Last Updated on October 22, 2015 by Appliance Repair Assistant
Lamp max wattage is low, can I safely use a higher watt light bulb? I just purchased a new bedroom lamp. The lamp says Max 10W on the sticker where you screw the light bulb in. The other lamps I have in my house are 60W and 100W watts. How can this lamp only be rated for 10W? Does it mean that this is the max wattage for an LED bulb? I don’t really understand this but I assume the number 10W is for when it’s an LED and the higher numbers are for incandescent bulbs? Can I use the 60W LED bulb in it safely?
When the lamp states that it can only handle 10W watts, then it can only handle a true 10W draw. The wires and the on/off switch in the lamp are designed to handle only up to a 10 watt draw. A bulb that pulls more than 10 watts will cause the wiring & switch to overload. This can be a safety hazard and should be avoided. Always use the same or lower wattage light bulb the lamp or light fixture recommends.
To answer your question: You can safely use an LED bulb that draws (or states on the package) 10 watts as it will be as bright as a normal type of a 60 watt incandescent light bulb. Just remember a watt is a watt. If the lamp says maximum 10 watts, then that means it is not safe for anything with a higher wattage. Not only could the wiring overload, but the parts of the lamp could melt or even catch on fire if using a higher watt bulb. See chart below to understand brightness of light bulbs in lumens.
To try and understand watt and lumens, a 60 watt incandescent standard bulb will have a brightness of 700+ lumens. An LED light bulb that draws 10 watts, will have the same brightness of a 60 watt incandescent bulb at 700+ lumens. Since LED bulbs are newer, we are used to how bright incandescent bulbs are in reference to wattage. On average, people usually use 60 watt incandescent light bulbs in the kitchen area and 75 watt incandescent bulbs in the bathroom. The ACTUAL wattage used by a bulb (not it’s brightness in reference to incandescent bulbs) is what you need to pay attention too.
If you will be using different types of lights in the lamp, remember that halogen lights burn very very hot. Use only exactly what is recommended on the lamp and no higher. 10 watts is the max whether it is an LED, Halogen, Fluorescent, Compact Fluorescent, or Incandescent. It makes no difference but be aware of the heat the bulb produces no matter what type of light you use.
Do you have questions or comments about using certain types of light bulbs in low wattage lamps or light fixtures? Please leave your question below and we can help you to safely find the correct wattage light bulb.