Fun With Headlight Bulbs

This was my headlight bulb.

Right before Shore Leave, my driver’s side low beams went out, and while I went to Advance Auto Parts on York Road to get a replacement, for deadlines and other reasons I didn’t install the bulb until the following Saturday, before I went to Camden Yards and briefly saw my cousin Amber for the first time in two years.

As was well and good, once I had it installed properly. (You have to shove the housing into the socket and hope you made the connection between the socket and the plug inside. Plus, the release switches I needed to access are behind the battery. Lovely.)

And then the monsoons came to the Bay.

I was driving home from work Monday night, and when I crossed the bridge across Lake Redman on 83 I had to go through water that may have been two feet deep. The bridge slopes, and water pools against the concrete median.

Afterwards, my driver’s side low beams were out.

Thursday after work, the first day without rain since Saturday, I stopped again at Advance Auto Parts and bought another bulb. My intention was to install it Friday morning before work, but yesterday was a day where I needed more coffee than usual and I had to get gas, so I decided it could wait until Saturday.

Why had the bulb gone out? My assumption was that it had shorted out due to the rain. Or maybe it had come loose.

Then I noticed blue “pebbles” inside the headlamp housing.

The bulb had exploded. Water had gotten inside, come in contact with the very hot bulb, and…


That became my new working hypothesis, and I was mildly anxious to replace the bulb and see if I was correct

I was!

Everything is good now.

And let’s hope there’s no more monsoons. Or at least that the bridge across Lake Redman magically drains.

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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