Saturday, 2 June 2012

Light Bulbs


Just what is it with modern lights bulbs? I bought two screw in light bulbs last month from a well known brand. The first lasted 2 days and the second one pinged into oblivion after a week. Closer examination reveals they were made in Poland. Now, I don’t blame Poland for this but what on earth is going on? I mean, modern day light bulbs seldom seem to last more than a few months but this is definitely not right.

Over the last few years it seems that I am forever replacing light bulbs. I have tried the halogen ceiling lights, gone to the DIY store and purchased new light fittings – most of which are not even manufactured with the right holes for fitting. I have replaced light sockets and even had a new fuse box fitted and a check on the house wiring by a qualified electrician.

Now, I know that a light bulb can fail for many reasons. Vibration causes bulbs to fail and upper landing lights are a classic example of bulbs that appear to fail early due to more movement in the floors and walls, causing vibration. Excess heat is another reason ( enclosed bulbs in glass fixtures and fittings will not last long ) and over voltage and socket problems can also add significantly to a shorter life for your light bulb.

However, my point is this. It doesn’t seem to make much difference whether I purchase my bulbs from the local supermarket or pay top premium for a well known brand. Even the long life bulbs can hardly be described as long life.

I fail to understand why a bulb fitted in 1901 in a town in California is still burning after a hundred years and yet with all the advances in technology we have problems in making bulbs that last beyond a few months.

Next time you pay for light bulbs look at the box. The packaging should show the average life expectancy of its bulb contents. Generally speaking a normal light bulb should be good for about 900 hours. If your house has 25 light bulbs fitted and you burn each bulb the equivalent of three hours every day then you can expect to replace a burned out bulb every twelve days.

Are we just more excessive with our use of lighting these days? Do lights burn in modern houses just for the sake of it? Do fathers still run around asking their kids to turn off the lights in an effort to save electricity?

Perhaps after all it may not be the light bulbs fault. Our ever increasing and wasteful use of resources could be why our light bulbs seem to be failing more often than they ever did before.

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