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Using Correct Light Bulbs for Your Light Fixture

I changed a Light Bulb and now we Smell Burning Plastic, What Should We Do? Replacement Light Bulbs for Light Fixtures.

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Light Fixture Smell
Electrical Question: Jamie asks: I changed a light bulb and now we Smell Burning Plastic, what should we do?

This electrical repair question came from: Jamie in Illinois.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Jamie.

Guidelines for Replacement Light Bulbs

Application: Light Fixture or Light Bulb Problems.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – DIY Electrical. This electrical wiring project is best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, a non-aluminum ladder and Non Contact Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to access the light fixture(s).
Precaution: Identify the light circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before servicing or repairing any light fixture components.
Notice: Always install light bulbs that are specified by the light fixture manufacturer. Changes in light bulb type must not produce more heat which could damage light fixture components or the area of the light fixture installation.

How to Select The Right Bulb for a Light Fixture

Here are a few things to consider when selecting replacement light bulbs for a Light Fixture

Light Fixture Smells Like Burning Plastic

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

6 Responses to “Using Correct Light Bulbs for Your Light Fixture”
  1. Catherine says:

    Thank you, I worry that my lack of knowledge about electricity may lead to hazards. I appreciate your point about the LED bulbs being dimmable or not. -Catherine

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Catherine,
    A19 refers to the size of the light fixture socket and base of the light bulb. The A19 type lamp has been most commonly used for incandescent light bulbs. Now with the newer energy efficient light bulbs that are available there are a variety of LED lights that have the A19 base for the standard light fixture socket. Many of the A19 LED bulbs are the same shape and size as the incandescent lamp, and they will produce the same amount of light while consuming less electricity, and operate at a cooler temperature. Be sure to check the specifications of the LED bulbs you are considering for full compatibility with your light fixture and application. Also, be aware that if you will be using a dimmer switch the LED bulb must say that it is Dimmable.
    Enjoy your new light fixture,

  3. Catherine says:

    I am about to purchase a 5-light kitchen fixture wherein the specs note “incandescent” A19 100 watt bulbs. What I need to know is if LED bulbs could be used to keep it from being so warm under the chandelier.

  4. Sandy says:

    Dave, thanks very much for your response. I will take a closer look at it.

    Glad to help you out Sandy.

  5. Dave Rongey says:

    Sandy – Most fixture light sockets are rated for 60 watts, however it should be labeled somewhere on the fixture. If the sockets are porcelain and the light fixture materials are metal then I would think that 40 watts would be OK. You could also look for a like type fixture at the store and see what the rating for the light bulbs are. You may also consider higher efficiency lamps that produce more light with less heat.

  6. Sandy says:

    I have a basic above the bathroom sink rectangular vanity light fixture (4 bulbs) in my bathroom. I believe it was installed by the prior owner around 1999. I have been using 4 – 25 watt GE bulbs in it for the past 12 years with no problems. Now I have a need for a bit more light in the bathroom and was just wondering if I can up the wattage on just one of the 4 bulbs to 40 and leave the other 3 at 25 each. Problem is I see no manufacturers name or information on watts. I was trying to avoid removing it to get more information since I am not too handy. I tried looking into the sockets but saw no information. Any suggestions? I think it was possibly purchased at a Home Depot, but I am not sure.