i just bought a 6 pack of:

GE Relax 6-Pack 65 W Equivalent Dimmable Warm White Br30 LED Light Fixture Light Bulb

it says it uses only 10-WATTS on the back of the package.

to make a long story short....i am buying new bulbs for the recessed can lights i have in my living room. (basically switching over to LED)

i also bought new recessed light trim to give it a bit of a makeover. as I took it out of the package i notice the sticker says MAX:9W BR30 [LED]

am i now screwed with the bulbs i bought as it states they use 10 watts? any help would be appreciated. thanks

  • Does this new trim cover the hole? Commented Jun 11, 2018 at 22:10
  • Why can't you just take the wrong lights back and get a refund or an exchange? Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 12:57
  • i did - i just exchanged them for a bulb that is 9W Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 13:10

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure anyone can give you a definitive answer on this. You could ask the manufacturer whether 10 watts is close enough, but they came up with 9 watts as the maximum; if 10 watts was really the maximum, they would have labelled it 10 watts. That said, I'll offer a guess.

I can't envision a 110V fixture where a 10 watt load would overheat the wiring or electrical elements, or damage the fixture. My guess is that the rating relates to the LED bulb. LED bulbs need to dissipate the heat they produce in order to keep the electronics in a working temperature range. If you exceed the maximum temperature range for the bulb, the bulb will have a much shorter life.

Recessed fixtures trap heat. The 9 watts probably reflects the amount of heat it can get rid of to keep up with what the bulb produces. A higher wattage bulb will generate heat faster than the fixture can dissipate, so the temperature inside the fixture will continue to rise. Eventually, it will exceed the maximum temperature the bulb is designed to operate in, and the bulb will have a short life.

  • some of those watts (actually most ideally) turn into light instead of heat, so a low-efficiency 8w bulb can easily get much hotter than an efficient 10w bulb...
    – dandavis
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 18:54

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