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I'm trying to create some brighter lights in my home to deal with the effects of the winter and I'd just like to check whether there any dangers or limits on using extremely powerful bulbs.

In particular are there an issues with having multiple 200 Watt (‎220 Volts) light bulbs (e.g. like this one) installed on a ceiling light using a splitter? And is there any difference between a floor lamp (plugged into a socket) and a ceiling light in terms of the maximum wattage they will allow? Would these setups be dangerous in any way?

I am in the UK.

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    I think what you are trying to ask is "is there a maximum WATTAGE that can be used" Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 12:57
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    That bulb in your link is 27,000 lumens, permanent blindness is possible over 10,000 lumens. I would not put that anywhere someone could directly look at it.
    – rtaft
    Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 14:10
  • @rtaft - I believe that applies to concentrated beams like lasers rather than light bulbs - i.e. the amount of lux hitting your eyeball is the important factor. I will look into exactly how much is safe for a lightbulb though. Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 17:45
  • The size of the light bulb is generally a thermal issue. You could bypass that and use LED light bulbs. Go to a daylight color maybe 5500K+ and you should see a much brighter area.
    – Gil
    Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 18:22
  • It sounds like you'd benefit from more low-powered lights than one obnoxiously bright one. You may wish to also check whether you're already partially blind. Heck, four 800 lumen bulbs in my ceiling fan is overpowering for me. Your guests will not enjoy being in your home while your 27,000 lumen personal sunspots are operating.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 20:56

4 Answers 4

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200W is quite a lot of energy (it's more than most light fittings were designed for back in the days of incandescent lights). Depending on exactly how you fit it, you risk making things hot, and them catching fire. Check the light fitting (the bit you screw it into) is rated for that much power.

I would also point out that the link says "for High Bay Area Lighting". It's designed to go in the ceiling of a warehouse, and illuminate things over a large area. If you put one in an office, I think you will find it is unbearably bright. If you put more than one in an office, it will be ridiculous.

The one thing you won't have a problem with is the electrical circuit. Most UK lighting circuits are rated for 5A, and this thing only draws about 1A, so you have plenty of leeway.

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  • Thanks, I'll probably look into getting more than one at a lower wattage/lumen output instead. Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 17:47
  • Why would it be unbearably bright? Sunlight can be as high as 100k lum for a square meter. The bulb linked by OP is only 27k, and the room would probably be much bigger than 1 m2 also. Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 4:17
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First, that "bulb" has a mogul base not a standard base.

Let's talk thermal efficiency, first. In a perfect conversion, 1 watt makes 683 lumens. So with an incandescent bulb making 16 lumens per watt, the incandescent made about 2.4% light and 97.6% heat. So we treated a 60W bulb as making 60W of heat.

LEDs might be 140 lumens/watt. So they make 20% light and 80% heat. But again, we might as well treat a 12 watt LED bulb like it's making 12 watts of heat. The form of the heat doesn't really change anything.

No. Fixtures have thermal ratings which still apply.

You could always get a 250 watt incandescent bulb in the usual shapes. So there has always been a way to get plenty of light. Incandescents love heat, so the #1 design feature of a fixture is to keep the hot incandescents from burning the house down. Thus, each fixture has a "wattage rating" that really applies to the heat made by the bulb. And as discussed at the start, the "actual watts" of the LED is an accurate reflection of that heat.

So your fixture should be identified with a "maximum allowed watts" of incandescent bulb. That is based on the heat made by that size bulb (i.e. that many watts). The same restriction applies to the actual watts of an LED.

You are proposing absolutely crazy sized * LEDs which are 200 watts actual. That is going to exceed the thermal rating of any common household fixture. The excess heat will burn your house down, but prior to that...

The LED "bulbs" will not be able to keep cool

With LED fixtures it is absolutely vital that they remain cool. The junction temp must be kept below 85C (that's right at the chip) or 115C at the absolute outside with some degradation over time. Thermal management is a big deal, and is the driving factor on large LED designs.

Looking at this thing (scaling to the fact that it has a Mogul base)... - I'm sorry, no. It simply doesn't have enough surface area to radiate 200W of heat and provide the junction temperatures LEDs need. That's in open air... buttoned up inside a fixture designed for incandescents, forget it. The bulb will last weeks and then fail.

Also, check the size of it. It's huge. Remember that is a Mogul Base so it's 1-1/2 x the size of a normal base.

Anyway, you want quality light

For what you're trying to do, light quality matters. They have a quality rating for lights, called CRI, which reflects how it corresponds (to the eye) to an ideal blackbody source like an incandescent or the sun. (that = 100 CRI). Now those low-pressure sodiums are about -35 CRI (you think I'm joking) and of course that's why you don't want them.

Well, cheap Cheese LEDs also have abominable CRI, since they sell to chumps on Amazon. You want between 90 and 98 CRI. Why do I say that? Because I buy big lighting cheap, and the stuff I buy is between 90 and 98 CRI. Just random stuff at Menards (think Wickes).

If you don't get top shelf CRI, then your body/eyes won't be fooled into thinking it's not winter. The same is true of color temperature - you have to select color temperature correctly for the condition you're trying to treat, and again that cheap Cheese garbage isn't going to be true to any color temperature they claim.

There's a better way to get Big Big Lumens

Don't even waste your time trying to cram it into existing fixtures. Just go a different way and get fixtures and bulbs actually designed to make biblical quantities of lumens.

My "go-to" for huge lumens is old tube fluorescent fixtures. Interesting fact about those. They are typically four feet long, which means they are too large to fit in standard rubbish bins. As such, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are awash with people begging you to haul them away :) I collect them by the dozen. I smile and wince as they show me their shop full of very harsh LED lights.

What do you do with an old fluorescent fixture to get GREAT light? Well, of course there are LED retrofit "tubes" but I find them harsh, the brands are hokey with bad quality control and marketing lies.

I myself stay in the domain of REAL fluorescent. I get electronic ballasts off eBay (quality brands) - no flicker, no buzz, always starts in the cold. Random fluorescent tubes from my local home store are 90 CRI for real, so getting quality light is as easy as falling off a horse - very little caveat emptor. The quality is first rate - the tubes and ballasts are quality brands like Sylvania or Philips.

Shop lights hold 2 tubes per fixture. Troffers hold 4 tubes per fixture. You can also get troffers that hold six fluorescent tubes, but those are harder to find for free.

So you pause to figure out how many lumens you really need, and dense-pack your ceiling with these fluorescent fixtures. You could also put more fixtures than you think you'll need, and just add and remove tubes as needed to dial it in.

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  • Yeah -- I've seen 300W incandescent bulbs (with the obligatory Mogul base) -- they're monsters Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 2:10
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The existing answers are good, but I want to highlight something that you'll encounter on nearly any LED/CFL/etc bulb out there.

"Equivalent Wattage" vs Actual Watts

If you go look at any LED bulb, you'll actually see two numbers listed on the package. For example, this bulb claims to be a "60 watt replacement" but then says 8.8 watts right below it.

Since we have used incandescent bulbs for so long, pretty much everyone has associated "X watts means so-and-so brightness". So the "60 watt replacement" lingo merely means it outputs the same amount of light as a traditional 60 watt incandescent bulb (800 lumens, to be specific).

As Harper pointed out, the wattage printed on your light fixture is a thermal rating. The fixture (and its manufacturer) doesn't care about the lumens coming out of the bulb, it needs to deal with heat, which comes from the actual watts used.

So, for example, if your fixture says "Do not exceed 60 watts", you can go buy any LED bulb whose actual wattage is less than or equal to 60 watts. This bulb says "150 watt replacement", but it actually uses only 29 watts, so you can safely use it in your fixture.

Links provided are examples, not endorsement

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In the USA it is printed on the fixture for maximum lighting requirements. I would look at the fixture and see if it says that.
Exceeding that can causes the fixture to fail and maybe catch fire. If you are getting the winter blues look for fixtures that are made for that specific purpose.

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    Note that those max wattage numbers are based on standard incandescent bulbs, where most of the input power goes into heat. You have a lot more flexibility with LED bulbs.
    – SteveSh
    Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 14:02
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    @SteveSh With LED bulbs it is still true that most of the input power goes into heat. It's just that it's 90% rather than 99%. It's just that with an LED bulb you only need 10W instead of 100W for the same light output. OTOH, if you have a 200W LED bulb like the OP, you will have to deal with ~200W of heat at the light fitting. Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 15:02
  • The heat dissipation difference in an LED vs an incandescent is a lot less than the 90% number you used. For the same light output (lumens), an LED bulb uses ~10% of the wattage of an incandescent bulb. An 800 lumen output incandescent bulb would consume (mostly heat dissipation) 60W, while an 800 lumen LED bulb would only consume 6 W.
    – SteveSh
    Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 16:23
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    I agree about the 200W dissipation, though the manner in which that heat is generated and dissipated is different for incandescents and LEDs. In the former, the heat is generated in the filament and is emitted as IR radiation from the bulb itself. In the latter (LED) much of the heat is generated by the electronics, which for a 60W type bulb is in the base.
    – SteveSh
    Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 16:29
  • @SteveSh. I think we may be comparing different things here. Almost all of the 6W going into your LED bulb is dissipated as heat. It is still the case that very little of it is dissipated as light. Now, obviously, the increased efficiency of the LED bulb allows you to use it to replace a 60W bulb - so you have 54W less to dissipate. That's great. However the OP wants to take a 200W LED bulb (producing the same amount of light as as a 1500W incandescent according to the link) - so they will have 200W of heat to dissipate. Edit I see from your last comment we are in furious agreement! Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 16:31

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