Wire or socket?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by brillo, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. brillo

    brillo New Member

    Messages:
    2
    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. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    Neither. It is the fixture.
  3. brillo

    brillo New Member

    Messages:
    2
    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. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    The fixture design.
    The socket design.
    The socket placement.
    The glass shade.

    ETC............
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,134
    Location:
    New England
    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.
  6. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,540
    Location:
    North Carolina
    A good rule of thumb is a bulb produces 5% light and 95% heat
  7. molo

    molo Member

    Messages:
    845
    Location:
    cold new york
    What are the bulbs called that produce less heat? I would like to know more about these. Any info would be appreciated
  8. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    Fluorescent bulbs.
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,134
    Location:
    New England
    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.
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