May 30, 2024

Why Does A Light Bulb Explode?

light bulb explode

Imagine you come back home after a long and tiring day after working for so long. You set up a glass of wine, your favorite book and sit down on the couch to read it. As soon as you open the book and start reading, and begin to sip the wine, the bulb explodes.

I know, I know, it ruined your time. But is it something that you should ignore? The explosion of a bulb could happen due to several reasons. Some may be due to some fault in the bulb and other times, there could be a big underlying reason. You should not ignore this and should look into the matter to avoid any harm.

Here, in this article, we are going to talk about exploding light bulbs, why did your light bulb suddenly explode, and why the light bulb exploded when turned off. We are going to discuss the reasons for the bulb exploding.


There are several reasons that could cause an exploding light bulb. One of the most common reasons is manufacturing defects. There are times when manufacturers do not provide enough insulation to the bulbs which cause a bulb to explode. However, there may also be other reasons that may cause a bulb to explode. Let us take a look at these reasons for bulb explosions one by one.

1. Oily Hands

Oily hands are one of the most surprising reasons that may cause a bulb to explode. If your bulb is a standard halogen bulb, then you need to be very careful. This is because your standard halogen, led light bulbs are extremely vulnerable to oil. If this type of standard halogen bulb is touched with oily hands, it starts leaving a residue. This causes the bulb to heat up when the bulb is switched on. We all have learned in the seventh-grade basic science lesson that a bulb heats when the circuit is closed and the bulb is switched on. The presence of oil perpetuates the heat up faster and makes it hotter and hotter until it finally explodes.

This fact is also true for incandescent bulbs. This is because incandescent bulbs work at high temperatures and heat in order to produce light that glows the bulb. If the bulb comes in contact with oily hands, the bulb will explode.

The best way to avoid a bulb explosion is by wearing rubber gloves or gloves made of other insulation material so as to prevent the transfer of any type of conductor. This should be done not only to protect the glass but to also protect yourself.

2. Usage of The Wrong Wattage for The Bulb

A reason why your bulb may have exploded could be the fact that the wattage of the bulb and the ratings of the fixtures do not align or correspond. A wattage rating refers to the maximum power that can be safely handled by an electronic device. If the bulb starts drawing more power than the wattage of the fixture’s rating, then the bulb is very likely to explode. This is why it is always advised to people to buy a bulb that has a low wattage in order to avoid any type of complications and to avoid the explosion of the bulb. You can also contact the manufacturing company and inquire about the bulb wattage that could be appropriate for your house setting.

If you are still unsure, then you can just buy the bulb with the lowest wattage.Â

3. Loose Connection with The Socket

One of the most common reasons for bulb explosion is a loose connection with the socket. Specific light sockets are designed to fit bulb bases perfectly. If the fitting is not appropriate it can cause the explosion of the bulb. The reason that this can be harmful is that when the connection at the socket is loose, then the electricity jumps from the socket to the bulb rather than flowing smoothly. This is a problematic condition since this hampers the usual smooth flow of electricity. It can cause the fitting of the bulb to overheat and can cause the explosion of the bulb.

If you have the correct fitting for a specific light bulb, then this issue can be avoided. Make sure that you check the fitting and bulb bases very carefully before purchasing them in order to avoid electric shocks and explosions. Make sure the bulb is fitted tightly and is not loosely connected.

4. High Voltage

If you use electrical appliances at home that generally run on a high voltage, then a bulb is likely to heat up faster and eventually explode. Make sure you hire an electrician to take a look at your house and check the voltage of the electrical network of your house. If the voltage of the electrical network system in your house is not suitable, then you can approach the technician or electrician asking ways to fix the issue and avoid the explosion of a bulb. High voltage can also cause your electricity bill to spike up, so make sure to fix the electric system and connect to a more reliable electricity provider like Direct Energy plans.

5. Power Surge in The Bulb

A power surge refers to a sudden increase in the voltage of the home circuit or the complete electronic system of your house. The electrical appliances that we use daily are designed to only handle a certain amount of power. These appliances also include devices like light bulbs and led light bulbs. When a power surge takes place, an overwhelming amount of electricity flows through these appliances.

A power surge can result in an excessive amount of power being flowed and can cause a light bulb to heat up. This in turn leads to an explosion in the bulb. This happens due to the overheating of the filament of the bulb. When the filament is overheated, it can burn out and snap, which causes the bulb to explode.

Bulbs which contain halogen or are incandescent bulbs are more likely to be susceptible to these power surges. The overheated filament breaks away from the dart of the bulb and breaks the glass of the bulb, flying across and causing a light bulb to explode.

6. Faulty Parts

There might sometimes be a possibility that a mismatch occurred during the manufacturing and a part of the bulb, or the entire bulb defected. The defective parts are usually present within the socket, the filament, or maybe the glass itself. If the bulb has already exploded due to a part of the bulb being defective, it can be extremely difficult to identify which part of the bulb was defective. In case such a thing happens, your next step should be to replace the bulb as soon as possible. When you buy bulbs, you should check them in the market itself. Make sure to open the box and look for any fault in the bulb. You may either find a broken filament or cracked glass or something else. Be a vigilant consumer and understand the risk of what you buy.

7. Presence of Improper Insulation

When you buy a bulb, you may have noticed that the light bulb bases are insulated. These light bulb bases are insulated in order to provide them protection. Cheap light bulb manufacturers may not, at all times, make the insulation of the light bulb base sufficient. This accounts for a manufacturing defect.

If the insulation is not sufficient, it can cause the light bulb base which is often made of metal, to melt. Once the base of the light bulb starts melting, the gas inside the bulb starts to escape. This also happens due to the overheating of the filament in the process. When the gas leaks out of the bulb, the pressure inside the bulb begins to reduce. The loss of pressure inside and outside the bulb can result in an imbalance of pressure and may lead to the explosion of the bulb.

How to solve this problem of bulb explosion? It’s simple; do not make purchases of bulbs from cheap manufacturers and consider buying from well-reputed companies. It may be a little costly or so, but it is worthy of the price. Changing your regular and cheaply manufactured bulbs to energy-efficient, led light bulbs can make a lot of difference. It can help you save energy, electricity, and your house as these bulbs are least likely to explode.


In the end, all that can be advised to you is to invest in some good quality electric bulbs. This can save you a lot of money, energy, electricity, and time in the long term. This is because cheaply manufactured bulbs are bound to not last for a long time. Their lives eventually come to an end with a sad climax, and most of the time they just explode while dying.

In order to ensure your safety, it is important that you make a wise, one-time investment in good-quality electrical appliances. If you have a bulb that you think might explode and cause you trouble, you should consult your electrician and get it replaced with a new bulb.

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