Wrong Light Bulb Wattage

Light bulbs can burn out from time to time and should always be replaced with the right wattage light bulb for the light fixture that you are installing it in. Matching the bulb to the fixture’s specification will eliminate some safety hazards.

The manufacturer lists a caution sticker around the light socket area to warn the consumer of installing the wrong wattage light bulb. In essence, the manufacturer tells you something like, “in order to reduce the risk of fire, use a 60-watt type A or smaller lamp.” This warning tells you what the maximum wattage of bulb to use and also the preferred type of light bulb, type A.

Using light bulbs of higher wattage than the fixture recommends could cause the fixture to overheat. This in turn often leads to an electrical fire. One warning sign to look for is a brown spot on the light fixture’s insulation. Another is the wire insulation will become brittle from continued exposure to high heat from the bulb. And in the case of can lights, the fixture’s built-in thermal trip will automatically shut the power to the light bulb off. If you have a can light turning itself on and off, you probably have the wrong light bulb in the fixture, causing overheating.

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