Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Exploding Light Bulbs

They just don't make 'em like they used to. Last night one of the spotlight bulbs in the kitchen "exploded"... the nth one in as many months.

Exhibit A - The damaged bulb, and the solitary wire that held it in place
Exhibit B - the smoked stump of the bulb still lodged in the fitting

When the light switch was turned on, there was a bright flash of light, followed by the characteristic "pop!" In the olden days, this would usually have just meant that the wimpy little tungsten filament inside the bulb was now literally dangling by a thread inside the enclosure of the bulb. But recent experiences with other lightbulbs (including this one which jumped out of its socket ages after being turned off, or another one which jumped straight-clear of its socket two nights in a row but was thankfully stopped both by the lampshade guarding it) suggest that things are no longer as the once were.

In the case of the bulb last night, after the explosion, it was left literally dangling by a thread from the light fitting, albeit a thin, toasted, thread of tungsten (or whatever wiring material they use in these things now). See exhibit A. Thankfully it didn't pop straight out after the explosion, shattering all over the floor (and possibly into the pot of soup still on the stove).

However, some combination of the force/heat of the explosion caused the glass part of the bulb to separate from the metallic base, which remained (and still remains this evening) firmly lodged in the socket. See exhibit B. Note how there is a slightly smoky-looking coating of brown gunk/stuff on the inner rim of the base, which to untrained eyes looks suggestive of melted/burnt (or defective in the first place) glue that has given way after an exothermic event. If that's all that's holding all lightbulbs together these days, then the factory-states have stooped to an even greater low than is their norm of rampant skimping on quality/materials. Then again, what are light-bulbs when there are other products for human consumption where toxic crap is substituted instead?

There was also probably a third piece, now that I think about it, which was appeared on the floor afterwards. It was a little rounded tubular glass thingy, which may possibly have been on the end of the tube (middle of A), and would slot into the depression in the middle of the black part of the base.

Anyways, as of tonight, the stump still remains lodged firmly in the fitting. Attempts to remove it with pliers have thus far failed: the crappy metallic skin just crumpled inwards and warped with anything more than the lightest of pressure applied, making it impossible to actually remove it. Argh! Crappy light bulbs!


  1. "They just don't make 'em like they used to."
    and here are the profs:

  2. Hi, Aligorith, this is off the topic, but, can you update your remap shapekeys script for the bmesh builds? I wrote the same message to the post about it, but I was afraid that you will not see it, because the post is almost an year old...
    so excuse me!

  3. We have had loads of failures with bulbs popping and hanging loose. The worst have been explosions with glass going everywhere.One just missed my dog and the last,my face,by about a centimetre.This is a real health and safety issue which should be addressed before someone gets badly hurt.