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Old 10-17-2010, 01:35 AM   #1
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Light bulb sockets and wattage ratings

Hello everyone

I am a little confused by light sockets and their wattage limitations.

I have a ceiling fan that came with 2 candelabra sockets/bulbs but it is not nearly bright enough for the room. I took 2 porcelain standard light bulb sockets from an old fixture I had laying around and installed these in place of the other sockets so I can go with brighter bulbs.

Here's where the confusion comes. The engraving on the sockets themselves say 250V/650W and the wiring is 16 gauge, but then there is a sticker on each socket that says maximum 60W bulb. If I remember my electrical theory correctly, even if I use 2 - 100W bulbs, that comes out to less than 2 amps, something easily handled by the 16 gauge wire.

What is the reason for the 60W limitation on a seemingly heavy duty socket and what is the problem if I wanted to use 100W bulbs?

Thanks for clearing this up.


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Old 10-17-2010, 02:08 AM   #2
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Light bulb sockets and wattage ratings

Heat from those 100 watt bulbs will "cook" the wiring above them, causing a fire hazard.

While the sockets themselves can probably handle the load, the excess built-up heat from such large bulbs is the danger here.

You could safely use 23 or 26 watt cfl bulbs which would provide a similar amount of light with much less heat than 100 watt incandescent bulbs.



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Old 10-17-2010, 03:27 AM   #3
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Light bulb sockets and wattage ratings

Also becarefull with some ceiling fan bulbs some will have wattage limting device in there so if you get over the X numbers of watts it will shut off or won't come on until you stay below the wattage.

Now I know you can install the CFL bulbs in there but if they flicker like nuts stick one indentscent bulb that will useally stop the flickering.

I know there is couple other ways you can do but I just can't tell in this fourm for safety reason.

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Old 10-17-2010, 09:42 AM   #4
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Light bulb sockets and wattage ratings

The wattage sticker depends on how close the bulb is to other things above and whether the bulb is enclosed.

THe 650 watt socket rating probably applies only when the bulb is positioned base down or sideways with no shade or cover.

Standard screw in light bulbs in the U.S. (medium base) rarely have wattages over 300. There is a larger base (mogul) for which incandescent bulbs up to about 1000 watts are equipped, also a number of mercury and sodium bulbs use this size base.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 10-17-2010 at 09:45 AM.
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