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If an old fixture has a 60W incandescent maximum...

Posted by chisue (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 12, 14 at 15:02

...what are my options using an energy-efficient bulb?

The max of 60W was because incandescents generate heat, right? Could I use an energy efficient bulb that generates more light?

I'd like to replace the 60W incandescents in two pair of sconces in our master bathroom; wall switches have dimmers.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: If an old fixture has a 60W incandescent maximum...

Replace with what? CFLs? LEDs? Note that many CFLs cannot be dimmed. The ones that can be dimmed require dimmers that support CFLs. LEDs can be dimmed but again, check the dimmer for support. You might have to replace that dimmer with something newer.


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RE: If an old fixture has a 60W incandescent maximum...

"The max of 60W was because incandescents generate heat, right? Could I use an energy efficient bulb that generates more light? "

Generally your thinking is correct. But the 60 watt limit is typically for enclosed fixtures. And many of the alternative bulbs are not for enclosed fixtures due to the bulb itself being very temperature sensitive. But an LED or CFL with light output of greater than 60 watt incandescent equivalency will not endanger the fixture due to heat.


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RE: If an old fixture has a 60W incandescent maximum...

Thank you both!

So...I could buy a (what rating) LED and risk only the bulb? I don't need a *lot* more light, but 120W total seems a little dim to me now that I'm older. I'm using 'soft white' 60W incandescents.

The sconces have metal bases and opaque glass that is open at the top.


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RE: If an old fixture has a 60W incandescent maximum...

In that case, I would try a 100 watt LED equivalent-- if you can find one. 18 or 19 watts. The LED will get some cooling as the heat will be dissipated to some extent by convection.
My limited experience with similar is a ceiling fan with 4 inverted, at an angle, tulip globes and 40 watt rating. I tried 60 watt incandescents and within minutes smelled overheating ( my sense of smell is very acute and my hearing is very poor ) I now have 9 watt LEDs, dimmable. The light is brighter than with the 60 watt incandescents and no problems from heating have yet appeared. The inverted tulips will cool much less from convection.


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RE: If an old fixture has a 60W incandescent maximum...

bus_driver. Thank you for going the extra mile for me. I'll experiment with ONE 100W-equivalent LED bulb. (LED that uses 18-19 watts)

Glad your nose still works well. Neither my sense of smell nor my hearing are great anymore!


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RE: If an old fixture has a 60W incandescent maximum...

Perhaps I misread. If you will use 2 lamps, then 10.5 watt LEDs will approximate the 60 watt (each) light output.
LEDs in 100 watt equivalent are not widely available-- based on my observation.
Philips offers #422220 as a 75 watt equivalent and # 432211 as a 100 watt equivalent. This was my first online search for these and the search feature confused the A19 with the wattage. A significant complication. A19 is the industry designation for the size and shape of the 60 watt
incandescent. Now it is used for several different shapes of the newer designs.
I usually search on eBay-- prices are not always the best to be found but they do help determine what is available and a starting point for finding the best price from several sources.
Amazon often has helpful reviews from users but their prices may not be the best bargain.

This post was edited by bus_driver on Mon, Apr 14, 14 at 18:10


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RE: If an old fixture has a 60W incandescent maximum...

Oh, of course, that was TOO simple! LOL

I have a pair of sconces at each of two mirrors in our master bath. Each sconce holds its' "maximum" 65W incandescent bulb.

I want more efficiency and more light.

Are you suggesting I try a 75W-equivalent LED in each sconce? Are these about the same size as my incandescents?

Guess I'll need to just bring one home and try it. Bulb could be a bit longer, but not much wider.


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