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# LED wattage question

#1
08-28-13, 11:58 AM
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LED wattage question

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but if a recessed fixture (or any fixture, lamp, etc. for that matter) says maximum wattage is 65W (for example), can I put in an LED that is 14.5W (i.e. much less than 65W) with an equivalent wattage of 75W (i.e. more than 65W)?

I ask because I just purchased a bunch of these (Philips 423756 14.5-Watt (75-Watt) BR40 LED Indoor Flood Light Bulb) on clearance at Home Depot, but now realize that my recessed lights were using 65W bulbs (am still trying to figure out what the maximum is).

Thanks!

#2
08-28-13, 12:14 PM
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Yes, the wattage limit is based on the maximum temperature that is safe for the fixture when an incandescent bulb is used. Since the LED puts out less heat than a 65W incandescent bulb it is just fine.

#3
08-28-13, 12:20 PM
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Great, thank you very much.

#4
08-28-13, 12:21 PM
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The maximum wattage for your fixtures should be on a sticker inside the housing or trim. It should be visible as soon as you take the bulb out, or you might have to pull the trim.

I wouldn't worry about it though. Whatever it is, it's more than 14.5W!

#5
08-28-13, 12:37 PM
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Maybe this will help clarify, as this is a common question:

The actual wattage is what the fixture cares about and in this case we've arbitrarily called the max for this fixture 65 watts.

Now, the LED bulb only uses 14.5 w, so it's fine. The confusion is when they say "75 watt equivalent" because this is making a comparison in light output (luminosity). They're saying this 14.5 w LED bulb is as bright as a 75 w incandescent bulb.

That make sense?

#6
08-28-13, 01:15 PM
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The confusion is when they say "75 watt equivalent" because this is making a comparison in light output (luminosity). They're saying this 14.5 w LED bulb is as bright as a 75 w incandescent bulb.
Fixtures mention wattage because they are about temperature.
But light bulbs refer to wattage to describe candlepower.
Light bulb temperature refers to how "white" a bulb is.

Seems like a bad Gallagher bit.

Since "equivalent" seems to have a pretty wide range, bulbs should really be listed for by candlepower as well as temperature (and by temperature, I mean white/yellowness).

#7
08-29-13, 02:03 PM
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Thanks to everyone for the info. I now feel comfortable using an LED with 'equivalent' wattage of essentially anything, as long as the actual wattage of the LED is below 65W (which of course isn't an issue as they are around 10 or 14W (at least the ones I got).

I did also find the sticker in 1 of the housings (the other 10 or so housings in the kitchen did not have them for some reason...).

Looks like I could have gone as high as 85W (I think) for a BR30 anyway... but of course the LED is only 14W so I'm fine regardless.

Thanks again!

#8
08-29-13, 02:09 PM
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