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Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" #4500103
08/28/17 08:09 AM
08/28/17 08:09 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 105
pennsylvania
purelux Offline OP
purelux  Offline OP
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 105
pennsylvania
In times where people think it's normal to load a pickup from 10 feet too high why do they invite problems by doing things like this. It's just electronic contact protection and is dielectric grease so why the occasional name change. You just know someone is going to smear it on the bulb.

Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: purelux] #4500113
08/28/17 08:19 AM
08/28/17 08:19 AM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 4,745
North Carolina
rooflessVW Online content
rooflessVW  Online Content
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 4,745
North Carolina
If you smear grease on a light bulb there's no help for you and you probably shouldn't even think about doing your own repairs.

Problems like that fix themselves.


"Zed's dead baby, Zed's dead."
Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: purelux] #4500114
08/28/17 08:20 AM
08/28/17 08:20 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 748
Battle Creek, MI
SVTCobra Offline
SVTCobra  Offline
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 748
Battle Creek, MI
Probably because the average person doesn't know what dielectric means, but bulb grease is more intuitive to put on the light bulb contacts to keep corrosion down.


If marriage was outlawed only outlaws would have in-laws.
Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: purelux] #4500130
08/28/17 08:48 AM
08/28/17 08:48 AM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,964
Pennsylvania
Boomer Offline
Boomer  Offline
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,964
Pennsylvania
To differentiate it from blinker fluid!


2013 VW Passat TDI SE, 59,300 miles Castrol Professional VW507 5W-30
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Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: Boomer] #4500157
08/28/17 09:12 AM
08/28/17 09:12 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,668
Champlain/Hudson Valley
Kira Offline
Kira  Offline
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,668
Champlain/Hudson Valley
The flexibility of our language is a double edged sword. It can ease communication or confuse things.

My personal bug-a-boo is that people will employ shortcuts or slang because they're too lazy to assemble the few necessary words or sentences.

Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: purelux] #4500233
08/28/17 10:22 AM
08/28/17 10:22 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 2,093
Saskatchewan, Canada
Johnny2Bad Offline
Johnny2Bad  Offline
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 2,093
Saskatchewan, Canada
The common term amongst the general public for dielectric is "insulation". Imagine the confusion if they called it that.


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Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: Kira] #4500236
08/28/17 10:24 AM
08/28/17 10:24 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,162
USA
Reddy45 Offline
Reddy45  Offline
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,162
USA
Originally Posted By: Kira
The flexibility of our language is a double edged sword. It can ease communication or confuse things.

My personal bug-a-boo is that people will employ shortcuts or slang because they're too lazy to assemble the few necessary words or sentences.


"Wutev. IDC."

LOL

Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: purelux] #4500241
08/28/17 10:35 AM
08/28/17 10:35 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 6,204
New England
gathermewool Offline
gathermewool  Offline
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 6,204
New England
People tend to call things by what they're used for or known for colloquially, e.g.:

"Hey, grab the Fluke [brand name of a well known digital multimeter] and meet me down in the basement, so we can troubleshoot the breaker panel."

"Hey, the blinker burned out. Grab a spare bulb and some bulb [dielectric] grease, would ya?"



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Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: purelux] #4500455
08/28/17 02:51 PM
08/28/17 02:51 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,501
Clovis, CA
Merkava_4 Offline
Merkava_4  Offline
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,501
Clovis, CA
I put dielectric grease on the bulb threads to keep it from sticking as I'm screwing it into the lamp socket. Never heard of the term "bulb grease."

Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: purelux] #4500460
08/28/17 02:59 PM
08/28/17 02:59 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,768
california
wrcsixeight Offline
wrcsixeight  Offline
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,768
california
The dielectric grease can also help conduct heat from bulb base to blub receptacle, and then perhaps housing/reflector too.


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Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: wrcsixeight] #4500588
08/28/17 06:18 PM
08/28/17 06:18 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,668
Champlain/Hudson Valley
Kira Offline
Kira  Offline
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,668
Champlain/Hudson Valley
Reduces resistance...wire insulation may last longer...bulbs may last longer...automotive contacts (sockets) don't corrode. It's a must do.

Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: wrcsixeight] #4500648
08/28/17 07:11 PM
08/28/17 07:11 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,501
Clovis, CA
Merkava_4 Offline
Merkava_4  Offline
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,501
Clovis, CA
Until reading this thread, I honestly thought I was the only person to have ever put grease on a light bulb.

Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: purelux] #4500650
08/28/17 07:18 PM
08/28/17 07:18 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,753
PA
123Saab Offline
123Saab  Offline
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,753
PA
I also use dielectric grease a lot, but don't think I ever heard it called "Bulb Grease".


Anything can happen
The tallest towers be overturned
Those in high places be daunted
Those overlooked regarded
- Seamus Heaney
Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: Kira] #4501138
08/29/17 09:50 AM
08/29/17 09:50 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 9,560
Boston, MA
HerrStig Offline
HerrStig  Offline
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 9,560
Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: Kira
Reduces resistance...wire insulation may last longer...bulbs may last longer...automotive contacts (sockets) don't corrode. It's a must do.
A dielectric is an insulator, but if it keeps metal parts from corroding it preserves good electrical contact. Since it does NOT support conduction there's no danger of that protection causing a short circuit. The question has always been .... if you fill a connector with that stuff does it degrade the actual connection through which current SHOULD flow, and the answer seems to be no. In the "radio" business even weak radio signals do not seem to suffer from losses caused by dielectric in the connector, if the connector has
properly designed contacts. In a high current 12 V battery application for example those parts of the connector which make contact will squeeze the dielectric out of the way and make contact anyway. There are compounds which DO lower resistance, DeOxit by Caig labs is one of the best, but that should NOT be applied to a connector in a way that it could create an alternative path to ground.

Last edited by HerrStig; 08/29/17 09:57 AM.
Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: purelux] #4509867
09/07/17 11:05 AM
09/07/17 11:05 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 105
pennsylvania
purelux Offline OP
purelux  Offline OP
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 105
pennsylvania
lol I know you don't actually put it on the glass, but it's setup as an impulse purchase at autozone or advance auto checkout. Where the idea is to buy cheap things impulsively without much thinking. So it's inviting trouble to call it that when it doesn't go on the bulb and is used on more than the contacts of light bulbs.

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