I had a floor lamp burst into fire from one of the lights. I don't think it was the lightbulb - it seemed like it was the wiring, but honestly I'm not sure. I was checking now to see if perhaps the wrong light bulb was in the lamp. I saw that although the lamp requires a 120 volt bulb I think the bulb in there was 130 volt. Could this have caused the problem?
The pictures show where the fire was. I was able to turn the lamp off right away, but when it was burning it was like a torch coming out of there. If there were curtains nearby, they almost certainly would have caught. enter image description here

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    Actually, quite the opposite. The 130v bulb was designed for higher voltage, therefore it actually runs a bit cooler at "only" 120v. TBH, you'll probably need a fire investigator to find where the fire actually started - not sure if we have one of those lurking about here. At a minimum, you'd need to post some pics of what's left of the lamp for anyone to have a chance of making an educated guess about it. Without pics, they'll just be uneducated guesses.
    – FreeMan
    May 19, 2021 at 12:23
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    The bulb wattage is the important number to know. A 100w bulb in a 40w max lamp is usually bad. A 130v bulb is usually just a more robust bulb compared to a 120v bulb.
    – crip659
    May 19, 2021 at 14:33
  • As a guess, what probably happen was that one or more electrical connections between the bulb and socket and wires, became loose, causing more resistance and excessive heating.
    – crip659
    May 19, 2021 at 14:46
  • I bet the wire terminations on the back of that socket were done poorly or their insulation failed, leading them to short out against eachother. Jun 10, 2021 at 3:56
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    Lamp. There is no way the outlet could cause this Jun 12, 2021 at 16:08

1 Answer 1


You can pretty much rule out the bulb as the culprit unless the wattage of the bulbs exceeded the labeled maximum for the floor lamp. What usually happens then is the wires feeding the socket become toast and short out causing a short circuit and possibly tripping a breaker.

Examine all the wiring in the lamp with a continuity tester or just junk it and get a new one if you're not familiar with re wiring a lamp. If it's a keepsake item you can bring it to an appliance repair store and they'll rewire it.

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    I just threw it out, and will buy a new one. Thanks for the answer!
    – Burt
    May 19, 2021 at 13:02

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