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Ways to reduce my weekly loss

  1. Mar 1, 2012 #1
    i recieve 220v single phase supply at my home. i have 60w incandescent bulbs installed in 2 different rooms which keep blowing almost every week (just after turning on)...There is no loss of appliances since mcb at mains resets but i have to replace bulbs every time.

    Is there a solution ??

    the ones i have in my mind are:
    change the bulb holder
    replace the switch at switchbox

    I cant change the wiring from mains to switchbox.

    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 1, 2012 #2
    also can switching to cfl be of any help ???
    I have been avoiding it so far because its extra burden replacing them time and again
  4. Mar 1, 2012 #3


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    Hello jose_007. http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/4219/welcomelj.gif [Broken]

    Under 100w, the incandescent bulbs show shorter life, in my experience. However, given the cheap price of CFL and their lower power usage, you sure should give them a go. They should last much longer than your old tungstens, though quality of the cheapies can be patchy.

    A CFL is no more difficult to replace than an incandescent, surely? Can be same size, same shape. Get a good GE or Philips and you should not have to drag out the ladder for at least 6 months. Frequent on-off cycling will shorten the life of CFL's.

    If cost is not a major factor, maybe try a LED plugin. Read up on them first.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  5. Mar 1, 2012 #4
    thanks for reply NascentOxygen

    cfl is surely an option...but i would keep it as the last one.

    do you think anything else that can improve the situation ?
    Also I was wondering if a fuse between the switch and bulb could be of any help..
    (just wondering)
  6. Mar 1, 2012 #5
    You said 230V single phase. Is that right? Are your bulbs rated for 120V or 230V? If your running a 120V bulb on a 230v circuit that may be the problem. Most homes (in America) have a 120V ish two phase input...
  7. Mar 1, 2012 #6


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    I think I have heard of such things as longer-life incandescents, but never seen one. If you are using cheap Chinese bulbs, buy an expensive name brand and see how that goes. Though it's probably a case of four times the price for double the life. https://www.physicsforums.com/images/icons/icon6.gif [Broken]

    Maybe try one of the halogen bulbs. They are about the same size as the ordinary incandescent, but have a bulb within a bulb allowing the filament to operate hotter and give a brighter, whiter light. I don't know whether they are more tolerant of overvoltage, but for a few bucks you can find out. :smile:

    Quite possibly your house supply is just a tad over the nominal 220v or whatever. While fridges and washing machines don't mind this, a light bulb's life is markedly shortened by a slightly higher voltage. If you have a good digital meter you could measure the line voltage, if well over 220v see whether the power company can/will do something to lower it.

    Are you new to that house? If not, has the problem only just recently emerged? Since the power company installed a new transformer just down the road, or since a big development/factory/supermarket opened up nearby?

    I can't see it making any difference. If you are an electronics person, and determined to stay with incandescents, I have an idea. While you could try a dimmer, a cheaper alternative might be to solder two power zener diodes in series, back to back, to drop the peak of the voltage going to the bulbs.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  8. Mar 2, 2012 #7
    @Got Dzel
    the lamp and supply are both at 230v

    i am using philips lamps,which so far I think is a good company:P

    I too think voltage fluctutaion could be a cause because normally filaments aren't that good to sustain such changes

    i too thought of this thing,but isnt maximum voltage rating of zener diode around 20V???

    Thanks for replies friends :)
  9. Mar 2, 2012 #8


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    Two 8v zeners in series with the bulb, will drop the voltage from 230v to ~224v
  10. Mar 2, 2012 #9

    jim hardy

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  11. Mar 2, 2012 #10
    Yes, I remember I always put dimmers for lights that is hard to reach, get the 150W bulb and turn it down. They last forever. I don't recall we ever burnt out one yet. I Did it like this until we change to all florescent lights in 1994. They really cut down the electric bill.
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  12. Mar 2, 2012 #11


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    I don't get this: CFL bulbs last significantly longer than incandescents.
  13. Mar 2, 2012 #12
    Florescent lights should last a long time, but in reality, you need to be careful which brand you buy. So far, only Philips last as advertized. The worst was "Light of America". I guaranty you they don't last as long as the tungsten lights. They got to be the worst. Then you have a lot of those fly by night brands that really sucks. They definitely do not build equal. I like the house to be bright, I got so many florescent lights around the house you won't believe it. Particular I have the recess and the rail lights. At any given evening, I average 20 lights on. They don't last no 5 years!!!! I can assure you if you use a dimmer and a 150W to dime down it will last so much longer....yes even the Philips. Not even close. Philips maybe 3 years......more give than take.

    Also, when you have florescent lights and it stop working, change it right a way, they don't just open up like the old lights, a lot of them actually heat up and I had a few melted and smoked.
  14. Mar 2, 2012 #13


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    True, this will give them a long life. But not everyone likes their yellower glow. This might be true of jose_007 now that he has become accustomed to enjoying ultra white incandescents! :wink:
  15. Mar 2, 2012 #14
    Actually if you turn down a little, it is not that yellow and it will last a long time. Like in the dimmer, I just back off like 10 to 15 seconds like in the clock, it will make a difference.
  16. Mar 3, 2012 #15
    The light dimmer idea is probably the most sound, as you can readily install a product that has been through safety testing. Of course, being in a land with 230VAC, electrocution is a very real and present hazard when performing the change.

    I've found that the CCFL fail early, but being familiar with the typical failure modes of power electronics and having a best friend that's a reliability engineer, I've found a personal work around.

    I simply take an aluminum soda can and make a crude heat sink, which I then wrap about the body of the electronics section. I simply use 5 minute epoxy to bond it and a piece of tape to hold it until the epoxy sets (overnight).

    I know some people will argue the validity of the epoxy because it's not a good thermal conductor, but it's used over a wide surface with very little thickness and a low heat flow rate. So, it works well.

    As to the aluminum, I simply cut a rectangle to wrap the body by about 1.5 inches. Then I cut serrations on each side every .2 inch, or so, and to about about .3 inches depth. Fold these cuts to form fins with every other one bent either 30 deg or 120 deg.

    So far, I've done this to three troublesome lamps (under covers) and the new ones are still holding up.
  17. Mar 3, 2012 #16

    jim hardy

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    It's roulette with CFL bulbs.

    My kitchen light has been on continuously since 2002.
    First CFL went about five years.
    Second about three months.
    Third 4 years.
    Fourth one is not quite a year old, doing fine.

    But i like those touch-dimmable 3 stage lamps. Have three of them in living room and two in bedroom, plus a lifetime stash of eighty 100 watt incandescents.
    You cant dim most CFL's, in a dimmable fixture they're a fire hazard(read label).

    From a balanced site: http://www.pathnet.org/sp.asp?id=23506
  18. Mar 4, 2012 #17


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    Precisely my experience, too.
    You're saying its on/off switch is never touched?
    Precisely my experience, too. https://www.physicsforums.com/images/icons/icon6.gif [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  19. Mar 4, 2012 #18

    jim hardy

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    yep - i's our nightlight for whole house, and lights a corner of kitchen in daytime.

    I like that heatsink idea....
    CFL's shouldn't really be installed pointing down because heat rises and soaks the electronics package.
    I need to provide for heat on the ones in our bathroom - they point down in a decorative fixture. When an engineer marries an artist these thngs happen - i need an aesthetic heatsink. Maybe a caviar can instead of soda? Anyone know of canned champagne?

    old jim
  20. Mar 5, 2012 #19
    precisely my point.CFL's are expensive and just better than incandescent in life

    by electronic section ,you mean the holder ?
  21. Mar 5, 2012 #20
    I talked about using fuse some time back.I was also wondering if a one time investment of uisng an mcb of lower current rating at the particular switchboard can be made ??

    Also can anyone please confirm zener diode available of max rating ?
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