Are LED and Incandescent Light Bulbs Vibration Resistant?

Vibrations are present everywhere no matter where you live. From minor earthquakes and construction work to slamming doors hard, they are one of the leading causes of bulb failure especially when it comes to incandescent bulbs. What about LED bulbs?

Are LED and Incandescent Light Bulbs Vibration Resistant?

LED bulbs are vibration resistant but only to a certain degree. They use a durable superconductor instead of the fragile filaments used by incandescent bulbs and so can withstand vibrations more efficiently. This doesn’t mean that they are all-powerful as strong or consistent vibrations can damage an LED bulb slowly over time.

On the other hand, Incandescent bulbs may be old technology but they are still widely used all over the world. There are many places where they are still used for various reasons. Ever since the Department of Energy brought forward the end of traditional incandescent bulbs, a lot of people all over the world have started using the rough service light bulb.

A rough service lightbulb is a normal incandescent bulb that is made with more sturdy filaments to withstand vibration and any stress that may come across its way. Early incandescent bulbs were well-known for being unable to withstand heavy or consistent vibrations.

Let’s dive a little deeper into the subject to fully understand how much resistance incandescent bulbs, and LED bulbs have towards vibrations.

Are LED Bulbs Vibration Resistant?

As mentioned above, LED bulbs are vibration resistant but not to the point where they are invincible. Traditional incandescent bulbs come with a fragile filament inside which makes them highly vulnerable to consistent vibrations. LED bulbs on the other hand utilize a more durable semiconductor that is made of a metal compound such as gallium. So vibrations won’t affect them much but it may affect the rate of lumen degradation over time.

There are a few ways through which vibrations can affect LED bulbs. They are as follows:

  • Shattered glass – Strong and consistent vibrations can result in cracking the glass bulb but you don’t have to worry about this much as almost all glass bulbs have the same issue. While traditional incandescent bulbs stop working when this happens, the diode in LED bulbs will continue to emit light. To prevent cracks from occurring, all you need to do is opt for shatter-resistant LED bulbs.
  • Loose connections – All LED bulbs come with various components such as wires and connections inside the driver. Over time, consistent vibrations can make these connections loose, which will then lead to the bulb flickering. These loose connections can be fixed.
  • Edison-styled LED bulbs do not have as much resistance to vibration as other LED bulbs as they are similar to incandescent ones. So if you have one of these, it would be wise to keep it far away from places that face consistent vibrations.

How Much Resistance Do LED Bulbs Have Against Vibrations?

There are several different factors that play an important role in the natural resistance that an LED bulb has towards vibrations. Some of the most important factors are the intensity and regularity of the vibrations, the quality of the LED bulb, and whether the bulb is shatterproof or not. Do keep in mind that shatterproof LED bulbs only prevent the glass from shattering. Intense vibrations may still damage the bulb but you won’t have to worry about it suddenly cracking or exploding.

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As per studies and observations, it has been found that the impact consistent vibrations have on an LED bulb is not linear. So if the bulb is 35 inches away from a vibration of 15Hz, the bulb loses its intensity by 25 percent. However, when it is 40 inches away, the bulb doesn’t seem to suffer any effect from the vibration. Hence, distance or proximity to the source of vibration is also important. Do note that in these tests, there was continuous vibration for 24 hours.

Do Incandescent Bulbs Resist Vibration Well?

Do Incandescent Bulbs Resist Vibration Well

The traditional incandescent bulbs always had a problem when it came to vibrations. Bulbs that were installed near garage doors or doors that tend to be slammed often always ended up failing. However, a lot of people from all over the world still prefer them due to their familiar soft glow. So what can one do if the bulb of their choice doesn’t fare as well as other bulbs when it comes to longevity? Here is where rough service light bulbs come in.

Rough service light bulbs are designed specifically to withstand vibration and any other external stress that may damage them. Vibration and external stresses often damage the filament over time due to which traditional incandescent bulbs stop working. In rough service light bulbs, the filament is much stronger and more durable, which makes them last a lot longer. They come in different wattages and finishes to meet any need or preference one may have.

The 60W and 75W bulbs seem to be the most popular ones when it comes to rough service light bulbs. As the filament is stronger, they do require 130 volts, which is 10 volts higher than traditional incandescent bulbs. This makes it ideal for use in basements as voltage tends to be higher there is a lot of households. Some of these bulbs also come with shatter resistance due to their silicone coating. If the voltage in a household is only 120 volts, then you will also be able to save more energy and increase the longevity of these bulbs too.

Are LED Bulbs or Rough Service Bulbs Better Against Vibrations?

Rough service light bulbs are a great alternative to traditional incandescent bulbs and come with more durable filaments that can withstand vibration and external stresses to a good degree. A lot of them also come with a silicone coating to give them much greater resistance to shattering or cracking. When they are made, they are tested against vibration checks to ensure that they won’t crack or stop working due to vibrations.

This makes them a great choice for those who want the same atmosphere created by traditional incandescent bulbs. However, as they use a heavy filament, they also need 130V instead of the standard 120Vv prevalent in most American households. So, you will always have a weaker light output unless you can supply 130V to the bulbs.

LEDs on the other hand have enough resistance to vibrations for everyday use but can provide great light output too. You can use specifically designed vibration-proof and shatterproof LED bulbs and install them on garage doors or even in light fixtures in rooms that are being renovated. So compared to Rough Service bulbs, LED bulbs may not have the same amount of resistance to vibrations but they will always be more efficient when it comes to light output, versatility, and power consumption.

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What Are the Cons of Rough Service Bulbs?

Apart from the total consumption of energy compared to LED bulbs, one of the only significant cons of these bulbs is that they cannot provide a good light output if the voltage is lesser than the required 130 voltage.

This is in no way a deal-breaker as incandescent bulbs are always inferior to other bulbs when it comes to the intensity or brightness of the light. Therefore, it would be wiser to install them in someplace where you don’t necessarily require a lot of light such as in the attic or your closet.

Another place where it would be ideal to install them would be on a ceiling fan. Traditional incandescent bulbs won’t be able to handle the constant vibration of the blades, especially when they are a little unbalanced. You will have no such problems when using rough service light bulbs though.


Vibrations are something you cannot avoid unless you live by yourself in a jungle but even then, an earthquake can occur. It is something that we need to learn to live with. With the help of high-quality LED bulbs and RSV bulbs, we can pick and choose the right bulbs to use based on the circumstances and enjoy everything they have to offer.

When it comes to incandescent bulbs, they come with more cons when compared to LED bulbs. However, if you prefer them over LED bulbs, then rough service light bulbs are one of the best vibration-resistant options to go for. You can also install both LED and rough service light bulbs in your home based on your requirements and get the best of both worlds.

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