Whether you’ve just moved in or you’ve lived there for 25 years; whether you’re renting or you own these are skills everyone should possess. We’re starting a new series! Every Tuesday look out for the latest skill that YOU should know. These tips could possibly save you money on locksmiths, plumbers, and any other type of handyman. This week we’re going to show you how to make a lightbulb last longer.
Have you noticed your lightbulbs are burning out sooner than they should? Perhaps these problems and solutions are the issue (This Old House).
- This first problem is actually quite dangerous. When your bulb flickers it could be a sign of a faulty electrical connection that essentially turns the light on and off at a rapid pace. The bulb is more likely to burn out sooner, and it’s a fire hazard. To fix this scary problem turn off the light and unplug it. Then check the internal wiring as well as the connection to the lamp. You may need to call an electrician for this one.
- Another issue occurs when the bulb is burning too hot. This is most likely caused by using a bulb with a wattage too high for the lamp or perhaps the lampshade is too small and encloses the bulb not allowing heat to escape. Just use a lower wattage bulb. Simple.
- A third issue may be related to the house voltage. Check the house voltage with a volt-ohm meter to be sure it’s at 120V. If it’s too high, notify you power company.
- Lastly, the filaments inside the bulb itself may be damaged. If your lamp is close to a door for instance the constant vibrations can cause the filaments to break apart quicker. Typically this would be an issue for a wall sconce or outdoor light. For these situations you can use “rough service (RS)” bulbs. They have heavy-duty filaments that are more durable.
If these issues don’t seem to be causing your bulb burnouts, perhaps that brass tab inside the lamp socket where the bulb is screwed in is dirty or bent. Unplug your lamp and with a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol, clean the tab. If its bent downward use a screwdriver to lift it slightly so that is stays in contact with the bulb base. Remember always to unplug your lamp before doing anything electrical!
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