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Brad225

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I received these photos from a niece today. The bulb was in a lamp setting on a table in the corner of her living room not near a window. The lamp was plugged in but was NOT ON. The bulb exploded and glass hit the inside of the shade. There were no holes in the shade so it exploded from the inside out.
There were no storms in the ares and it was a clear calm day.

The power to the receptacle was fine after the bulb exploded.

She is going to show the picture to someone in the Physics Dept. at the university she attends.

Any logical idea of how this might have happened.




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roberto

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Poltergeist? Just kidding. There must be an atmosphere lighting strike...you never know the path of a high voltage. The energy jumps the switches and can cause that kind of damage.

Happy listenng!
 

Robert D

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Here are some ideas, a couple of them could be the case. Wondering if the bulb had been on earlier before it blew, and had some heat built up already.

 

ttocs

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I vote for Roberto's poltergeist.

Looks like entry and exit wounds. BB gun? Check the inside of the lamp shade for glass fragments on both sides or only one.
Or,
Robert D asked if the bulb were heated up prior to the event, if so then maybe it could be thermal shock.

When I've witnessed bulb filaments exploding inside a bulb and damage occurred to the glass, this usually involved the white coating being affected - but only on one side of the bulb, not two opposite sides.

There are forms of lightning which can strike even on calm sunny days and do incredible feats causing damage to some things, but not others.
 

ttocs

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My thoughts of Ball Lightning don't seem probable since the balls make holes in glass they travel through and there wasn't any mention of a hole in a window - assuming Ball Lightning was the cause and that it originated outdoors. The size of Ball Lightning can be as small as a coin, and generally makes no noise. But in all the accounts I read about where the balls travelled through glass, the glass ended up with perfectly round holes the size of the ball when the lightning originated outside.

There were accounts of Ball Lightning originating on submerged submarines in the 1940's that occurred when batteries were switched in/out of service, so it can originate "indoors".
 

Robert D

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Poltergeist! :whistle:

Let us know what the physics professor says. This is almost like an extra credit question on a test that I would give when I taught science.
 

Robert D

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Oh, is that an LED bulb? That doesnt look like a filament inside, but rather a diode. Different science there. Id think an LED would have a much lower chance of having that happen. Those hardly get hot at all, Not heat related since its an LED and wasnt on for 12 hours or more.

My father is a retired electrical engineer, Im going to send him these pictures and the story that goes with it. Maybe he has an idea.
 

18000rpm

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Oils from our hands on the bulb can cause uneven heating and possibly cause it to explode. That's why you're supposed to replace tube amp tubes with gloved hands (I think...).
 

Brad225

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I questioned her more than once about the bulb. She does not like LED bulbs so it was definitely not that and she also does not buy halogen bulbs because they’re too expensive for her. She said she always buys Incandescent bulbs.

I do agree the glass stem in the center and the filament look different than I expected. That said, she’s raising three young children alone and going to school and I know she doesn’t spend extra money on lightbulbs.
 

ttocs

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More information is needed.

What kind of switch is on the lamp?

I don't see any of the filament supports that would normally run up the glass stem, so it would help to be able to view the interior of the bulb sufficiently to show what is left of the filament and support structure.

Was anyone near the lamp when the event occurred?

Are any of the children in their teens? This is actually a serious question. Strange occurrences that have been reported as "ghostly" encounters are more common in households with young teenagers. The espoused theory being that there is unusual energy encompassing the teen's sphere that can cause unusual physical phenomena to occur. As a side note, when I was a teenager it was not unusual for light bulbs to flash brightly and burn out with a pop as I flipped the light switch or pulled the chain on the floor lamp or twisted the rotary switch on the desk lamp. It happened so frequently that I had spare bulbs handy at all times. There was a ceiling fixture controlled by two switches at the top/bottom of the stairs to my bedroom in the basement on one circuit, a floor lamp with two bulbs and a desk lamp on circuit two, and a side table lamp on circuit 3. There were times when two bulbs would burn out in succession as I tried to get a light on. This only seemed to happen to me, and stopped happening when I was in college so the bulbs would then last for years. Weird, huh? But in my case it was the physical act of turning on a switch to apply power that would cause the bulb to pop, and a few times the bulb glass broke, but it never occurred with the light switched to off.

Is the house built on an ancient burial ground? (This is the one with humorous intent.)
 

Nuri58

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One reason that lightbulbs can explode is linked f to a fault in the manufacturing if there is not enough insulation at the base of the bulb. This causes the base to melt, and the gas in the light bulb will leak out. When that happens the pressure difference could make the light bulb explode. Another possibility could be that a crack either from the lamp being knocked over at some point or during the manufacturing process has made it finally exploding as the gas pressure inside is higher than that outside the bulb. This could have onset from a mechanical impact (vibrations or so). Other than that I cannot think off
 

Chops

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I questioned her more than once about the bulb. She does not like LED bulbs so it was definitely not that and she also does not buy halogen bulbs because they’re too expensive for her. She said she always buys Incandescent bulbs.
Well, whether she likes halogen bulbs or not, that one in the pic is in fact a halogen bulb. It is essentially a bulb within a bulb, hence the glass envelope inside. The outer glass is only there to make it look like a normal incandescent bulb.

What caused that bulb to "pop" was some sort of defect in that inner glass envelope that over time with various heat cycles through its lifespan caused that defect to weaken over time. Between the gas pressure within that halogen envelope and the vacuum within the outer bulb, it was just a matter of time before the envelope gave way.

Also, these days, it will be next to impossible to find standard incandescent bulbs anymore unless some store has a stock pile of them still as all the major brands have stopped producing them a couple years ago. What you find now that you may think are incandescent bulbs are actually halogen, just like the one posted in this thread, and even these are being phased out of production.

I believe by the year 2025 there are supposed to be no more production of these types of bulbs except for specialty bulbs for devices and such that require some form of heat from the bulb. Other than those, every "standard" bulb you see or buy will be an LED. And by this point, the price of LED bulbs are less expensive than even halogen equivalents.

How do I know all of this?... You can thank that to the past 13 years in the hardware store business, 10.5 years of which being the store manager. Though I can safely say I am so glad I am no longer in the retail business. Now being in the pharmaceutical industry is so much better and less stressful.
 

ttocs

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Well, whether she likes halogen bulbs or not, that one in the pic is in fact a halogen bulb. It is essentially a bulb within a bulb, hence the glass envelope inside. The outer glass is only there to make it look like a normal incandescent bulb.

What caused that bulb to "pop" was some sort of defect in that inner glass envelope that over time with various heat cycles through its lifespan caused that defect to weaken over time. Between the gas pressure within that halogen envelope and the vacuum within the outer bulb, it was just a matter of time before the envelope gave way.

Also, these days, it will be next to impossible to find standard incandescent bulbs anymore unless some store has a stock pile of them still as all the major brands have stopped producing them a couple years ago. What you find now that you may think are incandescent bulbs are actually halogen, just like the one posted in this thread, and even these are being phased out of production.

I believe by the year 2025 there are supposed to be no more production of these types of bulbs except for specialty bulbs for devices and such that require some form of heat from the bulb. Other than those, every "standard" bulb you see or buy will be an LED. And by this point, the price of LED bulbs are less expensive than even halogen equivalents.

How do I know all of this?... You can thank that to the past 13 years in the hardware store business, 10.5 years of which being the store manager. Though I can safely say I am so glad I am no longer in the retail business. Now being in the pharmaceutical industry is so much better and less stressful.
Well that would explain why we can't see any wires supporting that hanging glass element (quartz?). The wire that makes the connection at the top of that structure is adhered to the inside of the outer bulb structure as can be seen in the attached photo.
 
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