What Size Light Bulb Is Safe For Fixtures?
Light Fixtures Light Sockets Lamps and Light Bulbs: Guide for Selecting the Right Size Light Bulb, CAUTION: Installing the Wrong Size Light Bulb Can be Dangerous!
The Wrong Size Light Bulb Can Be Dangerous!
Electrical Question #1: I am replacing Light Bulbs in Light Fixture Lamp Sockets.
- An over simple question to ask here, but places on the internet have incomplete or wrong answers.
- I have an existing light fixture with five “standard” base lamp sockets. Each socket says 660Watt 250Volt.
- I know what it means when a single sockets fixture says 60W/125V, but I’m unclear on what this means and in particular I need to know what the maximum watt bulb I can use in each socket is.
- Obviously it isn’t running at 250V, and it seems clear that whatever the 660W means it covers all the sockets not just one. Does it mean I could put up to a 132W bulb in each socket?
I feel fairly safe just putting a 60W bulb in each one, but we’d actually like more if possible.
- This is a chandelier kind of fixture, and the bulbs are the small globe-type bulbs, 14W CF bulbs put in by the previous owner – the light is inadequate and even after being on for a while, these flicker too much.
- I understand there are more expensive CF bulbs that are better, but this light gets turned off and on a lot, so I’m leaning towards going with incandescent. Thus the desire to know about maximum wattage.
Background: Ed, a Homeowner from Amherst, Massachusetts.
Electrical Question #2: I’m wondering if halogen bulbs are OK in our light fixture.
- I want to make sure I understand which light bulbs to safely use with a light fixture we recently installed in our kids? playroom. We installed this fixture: Portfolio 6-Light 69.6-in Brushed Steel Dimmable Fixed Track Light Kit. We are using 2 clear Halogen bulbs. And 4 indoor flood lights – halogen. We are using the recommended wattage, but I’m wondering if halogen bulbs are OK in this fixture and especially the indoor halogen flood lights – they fit inside just fine but it?s a tight fit.
- I want to make sure this is safe as the recommended bulb type is A19.Safe meaning – not a fire hazard and not going to explode…
If not safe, could you recommend best bulb to use? I do not use LED or CFLs due to heavy metal content.Thank you so much!!
This electrical wiring question came from Allie, a Homeowner in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Thanks for your home electrical question Ed and Allie.
Light Fixtures, Lamps, Light Sockets and Light Bulbs
Guide for Selecting the Right Size Light Bulb
- Light Socket Rating
- The printing on the socket is what the socket is rated for, and I would only trust that if the socket had a UL stamp on it.
- Light Fixture Specifications
- Just because the socket has its rating listed you still need to see what the light fixture manufacturer specifies for the type and highest watt size light bulb that is allowed.
- Light Bulb Size
- Installing the wrong size light bulbs can be dangerous because of the amount of heat that can be produced from the light bulb.
More about Light Bulbs and Light Fixtures
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I have the same problem as the last guy. What does the 660w/250v mean. I have a fixture on a mirror (two one on each side of the mirror) and it says the same thing. I need to use it now and realize many years ago I must have just put a 15watt bulb in it. I would like to put a larger bulb but there is no way to find the manufacturer of this to ask. Is there a way to decipher what this means.
like the last person I am not able to find anyone to tell me what these numbers mean.
Indy, the numbers that are found on the light socket are the maximum rating for the Light Socket ONLY. This obviously does not mean that you can safely use a 660 watt light bulb in your light fixture, besides, it will most likely cause a house fire. This is why I say to go back to the light fixture instruction sheet or look on the box to see what is the specified size light bulb. Yes, I know that this is not possible for older light fixtures, so the other place to look is on the light fixture housing. Many times there will either be a imprinted stamp or a label that shows the size light bulb to use. If nothing is found then I would suggest finding a similar light fixture at your local Lowe’s or Home Depot hardware store and see what the specs are. Often you will find that 60 watts is the standard size light bulb, but it is best to find out for sure.
Is it safe to have a light fixture that holds multiple light bulbs, but put only one bulb in it?
With incandescent light fixtures you do not have to have bulbs in all of the light sockets, but having an open light socket that is energized is not a real good idea if the fixture is in an accessible location where fingers or objects may be a problem. It may be better to slightly unscrew the lamp so that it does not make connection and still occupy the space, or install a lamp that is burnt out.
I hope this helps.
Can a 200 watt incandescent light bulb be used safely in a ceiling ceramic fixture socket marked 660w 250v
The light socket is marked 660w 250v because that is the maximum rating of the socket, however that does NOT mean that is the recommended or allowed size light bulb for that specific light fixture. The size of the light bulb for the light fixture should be specified in the instruction sheet that came with the light fixture. There may be a label inside the light fixture or around the base of the light socket with the allowed or limited size light bulb for that light fixture.
When shopping for light bulbs, I only take into consideration the wattage regardless of the shape of the bulb. I have often wondered why some bulbs are marked for chandeliers upside or some downside. Does the position of the light bulb really make a difference? Thanks.
Yes the attitude of the light bulb will make a difference especially with chandeliers. The reason why is the construction of the light bulb, particularly the fulfillment, which may be mounted vertical or horizontal which will have an effect on the type of light that will be produced and the shadow that will be dispersed as a result of the internal construction of the lamp. You may also see light bulbs that are specifically for ceiling fans. A ceiling fan light bulb has a heavy duty filament what will withstand the natural vibrations that are produced by the ceiling fan. Heavy duty light bulbs are also know as Rough Service light bulbs and have a 130 volt rating, and they will last much longer than a standard light bulb. Mechanics and other service people who use a drop light generally use a 130 volt Rough Service light bulb which will take much more abuse.
I hope this helps,
How can I use a 60W/125V light fixture (from US) when the voltage is 250V (in Europe)? What light bulb specifications I need to follow?
My wife bought a 660W 250V porcelain lamp holder to replace one of the light fixture in our hallway. When I attempted to put it in, the black wire started sparking when I turned the electric back on. Any idea what might be the issue? There was a similar fixture there before so not sure what is causing the outage.
I would suspect that the wiring may be loose at the connections to the light fixture. Sparks may result if the wires are loose and the light is turned on.
I just hung a Tiffany tulip style shade from an existing socket where a fan/light combo used to be. I want to use a hundred watt round clear bulb. The bulb I want to purchase says 125V. House is pretty old. Electrical just average. Will it be safe to use?
The watt limitation is typically printed on the light socket. Plastic light sockets will have a lower watt limitation than a metal socket. Also check the Tiffany shade for additional lamp type or size limitations. Standard lamps will show a rating anywhere from 110 to 130 volts, so the 125 volt rating is fine.
Enjoy your light!