By Laura, Guest Blogger

This is a picture of a light bulb that has been burning continuously since 1901. It’s called the Centennial Light Bulb and is housed in a fire station in Livermore, California. It’s been certified by Guinness World Records. 112 years is a long time for a light bulb to live, especially since mine tend to burn out ever year or so. But, I’ve found a method of keeping my bulbs burning longer and saving me money.

You know the sound – that popping sound that signals another light bulb has burned out before its time. What you might not know, is the likely cause is that the little brass tab inside the lamp socket that makes contact with the bulb is dirty or bent. This interrupts the connection and causes the filament to unpredictably flash on and off, shortening the life of the bulb.

With either the fixture unplugged or the circuit breaker off, first clean the tab with a Q-tip and some rubbing alcohol. Then, if need be, nudge the tab up with a screwdriver until it’s in place to stay in contact with the base of the bulb. Then, all you’ve got to do is screw the bulbs in, plug it in, and turn it on. Viola! Your light bulbs should last much longer. This should also cut down on light bulb-related injuries, such as falling off a ladder. Don’t laugh – it can happen. I’ve had a family member break an arm trying to fix a light bulb. Until next time!

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