Electrical Home Safety - lighting

Submitted by devore on Sat, 04/21/2018 - 09:52
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Written by Melissa Taylor 

You may not know electrical jargon, however, that does not mean that electrical safety isn’t important. In this two-part series we will help ensure that your home is safe from potential electrical hazards. 

Do you question why your lightbulbs blow out so quickly? Here are a few reasons. 

Overlamping – When a light fixture is fitted with a bulb that has a higher wattage than what is recommended by the manufacturer. 

For example, putting a 100-watt bulb into a fixture that is rated for a 60-watt bulb would be considered overlamping. 

What happens when you overlamp? Well, any time you overlamp you are putting your wires at risk because the intense heat could melt your light socket and the insulation on your fixture’s wires, which would put you at high risk for experiencing an arc fault. (You can find the fixture wattage rating directly on your light socket where your bulb screws in.) 

Perhaps you may have purchased a bulb in the correct wattage, and your bulb is still burning out. That could be because you’re using an incorrect bulb for an enclosed fixture. Your bulb might be too large for the fixture, causing it to inadequately disperse heat, resulting in early burn out. Try using a smaller bulb for enclosed fixtures. 
Sometimes the bulbs are screwed into the fixture too tightly, which can permanently damage the “fixture to bulb connection”, which means it’s time to purchase a new fixture because this cannot be reversed. 

So let’s say that you’ve checked the light fixtures and have made sure that you are using the proper wattage, but multiple fixtures in your home are still blowing through bulbs… now what? Check the voltage of your home. Typically speaking, your home voltage should read 120 volts, but it is normal for a home to fluctuate. If your voltage tester is reading 125 volts or higher, then chances are you’ve uncovered the issue. Occasionally a house can be slightly overpowered and for nearly everything that requires electricity, it’s okay; but for light bulbs it has been known to shorten their life spans. To remedy this matter, you may want to swap out your 120-volt bulbs for 130-volt light bulbs