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Serving the Buffalo Area since 1995

Scherer Electric Blog

My Light Bulbs Keep Burning Out—What’s Wrong?


How long to you expect the light bulbs in your house to continue burning before you need to replace them? It depends on the light bulb type. The standard incandescent bulb can burn for around 900 hours and usually will need a replacement after a year, or even less. LED bulbs can go for far longer, lasting for several years before a replacement.

But when light bulbs seem to burn out at a rapid pace, regardless of type, it’s a concern. Not only because you don’t want to be putting in new light bulbs every month—which is costly and annoying—but because it may indicate troubles with your electrical system.

Our Clarence, NY electricians can help repair whatever is going wrong. Below are some of the possibilities for his light bulb dilemma, but please don’t attempt to guess at the problem and fix it yourself. This can be dangerous! Call us instead and we’ll be happy to resolve the issue safely and effectively.

Wrong bulbs

This is a simple user-error issue, but it’s one we see too often. If you are putting a bulb that isn’t rated high enough for the socket, it will burn out fast. Always check on the wattage for the socket and the light bulb to ensure they match.

The fixture has loose connections

If only one fixture in the house has the problem of the premature death of light bulbs, there may be a wiring problem with the fixture. If the bulbs in this fixture often flicker, and trying to tighten the bulb in the fixture doesn’t remedy the issue, the fixture might have corroded contacts. This isn’t a DIY repair job! Please call an electrician to examine the circuit and see what needs to be fixed. Loose connections can become fire hazards.

Attic insulation in recessed fixtures

Are the dying bulbs in recessed fixtures (fixtures set into the ceiling rather than extending down from them)? The problem may be with the insulation in the attic above the lights causing the light bulbs to overheat. Once again, this is a big deal, not a minor inconvenience, since it risks a fire starting in the insulation. You may not only want the fixture repaired, you may want electricians to put in a non-recessed fixture in its place.

Voltage problems

We’ve saved the big one for last. If your entire house has troubles with bulbs burning out too early, it’s a major warning sign that the voltage in the house is too high. The excess voltage will cause bulbs to have shorter lifespans. There are a range of causes for this; two common sources are problems with an outdated electrical panel or a house or outdated wiring. Do not delay calling our electricians to look into this because of the potential danger from faulty electrical panels and bad wiring.  

No matter what service you require to protect the lighting in your house and keep your family safe (and out of the dark), you can trust the service to us.

Scherer Electric is Western New York’s Favorite Electrician! Schedule service with our licensed team today.

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