Second LED bulb in each fixture burns out, what should I replace?

by FuzzyChef   Last Updated October 14, 2018 04:21 AM

We have a number of inexpensive light fixtures in our house, each of which takes two bulbs. Most, but not all of these, are on newer dimmer switches (two with sliders, one with remote). We're having a consistent problem where one (but only one) of the bulbs in each of at least 4 different fixtures fails every 1 to 4 months. The other bulb will continue working, at least for the 2 years since we installed them.

Since LED bulbs are supposed to last for 5-10 years, and are difficult to dispose of, this bulb burnout is kind of a problem. So we're looking for advice on what is most likely to be the problem, and what I need to fix/replace to stop burning out bulbs.

Here's what the bulbs & fixtures have in common:

  • The fixtures are all inexpensive "home depot" models.
  • Because of their shallow profile, the fixtures are effectively fully enclosed (do LED bulbs overheat?).
  • All bulbs are supposed to be dimmable
  • The LED bulbs are on the more inexpensive end, most having been purchased from CostCo.
  • Bulbs are from 9.5W to 13W
  • Dimming works fine, up until the bulbs fail
  • The electrical wiring in the house is mostly from the late 1980's, but some of it may date back to the 50's.

Here's what they don't have in common:

  • The two slider dimmers are older (made for incandescents), but the dimmer with the remote is new and supposedly LED-compatible
  • The one in the dining room tends to flicker for a while before it dies, but in other fixtures the bulb just burns out.
  • Burnout (again, one bulb only) has also happened in one fixture that does not have a dimmer.
  • There are two different designs/models of fixture involved.
  • The dead bulbs did not show any strong evidence of damage from arcing, as (presumably) they would if not making contact was an issue.

So, ideas/suggestions? What is the most likely cause of this one-of-two bulb burnout, and what's the first thing to try replacing?

Tags : electrical led


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