Historically, many light fittings and shades had a little sticker somewhere on them which said ‘40 max‘ or ‘60w max‘ so that you knew not to exceed that wattage when choosing a light bulb.
But with so many low energy options available, what does that sticker really mean now?
Normally, the reason for saying ‘max 60w’ was that a brighter light bulb would have been 100w. As well as giving more light, a 100w bulb would have been much hotter and more likely to damage a shade or fitting from heat problems.
Fabric / material
Therefore, if your shade is made of fabric / material, an increased amount of light on a regular basis could potentially cause the shade to fade – much the same as any material left in direct sunlight. We would therefore recommend a low energy bulb which gives light output similar to a 60w bulb, for example:
(candle, golf ball and other lamp caps also available)
Glass / metal
However, if your shade or fitting is more open, made of materials which won’t fade or warp (such as glass or metal) then a brighter low energy bulb may be suitable as they will generate more light, but won’t generate as much heat.
Therefore, for example you could use:
- 20w T2 Helix (almost as bright as a 100w incandescent bulb)
- 30w T2 Helix (equivalent to a 150w incandescent bulb)
(other bulb shapes, lamp caps and brighter alternatives also available).
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