Wattage is the amount of energy that flows through a bulb and wires. When you use a wattage that is too low, damage is unlikely. However, using a wattage that is too high can be dangerous. Learn why to prevent any dangers to yourself or others!
Don’t Use the Wrong Bulb Wattage
“Overlamping” is the term used to describe when you use a light bulb with a wattage that is too high for an electrical fixture. For example, using a 100-watt bulb in a 60-watt fixture can cause overheating. Overheating can lead to damage of the fixture itself, as wiring may become brittle due to the excessive heat.
If the wrong wattage is used in an enclosed light fixture, then the heat has nowhere to escape. This permanently damages your fixture regardless of the length of time you’ve used a light bulb with an excessively high wattage. If the socket and wiring insulation melts, it increases the risk of electrical arc. This arc causes electrical discharge from the breakdown of gas, which can result in a house fire.
You can avoid overlamping by looking at the wattage rating on your fixture. Old fixtures will usually have the initals “NM” which means they can hold a maximum of 140 degrees Fahrenheit while new fixtures sometimes have the initials “NMB” which means they can hold up to 194 degrees Fahrenheit. If your fixture does not have the this listed, purchase a light bulb that is 60 watts or lower.
Looking for a Residential Electrical Service in White Marsh?
Tim Kyle Electric, Heating & Cooling is a residential electric service for White Marsh and the greater Baltimore area. Your family’s safety is our priority. That’s why we offer services such as the installation of arc fault circuit breakers, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, surge protection, and more. Contact us today for more information!