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Will an incandescent light bulb last longer if you never turn it off ?

The lifespan of an incandescent light bulb is influenced by various factors, and the impact of keeping it continuously on depends on the specific circumstances. Incandescent bulbs consist of a tungsten filament that emits light when heated by an electric current.

  1. Thermal Stress: One of the key factors affecting the lifespan of incandescent bulbs is thermal stress. When the bulb is turned on, the tungsten filament heats up, and turning it off allows it to cool down. The rapid temperature changes during on-off cycles can contribute to thermal stress, potentially shortening the lifespan.
  2. Filament Evaporation: The tungsten filament in an incandescent bulb slowly evaporates over time, and this process is more pronounced when the bulb is on. Continuous operation may lead to faster evaporation and, consequently, a shorter lifespan.
  3. Operating Hours: The cumulative number of hours a bulb is on is a crucial factor. If you never turn off the bulb, you may reach its rated lifespan more quickly due to constant operation.
  4. Voltage Fluctuations: Incandescent bulbs are sensitive to voltage fluctuations. Continuous operation without turning off may expose the bulb to voltage variations, affecting its performance and lifespan.
  5. Energy Consumption: Constantly keeping an incandescent bulb on results in continuous energy consumption. This not only affects your electricity bill but also contributes to the overall wear and tear of the bulb.

In summary, while incandescent bulbs are generally more stressed during the turning on process, keeping them continuously on has its drawbacks, including faster filament evaporation and increased energy consumption. The overall impact on lifespan can vary based on factors like bulb quality, voltage stability, and environmental conditions. It’s worth considering more energy-efficient alternatives, such as LED bulbs, which have longer lifespans and are designed for frequent on-off cycles without significant impact.

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