We are so used to living a life of ease with light bulbs that we often take them for granted. It is easy to overlook light bulbs unless they need to be replaced. Usually, we grab whatever light bulb we have and consider the job well done. An ill-fitting light bulb is not only a safety concern, but it can also use more energy.
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Fixtures wattage limit
You can find wattage ratings on the sockets of the light fixtures—for example, maximum 60W. If the fixture requires two or more light bulbs, the maximum wattage has to equal the total of the light bulbs’ wattage.
Using a bulb with a higher wattage than the fixture’s limit can result in intense heat. Electrical fixtures all come with a recommended wattage rating. By not following the rating, you are potentially putting your home at risk. Overheating can melt sockets and wire insulation, which could then lead to house fires. It’s best to use light bulbs with a lower light wattage to avoid permanent damage. Learn more about how to match light bulb wattage to light fixtures.
Enclosed and non-enclosed fixtures
Everyday lighting, or non-enclosed fixtures, allows the light source to breathe. In a non-enclosed fixture, the heat produced from the light has the chance to distribute evenly. In comparison, enclosed fixtures refer to fixtures with a tight seal around them. The fixture doesn’t have ventilation. These fixtures require specific bulbs. Otherwise, the heat produced has nowhere to go but up back to the circuit underneath. The lack of ventilation can cause overheating in the long term. Always check what type of bulb to use.
How to pick the right light bulb
Picking the right bulb goes beyond just the correct wattage rating. You have more than one option when choosing your light bulbs, and most are around efficiency. Although traditional incandescent bulbs are cheaper, they use more energy and produce more heat. In the long-term traditional bulbs will cost you more. Other popular options are halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), and light-emitting diodes (LED).
Although halogen incandescents are considered energy-efficient, it is because they are mostly used with light dimmers. Dimmers use less energy overall, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be the best choice if you’d like to use more light. Similarly, CFL light bulbs are also considered to be the more energy-efficient choice compared to incandescents. LEDs are incredibly popular because not only are they energy efficient, but they also last a lot longer than the other options.
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