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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Lightbulb CFLs wattage in fixtures

    So, I have a question about CFLs.

    Let's say I have a fixture that's rated for a maximum incandescent bulb of 60 watts. Normally I would use a 15 watt CFL replacement to get the same 850 lumens as the incandescent.

    Can I use a higher wattage CFL -- like a 25w -- to get more lumens without fear of setting the house on fire?

    - Rory

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    The Great White North

    Default Re: CFLs wattage in fixtures

    watt is the electrical consumption

    lumens is the light intensity

    The ratings for an incandescant fixture also takes into account of the heat generated by those types of bulbs.

    CFL's produce similar lumens at less power consumtion and generate less heat.

    So if the fixture is rated at 60 watt then a 25 watt CFL should be fine.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Default Re: CFLs wattage in fixtures

    Correct, you could if you wanted put up to a 60w CFL in the fixture. CFLs use 1/4-1/5th of the power that an incadescent does for the same illumination, but also produce 1/4-1/5th of the heat for the same illumination. All that meaning a 25w CFL produces about the heat of a 25w incandescent. The rated power for a fixture is either because the wiring gauge is only meant for a maximum of that power or else it is because the fixture is only rated for that much heat (such as recessed lighting).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: CFLs wattage in fixtures

    the maximum 60 watt fixture represents the maximum output that fixture socket can withstand, so the bulb you will plan to use should not drew more than that maximum limit, for more safety you should choose no more than 40 watt bulb. this is not related to how much the bulb output.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Pacific Northwet

    Default Re: CFLs wattage in fixtures

    ^^^What they said. However, if it is an enclosed fixture, be sure that the CFL is rated for installation in an enclosed fixture. Many are not.

    Installing a CFL that's not rated for an enclosed fixture can cause the CFL to overheat, damage its internal components, and fail prematurely. (In spite of overheating, it probably won't be a fire hazard.)

    LED bulbs are much better than CFLs in pretty much all respects, except bottom-line price. However, the life expectancy is much greater, meaning the total cost of ownership for LED bulbs can be less than for CFLs. (And if you're in a commercial setting where you are paying someone to change the bulbs, LED can even have a lower TCO than incandescent.) Like CFLs, some LEDs have restrictions on installation in enclosed fixtures, as with the current technology LEDs produce about the same amount of light and heat per watt as CFL, though I have confidence that will improve.

    LED bulbs in a 75W equivalent can be purchased for somewhere between $10 and $20 each. I think that if you can stand to pay the premium, you'll like the LED bulb better.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

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