Author Topic: Light bulbs keep going bad  (Read 2896 times)

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Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 318
Light bulbs keep going bad
« on: June 18, 2021, 11:11 AM »
In my kitchen I have some light bulbs that keep going out FAST. They're recessed kinda like this. I use incandescent and don't wish to change. There's no obvious indication of why.
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Offline Holzhacker

  • Posts: 1010
    • www.aic-chicago.com
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2021, 11:16 AM »
Probably a bad ground path or loose neutral connection.
Had a 4" can in a stairway doing same thing. Bulb would go bad fairly regularly. Other can bulb went bad on a more normal basis for a incandescent bulb. Finally got around to opening up the can. Loose wire nut connection on the neutral side. Tightened it all up. Hasn't happened since.
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Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 318
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2021, 11:22 AM »
Ok, I'll see what I can do to check everything. They're very high up, I'll find out what I can do.
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Online AstroKeith

  • Posts: 202
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2021, 12:44 PM »
Eventually you'll have to change from incandescent lamps.

After a little while I now prefer LED, the ability to choose colour temperature is great.
Retired engineer/scientist

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 674
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2021, 05:35 PM »
Don’t buy your bulbs at the big box stores. Go to a good quality lighting shop and buy 130V bulbs. Also buy a tube of electrical grease and sparingly spread a little on the bulb threads and bottom terminal before installing. Also, as suggested above, check the tightness of the wire connections if possible.

Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 318
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2021, 03:24 PM »
Eventually you'll have to change from incandescent lamps.

After a little while I now prefer LED, the ability to choose colour temperature is great.

I sincerely hope to never see that day. They're very electrically noisy.
CXS;RO150;ETS EC 125/3 EQ;CT26e  KSS400;MT55cc;DDF 40

Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2021, 04:00 PM »
Jeremy

Quality ones are not noisy.

Have about 30 in my house, no issues.

And 20 at the workshop, no issues.

BR Simo

Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 318
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2021, 03:47 PM »
Sorry but I can show you measurements, there is no such thing as a non-noisy LED currently.
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Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1362
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2021, 04:28 PM »
Sorry but I can show you measurements, there is no such thing as a non-noisy LED currently.

When you say noisy, do you mean sound, or do you mean electrically noisy?

if sound, are you thinking florescent.   No LED makes sound.  The noise of Florescent and some CFLs was annoying.  LEDs make no sound.

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 2186
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2021, 04:38 PM »
Sorry but I can show you measurements, there is no such thing as a non-noisy LED currently.

When you say noisy, do you mean sound, or do you mean electrically noisy?

if sound, are you thinking florescent.   No LED makes sound.  The noise of Florescent and some CFLs was annoying.  LEDs make no sound.

LEDs that are functioning normally are silent, but I replaced one that went bad and had a audible hum that drove me nuts until I figured out where it was coming from.
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Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7549
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2021, 04:50 PM »
Electrically noisy does not mean sound noisy, but instead of a clean signal a signal with a lot of interference. What I don't understand is how this would bother you in a lamp. Electric measuring equipment might pick it up, but humans lack the sensors for that.

I changed most of the lights in my house to leds now, I love them. I love how they hardly use energy, I love how they don't produce any heat, I love how they have a wide variation of colour temperature, I love how close they can come to daylight, and I love how they can be extremely bright in a small package.

What I don't love is their dimmability, and that's a shame, they really suck at that, but I am sure that eventually the engineers will figure that out too. Led lighting is still a very young technology.

And yes, some leds can make a buzzing noise, and their dimmers even more. Suffice it to say, those things don't stay long in my vicinity.

Offline Mini Me

  • Posts: 60
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2021, 09:21 PM »
I have had no trouble with dimmers on LED's but you do need to know if the dimmer needs to be leading or trailing edge whatever that means.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1362
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2021, 09:31 PM »
You need a dimmer designed for LEDs.   Incandescent bulbs and LEDs behave differently as load. Get a dimmer designed for LEDs and Dimable LEDs and you should be good to go.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8722
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2021, 12:12 AM »
I guess I don't quite know what the aversion to LED lighting is all about. The color fidelity is better, the energy usage is less, the bulb life is longer, what did I miss?

I have outdoor lighting that has 30+ fence LED's for down lighting, 30+ bollards for general garden lighting and at least 6 other LED lights for step lights, spot lights and general lighting. They run on a dusk to dawn circuit and average about 4400 hours of use per year. The monthly cost is $1.60 for all of this and I've replaced 1 LED bulb in the last 4 years. If this would have been traditional incandescent lighting my energy costs would be 10x and I'd have replaced all the bulbs 6-8 times. What's not to like?

I've also changed the house over to LED's ...me likee, no regrets.

Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 318
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2021, 10:42 AM »
Sorry but I can show you measurements, there is no such thing as a non-noisy LED currently.

When you say noisy, do you mean sound, or do you mean electrically noisy?

if sound, are you thinking florescent.   No LED makes sound.  The noise of Florescent and some CFLs was annoying.  LEDs make no sound.

Electrically. They're dirty dogs.
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Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1362
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2021, 10:59 AM »
Curious what you have that this would be an issue. Do you have scientific instruments plugged into your house?

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 2186
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2021, 12:51 PM »
Curious what you have that this would be an issue. Do you have scientific instruments plugged into your house?

If you're a SWLer or Ham Radio Operator the RF noise can be a PITA. But it can also invade broadcast spectrum for radio and/or OTA TV (though current OTA digital TV signals are not affected much if at all unless there is significant receiver overloading) and potentially interfere with HA (Home Automation) devices running on Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, and Zigbee.

Inferior LEDs can also interfere with your GDO.
https://support.chamberlaingroup.com/s/article/What-light-bulbs-can-I-use-in-my-garage-door-opener-1484145692747

Genie makes a bulb that they claim does not interfere with their GDOs. Not inexpensive but if they work.
https://www.geniecompany.com/led-light-bulb-/LED-Bulb
« Last Edit: July 20, 2021, 07:06 AM by Bob D. »
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Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 429
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2021, 02:44 PM »
I replaced every light in the house we just moved out of with LEDs, probably 70 or more in all.  LEDs of 10 years ago were much inferior to more modern ones in color temp and life.  The only challenge with dimming is that LEDs draw so little current that they won't work with many incandescent dimmers, dimmers that are LED compatible used with dimmable LEDs work just fine.  As to electrical noise I do a good bit of electronics work including low level measurements with instruments and oscilloscopes in my basement, which has 15 of the 4' LED shoplights putting out 4000 lumens each and I don't see any impact on my measuring equipment and certainly no audible noise.  The new house we just moved into is 100% LED.  I doubt you'll be able to buy much else in 5-10 more years.

Offline serge0n

  • Posts: 172
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2021, 07:05 PM »
I guess I don't quite know what the aversion to LED lighting is all about. The color fidelity is better, the energy usage is less, the bulb life is longer, what did I miss?

You missed the flicker and the fact that it's impossible to truly dim LEDs.

All LEDs flicker and that flicker is either coming from AC or PWM.
If it's a light bulb, you have to use electronic components to rectify AC and as customer demand drives prices down, down goes the quality of the electronic components. Cheap electronics do crappy rectification causing major flicker effect. It's not perceptible by a naked eye, but you can easily detect it if you shoot a slo-mo video of a light with your smart phone.

Most LED bulbs bought at a home center flicker like crazy. Good quality LED bulbs will have flicker that is not noticeable to the human eye and even to most high speed cameras, but these are either very expensive or very hard to find as most manufacturers don't publish detailed specs on their LED lights.
Even incandescent bulbs flicker due to the nature of the AC waveform, but at a much lower rate.

Further, LEDs can be either at a 100% brightness or at a 0% brightness, you can't dim them. But you can simulate the effect by keeping them turned off 75% of the time and on 25% of the time, switching them on and off very rapidly (75% dimmed). The problem with dimming LEDs is that a cheap LED driver which is needed to achieve this effect will produce a lot more flicker than even a cheap LED bulb at all levels of brightness, even when you turn it all the way up. And once again, good LED dimmers are hard to find.
Bulbs that heat up filament to produce light can be easily dimmed by reducing voltage.

To summarize, LED is not a magical new technology that trumps it's predecessors on every front. Similar to flat screen TVs (LCD, LED, OLED, etc.) and EV cars, it has some major drawbacks when compared to legacy solutions it has come to replace. Unfortunately this is the future of lightning until something better emerges and for now all concerns about flicker causing health issues are swept under the rug in the name of being greener.


@JeremyH. I'm genuinely curious, why electrical noise produced by LEDs is a concern to you?

Offline Mini Me

  • Posts: 60
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2021, 07:40 PM »
Further, LEDs can be either at a 100% brightness or at a 0% brightness, you can't dim them. But you can simulate the effect by keeping them turned off 75% of the time and on 25% of the time, switching them on and off very rapidly (75% dimmed). The problem with dimming LEDs is that a cheap LED driver which is needed to achieve this effect will produce a lot more flicker than even a cheap LED bulb at all levels of brightness, even when you turn it all the way up. And once again, good LED dimmers are hard to find.
Bulbs that heat up filament to produce light can be easily dimmed by reducing voltage.

The above puzzles me as I have recently installed LED downlights with leading edge dimmers on them and they appear to dim in exactly the way I would have expected and in the same manner that incadescent globes act. Certainly the LED's were not expensive but I notice that all the ones I buy now have switchable color temperature in them which needs to be set when installing. It is a bit of a disappointment when a lot of lights are installed and some did not have the temp set correctly, DAMHIKT. 


Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 429
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2021, 10:09 PM »
About a month ago I installed Armacost under cabinet LED puck lights in the kitchen of our new home.  The lights are driven by an Armacost power supply that is fed from a LED compatible wifi controlled dimmer made by Kasa and available on Amazon.  The dimming action is smooth, continuous and flicker free. 

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8722
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2021, 01:35 AM »
You missed the flicker and the fact that it's impossible to truly dim LEDs.

Well this rather reminds me of the difference in technologies between the Flathead Ford and the newly developed small block Chevy engine in the mid 50's. At the time the flathead was king (enter the incandescent light bulb) and the small block Chevy engine was the challenger (enter the LED lightbulb). Everyone hailed the flathead Ford and all of its superior qualities until of course the small block Chevy came around and blew the flathead into the weeds. It took about 20 years and there are probably several folks to this day, that have Flathead Ford engraved on their head stones, they will always be the true believers, but the outcome was inevitable...the best technology of the time superseded the best technology of 30 years prior.
This same situation exists with incandescent vs LED's, today. Give it some time, Thomas Edison started the light bulb thing in 1879...they've had 120 years to perfect it. The LED light thing was started in the 60's...give it some time, it will come around.

And no, I didn't miss the flicker issue, instead I decided to use the correct dimmer.

Online AstroKeith

  • Posts: 202
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2021, 04:24 AM »
There does seem to be an awful lot of deep rooted opinion being let out here!

Appropriate LEDs and appropriate LED dimmers can dim from 5% to 100%.
On the whole LEDs create less electrical noise as the currents are so much smaller than for incandescent. Try measuring an incandescent bulb dimmer! Conducted and emitted electrical and RF noise for metres.
Good dimmers switch at frequencies that no one has shown are a problem. If they are - dont look at TVs, computers, phones, etc.
Increasingly we are using filament LED lamps. These dont have any drive electronics in the lamp and are coated with phosphor which almost eliminates any high frequency flicker of the emitted light if dimmed.

Or course there is a lot of cheap rubbish out there. Don't buy it and dont let it shape your overall opinions.
Retired engineer/scientist

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 526
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2021, 08:58 AM »
In my studio (photography) lights, the modelling light is incandescent (and expensive).  If I get my fingerprints on the bulb it will burn out in just hours.  The fingerprint actually etches the surface of the glass.

Try replacing the bulbs using either gloves, or by holding a piece of fabric or paper to protect the bulb from your fingerprints.  If you do touch it, then wipe the bulb immediately with rubbing alcohol. 

This holds true for halogen bulbs in car headlights.

https://www.lightingcompany.co.uk/is-it-true-you-should-not-touch-halogen-capsule-bulbs-with-your-fingers-i98

IS IT TRUE YOU SHOULD NOT TOUCH HALOGEN CAPSULE BULBS WITH YOUR FINGERS?




Offline Mike Goetzke

  • Posts: 746
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2021, 09:15 AM »
When we remodeled our kitchen about 9 years ago I installed 8 can lights I installed the fluorescent bulbs because the LEDs were very costly at the time. When the price dropped a bit I bought LED's. Like the OP'er I had early failures. Issue for me was the technology was moving so fast you couldn't get exact look replacements. I'm probably on my third set of lights and they seem much more reliable. The electronics on the original set had big cast heat sinks which seem to have disappeared on the newer/cheaper ones. I too have found for many applications the LED's don't last as long as expected. If you read the fine print there are many restrictions on achieving posted life. I think the LED's themselves last forever but not the electronics imbedded in the bulb don't, but, my experience has been they are getting much better as time goes on.

One other note - I'm just the handyman around the house but the cans for these lights have many different ratings. Some can be insulated from above and some can't. Some are designed to provide good air circulation and some are not.

Offline serge0n

  • Posts: 172
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2021, 11:15 AM »
Further, LEDs can be either at a 100% brightness or at a 0% brightness, you can't dim them. But you can simulate the effect by keeping them turned off 75% of the time and on 25% of the time, switching them on and off very rapidly (75% dimmed). The problem with dimming LEDs is that a cheap LED driver which is needed to achieve this effect will produce a lot more flicker than even a cheap LED bulb at all levels of brightness, even when you turn it all the way up. And once again, good LED dimmers are hard to find.
Bulbs that heat up filament to produce light can be easily dimmed by reducing voltage.

The above puzzles me as I have recently installed LED downlights with leading edge dimmers on them and they appear to dim in exactly the way I would have expected and in the same manner that incadescent globes act.

It's an illusion. Good drivers can produce a very good illusion of dimming with no noticeable flicker, but fundamentally LEDs are not dimmable, they only have 2 states - on and off. If you take a very high speed camera (10,000 FPS? I'm speculating here) you will detect the rapid on/off action when you dim your lights.

Offline serge0n

  • Posts: 172
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2021, 11:20 AM »
About a month ago I installed Armacost under cabinet LED puck lights in the kitchen of our new home.  The lights are driven by an Armacost power supply that is fed from a LED compatible wifi controlled dimmer made by Kasa and available on Amazon.  The dimming action is smooth, continuous and flicker free.

Armacost makes very good LEDs and drivers. Another company is Waveform Lightning. Both produce dimmers and bulbs with acceptable (not noticeable) flicker levels. I have Armacost shop lights (discontinued) that have great flicker levels.
Problem is Armacost doesn't produce light bulbs and Waveform's bulbs are not dimmable or not bright enough (they max out at ~850 lm).

Offline serge0n

  • Posts: 172
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #27 on: July 20, 2021, 11:35 AM »
You missed the flicker and the fact that it's impossible to truly dim LEDs.

This same situation exists with incandescent vs LED's, today. Give it some time, Thomas Edison started the light bulb thing in 1879...they've had 120 years to perfect it. The LED light thing was started in the 60's...give it some time, it will come around.

Flicker issues may be resolved in the future, I'm hopeful. But I think LEDs are inherently flawed when it comes to dimming - when a light emitter can only have on or off state that limits your dimming options. I hope bioluminescence tech sees significant progress in the next decade or two and a new type of emitter will be produced that is better than LEDs.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not clinging to incandescent, but my LED journey has been quite frustrating thus far. I still can't find a good LED can light or a dimmable light bulb that wouldn't flicker.

And no, I didn't miss the flicker issue, instead I decided to use the correct dimmer.

That's the thing, what IS the correct dimmer? How did you find it? I'm using Lutron's Casseta dimmers for my kitchen, dining and living room lights and I wouldn't describe the dimming effect as "smooth". It used to be very smooth when I had incandescent bulbs, but now some bulbs work and dim ok, others have flicker detectable in peripheral vision.
Getting a good LED driver for strips and puck lights is not a problem - Armacost sells them, but getting something acceptable for light bulbs is problematic.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7549
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #28 on: July 20, 2021, 12:54 PM »
I have not found a good dimmer with a good LED combination either.  Problem is, Leds don't dim on a continuous path like incandescent does. They dim in steps instead, and when you go all the way down to the bottom, incandescent can be dialed in very finely, whereas a led lamp just goes out completely instead of going to that very low light I want.




Offline Packard

  • Posts: 526
Re: Light bulbs keep going bad
« Reply #29 on: July 20, 2021, 03:34 PM »
Also, LEDs dim to about 40% of the total brightness.  Incandescent bulbs can go down to 5 - 7%.  That information was from Lutron who I contacted when I wanted to dim my LEDs. 

I plugged my studio strobes (photography) into a wall outlet that had a dimmer on it.  I accidently did not have it on full power.   That cost me $600.00 in repairs.  Some devices do not like dimmers.