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Thread: Wire or socket?

  1. #1

    Default Wire or socket?

    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?

  2. #2
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Neither. It is the fixture.

  3. #3

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    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?

  4. #4
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    The fixture design.
    The socket design.
    The socket placement.
    The glass shade.

    ETC............

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    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.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    A good rule of thumb is a bulb produces 5% light and 95% heat

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    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    What are the bulbs called that produce less heat? I would like to know more about these. Any info would be appreciated
    "Any American who is prepared to run for President should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
    Gore Vidal.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by molo
    What are the bulbs called that produce less heat?
    Fluorescent bulbs.

  9. #9
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    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.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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