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Old 03-20-2011, 02:31 PM   #1
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using 60w incandescent bulbs in fan rated for 15w CFL


Hey all - we got a new ceiling fan, and it turns out it's rated for (and comes with) 14w compact flouresent bulbs (4 of them). They cannot be dimmed - but I bought a separate fan remote before I realized. It too says it shouldn't be used with flouresent bulbs.

Yet the fixture sizes are the same size as a regular incandescent bulb.

Truth be told - we bought a house and those spiral CFLs were in most of the fans. I figured the previous owner was just trying to pinch pennies and save electric. So I replaced them with 60W incandescent bulbs each. I haven't had a problem.

But I'm realizing that perhaps I shouldn't have done that on any of those.

So my question is simply this - can I just put 60w incandescent bulbs in these fans that are supposed to have 14w CFL? At that point I assume my as-yet-uninstalled fan remote would work for the lights.

I know there are little stickers on the fixtures that tell people what size bulbs go in (CFLs only I suppose). But since these CFLs came out - since the recepticle is the same size - I'm sure a majority of people don't even realize and use 60w regular bulbs.

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Old 03-20-2011, 02:39 PM   #2
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using 60w incandescent bulbs in fan rated for 15w CFL


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So my question is simply this - can I just put 60w incandescent bulbs in these fans that are supposed to have 14w CFL?
No. a socket or fixture is rated for a wattage. You are not allowed to put a higher wattage in that socket...period.


wattage relates to both current draw and heat produced. Increased wattage equals increased current and, although not in as direct of a calculation, heat produced. Both are concerns when designing the fixture.

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Old 03-20-2011, 04:14 PM   #3
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using 60w incandescent bulbs in fan rated for 15w CFL


I concur with Nap. I've seen what appears to be identical fixtures, with different ratings.

The difference? One of them had more insulation in the top than the other one. The one without insulation was only rated for the cfl bulbs, 15 watt maximum.

While a 60 watt incandescent bulb would physically fit, using one would cause too much heat to be generated, causing a fire hazard.
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:14 PM   #4
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using 60w incandescent bulbs in fan rated for 15w CFL


The bulb rating of a fixture is more a factor of how much heat the fixture will handle than that of how much electrical wattage it will handle. Going over the rating or with differing bulb type is not a good thing.
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:44 PM   #5
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using 60w incandescent bulbs in fan rated for 15w CFL


Will that cause the bulbs to blow frequently? I never thought to look, but the ceiling fans we put up recently keep blowing bulbs way more often that others we've had a while. I wonder if that's why? I was afraid we had a mouse chewing on an electric line or something!

I have to go look now!

That wasn't it. Grrrr

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Old 03-20-2011, 10:14 PM   #6
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using 60w incandescent bulbs in fan rated for 15w CFL


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Will that cause the bulbs to blow frequently? I never thought to look, but the ceiling fans we put up recently keep blowing bulbs way more often that others we've had a while. I wonder if that's why? I was afraid we had a mouse chewing on an electric line or something!

I have to go look now!

That wasn't it. Grrrr
In a worse case scenario, it could cause a fire. In some cases it could cause lamps to burn out prematurely if heat builds up around the lamp. Some lamps are affected more by higher ambient temps than others.

In a fan, I would tend to look more into the vibration causing the filaments to break. You might look into a heavy duty lamp, if available for your application.
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Old 03-21-2011, 01:26 AM   #7
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using 60w incandescent bulbs in fan rated for 15w CFL


Thanks for the replies - I agree - if a manufacturer sticks a label on the place where you screw in the bulb that says "don't put any bulb in here except 14w CFL" - they likely mean it. And it limits their liability.

Still - it seems crazy - what's more common around the house than putting in a lightbulb? People buy ceiling fans and lights, and they come with the spiral CFL bulbs. They're new(ish). And all most people know about them is that they are the "energy saving" bulbs. "Regular" bulbs have been around since Edison - and people have stockpiles of them in their linen closets. And they fit into these newer lights/fans. It's like diesel gas - you can't accidentally put diesel into you car at the pump because the nozzel won't fit. I just can't imagine the EPA or FTC or whoever not forcing manufacturers to put more massive warnings/labels everywhere if the simple event of sticking a 60W regular bulb in a unit meant for CFL might burn your house down. It's like giving a kid the keys to a car.

On the same topic - the guy at Home Depot told me it was no problem interchaging because the CFLs (like a 14w) were the same as a 60W regular bulb - just a different type of bulb. Yeah, we all know a 14w CFL puts off similar lumens and light as a incandencent. I didn't believe him that they'd both work (safely) - which is why I posted here.

Also interesting - another Home Depot guy told me ALL "regular" light bulbs will be gone in a year and no one will carry them. The gov won't allow them to be produced. They are ALL being replaced by the CFLs - and they'll only last a year - then they'll all be LED.
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Old 03-21-2011, 09:50 AM   #8
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using 60w incandescent bulbs in fan rated for 15w CFL


Quote:
Originally Posted by denemante View Post
....On the same topic - the guy at Home Depot told me....
There's your first problem

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Originally Posted by denemante View Post
....Also interesting - another Home Depot guy told me....
There's your second problem

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Old 03-21-2011, 10:56 AM   #9
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using 60w incandescent bulbs in fan rated for 15w CFL


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A



guy told me ALL "regular" light bulbs will be gone in a year and no one will carry them. The gov won't allow them to be produced. They are ALL being replaced by the CFLs - and they'll only last a year - then they'll all be LED.
As far as the government banning manufacture and sale of incandescent light bulbs. That applies to regular service bulbs only. Special purpose bulbs will continue to be made; examples: appliance bulbs, rough service bulbs, candelabra base, fan rated (rough service) bulbs etc.

Also, I recently installed 2 ceiling fans that came with (2) compact fluorescent bulbs each. The light kit had medium Edison base sockets and had a label that said max 60 watts bulbs. I installed 2 60 watt incandescent rough service bulbs (I hate fluorescent bulbs, the color makes me ill).
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:45 AM   #10
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using 60w incandescent bulbs in fan rated for 15w CFL


In addition, only certain wattages will be phased out next year. I believe it's only 100W and up in 2012. Ironically, with incandescent the higher the wattage, the higher the efficiency: so our nanny state will be phasing out the most efficient incandescent bulbs first. It's an unintended consequence (because they're really just starting with the highest wattage devices that don't meet new efficiency standards), but does little to refute the wisdom of Samuel Clemens*. That is, if the current Congress's effort to repeal the standard fails.

* "Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:50 AM   #11
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using 60w incandescent bulbs in fan rated for 15w CFL


I think incandescent bulbs will phase out naturally anyway. LED bulbs will come down in price over time and impact incandescent and CFL. The entire world is forcing the incandescent out of existence. It's only a matter of time until enough production ramps to make LED's price competitive.
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:56 AM   #12
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using 60w incandescent bulbs in fan rated for 15w CFL


Some in Congress hoped that new technology would allow incandescents (like halogens) to meet the standard by 2012, but instead GE found it to be cheaper to drop their high efficiency incandescent research program, close their USA incandescent plants, and make CFLs in China.
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:58 AM   #13
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using 60w incandescent bulbs in fan rated for 15w CFL


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I think incandescent bulbs will phase out naturally anyway. LED bulbs will come down in price over time and impact incandescent and CFL. The entire world is forcing the incandescent out of existence. It's only a matter of time until enough production ramps to make LED's price competitive.
I hope they can do something about the color of LEDs, all the ones I have seen have a very harsh , bright white color. Otherwise there will be a black market in incandescents.
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:33 PM   #14
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using 60w incandescent bulbs in fan rated for 15w CFL


actually, except in 3 states that have their own regulations and restrictions, incandescents are not being phased out or rendered illegal. It is inefficient incandescents that are being outlawed.

a summary of the requirements from Wikipedia

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In December 2007, many of these state efforts became moot when the federal government enacted the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which requires all general-purpose light bulbs that produce 3102600 lumens of light[8] be 30% more energy efficient (similar to current halogen lamps) than current incandescent bulbs by 2012 to 2014. The efficiency standards will start with 100-watt bulbs in January 2012 and end with 40-watt bulbs in January 2014.

Light bulbs outside of this range are exempt from the restrictions (historically, less than 40 Watts or more than 150 Watts). Also exempt are several classes of specialty lights, including appliance lamps, rough service bulbs, 3-way, colored lamps, and plant lights.

By 2020, a second tier of restrictions would become effective, which requires all general-purpose bulbs to produce at least 45 lumens per watt (similar to current CFLs). Exemptions from the Act include reflector flood, 3-way, candelabra, colored, and other specialty bulbs.[29]
last time I researched for this, there was at least one manufacturer that already had incandescents that fulfilled the energy efficiency requirements of the first stage and were working on lamps that fulfilled the second state requirements.

as well, there are exceptions/exemptions for just about any lamp that is not considered a "general use" lamp.

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