Broken bulb with title, Why is my bulb such a burnout?

Why is My Light Bulb Burning Out?

Broken bulb with title, Why is my bulb such a burnout?
If you’ve ever experienced the saga of a light fixture that repeatedly burns through bulbs, you know how frustrating it is. The good news is that there is often a very simple solution.

(NOTE: Since I’m not an electrician, I’ll leave that stuff to the experts. If you suspect that your bulb is failing due to faulty wiring in your home, get in touch with a certified electrician to rule out any electrical issues.)

So what’s wrong with your bulb? Here are a handful of the most common issues that can cause an early bulb breakdown:

Problem: Excessive Vibration

Bulbs that are subject to lots of vibration are prone to early failure. This is commonly seen in ceiling fans, garage door lights, or underneath a particularly active room like a child’s playroom.

Solution: Look for bulbs labeled “rough service” that are designed with thicker filaments to handle more vibration. Another option is to switch to LED light bulbs, which aren’t affected by vibration since they do not house filaments.

Problem: Bulb Quality

Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. That pack of 10 bulbs at the dollar store may seem like a great bargain, but be ready to change them often.

Solution: Shop for quality bulbs from trusted companies (ahem, Pegasus Lighting).

Problem: Overheating

If your bulb gets too hot, it can greatly reduce its lifespan. Several things can make a bulb burn too hot: Voltage fluctuations, wattage limitations, or being in an enclosed fixture can cause overheating. Certain types of halogen bulbs will overheat when handled with bare hands because the oils from your fingers create hot spots on the bulb.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that since LED bulbs don’t get as hot as incandescents that you don’t need to worry about overheating. On the contrary, LED lights stay cooler because of a built-in heat sink in the base that draws heat away from the LED and into the atmosphere. In an enclosed area, there’s nowhere for the heat to dissipate. (more…)

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bug lights, do they work

Bug Lights – Do They Work?

IMG_5970-new
An outdoor barbecue is going to lure insects into your yard. Aside from eating your hamburger in a dark void, there’s not much you can do that will totally eradicate all insects from your lawn, but will using bug lights help?

The smoky aromas, good music and friendly laughter from your outdoor BBQ may have drawn the neighbors in, but chances are good that it also drew in a few unwanted guests. Mosquitos. Flies. Bees. They love the sweet lure of barbecue sauce, along with one of the necessary ingredients for an evening party — Light.

You may have seen yellow “bug lights” in your department store and wondered if they actually worked or if they were just another marketing gimmick. (more…)

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Vintage Edison Light Bulbs

The Edison Light Bulb: The ‘Smart Bulb’ of the 1800’s

Vintage Edison Light BulbsLast week we talked about the energy-efficient, color-changing, programmable, high-tech smart bulb that’s trending in 2015 lighting technology. But in the late 1800’s it was the Edison bulb that transfixed the world as one of the most technologically advanced inventions of its time. In a practical sense, the electric bulb was the ‘smart technology’ of the 1800’s. Fast-forward a century, and the term Edison bulb holds an entirely new meaning. (more…)

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smart light bulb

CES 2015: Smart Lighting ‘Shines’ in Home Automation

smart light bulb
Should I invest in smart lighting?

Trends in lighting technology keep getting smarter. In fact, if the LED Light Bulb were a soccer mom, she’d have a bumper sticker that read “My Light Bulb is Smarter than Your Light Bulb.” Smart lighting systems are hot at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show, an annual event that showcases the most innovative gizmos of the year. But for all the hype, what exactly do they do? Without a smart bulb, am I less intelligent?

What Makes a Light Bulb Smart?

Like every good parent, smart light bulb manufacturers have different ideas about what makes their product smart. As the trend starts to explode, new variations of the smart bulb are cropping up everywhere in an attempt to out-perform their predecessors. Though each smart bulb has its own set of features, I’ve put together a list of some popular characteristics that seem to make a smart bulb so much “brighter” than its peers (sorry, couldn’t resist): (more…)

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Apartment Lighting Project: Antique Light Bulb

Antique Light Bulbs

In my apartment, there is a simple pendant light fixture hovering over the kitchen sink and bar. It has a frosted glass shade and an exposed light bulb. There’s nothing offensive about it – WHEN it’s not turned on. Generally, the light stays off. Over the months, I’ve tried different light bulbs. At one point I even had a compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulb surrounded by a light-diffusing piece of parchment paper held to the pendant with one of those green rubber bands from Whole Foods. (I liked it. My wife? Not so much.) Finally, after writing a blog piece on antique light bulbs, I had an ah-ha moment.

(more…)

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9 Inspiring Photos of Antique Light Bulbs

One of the most popular lighting trends of the past decade has been the use of vintage-looking light bulbs, often referred to as antique or “edison” light bulbs. These are the light bulbs that generally have little light output, so you can look directly at them without blinding yourself. These decorative light bulbs have been used often in restaurants, bars, and hotels, but they have also become popular for home use. Here are nine photos to inspire you as you think of ways you could use antique light bulbs to enhance the lighting design in your space.

1. Totally Tubular

via etsy.com
via etsy.com

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New LED Light Bulb Mimics Sunset to Improve Sleep

Sunset

There’s a new LED light bulb in town. And it has been designed to help you fall asleep. Here’s the premise: Before we had electric lights, we adapted our sleep patterns to the rising and setting of the sun. But these days, many of us have completely lost touch with the natural rhythms of light and darkness. We stay up until the wee hours, our faces washed in the light of a computer or tablet screen, our eyes glazed over. We wake up to alarms, feeling perpetually like we haven’t gotten enough sleep. Sound familiar?

(more…)

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Light Bulb Moments in Light Bulb History: The Carbon Arc Lamp

We were born into a world of electric illumination. Incandescent lights, fluorescent lights, halogen, xenon, LEDs. It glows from lamps and televisions, twinkles from nightlights, puts on a show when you rush past it in tunnels, speckles a cityscape at night. We take it for granted, generally speaking. It’s tough to imagine a world in which electric light does not exist. But, when you think about it, electric lamps have only been the norm for a tiny,TINY percentage of the history of human life.

(more…)

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