Tuesday 23rd January 2018
A Light bulb moment
Top tips to extend the life of your light bulbs
The world's longest running officially recognised lightbulb, the centennial bulb, has hung in a fire station in Livermore California since 1901. It began its duty as a nightlight over the firetrucks at a glorious 60 watts. Apart from a couple of short breaks during the odd power cut it has burned continuously despite its output dimming to four watts. Among other factors, the lifetime of any lamp depends on operating voltage, exposure to voltage spikes, mechanical shock and vibrations, how often you turn the light on and off, and ambient operating temperature. Leading Irish lighting company Solus have some top tips to help get the most from your light bulbs
1. Check the maximum wattage for each light fixture
When the light bulb in a light fixture burns out, most people simply replace it with whatever sized light bulb they have around the house. This is possibly the most common reason that light bulbs burn out quickly because every light fixture is constructed to handle a certain maximum wattage. Installing a light bulb that exceeds the maximum wattage can cause excessive heating that can ultimately damage the fixture and will blow the bulb. For the most part the maximum wattage is actually written on the light fitting near where you change the bulb.
2. Check the maximum wattage on dimmer switches
This is also a very common reason why light bulbs will burn out. For example, if a dimmer switch for a chandelier has a maximum wattage capacity of 308 and you install eight 46 watt bulbs (equivalent to the old 60 watt incandescent bulbs), the total wattage going through the dimmer switch will be 368 so it will be considerably overloaded which will shut down all 8 bulbs in the chandelier.
3. Buy light bulbs from a brand you trust with stricter quality control.
In long term, the difference in price between a light bulb of quality and a cheap light bulb pays off when it comes to frequency of their replacement. Solus have very strict quality control and have full ISO 9001 Certification
4. Make sure light bulbs are screwed in properly
Turn off the power source then gently screw the lightbulb into the socket using a clockwise motion. Don’t stop turning until you encounter resistance. If you encounter a lot of resistance and the bulb isn’t completely screwed in yet, double check that you have the right bulb size. Once the bulb is in place, test the bulb by turning the light back on. If it doesn’t work, unscrew the bulb, blow on the socket to remove debris, and try again.
5. Don't move it!
Light bulbs get very hot. And when metal (which makes up a bulb's filament) gets hot, it gets brittle. The more you handle a bulb with a brittle filament, the more vibration you subject it to, making the filament much more likely to snap. This doesn't apply only to handling the bulb; it also applies to placement. Any bulb installed in a place that moves also moves. The swish of a ceiling fan or the slam of a refrigerator door, while barely heard by you, is a light bulb's death knell.
6. Operate it at low power.
This may be the real secret to the Centennial Bulb's longevity. Less power means less heat, which translates to less stress on a bulb filament. You can stretch this principle with a dimmer switch. When you dim a bulb, you are lowering the voltage delivered to the bulb filament, putting it under less stress.
7. Check the condition of your light fixtures and have an electrician check your wiring.
If you have checked all of the above and still find that light bulbs are inexplicably blowing, perhaps it would be wise to seek professional help from a qualified electrician. Understand that not all electrical problems are going to be related. Failures can occur due to faulty or incorrect wiring that eventually goes bad, then there are times when electrical equipment or devices fail because of bad connections which may be aggravated by environmental conditions such as moisture.
Solus is an Irish owned company that has been established for over eighty years and now supports 63 jobs in Ireland. Nominated for two national awards this year, the company is constantly investing in new product development, pioneering ‘Retail Experience’ displays and the manufacturing and application of innovative lighting solutions including next generation LEDs. Solus is committed to providing a complete range of energy saving lighting products for all applications possible. This has enabled consumers to be confident in knowing that they can rely on Solus to supply their lighting needs well into the future at competitive prices.