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What Causes Light Bulbs To Explode
What Causes Light Bulbs To Explode
May 26, 2024

What Causes Light Bulbs To Explode

Imagine sitting quietly in your room doing your homework or reading, when suddenly, BOOM, your lightbulb explodes. It can be shocking and unnerve anyone nearby - yet why did it occur? Here Neighborhood Electric explores several reasons light bulbs burst and what can be done about it - and do you need the assistance of an affordable electrician?


One of the primary reasons light bulbs explode is overheating. Too much heat causes the glass filaments to expand and ultimately crack, leading to a crack and explosion of their own! Overheating may also occur if the fixture does not allow proper ventilation—for instance, putting high-wattage bulbs in fixtures designed for lower wattages can significantly overheat them. So always ensure you use appropriate bulbs with each fixture!

Power Surges

A power surge refers to any sudden increase in electrical voltage that results from something disrupting the electrical supply - whether this means lightning striking nearby, power grid issues, or simply over-extraction from battery storage units. When these surges happen, sudden spikes of electricity may cause light bulbs or filaments inside them to break or burn out and result in an explosion. To protect yourself against potential power surges and avoid this scenario altogether, surge protectors might be worth adding as part of the home protection plan.

Poor Quality Bulbs

Sometimes, the issue lies solely with poor-quality bulbs. Cheap bulbs might not meet the same quality standards as more costly alternatives and, as such, are more likely to explode than their more costly counterparts. Investing in higher-quality options might reduce this likelihood. If exploding bulbs have become an ongoing concern in your life, then investing may be worthwhile.

Faulty Fixtures

Malfunctioning fixtures can create havoc for their bulbs. Loose connections or wiring issues could result in irregular electrical flow that leads to an explosion of one or more bulbs, so if you suspect one may be off, it is wise to contact an electrician to have it checked out. They can assess your situation and decide if an electrical repair service is needed.

Manufacturing Defects

Sometimes light bulbs explode due to manufacturing defects. If they weren't assembled correctly, weak points in their glass or filament could allow them to collapse prematurely and explode, prompting further explosions from other brands of bulbs from that one manufacturer. It might be wiser to switch brands altogether or contact the maker directly if there appears to be an ongoing problem with those you've been using.

Installation Issues

Poor installation can also contribute to light bulbs exploding. If a bulb isn't screwed in properly, its connection could become loose causing sparks that cause it to burst and lead to explosion. Always secure bulbs securely without overdoing it as this increases the risk of broken bulbs.


The electrical current doesn't mix well with moisture. If a light fixture is located somewhere it might get wet like in the bathroom or outdoor areas, moisture could get into its bulb and cause it to explode, leading to serious complications for power supplies and lighting fixtures. To minimize potential risk, opt for bulbs designed specifically for damp environments - this might involve purchasing special fixtures with adequate ratings suited for damp locations like bathrooms.

What to Do if Your Light Bulb Explodes

In case a light bulb explodes, the first step should be turning off the power to its fixture to protect it from potential electrical shocks. Next, carefully clean up broken pieces using gloves or a broom and dustpan rather than your hands to reduce the risk of cuts or injuries from sharp debris.

Once you've finished cleaning up and inspecting, carefully examine each fixture for signs of visible damage or corrosion. If anything that seems amiss or unusual is discovered during inspection, call an electrician immediately. They can determine whether you need electrical repair service or even panel replacement if your issue warrants it.

Preventing Future Explosions

There are various steps you can take to prevent light bulb explosions:

  • Use Appropriate Bulbs: Be certain you use bulbs of the appropriate type and wattage for each fixture in which you install lighting, such as bulbs with surge protectors to guard against power surges.
  • Check Your Fixtures: Ensure all fixtures are in good condition without loose connections and make repairs if necessary.
  • Quality Bulbs: For best results, invest in higher-grade bulbs to decrease the likelihood of defects.
  • Proper Installation: Make sure bulbs are securely screwed into place.
  • Moisture Protection: Where necessary, choose fixtures and bulbs specifically made for humid or wet locations to further safeguard.

Neighborhood Electric

If you experience persistent lighting problems, do not hesitate to seek assistance from Neighborhood Electric. They may offer insightful solutions—be they simple lighting replacement or more complex electrical panel replacement—that could improve your home's safety and comfort. Keeping your home's electrical systems up and running safely and comfortably is imperative to both comfort and safety.