I live in a an older building in a studio apartment. I bought five Sylvania Smart+ LED Lights, one for each fixture. There's a cheap lamp, an overhead fan/light combo, and a kitchen light fixture with space for 3 bulbs. I bought bulbs for the lamp and overhead fan over a year ago, and all have worked perfectly.

The kitchen fixture has killed four or five bulbs. The "smart" parts eventually just stop working and they revert back to normal bulbs most of the time. One bulb stopped displaying red before losing connectivity, and one or two bulbs died completely. I've lost count at this point. At first, I would keep the glass bulbs over the lights, but after 2 or 3 broke I took them off and left them off, thinking it might be a heat issue. The overhead fan has had a glass cover on for over a year with no issues.

One thing I noticed is that the bulbs get extremely hot when on in the kitchen fixture - my laser temperature reader pegged the base of the kitchen light figure bulbs at ~88°C (~190°F) (Edit: this was probably not right, they don't seem to be hotter than my other, consistently working bulbs). Could this light fixture be killing the bulbs? There were standard incandescent bulbs in the fixture for over a year with no issues.

Note: Not a duplicate of this question, that question had bulbs that were recalled and which stopped outputting light.

photo of fixure

official product page

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    Is the kitchen fixture fully enclosed? How much airflow is there through it? Jan 29, 2019 at 23:11
  • @Harper It's not enclosed at all, I added a photo.
    – Ian Hyzy
    Jan 30, 2019 at 2:08
  • What running temperatures do you get on these bulbs with your IR thermometer when they are mounted base-up in other fixtures? Jan 30, 2019 at 2:13
  • 1
    Is there a dimmer switch connected? That could certainly destroy some lamps. Jan 30, 2019 at 4:13
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    Another possibility is a bad neutral in split phase wiring. That can lead to dangerous voltage differences between the two circuits, e.g. instead of each being 120 VAC, one might be 80 and the other 160VAC. Use a voltmeter to check a number of outlets, with and without appliances such as refrigerator or broiler oven running. See ringelectric.ca/the-dangerous-effects-of-a-loose-neutral-wire Jan 30, 2019 at 22:23

3 Answers 3


Did you check to make sure the bulbs were rated to be used base up? Not all of them are.

  • I don't see this listed anywhere in the product information.
    – Ian Hyzy
    Jan 30, 2019 at 17:26

I just replaced a kitchen fixture almost exactly like that one because the CFLs and LEDs I had put in it had destroyed the bulb sockets. As I was investigating one light that kept going out, I noticed all of the sockets were cracked and there was intense heat at the base of the two bulbs that still worked.

Theoretically, incandescent bulbs that had worked fine in the fixture for years generate a lot of heat also, so something wasn't right here. But with the cracks in the sockets, I had no choice but to replace the entire fixture. LED and CFL bulbs aren't as heat-resistant as incandescents are, so enclosing them in globes probably helped hasten the damage.

If you do decide to replace the fixture, pulling it down might show wiring problems inside that you could correct instead of following through with replacement. I'm a lot happier with the new fixture that has a ring of LEDs and generates very little heat and twice as much light.

  • Unfortunately it's an apartment and I can't replace the fixture, but this is good to know.
    – Ian Hyzy
    Feb 5, 2019 at 22:09
  • @IanHyzy Maybe tell the landlord that the fixture is old and it's a fire hazard. Dec 8, 2020 at 16:32

These bulbs draw almost no wattage at all. Some light switches, especially dimmer switches, see this miniscule draw as zero and can't handle such a small load. Did you notice any 'strobing' effect from the LEDs, before they died out?

  • There's no dimmer, and no I haven't noticed any strobing.
    – Ian Hyzy
    Jan 31, 2019 at 20:46

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