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Thread: CFL/LED Equivalent Wattage to socket wattage rating question.

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    CFL/LED Equivalent Wattage to socket wattage rating question.

    I researched a while back and I thought it looked like cfl/led bulbs lets say 60 w equivalent, even though they would draw 14 or so watts still draw the 60 watts or so for start up and thats why it was rated 60 watt equivalent .. Always questioning this, I'm researching again and for instancing a search is showing that if the socket was rated 60 watts, I could put a 100 watt equivalent build in it as long as the wattage on the bulb wasn't more than the 60 watts..

    So on a socket that is rated for 60 watts, can I install up to 60 watts of cfl or led load?

    Thank you
    " I'm at a crucial part of my painting "...........Monika Danneman

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    I think the "60 Watt Equivalent" is marketing hype, suggesting that the light output is Equivalent to an ordinary 60 Watt incandescent lamp.

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    Temp. wise is your question?
    I do it up to the wattage of the fixture. Keep in mind LED can only go so high in an inclosed or poor air changing fixture, then the junction on the LED breaks down killing the lamp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ritelec View Post
    So on a socket that is rated for 60 watts, can I install up to 60 watts of cfl or led load?

    Thank you
    Aren't sockets rated in current rather than watts?
    Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Besoeker View Post
    Aren't sockets rated in current rather than watts?
    Most porcelain medium Edison base sockets I’ve seen say 660 watts

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    190111-1545 EST

    ritelec:

    An LED bulb with a 60 W equivalent rating has a steady-state input power consumption of about 9.5 W. The equivalent rating means that with 9.5 W of input power the LED puts out a visible light intensity approximately equal to that produced by a 60 W incandescent tungsten bulb. This is relatively correct.

    But that is not all that one must consider.

    Thermal is a major consideration.

    An incandescent bulb can tolerate a high ambient temperature around the bulb without failure. Incandescent bulbs are not very efficient relative to input electrical energy to output visible light. But incandescents produce a lot of IR radiation. The IR energy leaves the fixture just like the visible light does. Thus, a large amount of input electrical energy goes out as radiation, the combination of visible and IR.

    An LED bulb can NOT tolerate a high ambient temperature around the bulb without failure. LED bulbs are much more efficient in conversion of electrical energy to visible light than incandescent bulbs, there is heat generated in the LED to perform its function, but this is at low IR frequencies and therefore wasted energy is not much radiated.

    Thus, combining the LED low tolerance for high ambient temperature with a lot of conducted heat loss inside a fixture you may fail a 9.5 W LED in said fixture where an incandescent would not fail. LEDs need ventilation.

    RFI noise from an LED is another problem.

    ..

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    Quote Originally Posted by ritelec View Post
    I researched a while back and I thought it looked like cfl/led bulbs lets say 60 w equivalent, even though they would draw 14 or so watts still draw the 60 watts or so for start up and thats why it was rated 60 watt equivalent .. Always questioning this, I'm researching again and for instancing a search is showing that if the socket was rated 60 watts, I could put a 100 watt equivalent build in it as long as the wattage on the bulb wasn't more than the 60 watts..

    So on a socket that is rated for 60 watts, can I install up to 60 watts of cfl or led load?

    Thank you
    I would guess that a standard Edison Base lampholder marked "Max 60 Watts" is the rating only for incandescent lamps. How that translates to CFL or LED's is not (yet) defined by the NEC.
    Rob

    Moderator

    All responses based on the 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted

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    Are those heavy duty lamp sockets?
    I would bet the socket is still a normal, only thermally sticker for fixture temps..

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    Not porcelain 600 watt or ..... B

    Piece of plastic socket that has a sticker on it that says 60w max.

    100w comparable led/CFL ( or larger) no more than 60w led/CFL load permitted ?
    " I'm at a crucial part of my painting "...........Monika Danneman

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    I compromise. I won't put an actual 60-watt CFL or LED in a 60-watt rated socket, but I'm not afraid to use, say, a 100-watt-equivalent.
    Code references based on 2005 NEC
    Larry B. Fine
    Master Electrician
    Electrical Contractor
    Richmond, VA

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