1. Mike....if a higher wattage bulb is screwed into a plastic socket, the additional heat might melt the socket....and a fire ensue......

So the materials used in the socket could potentially affect the wattage rating of a socket and lamp as much as the gauge of wire....

I don't know that 60 watts is the limit for plastic, however. I have 3-way lamps in our living room that take 50,100,150 watt bulbs and the sockets are plastic.
Last edited by Ken Fitzgerald; 02-03-2013 at 11:21 PM.

2. Oh, yeah, I get that, Ken. But why woudl I, or anyone else for that matter, put a bulb that is rated HIGHER in wattage into any lamp socket than it is rated for?

My question was about, if for instance, a lamp is "rated at 60 watts", does that mean ANY bulb up to 60 watts? Or does that mean the parameters of a 60 watt incandescent bulb (the amount of wattage...60, duh; the amount of heat given off; and anything else I'm not thinking of)? I'm not an expert on this stuff (hence me asking for those that know), but would a 60 watt LED bulb (which would be the equivelant of a 270 watt incandescent bulb) give off/meet the same parameters...for the sake of the lamp?

I just didn't see how plastic vs ceramic would play into this question...

3. It means the design of the lamp is to withstand the conditions of a 60 watt incandescent lamp.....and temperature would be one of those factors as Ray pointed out.....and the power consumed by the bulb is another......IMHO....and I have been wrong...more than once, I might add....even today......I was backing the Niners and two of my adult granddaughters were hammering me on FB....LOL.

The parameters of the lamp as a device is all inclusive.....wattage or power consumed....and I would think the temperature produced by the device with as in your example, the average temperature created by a 60 watt incandescent bulb.

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Originally Posted by Mike Cruz

I just didn't see how plastic vs ceramic would play into this question...
For the original question, I know, but I'm not telling. For the ceramic part- since the thermal characteristics of led bulbs is not really directly equivalent to an incandescent bulb, it leaves you to take a guess that it won't get too hot. The difference between plastic and ceramic is that plastic melts and burns when it gets too hot, while ceramic just gets hot, without the melting and burning. So guessing wrong with a ceramic part would carry less risk.

5. I still say watts is watts and yes you can put the 60W CFL in to replace a 60W standard bulb. It will be way brighter. The generic 60W replacement CFL bulbs are around 13W consumption to yield approx the same light level as the 60W incandescent, thats by design, and thats where the energy savings come in - 13W vs 60W with equivalent light output. I have not personally seen a 60W CFL - they might be quite a lot larger physically and that may cause issues of its own.

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