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Can I use a higher Watt LED equivalent bulb in a 60W fixture?

by King Boag (2019-08-01)


Can I use a higher Watt LED equivalent bulb in a 60W fixture?
When it comes to replacing old incandescent bulbs with LEDs, a common question that customers ask is: "Can I use an LED bulb that has a higher wattage equivalent than my fixture allows?" The simple answer is yes, as long as the LED bulb uses less wattage than your fixture. When you see a label say "100-Watt LED equivalent" that does not mean that the bulb actually uses 100 Watts, it means that it produces an amount of light equivalent to a 100-Watt incandescent bulb. If your socket says not to exceed 60-Watts, it is referring the dangers of high heat output associated with incandescent bulbs. However, LED’s do not emit dangerous levels of heat. Thus, if your fixture says "not to exceed 60-Watts" but you want to use a 100-Watt equivalent LED bulb, this would be safe to do so.
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But why are LED’s so much more efficient? The answer is because they don’t use direct heat to produce light. Incandescent bulbs give off a much wider spectrum of radiation since they are heating metal as the source of illumination. While incandescent bulbs give off visible light, they also give off nonvisible radiation like UV light and infrared light, causing them to consume far more energy. On the other hand, LED’s only give off radiation in the form of visible light – a much narrower spectrum –making them drastically more energy efficient.
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Another question you may have is: "How do I know if my LED bulb will be bright enough?" When dealing with LED bulb brightness, you want to think Lumens, not Watts. As a general benchmark, an 800 lumen LED bulb produces the same amount of light as a traditional incandescent 60-Watt light bulb. But maybe you want to use something even brighter? For a 60-Watt fixture, you could use a 100W, 125W, or even 150W LED equivalent because they all consume under 60-Watts! The 150W LED equivalent produces about 2,600 lumens, while using only about 30 Watts. That means you could use a 150W LED equivalent bulb in a 60W socket and get more than three times the brightness of your old 60-Watt incandescent bulb.
The simple answer is yes, as long as the LED bulb uses less wattage than your fixture. When you see a label say "100-Watt LED equivalent" that does not mean that the bulb actually uses 100 Watts, it means that it produces an amount of light equivalent to a 100-Watt incandescent bulb.
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I would consider this good for a "simple" answer but the limitations on the fixture are almost exclusively relating to heat. If a fixture is rated for 60 watts it most certainly could handle more than a 60 watt load which is related to amps. There is no fixture nor wiring that can only handle a 60 watts which would be about a 1/2 amp load. Although you probably wouldn’t want to do it you could put a lot bigger LED bulb in than one that actually drew a real 60 watts as long as it didn’t get hot.
Pay attention to the packaging. LED bulbs always says equivalent to 60 watt or 100 watt but it will also give the true wattage, in your case 7. If your fixture says 60 watt, i really doubt you could put an overrated LED bulb into it but always check the specifications. Also, read above comment about the weights being much different, you may experience that.
You were attacked by a man with an axe? On the dark side of your house? I would have to say that no amount of light is going to prevent you from being attacked by a man with an axe again. Surely, the odds of that happening again are very low. If they’re not, then someone is trying to kill you, and eventually they will. First and foremost, learn self-defense and get a giant pistol for pete’s sake. Learn how to properly use it and take it everywhere.
One caveat: brighter LED’s tend to be heavier than incandescent bulbs that emit the same amount of light. If you are hanging the bulb from a ceiling fixture, the weight of the bulb may pose a problem. Hanging an LED that emits light equivalent to 100W, for instance, means hanging a much heavier bulb than a socket designed for a regular 60W bulb may be able to handle. Over time, the bulb can lose its connection or be damaged, or there could even be a fire hazard, though I’m not an expert. I did have a problem of this nature with a bulb that was too heavy.
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