Monday, July 13, 2009

How does an Incandescent Light Bulb work?

The workings of an incandescent light bulb are simple. An incandescent has a filament on the interior of the bulb that heats up when it is charged with an electrical current or electricity. This filament becomes very hot and thus the reason you can get burned if you touch an incandescent light bulb too soon after turning it off.

Over time, the filament will evaporate as it gets used. Two things will happen. The bulb will blacken up a bit and the filament gets weaker or gets used up. At this point, the bulb needs to be disposed of.

There are a couple of reasons why incandescent light bulbs have shorter lives than what they are designed for. The most common is when it endures abnormal power surges. If you live in an area that sends voltage to your home over 120 volts (which is by the way common. Avg voltage in a person's home is 124 volts.) the filament will get too hot too fast and thus evaporate that filament prematurely. In this example, you should be using a bulb that is 130 volts. Another less common reason is when an incandescent is used in areas where it gets shaken around a bit. This will weaken and break the filament. If you do have an area where you need a light bulb that gets movement, we recommend using a "rough service" light bulb.

Holly Eddins

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