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#4500103 - 08/28/17 08:09 AM Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease"
purelux Offline


Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 104
Loc: 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.

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#4500113 - 08/28/17 08:19 AM Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: purelux]
rooflessVW Offline


Registered: 12/24/11
Posts: 4046
Loc: 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.
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#4500114 - 08/28/17 08:20 AM Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: purelux]
SVTCobra Offline


Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 701
Loc: 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.
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#4500130 - 08/28/17 08:48 AM Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: purelux]
Boomer Offline


Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 1934
Loc: Pennsylvania
To differentiate it from blinker fluid!
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#4500157 - 08/28/17 09:12 AM Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: Boomer]
Kira Offline


Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 5238
Loc: 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.

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#4500233 - 08/28/17 10:22 AM Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: purelux]
Johnny2Bad Offline


Registered: 05/20/13
Posts: 1810
Loc: 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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#4500236 - 08/28/17 10:24 AM Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: Kira]
Reddy45 Offline


Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 2968
Loc: 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

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#4500241 - 08/28/17 10:35 AM Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: purelux]
gathermewool Offline


Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 5987
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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#4500455 - 08/28/17 02:51 PM Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: purelux]
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 17501
Loc: 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."

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#4500460 - 08/28/17 02:59 PM Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: purelux]
wrcsixeight Offline


Registered: 10/15/10
Posts: 1731
Loc: 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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#4500588 - 08/28/17 06:18 PM Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: wrcsixeight]
Kira Offline


Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 5238
Loc: 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.

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#4500648 - 08/28/17 07:11 PM Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: wrcsixeight]
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 17501
Loc: Clovis, CA
Until reading this thread, I honestly thought I was the only person to have ever put grease on a light bulb.

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#4500650 - 08/28/17 07:18 PM Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: purelux]
123Saab Offline


Registered: 10/27/10
Posts: 1578
Loc: PA
I also use dielectric grease a lot, but don't think I ever heard it called "Bulb Grease".
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#4501138 - 08/29/17 09:50 AM Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: Kira]
HerrStig Offline


Registered: 08/24/11
Posts: 9560
Loc: 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.


Edited by HerrStig (08/29/17 09:57 AM)

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#4509867 - 09/07/17 11:05 AM Re: Why is dielectric sometimes called "bulb grease" [Re: purelux]
purelux Offline


Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 104
Loc: 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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