Can you put a higher…

Can you put a higher watt equiv. florescent bulb (cfl) in a light fixture?

Let's say you have a light fixture that is only rated for 60 watts. A 13 watt florescent bulb (cfl) puts out the same light as a 60 watt incadescent bulb. Could you put a 26 watt cfl, which would be equivalent to a 100 watt incadescent, in that fixture?

2 thoughts on “Can you put a higher…”

  1. I did some research on this exact question for my own purposes, and unfortunately the page about CFLs that I found suggested that it’s a bad idea to put a higher-lumen CFL bulb into the socket, even if the CFL is lower wattage than the socket’s rated.

    This seems weird and counterintuitive to me. When I called the people who posted that page, they said (if I understood right) that the idea is that (for example) a 13W CFL in a recessed socket generates as much heat as a 60W incandescent bulb, and higher wattage in that kind of socket can damage the ballast in the bulb.

    So I was a little concerned that too much heat in the socket (especially a recessed socket) could be a fire hazard, though I’m not sure whether that’s really an issue or not.

    It kind of looks like (from that page) a recessed socket isn’t the only kind where this is a problem. So unfortunately, if that page is accurate, you shouldn’t do the thing you’re wanting to do.

  2. Jed, I asked this on my U Chicago alumni list too, and various people, including at least one engineer, told me it would be fine. So I’m going to go with that, I think.

    The internet seems to mostly think it’s fine too (not counting that page of yours), but I don’t trust the net for this kind of thing. 🙂

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