How to Get More Use Out of Your Light Bulbs

A working lightbulb

Light bulbs are a common find in households, with most using many at a time. Replacements can get expensive, and constantly throwing away burned out bulbs generates more household waste. Connect Electric wants to share information on how to get more use out of your light bulbs so that you spend less and waste less.

  • Check Your Voltage

If the voltage is too high, it can cause light bulbs to burn brighter and need to be replaced sooner. Test electrical outlets to ensure that they are supplying the correct amount of energy. This can be done with a multimeter. If the reading is over 125 volts, then you may have a problem in your electrical system that requires a professional.

  • Keep Ceiling Fans Balanced

Fixture vibration can also cause light bulbs to burn out. This is usually a bigger problem in homes with ceiling fans. If the blades are not balanced, the fan may vibrate or shake when on. This can affect the lifespan of the filament in the bulb. Vibration can also occur in other situations, like light fixtures in garage door openers.

To correct the issue, minimise vibration as much as possible. You can also install heavy-duty filament bulbs that can survive better with vibration.

  • Screw Bulbs in Securely

Make sure all light bulbs are screwed into their sockets securely. They may come loose if the lamp or fixtures is bumped or shaken. If you recently moved, you may want to check the existing bulbs in case the previous owner didn’t screw them in as tightly as they should.

Bulbs are fragile, so do not apply too much pressure when installing. However, they should be firmly in place so that they don’t tilt or wobble.

  • Check Bulb Contact in Lamps

A small metal tab can be found inside the light bulb socket, right at the bottom. This is where the bulb connects to the power source, allowing it to light up. Sometimes, the tab can be pushed down too hard so that it doesn’t make full contact with the bulb. It may look like the bulb is burned out, but it may not be getting any power.

You can fix this problem by unplugging the lamp or turning off power to the fixture. Then, using a wooden popsicle stick, you can carefully bend the tab back into place. Replace the light bulb, turn the power back on and see if it works.

Old sockets may have a brittle tab that cannot be bent. This is a sign that it’s time to replace the lamp or fixture.

  • Make Sure the Wiring is Working

Bulbs may go out due to a wiring problem. Damaged wires may not work. You could also experience a short circuit if current flows outside of the wiring. When this happens, everything can go dark and a breaker may trip. Wiring problems can be complex, so you may need to seek the advice of an electrician.

  • Choose Efficient Light Bulbs

Choose efficient light bulbs to get more use out of them. LEDs are the best option. They cost more initially but can save you a lot of money in electricity use and replacement bulbs. Incandescent lights are the least efficient and are best replaced with something newer.

Contact Connect Electric if you notice problems with your wiring or light fixtures. We can help you find solutions that are safe and cost-effective.