Outdoor Light MELTDOWN. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-22-2019, 05:34 PM   #1
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Outdoor Light MELTDOWN.

I've got my 2007 21' Bigfoot jacked up in the yard. I'm rewiring the electric brakes. I came out this morning to find the outdoor bulb burned out and the plastic cover melted!


I checked the voltage just now. It's 13.75v. The trailer is plugged into 110v and detached from the tow vehicle. Battery is attached.



Reason for brake work: Both right side brakes were not engaging so I attached jumpers from the front left brake wires to the non-functioning front right brake and immediately all four brakes function. So my bad wire is discovered. I'm waiting on 10ga wire to rebuild the entire harness. So - that's the only electrical work going on with this trailer.


I put in an LED into the outdoor socket. Of course it lights up fine.

Any ideas what happened? Can old bulbs just overheat like that or did there have to be a current spike? There's no tow vehicle attached so little chance the brakes could be even activated - and why would the brakes even effect this one bulb? Other electrics function fine; fridge, lights, pump etc.
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Old 08-22-2019, 06:39 PM   #2
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Boy thats an odd one!

Im not clear about what bulb overheated and was it left on overnight? Was it the new LED?

My SWAG .. and its only a guess since I have not seen this before.. would be a corroded socket or other situation that created high resistance and therefore heat. Sometimes when you replace an old bulb, then what was a good electrical connection is broken and the new bulb does not make good contact.

My second level SWAG would be a LED from overseas that got too hot because it was defective since it only cost two Yuan to make.

The remedy is the same in all cases.. a new fixture and new bulb.

And I do think you are safe to assume the brake wiring work has nothing to do with it.
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Old 08-22-2019, 07:49 PM   #3
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Odd is right. Left on overnight for security was the old incandescent bulb, pictured above with the melted lens. It turned black. The fixture was partially melted as well.
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:03 PM   #4
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Odd is right. Left on overnight for security was the old incandescent bulb, pictured above with the melted lens. It turned black. The fixture was partially melted as well.
Well you said you put in a LED.. so you tried an LED and then put the incandescent back in? If so,then I stick with SWAG #1.. high resistance in the socket. Notice that the discoloring is strongest at the base of the bulb (at the socket).
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:10 PM   #5
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To be precise, after the meltdown I put a new LED bulb into the socket, which is undamaged. The LED lights right up.
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Old 08-23-2019, 06:20 AM   #6
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Posible wrong bulb

Possible wrong bulb installed. There are two bulbs that fit the socket 1141 and 1156. One bulb burns much hotter and gives more light. If the light is left on for a long time with the higher wattage bulb it can possibly melt the plastic fixture. See Thread from another forum. 1141 vs 1156 bulb....what's the difference?
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Old 08-23-2019, 06:46 AM   #7
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+10 to 1141 vs 1156 bulb wattage. Upon purchasing 40 year old Trillium and Boler, I observed melted porch light lenses, but also melted interior light fixtures. I have replaced all incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs. Also made sure to buy LED bulbs that are rated to relatively wide voltage range, i.e, at least 10 vdc to 15 vdc.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:54 AM   #8
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Thanks, John and Eddie. In fact it's a 1141. I dug it out of the garbage to find out. So it wasn't the hotter of the two types of bulbs. But it had never been left on so long as in the last weeks. Replaced now with an LED. And a new fixture on the way. Lesson learned. Change ALL the bulbs to LED. Don't ignore the outdoor lights.
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Old 08-24-2019, 07:22 AM   #9
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Have you ever noticed that sometimes just before a light burns out in your home it gets very bright? Yes, it does happen. When this happens, it is making a lot more heat in addition to a lot more light. I suspect this is what happened to your porch light.

Just replaced the damaged parts; hopefully it is only the lens that is damaged. If the fixture is damaged to the point it is unuseable it is not all the hard to replace.

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Old 08-24-2019, 08:04 AM   #10
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Have you ever noticed that sometimes just before a light burns out in your home it gets very bright? Yes, it does happen...
Good point.. the blacked glass does tend to indicating "super nova" type of bulb death.
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Old 08-26-2019, 07:14 AM   #11
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melted my lens the same way, with an 1141, seems they just weren't rated to be on all night. It might depend on the fixture as well, some seem to be better made than others

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Old 08-26-2019, 08:13 AM   #12
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The blackening of the lamp indicates that it had lost the nitrogen due to a leak. When this happens, the filament can overheat (until it burns out). I suspect this is what happened.
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Old 08-26-2019, 10:25 AM   #13
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Security????

I'm sorry but I see thing a bit differently than the OP. Leaving a Scamp porch light on all night to me is a beacon for would be thieves, which is say "look how easy is to get into this trailer". Now go look at the hinges and see how difficult it would be to remove the door.
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