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I have all LED bulbs in my house, the nice CREE models that look like this. They've all been great, except for the ones I put in my bathroom's four-bulb fixture. One by one, all the bulbs in this fixture--and only this fixture--have been dying. They were purchased at different times so it's probably not a package of lemons that's to blame. What happens is that while the lights are on, every once in a while there is a very brief intermittent flicker. The flicker gradually gets longer until a bulb dies and its LEDs will only produce very, very dim light, even when put in another fixture whose bulb works fine.

I suspect that something it wrong with the fixture itself or its wiring. What could it be?

Here is a picture of the fixture. Only one bulb remains, and I suspect that it will burn out soon, too.

enter image description here

And here's a photo of the base of the dead bulbs:

enter image description here

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    Is it possible that the LED bulbs are overheating? Is the bathroom fixture enclosed? – JPhi1618 Dec 3 '15 at 17:03
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    Could you post a picture of the fixture? – bitsmack Dec 3 '15 at 17:08
  • Are these lights on a dimmer or does the switch have a back-light (so you can find it in the dark)? – user19474 Dec 3 '15 at 18:07
  • Not enclosed, no dimmer, no fancy features on the switch. I do have three LEDs in an enclosed fixture in the kitchen that are all totally fine. – iLikeDirt Dec 3 '15 at 18:11
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    I definitely plan on contacting them, since the warranty runs for 10 years. – iLikeDirt Dec 3 '15 at 21:50
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Are there any signs of burning on the base of the bulb when you take them out? I wonder if the bulbs are not seating fully in the fixture (due to the shape of the bulbs and glass shades) and you are getting some arcing in the socket that eventually ruins the contacts.

Another thing to look at is to verify that your bulbs are approved for damp locations. It looks like most of the current Cree bulbs are but you seem to have an older model (?). If there is a shower in this room perhaps the moisture is working its way into the bulbs over time.

My final thought is to look at is the voltage at the sockets, if you have a multimeter. Is it considerably higher than the rest of the house? Anything over 125V is probably excessive. Or do these lights share a circuit with a refrigerator or something that might cause a voltage spike when the compressor turns off?

  • Posted a picture of the bases of the dead bulbs. – iLikeDirt Dec 3 '15 at 19:26
  • The bulbs have "Suitable for damp locations" printed on the base. I called CREE and they're sending me some replacements. The rep sort of seemed to imply that there was a known issue with these bulbs. I'm going to get the newer model, so we'll see if those work. – iLikeDirt Dec 4 '15 at 16:59
  • @iLikeDirt: interesting. I wonder if your bathroom lights get used more than the other locations with Cree bulbs in your house, and that's why these ones seem to be burning out early? Maybe the others in your house will follow...? (I hope not!) – Hank Dec 4 '15 at 17:26
  • Well the good news is that the warranty is excellent, so if that happens I'll just get free replacements. But they are definitely not used as much as the ones in the kitchen fixtures. – iLikeDirt Dec 4 '15 at 17:50
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Looks like maybe this older bulb design was defective. Cree replaced them for free with the new models and none of them have the same flickering problem in this fixture as the old ones did, and none have burned out.

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