Ceiling fan light electrical problem.

After working fine for over a year, the bulbs in the light have started dying at a rapid rate.I put the light kit in and have checked the connections - they look good. Any suggestions?

I would look for anything causing undue vibration, dust on blades, overall tightness, etc. My fans had a rubber band around the globe when new which dried out and caused vibration. Could also be the bulbs you are using. You might switch to one designed for rough use or specifically for fan lights. I have two light fixtures that go through bulbs like crazy due to vibration and have not really found a for sure fix yet. I put a CFL in the indoor fixture and it does seem to be holding up longer.


Switch to “Rough Service” bulbs.
You can get them at any auto parts store.

Replace the whole thing
Sounds like a great opportunity for a change, unless you really love the current fixture.

Freecycle the old one to someone who knows electrical.

Just a thought.

Check the voltage
If your voltage is high you will burn out bulbs very fast.

One possibility is the power company putting in a new secondary transformer close to your house, and usually the ones closet to the transformer will be getting higher than the nominal 118 or 120 volts.

If other bulbs in your house are burning out faster, that is probably the culprit.

If not you have a mystery.



My neighbor told me today he had

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been having electrical issues. Squirrels had chewed his incoming line - again.The new pellet gun got sighted in today.

Are the replacement bulbs dying or just the orginals? When our house was new all the bulbs were new, but when they started burning out most of them did.

New fans have special light sockets
so you must use bulbs made for fans – you can’t use other bulbs. Fan bulbs are made for the vibrations so make sure you use fan bulbs. They changed the sockets so people must use bulbs made for fans.

Right, but that is a easy fix.
Just change the light fixture out to a conventional ceiling one of your choice.

That "vibration " thing is another croc to sell those newer type bulbs.

If the fan is installed properly it will run smooth and in about 99 percent of installations you don’t need those little balancing weights.

I have nine ceiling fans between my house and our bunk house and the oldest one is 17 years old and has run continuously except during an occasional power loss, (we keep it running on low for circulation purposes). I can only recall changing the lone bulb in that one on two occasions and that light is on and off almost nightly. - I buy the cheapest bulbs I can get and never even pay attention to the “average hour life span”



Compact fluorescents work well, too
I’ve switched almost every bulb in the house over to them, including those in my ceiling fans.

I had a problem with voltage fluctuation
…and it turned out to be a bad connection from the pole (the neutral, IIRC). It had loosened over the years and actually arced/burned slightly. However, this caused a systemic problem throughout the house and not isolated to one fixture. If String comfortable working with wiring, I would suggest checking all the connections in the ceiling fan, as it’s possible there’s a loose ground or neutral somewhere.

Not if you have them in a cold room
I put them in all over the place, and then removed them and either gave them away or threw them away.

When I walk into a room and turn on the light I don’t want to have to wait until the thing decides to heat up.

Flourescent tubes are even worse. My background is electrical so when I built my shop quite a few years I did a light calculation and used eight double four foot long fixtures. - Big mistake! if the temp was below freezing some would light but take a while for the arc to strike, and others would not light at all.

One by one I removed them and went with strategically place 300 watt incandescent fixtures.

I have one of the 40 watt fixtures left which is on the same switch as a 100 watt incandescent bulb and yesterday with the temperature at about 30 degrees, when I switched on the lights, the incandescent came on and the flourescent never did, and I know the lamp is good.

As you get to higher end arc striking fixtures they get progressively longer to strike with flourescent the easiest and high pressure sodium the last, and mercury vapor and metal halide in the middle.

“Green” might be politically correct, but it sucks in praticallity when it comes to lighting as far as I am concerned.



Whole lotta shakin?
In regards to vibration, the better quality fans run a heck of a lot smoother. I put in some cheapies and they are not as smooth or quiet as my Mom’s high end fan. However, the only time we had bulb issues was when I bought a bunch of cheapies. Once we went through them and got brand name stuff they seem to last quite a while.


Try posting

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your issue here:


I'm would check it with a voltage meeter. If you had other issues there could be a wiring problem in your house.

BTW CFB work perfectly well in my house. They use 1/5 the energy, saving over $1,000 over the next ten years. I'm also not changing out burned bulbs, and I can keep more lights on for less energy wasted. They turn on right away. One five foot standing lamp even crashed to floor but the CFB kept working.

edit: if it is a 3 way light don't assume the power is dead just because the wall switch is off.There are multiple 3 way wiring that keep a live wire to the fixture regardless of the wall switch.

I would post your question at the link above, they are great, but please be careful. A 110 can kill you.

Hi Jack, switch to “high output”. Youll

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need to change the ballast, too.

Home Depot can't help you here, you gotta go to an electrical supply house.


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Toggle down to the model 9385.

I took down the ceiling grid troffers that someone had screwed to the bottom of the rafters in my garage and put in one of these. It still takes a minute to come to full brightness, but turns on in cold temps reliably. Lots of light (750W equiv.) for 85W. The color temp is 6500k which is OK for a work space. The color rendition is much better than one would expect for that kind of "blue" light.

edit: I got it at Home D. They do sell a HO 8' (F96T12/HO) fixture and may have replacement ballasts. Didn't check.

thanks but I am quite content with
my 300 watt incandescents.

I have them on all separate switches so I can just keep on the ones in the section of the shop that I am working in.



I removed the light kit, reconnected the
wires,put in new bulbs 2 days ago. So far, so good.

that’s cool
Just saying for anyone else it could have been variation four so make sure it’s off at the breaker.


I won’t get near any wiring project without one of those $10 pen looking voltage indicators that light up anywhere near a live wire.

I check it every time. A voltage meeter is too bulky.

The 300 watt clear bulb with the large
bulb puts out a lot of light. I think they look great in a shop or wearhouse. Easy to change, no buzz or hum. What could be better.