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Porch Lighting issues

I am having an issue with only my outside front porch lights and my recessed outdoor lights. What was happening was the bulbs were burning out rather frequently so I called an electrician. The electrician tested all the lights, plugs and two switch outlets. He found that the outside lights had some loose connections which they repaired and also found some some loose connections in the breaker box.

Since that time the lights have gone from burning out to blowing out the tops of the glass lights bulbs. I have tried CFL lights and they only last for about a month, and a regular bulb lasts only about 2 days.

I called another electrician and they came out metered the lights and did not find any fluctuations in any of the light fixtures. They are at a loss of why this is only happening to the enclosed light outside fixtures. The recommendation was to buy 130v bulbs and possibly have installed a surge protector on the electrical panel.

Has anyone experienced this problem and is this the right solution or path to the right solution? Would the money be well spent to install a panel surge protector?

Timothy Miller
Re: Porch Lighting issues

Howdy, consider adding a whole house surge protector.

Re: Porch Lighting issues

I have worked for an electric distribution company for many years, and we on occasion get a complaint like this. Many times it ends up being a loose neutral connection some where. Try to isolate the problem. You will need to check all of your connections on the circuit (not just the neutrals) while you are checking go ahead and check everything including the grounds.

You also need to check the voltage at your panel box. From what I remember about your post you said it was just the lights on your porch. You'll need to check every connection, starting at the panel box down to the last light on the circuit, including the switches.

Also, try to identify the times of day that these bulbs are blowing and relate this to any other load that may be on the circuit.

Remember a surge supressor is a good thing to have but only works when you get a surge such as a lightning or a surge from the power source, surges are not something that just your porch lights would see.

Re: Porch Lighting issues

is there a door that slams and shakes everything?


Re: Porch Lighting issues

You did not say what the measured voltage was, but it is unlikely the problem. If you had excessively high voltage (either long term or transient spikes) you would be burning up your computer and television and other electronic devices first. If the incandescent lamps have the glass shattering then you most likely have water dripping on them. I have seen many lamps connected to 135 to 140 volts, and they never shatter. I even saw a friend accidentially connect a temporary lighting string to the hot and neutral on a 277 volt system and they didn't shatter. Heat and vibration will shorten their life.
A common problem with recessed cans is that people use larger wattage lamps than the label inside states(usually 60 watts). Another problem is insulating against a can that is not rated IC which means it is rated for insulation contact. Newer fixtures have a thermostat and will cycle on and off, older ones will just overheat. Incandescent lamps are usually one the the last devices to have a problem with higher than normal voltage or spikes.

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