Got light bulbs that keep burning out? Not only is it frustrating, but it can also indicate a potential fire hazard. To help keep you safe (and sane), here are some causes and solutions to why your light bulbs keep burning out.

Voltage Too High

If you notice multiple bulbs around your home burning brighter but dying much faster, the voltage supply to your home may be too great. In the U.S., 120-volt electrical outlets are standard. If you feel comfortable doing so, use a multimeter to test the voltage on an electrical outlet. If you find it’s reading higher than 120, call us to have a trusted electrician take a look at the problem.

Wrong Bulb Type

If your light bulbs keep burning out, you may be using the wrong bulb for the fixture. For example. if your lamp or light fixture is rated at 40 watts, putting a 100-watt bulb will shorten the bulb’s life. To avoid this, double-check the wattage on the bulbs and light fixtures match. Also, make sure you’re using bulbs that suit their location. LED bulbs are best suited for fixtures that are frequently turned on and off throughout the day. Using a CFL bulb in a lamp you turn on and off frequently will burn it out faster because turning CFL bulbs on and off repeatedly degrades their electrodes.

Ceiling fan in a white room with wooden blades and light bulbs that keep burning out.

Excess vibration could also be why your light bulbs keep burning out so quickly.

Excess Vibration

Light bulbs near garage doors, entry doors, or in ceiling fans may burn out quickly because the vibrations cause filaments to break in incandescent bulbs. If your problem bulb is near a place where there are vibrations, think about switching to an LED bulb or a rough-service bulb. Both of those bulbs are able to withstand vibration better.

Recessed Lights Overheating

Older recessed lights could also be the reason your light bulbs keep burning out. Newer IC-rated fixtures are designed to be in contact with insulation and not have problems with overheating. But older recessed lighting fixtures can overheat. Overheating can cause the bulbs in the fixture to flicker and burn out early, as well as lead to a potential fire. If you’re having trouble with the bulbs in your recessed lights, call us to have a look at them. If we find you have an older model, we can help install new IC-rated fixtures that will keep your home safe and your bulbs burning brightly.

Dimmer Switch Incompatibility

If your bulbs in a fixture controlled by a dimmer switch keep burning out, there’s a good chance the switch is the problem. Older dimmer switches were made to be used with incandescent bulbs. If you’re using a CFL or LED bulb in the light fixture, the older dimmer may be damaging the circuitry in the bottom of the bulb. If you want to continue using CFL or LED bulbs with a dimmer switch, you’ll need to install a new switch that’s made to work with them.

Loose Wiring

Loose connections between the circuit and the fixture can also cause be the reason your light bulbs keep burning out. It can cause the voltage going to the bulb to vary, which wears out the bulb quickly. To solve this issue, it’s best to call in professionals to inspect the wiring for you.

Get Help from Speck Family Electric.

If your light bulbs keep burning out despite efforts to address the issue, contact Speck Family Electric. Our team of electricians will take the time to figure out the issue and fix it properly! We service those in Sparta, Chattanooga, Cookeville, Crossville, Gallatin, Lebanon, McMinnville, Mount Juliet, Murfreesboro, and Smithville.