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Old 01-06-2015, 11:44 PM
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My LED Bulbs Keep Burning Out?

Probably like the rest of you, I am adapting to the discontinuation of incandescent bulbs as best I can. But there is just one problem. I keep buying LED bulbs (which should be good quality--and look like regular bulbs, for all intents and purposes). And they keep burning out on me. Not in a matter of hours, perhaps. Maybe in a matter of months, I suppose.

I might as well tell you all. I live in Detroit. And my house was built in 1946. It originally belonged to a Jewish couple, call them the B's. And then my parents bought in, probably in the late 1960's.

I don't think the fixtures in my house are c. 70 years old though. They do look more modern than that. (Although actually, my whole house looks very modern. People are surprised when I tell them it was built in 1946.)

The base of the bulbs are a little hot, when I take them out. But I do follow the recommended wattage on the box of the LED's. And I think if there was a fire hazard, it would be apparent by now (I would never post a question about a life-and-death situation, of course).

So what could be wrong?

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Old 01-06-2015, 11:57 PM
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What brand are you buying?
I only buy Cree's, and I write the date on each lamp when it is installed, and save the receipt and UPC, since they have a 3-year warranty. So far, I've had no failures.

You might want to have your voltage checked, to see if it's particularly high or low.
Old 01-07-2015, 12:03 AM
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the base will get warm due to the electronics inside.

what brand of bulbs?
Old 01-07-2015, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by johnpost View Post
the base will get warm due to the electronics inside.

what brand of bulbs?
I typically buy GE, which should be pretty good, I should think.
Old 01-07-2015, 12:14 AM
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I think it has less to do with your home's electrical circuitry and more with the quality of the LED lights themselves. It would help if you named the brand(s) you're using. They are not all the same and have standards of quality just like all electronics. My best guess is that the LEDs you're using don't have a proper heat sink and are "burning out" prematurely. More so if you're using the lights in a sealed enclosure.
Old 01-07-2015, 12:18 AM
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I'm gonna go ahead and blame the Jews.

Seriously now...as you know, you can still buy incandescent bulbs, as well as long-lasting compact fluorescents. Do the other types of bulbs seem to burn out quickly too? Correct me if I'm wrong but if there are voltage problems it should affect all types of bulbs, right?

Last edited by TSBG; 01-07-2015 at 12:19 AM.
Old 01-07-2015, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Saturn Dreams View Post
I think it has less to do with your home's electrical circuitry and more with the quality of the LED lights themselves. It would help if you named the brand(s) you're using. They are not all the same and have standards of quality just like all electronics. My best guess is that the LEDs you're using don't have a proper heat sink and are "burning out" prematurely. More so if you're using the lights in a sealed enclosure.
I think I usu. buy GE's, as I said. Or whatever the grocery store has (but I just looked at all the bulbs I bought--and they are all GE, sure enough).

There's another strange thing I've noticed. I buy these fluorescent bulbs, from Dollar Tree. And they last much longer than the LED's. The only problem with them, is I can't fit them in all my light fixtures.
Old 01-07-2015, 12:36 AM
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I saw your response of GE brand LEDs after I made my post. At least they are a brand name so let's give them the benefit of doubt

I still think high heat is the cause of your LEDs failing. You're sure you're using the correct lumens-rated lights in the appropriate wattage-rated sockets?
Old 01-07-2015, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Saturn Dreams View Post
You're sure you're using the correct lumens-rated lights in the appropriate wattage-rated sockets?
The light bulbs in the socket were always 75 watts, I believe. And so I use 53 watt, LED, which is I believe what is recommended.
Old 01-07-2015, 01:02 AM
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LEDs are not rated in Watts, rather in lumens. Is there a lumens rating?
Old 01-07-2015, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Saturn Dreams View Post
LEDs are not rated in Watts, rather in lumens. Is there a lumens rating?
Well, it says "uses only 53 watts". But since you asked, it also says "790 lumens". Boy, I really need to learn up on this subject, don't I?
Old 01-07-2015, 01:19 AM
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I went to the GE sight to look for you LEDs and could not find bulbs with your stated rating, but I did find this: http://genet.gelighting.com/LightPro...DUCTCODE=63008 Are these the lights you're using? Because they're not LEDs, but halogen bulbs. They are estimated to last
Quote:
Lasts 0.9 years based on 3 hours per day usage
Their LEDs have a 10-year limited warranty, BTW.
Old 01-07-2015, 01:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
Well, it says "uses only 53 watts". But since you asked, it also says "790 lumens".
Now I'm almost certain you are not using GE's LEDs. It sounds like you're using the halogen bulbs I linked to in my previous post. They are energy-efficient bulbs, i.e. uses 53 Watts to output the equivalent of 75 Watts worth of luminosity.
Old 01-07-2015, 01:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
The light bulbs in the socket were always 75 watts, I believe. And so I use 53 watt, LED, which is I believe what is recommended.
An LED that is equivalent to a 75 watt incandescent would use 13 to 15 watts. I don't think they sell any LEDs that use 53 watts for regular home consumer use. Such a monster would probably cost hundreds of dollars and blind you.

Looking at the GE web page, I agree with Saturn Dreams that you are almost certainly using halogen bulbs.
Old 01-07-2015, 01:40 AM
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What you want is one of these.
Old 01-07-2015, 01:55 AM
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All I can say, is I buy whatever they have, be they LED's, halogen or whatever. Also, since I am a relative newbie (if that's the right word) when it comes to electronic issues, I use the word "LED" as a very broad (and perhaps inaccurate, I now realize) term.

Btw, it does say ".9 Year Life" on the package. So could burning out after a couple of months, in fact, be normal? (Although I could swear they sometimes burn out only after a much shorter time, say a month or two.)
Old 01-07-2015, 03:15 AM
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If these are indeed the bulbs you are using, the reviews on Amazon are mixed. The good reviews talk about the nice colour of the light, but the several bad reviews all talk about early failure. Seems like it's a common problem with this product.
Old 01-07-2015, 03:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
All I can say, is I buy whatever they have, be they LED's, halogen or whatever. Also, since I am a relative newbie (if that's the right word) when it comes to electronic issues, I use the word "LED" as a very broad (and perhaps inaccurate, I now realize) term.
It's not "perhaps" inaccurate, it's totally wrong. Being a "newbie" doesn't excuse it.

That said, halogen incandescents eke out a bit more efficiency by running the filament at a higher temperature. If the quality control is spotty then I could see that they'd be more likely to fail.
Old 01-07-2015, 05:51 AM
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I used halogens for a while but rarely got more than a year out of them. I switched to CEFs to save money, but they were horrible - slow to 'warm up' gradually losing efficiency and still a short life. Now I now use LEDs everywhere I can and I like the (instant) light and the minimal power use. I don't like the up front cost, but I can live with that if they last as long as they are supposed to.
Old 01-07-2015, 06:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn Dreams View Post
LEDs are not rated in Watts, rather in lumens. Is there a lumens rating?
ALL bulbs are rated in lumen and the wattage they use.
Old 01-07-2015, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Doughbag View Post
ALL bulbs are rated in lumen and the wattage they use.
In the United States, the incandescent equivalent rating has become the de facto standard standard for labeling consumer light bulbs. Most bulbs display the equivalent incandescent wattage prominently on their packaging
with a footnote or small print disclaimer like "replacement" or "equivalent" and then less prominently feature the actual watt-rating of the bulb. Like it or not, their marketing departments have determined that most consumers prefer this information. And quite a few use dubious equivalent ratings.

Lumen ratings mean nothing to the average consumer. Maybe that will change someday. They are usually mentioned on the side or back of the box often in the voluntary "lighting facts" label that mimics the "nutrition facts" label found on food packages. But there is no requirement to list the lumen rating. I have a cheap package of 20-watt chandelier bulbs that has no mention of lumens on it and doesn't have a "lighting facts" label.
Old 01-07-2015, 08:24 AM
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IIRC, and perhaps someone can correct this if it's wrong, halogens for longer life should not be used on a dimmer. They are made to run hot all the time. It has to do with the halogen gas redepositing the 'vaporized' filament back onto the filament.
Old 01-07-2015, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
It originally belonged to a Jewish couple, call them the B's.
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Originally Posted by TSBG View Post
I'm gonna go ahead and blame the Jews.
Yeah I fail to see the point of the OP's reference to the race of the original homeowner's or even to calling them the B's, as he never referred to them again.

Does the OP think that there might be some sort of specific electrical wiring done for Jewish families in the 1940's?
Old 01-07-2015, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by TSBG View Post
as you know, you can still buy incandescent bulbs
Not really. The US Federal Government has outlawed all incandescent bulbs above 40W since Jan. 1, 2014.
Old 01-07-2015, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by neuroman View Post
Not really. The US Federal Government has outlawed all incandescent bulbs above 40W since Jan. 1, 2014.
What people usually refer to as "halogen" bulbs are actually a type of incandescent bulb. These are not banned.

Rough service bulbs are not banned, but are generally more inefficient than the traditional incandescent bulbs. Three-way bulbs and some specialty bulbs are not banned. These can all be used to circumvent the ban if you absolutely have to have an incandescent bulb.

Think Incandescent Light Bulbs Are Banned? Here’s a List of Exclusions!
Old 01-07-2015, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
Yeah I fail to see the point of the OP's reference to the race of the original homeowner's or even to calling them the B's, as he never referred to them again.

Does the OP think that there might be some sort of specific electrical wiring done for Jewish families in the 1940's?
It might be a totally unfair stereotype, but elderly Jewish couples of that era were known for taking meticulous care of their homes. I read the implication as being that he didn't buy a dilapidated fixer-upper that probably had failing wiring.
Old 01-07-2015, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by neuroman View Post
Not really. The US Federal Government has outlawed all incandescent bulbs above 40W since Jan. 1, 2014.
Somebody better tell Home Depot, where I continue to buy incandescent bulbs.
Old 01-07-2015, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by neuroman View Post
Not really. The US Federal Government has outlawed all incandescent bulbs above 40W since Jan. 1, 2014.
I hope not because I have some and are using them right now. I do believe they banned manufacture of such bulbs, but not sale, gift or use of them. So existing stock is legal.
Old 01-07-2015, 09:27 PM
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Halogen bulbs shouldn't be switched on and off frequently, as the heat they generate internally is part of the way they work. They also, from my experience, really don't like any kind of vibration, even things you wouldn't think of, like closing doors or people walking on the floor above the fixture. The ceiling fixtures in my kitchen used MR16 halogen mini-floods, and those damn things ate bulbs like nobody's business. Other MR16 bulbs, even on the same circuit, lasted a lot longer.

I replaced them with fixtures and LED bulbs from Ikea, haven't had a problem since.

I've replaced almost all of the bulbs in my house with LED over the past few years, and haven't had a single failure (did have one DOA bulb, easily returned).
Old 01-07-2015, 09:45 PM
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I have a fixture with 3 halogen mini-floods in the bedroom. I've only replaced two bulbs in the 8 years we've had the house. It is dimmable and the dimmer is used at least twice a day to adjust the light levels. There's also plenty of vibration (heh). Seriously, there are plenty of small earthquakes in our area and there's enough traffic on my street to make the house shake sometimes--enough vibration that the pix on the wall go crooked constantly. Plus my daughter and dog running around.

ETA, that said I still plan to make the switch to LEDs as my current bulbs go--obviously I'll have to change the whole fixture for the light I'm talking about.

Last edited by TSBG; 01-07-2015 at 09:46 PM.
Old 01-07-2015, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by buckgully View Post
Halogen bulbs shouldn't be switched on and off frequently, as the heat they generate internally is part of the way they work. They also, from my experience, really don't like any kind of vibration, even things you wouldn't think of, like closing doors or people walking on the floor above the fixture. The ceiling fixtures in my kitchen used MR16 halogen mini-floods, and those damn things ate bulbs like nobody's business. Other MR16 bulbs, even on the same circuit, lasted a lot longer.

I replaced them with fixtures and LED bulbs from Ikea, haven't had a problem since.

I've replaced almost all of the bulbs in my house with LED over the past few years, and haven't had a single failure (did have one DOA bulb, easily returned).
That's been my experience, bumping a lamp is a good way to kill a $1 halogen bulb that a 25 cent incandescent would survive.
Old 01-07-2015, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Alley Dweller View Post
What people usually refer to as "halogen" bulbs are actually a type of incandescent bulb. These are not banned.

Rough service bulbs are not banned, but are generally more inefficient than the traditional incandescent bulbs. Three-way bulbs and some specialty bulbs are not banned. These can all be used to circumvent the ban if you absolutely have to have an incandescent bulb.

Think Incandescent Light Bulbs Are Banned? Here’s a List of Exclusions!
I may have to resort to using rough service bulbs in my nightstand lamps; they operate at 10% brightness all night long which tends to eventually cause halogen lamps to start turning black.
Old 01-07-2015, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alley Dweller View Post
In the United States, the incandescent equivalent rating has become the de facto standard standard for labeling consumer light bulbs. Most bulbs display the equivalent incandescent wattage prominently on their packaging
with a footnote or small print disclaimer like "replacement" or "equivalent" and then less prominently feature the actual watt-rating of the bulb. Like it or not, their marketing departments have determined that most consumers prefer this information. And quite a few use dubious equivalent ratings.

Lumen ratings mean nothing to the average consumer. Maybe that will change someday. They are usually mentioned on the side or back of the box often in the voluntary "lighting facts" label that mimics the "nutrition facts" label found on food packages. But there is no requirement to list the lumen rating. I have a cheap package of 20-watt chandelier bulbs that has no mention of lumens on it and doesn't have a "lighting facts" label.
Not what I have seen. I went looking for bulbs for a new lamp, and all the CFL and LED packages had lumens on the front, in characters typically 3/8ths to half an inch tall.
Old 01-08-2015, 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
All I can say, is I buy whatever they have, be they LED's, halogen or whatever. Also, since I am a relative newbie (if that's the right word) when it comes to electronic issues, I use the word "LED" as a very broad (and perhaps inaccurate, I now realize) term.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jz78817 View Post
It's not "perhaps" inaccurate, it's totally wrong. Being a "newbie" doesn't excuse it.
At any rate, it certainly changes the thread question. Asking "Why do my LED bulbs keep burning out?" when what you really have are halogen bulbs is a little bit like asking "Why does my car keep falling over?" when what you really have is a bicycle.
Old 01-08-2015, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by TSBG View Post
I have a fixture with 3 halogen mini-floods in the bedroom. I've only replaced two bulbs in the 8 years we've had the house. It is dimmable and the dimmer is used at least twice a day to adjust the light levels. There's also plenty of vibration (heh). Seriously, there are plenty of small earthquakes in our area and there's enough traffic on my street to make the house shake sometimes--enough vibration that the pix on the wall go crooked constantly. Plus my daughter and dog running around.

ETA, that said I still plan to make the switch to LEDs as my current bulbs go--obviously I'll have to change the whole fixture for the light I'm talking about.
We had halogen track lights in our living room with a vaulted ceiling, two sets of three lights each. About 5 years ago, one burnt out. A month later, another one bit the dust. Because of the vaulted ceiling, I was a little slow in replacing them. When I went to the store to find a replacement, I found they had LEDs with the same base. They were expensive (about $15 each, $90 or more for all of them). But, I reasoned if I was going to climb up a ladder and risk my life changing them, I wanted some that were going to last. We have since moved, but that is irrelevant.

So, I wouldn't be so quick to assume you would have to change your fixture. In our new house, the stove hood had (burned out) halogen lights in it. I went to buy LED replacements, but the only ones the store had that had the same base would not fit in the fixture, so I bought halogens (about $12 each). I don't know if it is the vibration of the fan, or the fact that they often get left on for days at a time, but their life was very short (as in less than two months). I did a little searching on eBay and found some that the seller said would fit my base if I bent the prongs a little. I did and I am so happy. Once I bent the little prongs with a needle nosed pliers, they fit like a charm. It's been over a year and they are still going strong (and they don't leave nearly as much electricity when we leave them on). I am a bit annoyed that the companies that manufacture the stove hoods don't make it so that the lights come on automatically when you turn the stove on. That and have the vent fan on a timer so that it will turn off, say, 30 minutes after you turn off the stove, but that is a rant for another day.
Old 01-08-2015, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Mdcastle View Post
I may have to resort to using rough service bulbs in my nightstand lamps; they operate at 10% brightness all night long which tends to eventually cause halogen lamps to start turning black.
You can also use appliance bulbs and should work fine for the purpose you state.
Old 01-08-2015, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by eschereal View Post
Not what I have seen. I went looking for bulbs for a new lamp, and all the CFL and LED packages had lumens on the front, in characters typically 3/8ths to half an inch tall.
I don't think the point was that lumens are not on the package, but that most people still use the IC equivalent rating and ignore lumens.

Last edited by kanicbird; 01-08-2015 at 01:36 PM.
Old 01-08-2015, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by excavating (for a mind) View Post
...

So, I wouldn't be so quick to assume you would have to change your fixture. ...
Thanks for the very useful info. My wife hates the thing anyway and wants me to change it, but it's probably never going to rise to the top of my to-do list, so it's good to know I can replace the bulbs with LEDs.
Old 01-08-2015, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by neuroman View Post
Not really. The US Federal Government has outlawed all incandescent bulbs above 40W since Jan. 1, 2014.
Not true.
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