Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Another reason to hate those stupid halogens

I had planned on going shopping today, but instead, I am hanging around at the house waiting on the maintenance guys. Why? Because I needed to change a lightbulb. Can't anything be simple? Our entry way has about 7 recessed halogen light fixtures in the ceiling. I am sure this type of lighting looks good in magazines, but in real life, they're a pain.

Dust collects around the base so it looks like we've had a fire. I realize it is very dusty here, but with the holes in the ceiling, and the AC vents up there, a lot of dirt is pulled onto the ceiling - where it sticks - and looks awful. And of course, it doesn't wipe clean easy... I really do not feel like putting down tarps and using chlorox clean-up overhead!

The bulbs burn out - often. Maybe they are supposed to be better than incandescent, but I am not convinced. They are not always available at the inconveniently located stores that carry them either, which is why all 7 are currently dead at one time. No bulbs! Otlob ought to have a section for lightbulbs, I'd use it.

They are a pain to change. Any lightbulb that requires pliers to remove, is WRONG! They've got this metal c-ring that expands into the opening to hold it into the ceiling, with tiny little ends to use as handles.. impossible to grip!... so you have to use pliers and carefully compress the ring. Don't want to slip and smack the bulb, don't want to pull too hard and get it out-of-line and stuck, don't want to pull the whole obnoxious fixture out of the ceiling! The bulb itself just plugs into the socket on a dangling wire - the only easy part. Returning the bulb and c-ring is the same pain, but backwards.

To make it more interesting, about 3 of the fixtures require a smaller size bulb, which is set into a rotating socket with the same c-ring attachment... requiring even more fiddling and 'magic' words to change because of the smaller size and tendency to wriggle around!

So, all bulbs went dead. I got to a store that had new bulbs, both sizes. Got home. Changed one bulb. Started to pull the second one out, and this is what I found:

Some wiring casing from something else up in the ceiling melted onto the fixture - yay! And it's not like this is a drop-ceiling where I could open it up and see what's going on, no, it's solid.

So, in order to change a lightbulb, and perhaps prevent an electrical fire, I had to submit a work order.


Cairo Mama said...

Faulty wiring. Very common in Egypt. It is probably why the bulbs are blowing. We had to have work orders 4 times to get the wiring on the hot water heaters fixed. I would take a 3 minute shower and there was not enough hot water.

Connie said...

I think what also gets them is when the power goes out, the generator comes on, but when the power comes back, the transition off the generator isn't always smooth - the lights get REAALLLY bright, then dim, then average out. Bulbs don't seem to like that.

Veronica said...

Halogens don't cope at all in hot (and particularly humid) weather - I live in the tropics and we have them in the toilets in our office and most of them are out, most of the time - the only advantage being the dimmer lighting (like candlepower) is more flattering for the chronologically gifted ladies (ha ha)