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120v vs. 130 light bulbs
Posted by: guitarist
Date: February 12, 2009 08:48PM
We had a problem with our front porch light. We'd replace the bulb, and two days later, it'd be burned out, failed. We replaced it several times before we realized, it's probably not the bulb, the fixture itself needs repair. All winter, our porch light has been mostly disabled, each new bulb doesn't survive more than a few days. We tried various kinds. Same result.

We called the Electrician who wired our house (newly rebuilt interior, all new wiring) to ask him to inspect it. He did a quick test and confirmed the power at the fixture is good and normal. Then he recommended we switch from 120v to 130v light bulbs, and suggested this would most likely solve the problem. If not, call him again, he'd be happy to look at it.

You know what? It worked.

Most of us never even look at that numerical distinction, when buying bulbs. It's not that easy to find a 130, unless you go to a hardware store. At least in my limited search. It took a few trips to locate and identify one.

Anyone else notice the difference between 120v and 130v bulbs?
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Re: 120v vs. 130 light bulbs
Posted by: space-time
Date: February 12, 2009 08:53PM
when you go to Europe next time, get some 220-240V bulbs and use those here in the US at 120V. They'll last forever!
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Re: 120v vs. 130 light bulbs
Posted by: freeradical
Date: February 12, 2009 08:59PM
Quote
space-time
when you go to Europe next time, get some 220-240V bulbs and use those here in the US at 120V. They'll last forever!

I did the opposite thing once. The bulb lasted about 147 milliseconds.
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Re: 120v vs. 130 light bulbs
Posted by: DP
Date: February 12, 2009 09:00PM
Never even knew you could buy 130v bulbs! I'll check it out.
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Re: 120v vs. 130 light bulbs
Posted by: space-time
Date: February 12, 2009 09:02PM
Quote
freeradical
Quote
space-time
when you go to Europe next time, get some 220-240V bulbs and use those here in the US at 120V. They'll last forever!

I did the opposite thing once. The bulb lasted about 147 milliseconds.

when my Dad was here, he found some small bulbs that were perfect for his needs, and they were on sale like $1 for a pack of 24 or so, anyway, he bought one pack and put 2 in series and he's been pretty happy with them ever since.
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Re: 120v vs. 130 light bulbs
Posted by: Fred_Also
Date: February 12, 2009 09:21PM
I have some can fixtures up high at church. I normally am responsible for changing them. I got some 130 v. reflector floods at Lowe's. The lumens is a little less than 120 v. but they are such a pain to change it makes it worth it.

The last time I was in Lowe's they didn't carry the 130 volt any longer. I guess I will have to order some.


Fred Also
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Re: 120v vs. 130 light bulbs
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: February 12, 2009 09:46PM
Check the voltage in various outlets and fixtures. If it consistently more than a few volts above 120, you may want to complain to your utility company.

About 15 years ago, my voltage readings were normally above 130 and usually around 134. Light bulbs didn't last. After a few complaints, the power company finally came out and realized that there was an issue with the pole mounted transformer at the corner of my property. After they fixed the issue, bulbs have lasted a lot longer.
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Re: 120v vs. 130 light bulbs
Posted by: OWC Jamie
Date: February 12, 2009 09:49PM
Yup, common practice in hard to reach fixtures. They are more expensive but definitely last longer. The filament is able to take the initial surge of electricity better than the standard 120V bulbs.

If you can locate traffic signal bulbs, they're awesome - last an amazing long time, because they are designed to turn on, and off, so frequently, the filament is really beefy.



Good Luck!
Jamie Dresser
Other World Computing
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Re: 120v vs. 130 light bulbs
Posted by: blusubaru
Date: February 12, 2009 09:59PM
Quote
OWC Jamie
If you can locate traffic signal bulbs, they're awesome...

They're conveniently located in all these little yellow boxes around the city. They'll even pre-test them for you! It's like Redbox, but free. You just have to climb. smiling smiley
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Re: 120v vs. 130 light bulbs
Posted by: olnacl
Date: February 12, 2009 09:59PM
Another good long lasting bulb to use is the rough service ones they sell for mechanic's drop cords



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Re: 120v vs. 130 light bulbs
Posted by: davester
Date: February 12, 2009 10:39PM
The issue with the overvoltage incandescent bulbs (especially the 240v or the rough service or "long life" ones) is that you use a lot more electricity to generate a lot less light due to the thicker filaments. If you've got a problem like guitarist's, sure, give them a try. If not, avoid them. Guitarist, have you tried CFLs in that application? They might give you both efficiency and longer life.




"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: 120v vs. 130 light bulbs
Posted by: guitarist
Date: February 12, 2009 11:55PM
Guitarist, have you tried CFLs in that application? They might give you both efficiency and longer life.

We had success with those on our back porch light fixture (which is even harder to change, difficult to reach) but not with the front porch fixture, where all bulb types failed until the installation of a 130v bulb type. This stronger new bulb has been performing successfully for about a month now, a record in that location.

.... is that you use a lot more electricity to generate a lot less light due to the thicker filaments....
.... If not, avoid them.


That's not a compelling enough reason to avoid them: the ratio of electricity required (cost) to light produced (brightness) is too insignificant and trivial for an individual porch light bulb. Particularly one that's only on from sunset to bedtime, primarily in the winter months, and is off the rest of the time.

If it's a location that requires multiple light bulbs--like a church ceiling, or a commercial warehouse, or house with a really giant porch that requires dozens of light bulbs, or a home in Alaska where it's dark 6 months a year--then the cumulative effect is potentially enough to merit attention.

Check the voltage in various outlets and fixtures. If it consistently more than a few volts above 120, you may want to complain to your utility company.

This is worth looking into. Our house--or perhaps our neighborhood--seems to have mysterious issues here and there, that we've not been able to isolate or identify in the house itself (a persistent high-frequency buzz, which I've written about here before, for example) that it leaves some unanswered questions. Also, out new TV's power supply failed prematurely. And it has it's own protected circuit. While it could just be a prematurely-expired power supply, and that alone, I've tried to investigate further, and have never been fully satisfied that there isn't some unseen issue with power, maybe from a source outside the house. Everything that's been tested inside the house has checked out okay.
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Re: 120v vs. 130 light bulbs
Posted by: Racer X
Date: February 13, 2009 02:21AM
Not that the light output is the same, but a 10% increase/decrease in voltage for a tungsten filament bulb is a factor of 2 in life span. but overdriving a halogen bulb beyond 10% can cause it to melt and spew molten glass. It increases the interior pressure. 130v in a 120 socket is just fine. A little yellower/orange.
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Re: 120v vs. 130 light bulbs
Posted by: M>B>
Date: February 13, 2009 03:07AM
Light bulb fanciers check this out...

[www.centennialbulb.org]
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Re: 120v vs. 130 light bulbs
Posted by: davester
Date: February 13, 2009 08:12AM
Quote
guitarist
Guitarist, have you tried CFLs in that application? They might give you both efficiency and longer life.

We had success with those on our back porch light fixture (which is even harder to change, difficult to reach) but not with the front porch fixture.

In case you don't know, standard CFLs generally won't work outside in cold temperatures. There are specific outdoor CFLs that will work.




"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: 120v vs. 130 light bulbs
Posted by: BigGuynRusty
Date: February 13, 2009 11:14AM
Quote
guitarist
This is worth looking into. Our house--or perhaps our neighborhood--seems to have mysterious issues here and there, that we've not been able to isolate or identify in the house itself (a persistent high-frequency buzz, which I've written about here before, for example) that it leaves some unanswered questions. Also, out new TV's power supply failed prematurely. And it has it's own protected circuit. While it could just be a prematurely-expired power supply, and that alone, I've tried to investigate further, and have never been fully satisfied that there isn't some unseen issue with power, maybe from a source outside the house. Everything that's been tested inside the house has checked out okay.
Contact your power company and request that they run a voltage check on your house, also tell your neighbors to do the same, press this issue with the company.
They may try to blow you off because they are liable for any damage. Be persistent!
You did keep your receipts didn't you?

BGnR



"Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto! You're beautiful!"
"If we dig precious things from the land, we will invite disaster."
"Near the day of Purification, there will be cobwebs spun back and forth in the sky."
"A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky, which could burn the land and boil the oceans."
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Re: 120v vs. 130 light bulbs
Posted by: Racer X
Date: February 13, 2009 06:53PM
we were getting 129 volts at work for a while, causes all sorts of problems, and my quartz photo lights were burning out pretty fast. And at $45 a bulb, it was getting to be a BIG problem for me.
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Re: 120v vs. 130 light bulbs
Posted by: guitarist
Date: February 13, 2009 08:21PM
You did keep your receipts didn't you?

For what? Light bulbs?

Tell you what, I'll buy you a pizza with your favorite toppings, a case or two of your favorite beverage, and watch you work your phone magic, pressuring utility companies for a voltage inspection. I'll take notes. Then afterward, we can take turns drunk-dialing old girlfriends.

Just kidding. I'll give it a shot. At the very least, I could eliminate a false suspicion, and have peace of mind. Or at best, discover the source of an unseen problem and have it corrected.

In case you don't know, standard CFLs generally won't work outside in cold temperatures. There are specific outdoor CFLs that will work.

Yep, as it happens, I do know that, and prefer the 130v light bulb, it works just great. Wish I'd discovered it earlier.
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Re: 120v vs. 130 light bulbs
Posted by: BigGuynRusty
Date: February 14, 2009 01:18PM
Quote
guitarist
You did keep your receipts didn't you?

For what? Light bulbs?

Tell you what, I'll buy you a pizza with your favorite toppings, a case or two of your favorite beverage, and watch you work your phone magic, pressuring utility companies for a voltage inspection. I'll take notes. Then afterward, we can take turns drunk-dialing old girlfriends.

Just kidding. I'll give it a shot. At the very least, I could eliminate a false suspicion, and have peace of mind. Or at best, discover the source of an unseen problem and have it corrected.

In case you don't know, standard CFLs generally won't work outside in cold temperatures. There are specific outdoor CFLs that will work.

Yep, as it happens, I do know that, and prefer the 130v light bulb, it works just great. Wish I'd discovered it earlier.
I guess you don't remember what you write, and with that fatalistic attitude you'll never get anything done.
Quote
guitarist
This is worth looking into. Our house--or perhaps our neighborhood--seems to have mysterious issues here and there, that we've not been able to isolate or identify in the house itself (a persistent high-frequency buzz, which I've written about here before, for example) that it leaves some unanswered questions. Also, out new TV's power supply failed prematurely. And it has it's own protected circuit. While it could just be a prematurely-expired power supply, and that alone, I've tried to investigate further, and have never been fully satisfied that there isn't some unseen issue with power, maybe from a source outside the house. Everything that's been tested inside the house has checked out okay.

BGnR



"Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto! You're beautiful!"
"If we dig precious things from the land, we will invite disaster."
"Near the day of Purification, there will be cobwebs spun back and forth in the sky."
"A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky, which could burn the land and boil the oceans."
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Re: 120v vs. 130 light bulbs
Posted by: Racer X
Date: February 14, 2009 05:40PM
I'd check it myself with my handy digital multi meter. You DO own a multimeter, don't you? Then call and say, hey, I'm getting 130 volts, fix it.
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Re: 120v vs. 130 light bulbs
Posted by: guitarist
Date: February 14, 2009 07:17PM
Quote
BigGuynRusty

I guess you don't remember what you write, and with that fatalistic attitude you'll never get anything done

BGnR

It appears you want me to randomly guess which part of what I wrote you're referring to. With your self-defeating lack of humor, you'll never have any fun!

There's no actual evidence the Power company's involvement is required, without something substantial to report. I'm better off getting a test kit at Home Depot and conducing some outlet tests myself, or having my electrician do it. If we get readings that arouse suspicion, we'll have something more credible to report than vague complaints like "I hear funny sounds" or "I had to change a light bulb".

Quote
Racer X
You DO own a multimeter, don't you?

Of course! Doesn't every home owner have one? Who needs a hammer or screwdriver? A multimeter is in everyone's pocket, just like a cell phone, a blood test kit, and a radioactivity meter. You DO own one, don't you? Just kidding. Looks like I don't have one, but will get one this weekend. Apparently the iPhone have an App that does this yet.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/14/2009 07:23PM by guitarist.
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Re: 120v vs. 130 light bulbs
Posted by: Racer X
Date: February 14, 2009 07:45PM
I haver seen some decent ones about the size of a TI calculator with a vinyl cover like a book slipcover. This is a decent one as well [www.allelectronics.com] This one is more, but does 20 amps DC and has a thermocouple/thermometer function. I use mine to verify my oven thermostat! [www.allelectronics.com] and I get stuff from here all the time. AllElectronics.com Shop around and get all sorts of cool stuff from them. Their stock is constantly changing.

I only brought it up because I have a cheap one in each of my 4 cars, and a really nice one in my home office with my electronics tool bag.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/14/2009 07:47PM by Racer X.
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