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Old 11-21-2011, 06:25 PM   #1
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charring around bulb sockets


Hey all,

Our basement was partially finished 4 years ago before we bought the house. There are basic lights on the ceiling (round with glass dome, two bulb) and ones on the walls (open top vase-shaped with a single candelabra bulb).

They've been burning out.

On the ceiling, there is a plate of insulation coverd with a foil, foil side down towards the lights. The foil has fallen away, been in contact with the bulbs - and basically cooked. It's charred black and just flakes away.

On the wall fixtures - I discovered that they are all charred black around where the glass of the bulb would be close to the ceramic socket. After seeing this - I decided not to put another bulb in. It looks like they are burnt to a crisp - and some of the ceramic even flakes away.

I see these exact lights at home depot. Nothing fancy and I could replace them cheaply. But why has this happened? Is it normal and I should keep them? Sure - they may be cheap - but if they are sold at home depot - they must be in millions of houses.

This charring blackness doesn't seem right.

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Old 11-21-2011, 06:33 PM   #2
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charring around bulb sockets


What wattage bulb did you have in the fixture? What is maximum wattage the fixture allows? Sounds like you have lamped them too high and the extra heat has burnt them up.

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Old 11-21-2011, 06:46 PM   #3
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charring around bulb sockets


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What wattage bulb did you have in the fixture? What is maximum wattage the fixture allows? Sounds like you have lamped them too high and the extra heat has burnt them up.
My guess as well. Most enclosed fixtures, especially those with dual bulbs, recommend 60W max.

And, you get what you pay for in lighting fixtures. The ceramics in a box store fixture are not going to be as heat resistant as the components in a higher end fixture.

You might switch to compact flourescents. You can get them now in different light tempertures. They burn cooler. LEDs might also be looking into but they are still expensive and not real bright.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:50 PM   #4
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charring around bulb sockets


Actually I'm using the correct bulbs. Yes, I understand that cheap is cheap! Not aganist getting better fixtures. But these are just a few years old and I've never seen this before - even on cheapos. Since it happened on a few different ones in my basement, I'm wondering if something is collecting on those fixtures and burning up.

Given the big-name brand - I'll bet I can take them back to HD and get them replaced for free.

Still - it worries me that it happened to start with.

As for CFLs - I hate them! I know I'll be forced to use them, but I dislike the white color (vs. more yellow) and dislike the initial dimness.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:56 PM   #5
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charring around bulb sockets


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but I dislike the white color (vs. more yellow) and dislike the initial dimness.
I hear you and I am not wild about them either. But as mentioned, you can get them in color temps closer to incandescents now or even in full spectrum daylight. Not sure if box stores carry but the hideous color ones you mention though.

Not much to be done about the dimness when they are first turned on.
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