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Electrical Wire and Cable

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.

Home Electrical Wiring Video

How To Hook Up a Generator to the House Panel
Using a Circuit Breaker Interlock Kit
for Backup Power

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Learn more about Home Electrical Wiring
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Light Fixture Smell
[ad#block]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

More about Light Fixtures and Light Bulbs

How to Install Kitchen Electrical Wiring

The following may also be helpful for you:

Dave's Guide to Home Electrical Wiring:

» You Can Avoid Costly Mistakes! «

Here's How to Do It:
Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book

Great for any Home Wiring Project.
  electrical wiring  

Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handy Women, and Electricians
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

Learn more about Home Electrical Wiring
with my Online Video Course:
Basic Home Electrical Wiring by Example

Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right

The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!

The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.

The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!

The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.

Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!

The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..

The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.

More articles about Broken Light Bulb, Electrical Repair and Home Electrical Wiring:
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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

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

  2. 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.

  3. Sandy says:

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

    Glad to help you out Sandy.

  4. 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.

  5. 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,

  6. 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