Blown lamps

We have had a bad run with light bulbs not lasting very long in our dining room lamp.  It is the one we use the most and it has got three bulbs in the fitting so I wasn’t sure if the short life span was more of a perception than a reality.  When I replaced the last bulb that blew I put the date that I fitted it on the bulb, and guess what – it blew after a tad less than two months.  I had fitted it on the 18th of April and it blew on the 13th of June.

Now these lamps, a Philips 60W B22 240V T55 SW, have a rated MTBF of 1000 hours.  We have our dining room light on for about five hours per day on average.  That means if the lamps last 1000 hours they should last 200 days in our dining room. Well the blown lamp only lasted 57 days!  Ok, since MTBF is only a mean I would expect one of them to last 1000 + (1000 – 57) = 1943 hours.  We can but only hope.

I like Philips as a company.  Maybe it is my Dutch heritage and because Philips make some really good stuff.  But I decided to take them on about these bulbs.  I sent them a message via their website and got a phone call a bit later.  It was then that I was told about the 1000 hours specification and unless I could prove the short lifetime of the bulbs they would do nothing.  It was then that I decided to label the installation date on the bulbs.

So when the last bulb blew I sent them another message.  This time they said they would send out some replacements and wanted the faulty ones sent back to them for checking.  I received four new bulbs from Philips (shame about all of the packaging and some of it was unnecessary, but that’s another story) and I found that I had collected four of the Softone bulbs and another Philips lamp from my bedside lamp.

I was thinking about a way of making the manufacturers a bit more honest about their lamps and I thought that we should get the Government to tell them to put a production date on the bulbs.   I don’t think that idea will work very well because to may take quite a while between when the bulb is made and when it is finally used.

A better idea is what I ended up doing.  Before you replace a bulb write the date on the metal part of the lamp so that when it blows you know how long it has lasted.

I have just remembered that we had problems with CFLs in our dining room lamp as well. I blogged about it here.  Hmmm, is it something specific to the lamp? Heat?  Maybe.  Voltage? Probably not.  The fact that they are fitted horizontally rather than vertically? Maybe, but it shouldn’t.

About Alan Liefting

Alan Liefting is the founder, a shareholder, and the Managing Director of Ecotech Services. The views expressed here are his own and do not necessarily represent those of Ecotech Services Ltd.
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