Boom & The Light Went Out

Last night I was sitting in the living room watching “Orange Is The New Black” when there was an exploding sound.

I thought something heavy had crashed to the floor somewhere in the apartment.

I didn’t have any lamps on in the living room because I prefer to watch TV in the dark. So the only light came from a small area near the TV.

Once I got my bearings and looked around, I saw the light was off in the kitchen. It was completely dark in there.

I almost always use lamps because I hate overhead lights. But I had to turn the overhead lights on to see which one of the lamps in the kitchen was the culprit.

It was the one on my coffee bar.

I began to clean up the shattered glass.

The exploded light bulb was near Ivy’s food and water bowls. So I emptied those out and washed and dried them.

Using my handheld vacuum, I sucked up the bits of exploded light bulb.

I didn’t take what remained of the light bulb out of the socket for a few hours.

Before I went to bed, I carefully turned it counterclockwise till the rest of the light bulb was out.

When I Blew Up A Gas Stove As A Teenager:

You may recall that I’m the dimbulb that blew up a gas kitchen stove when I was pregnant as a teenager. After that, explosions of any kind rattle me senseless.

The explosion at that time was because I didn’t know you were supposed to light the stove with a match. I thought just turning on the gas stove would heat up my bread.

After a bit, I went back into the kitchen of the little duplex I rented and checked my bread. It was not warm.

Then it occurred to me that this might be the kind of stove that you had to light with a match.

Being young and living by myself for the first time, I had no basic skills to guide me. When I was a kid no one wanted me in the kitchen. So I knew next to nothing about how a kitchen worked.

Well, you can imagine what happened after I stuck the match in there. The blast blew me up against the opposite wall and singed off my eyebrows.

But why would a light bulb explode out of nowhere? It’s not like I was changing the bulb or anything or fiddling with the lamp. No one was anywhere near it.

Does anyone have any explanation as to why this could be possible?


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  1. That’s scary! I have no idea of why, but just glad that you and Ivy were not nearby when it happened. I just thought of this, and I’m sure someone must have already mentioned it, but have the outlet checked out.

  2. I’ve had the light bulb kerfuffle happen to me before. I did just replace the bulb and continued using it without any more troubles. It is scary though. What was even scarier was when lightening struck our house and blew the TV out…. smoke was coming out of the outlet.

  3. I had a light bulb explode when lightning hit. This was a few years ago, and as I was cleaning up the broken bulb by one outlet, my son noticed that the VCR had started smoking on the other side of the room! I did get a kit (about $6 or $7 then) from Walmart and rewired the lamp, just because it made me nervous. The VCR was, as they say, “toast.”

  4. Brenda, the number of watts listed on all of the light bulbs is the amount of electricity the bulb uses when it is on. For the kind of bulbs that we had in the 1960’s, 100w (100watt) and 60w were really common.
    LED bulbs don’t need as much electricity to give you the same amount of light. I like the light I used to get from a standard 60w bulb of the old style for most of my lamps. I replaced those bulbs with 10w dimmable soft white LED bulbs. I am happy with them. They use so much less electricity, about 80 to 85% less. It makes it seem like it must be some different kind of watts. It isn’t. It is just that the LEDs turn a little bit of power into a whole lot of light. The bulbs themselves cost more, but they are supposed to last much longer than the old (incandescent) bulbs.
    I promise it really isn’t complicated to use the new bulbs. Just read on the package or look on Amazon for “led light bulb soft white dimmable 60 watt equivalent” or 100 w if you prefer the brighter light.
    You want the “soft white” if you like the soft slightly yellow color from old style light bulbs. There are other colors available in LED bulbs, but I think the more blue-ish ones are unflattering and make the paint on my walls look weird.
    The number of watts listed on the lamp is telling you the largest number of watts you can use in that lamp and still be safe.

  5. Several things can cause lightbulbs to explode; usually it’s a bad connection between the bulb and socket. Sometimes it’s lack of insulation. I don’t know if I’d try to use that lamp anymore. You might want to replace it.

    1. I would, but I just love the lamp! Hopefully it’s safe after another bulb was added. If it does it again the lamp is gone.

  6. That is really weird…I would replace the lamp and not buy the same bulbs again…glad neither you nor Ivy was hurt!!

    1. I had Greg look to see what wattage the lamp said it used. The print was too small for me to read. It said 100 watts, so I had that.

  7. That would have freaked me out too. The LED bulbs take a LOT less power to run, and will save you electricity, and they don’t usually get hot. The box will always tell you what they are equivalent to, meaning what old bulbs you used to use. When I read the title of today’s post, I thought you had a power outage for your whole neighborhood, as if a transformer blew. I didn’t know the story of you blowing up a stove. It’s amazing you and the baby weren’t hurt! But if no one ever taught you, how would you know? I’m glad you weren’t hurt then and now.

  8. That gas stove experience was certainly scary. I have had a bulb or two explode over the years, too. One of them was an overhead bulb and it went everywhere.
    Glad you got it taken care of with no harm done. Diana

  9. The confusion over light bulbs now is so frustrating. Somebody mentioned a conversion chart so that might be worth looking up. I’m just glad it didn’t start a fire. I just had to buy new bulbs for one of the touch lamps and i could hardly read the sizing on it! Fortunately I finally made it out!!

      1. I see that you mentioned it was a 100 watt bulb. most lamps state 60 watt Max. LED is so much better, don’t get hot, use less energy, screw right in to the same outlet. 3500k is a sweet spot for warm light.

  10. Sorry that happened to you. I dusted the top of one of those tall lamps that has a bowl on top for the light to go up to the ceiling. I continued using the feather duster in the other room and smelled smoke. A feather had gotten loose and rested on the exposed bulb. Good thing I caught that. It is always something. I need your ideas on this one. My Dad got a new recliner. He is in it all day long. The part behind his head is puffy and his head rests on that. It is uncomfortable, the puffy part should be behind your neck not making your head lean forward. I do not sew. The only thing I could think to do was to get some batting and he could easily wrap it in a pillow case adding or taking away to rest it comfortably behind his neck. He has tried small pillows and they were too lumpy, bumpy or big. I have some chairs that are made similarly and don’t know why manufacturers do that. Thanks for any ideas. Have a good day!

    1. Did you try a neck pillow? The recliner I ordered the week I moved here turned out like that. My neck is partially fused and it was terribly uncomfortable. I had to pay a $150 restocking fee to have them come get it. Oh, there might be something on Amazon that has elastic that would fit around the top of the chair. I’ll look.

  11. My husband says if it was an incandescent bulb and the little tungsten filaments came loose and touched it would happen. Not sure how they would come loose, maybe when moving the lamp I suppose. How scary anyway.

      1. After unplugging the lamp, use a raw potato to remove what is left of the bulb. Glad you are safe.

  12. It might be that the wattage was too high? The “light bulb” arena has changed so much in recent decades giving us more choices: LED, CFL, halogen, incandescent. Not saying this is the cause; however you might have used a 9W LED which equates to 60 W incandescent but the lamp may only be rated to 40 W which would use a 6W LED etc. I have had to reference online bulb conversion charts on many occasion:) I was in the Home Depot light bulb aisle recently wondering how did this topic get so big/confusing? Of course there are other reasons it could have happened too as Jan commented on:)- and could have just been a bad bulb!

    1. Why couldn’t they have left it the simple way? Things change and as I age I don’t particularly change with it as fast. All my life it’s been 60 watts or 100 watts. Now it’s something entirely different.

  13. Well,probably scared the bejesus out of you and broken bulbs are a PITA to cleanup but when I read the headline(?),I thought,oh no! Please don’t let her have fallen & hit her head,yikes!
    Glad you’ve still healthy😍

  14. Oh my goodness Brenda, having a stove explode when you were just a teenager would certainly traumatize you for life! I’m glad you survived that experience! I’ve had a bulb explode too. It is frightening.

  15. I had one in the ceiling fan do that when we had a power surge. Scared the cat and she never walked under the ceiling fan again. I moved the coffee table under the ceiling fan so she could hide there if she wanted to.

    That was scary though.

  16. Wow!!! That must have scared everything out of you! I’m glad you and Ivy weren’t hurt.
    My first thought was that the wattage on the bulb was too much for the lamp. Every lamp I’ve owned has always come with a tag explaining not to exceed a certain wattage. And I’ve heard that bulbs can simply explode rather than just stop working.
    Wish I could be more helpful.

  17. I have had the same thing happen when I use too large a wattage for my lamps as I too use a lot of lamps around my house. I am being more careful about using the ones recommended on the lamps and not just any bulb I have in my cupboard. I sure don’t want a fire staring. It isn’t fun cleaning up shattered glass so these small hand held vacuums are the best for incidents like this. I am glad you keep it handy by.

    1. Why have they changed the numbers on the light bulbs to two different types of numbers? I’m familiar with, say, 60 or 100 watts. Is the other one they now use LED wattage or something? Why does everything have to be so complicated?

  18. Good morning, Brenda,
    I’m glad that you are safe after all that. I had something similar recently where a shelf in my bedroom came crashing down and scared me silly. Im not sure if my fur baby tried to get on it, but I understand.
    I wanted to ask a huge favor. Can you please send me the link for your new battery powered water dish for Ivy, and for your hand held vacuum? I had a water bowl, but it wasn’t battery operated, and she wouldn’t use it. She does however, live to jump up on the bathroom counter and drink from the sink. 🙂
    I also need a good vacuum, and I’d prefer a hand held one, that is strong and has good suction. I’ve only got carpet in my bedroom with other rugs throughout the house, and I just find it too cumbersome to pull out the full size one.
    Loving all the good news about your ankle, the new place, and all the good things in your life.
    Thanks, Brenda, for sharing your home and life with us. Have a great day ahead .

    1. Thanks, Jan, for the link. I probably had the wrong wattage bulb. I’m having difficulty figuring out bulb sizes because they now come in two different types of wattages. For lack of a better word, it’s like two different languages. I just can’t seem to figure them out.

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