltage and see if it changes but go slow, just do one and watch for a while. If you do have a neutral problem the change can be real sudden, blowing up everything on the less loaded phase.


Greg Fretwell
gfretwell #199163 02/14/11 06:44 PM
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I've heard a theory bandied about in the last few years regarding cheap incandescent lamps and their extremely short life-spans (some I've heard are measured in milli-seconds).
What was being said, was that the reason behind the failure is caused by the glass envelope of the bulb not being evacuated properly and there still being air inside the bulb.
Now, everyone knows that a light-bulb filament needs to be in a pretty good vacuum otherwise it's life is pretty short-lived (we even tried this at Night School).

I don't know how much one can actually read into such a theory, but it does make you sort of wonder.

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