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Light Bulbs

August 29th, 2006 · 13 Comments

My kitchen has 7 recessed light bulbs in the ceiling. Since early 2000, I have been keeping track of how long the bulbs last. Here’s a graph of the results to date, showing bulb life in days. Click on the graph for a larger image.

Bulb Life in Days

You can see that Phillips incandescent bulbs are the least reliable; on average they only last 177 days. Of the incandescent type, GE, Sylvania and Feit are pretty comparable. Sylvania lasted 393 days on average, but since there were only two of them it’s not statistically significant. GE lasted 315 days on average, and Feit 360 days. There’s probably not really enough data to distinguish between these three bulb types.

Somewhere around 2002 I started using more and more compact flourescent bulbs. By now I have filled most of the sockets with this type, and many of them are still working. The flourescent bulbs that failed early show up on the graph, but shouldn’t be taken as representative of flourescent bulb life. Some of them are still in the sockets after 3, 4 and more years.

There’s the data; do with it what you like!

Tags: Computers, Tech & Science

13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Don // Aug 29, 2006 at 4:00 pm

    What I would like to do with it is suggest you might want to get a hobby. 😉

  • 2 Don // Aug 29, 2006 at 4:03 pm

    Can you pie chart this and then do a histogram? Then you should show the mean and the std dev. I also think error bars should be shown. What kind of statistics are you trying to pawn off on us?

  • 3 Daryl // Aug 29, 2006 at 4:29 pm

    Don — You’ve been an engineer too long!

  • 4 Don // Aug 29, 2006 at 7:42 pm

    That could be but I’m not the one who tracked and charted his lightbulbs. 😉

  • 5 Heather // Aug 29, 2006 at 8:51 pm


  • 6 Daryl // Aug 29, 2006 at 9:35 pm

    Heather, how can you sleep through such exciting and useful information?!?

  • 7 Heather // Aug 30, 2006 at 6:46 am

    We have lived in our house for 4 + years and only had to change 1 light bulb in our kitchen. No clue what kind they are, but they must be good when comparing it to your data.

  • 8 Jocelyn // Aug 30, 2006 at 3:20 pm

    umm.. I have some nerdy family… And I’m the offspring of one of them. no wonder I married one. omg.

  • 9 Daryl // Aug 30, 2006 at 3:30 pm

    You guys just don’t get it! This is just like “Consumer Reports”. I’ve evaluated some different light bulbs so when you are in the store you can make an informed choice!

    I’m saving you gobs of money, and all you can do is laugh at me!

  • 10 Mom // Aug 30, 2006 at 5:32 pm

    I need you! I have written on my Things for Daryl to do: “put in new light bulbs in bedroom and floor lamp”. A few days ago, I had to change one in living room, and now there is just one which works in the bedroom. Apparently, they were cheap bulbs, because they have burned out faster than I can buy them. I have used the last 60 watt, so need to buy some immediately.

  • 11 Don // Aug 30, 2006 at 5:40 pm

    I suggest you get Westinghouse Fluor.

  • 12 Heather // Aug 31, 2006 at 7:31 am

    Thanks for the Consumer Reports Family edition, but would you mind evaluating something that costs more than $3.00?

    Toaster Ovens
    Coffee Makers
    Telephone (Cordless battery comparison)

    What else do you have in the works?

  • 13 Jocelyn // Aug 31, 2006 at 10:38 am

    how bout lamps, like the whole thing.. and storage containers, and shelving. maybe mold removers? that’s what I’m currently in the market for.