Have you ever been sitting in your living room, when one of the light bulbs turns off, then turns back on after about 15 minutes? Here are some likely causes.

Built-In Thermal Switch Can Turn Light Bulb Off

Many light fixtures contain thermal switches that will cut off electricity to the bulb if it gets too hot. These are included as a safety feature to help prevent bulb-overheating, and the resulting fire hazard. When the bulb cools down, the thermal switch will allow electricity to once again flow to the bulb, turning it back on. This feature is common in recessed lighting, where bulb heat is contained within a small area, and the wiring canister is located near attic insulation.

Lower Wattage Bulbs May Keep Bulbs From Going Out

If the light bulbs are turning off frequently, the bulb may have a higher wattage rating that the fixture was designed to handle. If possible, examine the fixture for any labeling that will tell you the maximum wattage bulb that should be used. It the bulb being used has a higher wattage rating than advised, replace the light bulb with a lower wattage bulb that matches the rating on the fixture.

Wiring or Over-Insulation May Cause Re-curing Problems

If using lower-wattage bulbs does not solve the issue for recessed lights in the ceiling, the problem may be related to problems with attic insulation or wiring. If attic insulation is packed too tightly against a canister not rated for insulation contact, it could be causing the light canister to become too hot. You may also want to have the wiring double-checked for any issues. Note: if you attempt to do repair electrical issues yourself, make sure you cut off power to the fixture first (by turning it off at the circuit breaker). If you are uncertain about how to perform the necessary wiring, hire a licensed electrician to do the inspection and repairs.