View Full Version : Wire or socket?

08-17-2007, 05:34 PM
When there is sticker on a light canopy stating 60 watt max., or 100 watt max., is it the socket or the gauge wire used on the socket that limits the wattage of the bulb to be used in the lamp?

Speedy Petey
08-17-2007, 05:38 PM
Neither. It is the fixture.

08-17-2007, 06:03 PM
I have a 12" stem for a pendant light, 3' of 18ga. wire running down the stem to the canopy and the socket, then the bulb and glass shade. This is the fixture. So what exactly limits the bulb wattage?

Speedy Petey
08-17-2007, 06:14 PM
The fixture design.
The socket design.
The socket placement.
The glass shade.


08-17-2007, 08:06 PM
Incandescent lamps give off a fairly large amount of heat. The fixture is rated by how much it can safely radiate without melting, warping, or breaking anything or presenting a fire hazard.

08-17-2007, 08:19 PM
A good rule of thumb is a bulb produces 5% light and 95% heat

08-17-2007, 08:21 PM
What are the bulbs called that produce less heat? I would like to know more about these. Any info would be appreciated

08-17-2007, 08:39 PM
What are the bulbs called that produce less heat?
Fluorescent bulbs.

08-18-2007, 07:11 AM
Lumens per watt vary quite a bit based on the technology. The best is an LED based bulb - lasts 10's of thousands of hours, but costs a bunch still. Their prices are coming down, though, and you may see them as the replacement of choice instead of CFL (compact flourescent lamp) as they lose favor since some have heavy metals and are hazardous waste.

A basic incandescent varies, too, by technology. The color temperature (light color) varies by the type, where a halogen bulb burns brighter than a 'standard' incandescent, and thus appears brighter for the same wattage input.