I have a ceiling fan with 3 candelabra sockets.

The lighting from the incandescent bulbs is terrible.

I have these 27 watt bulbs that fit a medium socket.

I want to use this type of adapter.

Given the following images, is it safe to use 3 x 27 watt bulbs with this fixture? (Can I use up to 40w per socket?)

I am also OK with removing the glass bowl to make this work, I just want to make sure this is safe!

Caution sign

The Caution reads as follows: Caution: To reduce the risk of fire re-lamp 40wx3 TYPE B 10.5 MAX.

The individual sockets say MAX 40W on a sticker but the other side of the socket it says 75W 125V (Why the discrepancy?) :

enter image description here

4 Answers 4


You will be OK as far as not overloading electrically. You need to adhere to the most restrictive labeling, the 40wx3. Since you are using 27wx3, you are OK. The 75w limit is for the socket base only. It can handle 75w, but the rest of the fixture cannot. Be aware that 81 watts of fluorescent light is WAY more than the 120 watts of incandescent. If 120 watts was adequate, this could be overkill. There are various CFLs available in a range of light output, so you should be able to find an appropriate output.

Another consideration is weight. Some CFLs are rather heavy, and that weight cantilevered out by the adapter adds significant leverage on a socket only intended to support a small candelabra lamp. Multiplied by the fan vibrations, this could be an issue. Carefully evaluate how sturdy the sockets are mounted before proceeding with this change over.

And of course there is no way the bowl will fit over this sort of configuration. You will have the joy of everyone being able to see your handiwork :)


If it is just the glare or light color of the incandescent bulbs that you do not like, consider 40 watt equivalent candelabra CFLs like these

candel cfl

If you need higher wattage, there are 60 watt equivalent versions, but I have not seen them with the bullet shape of most conventional candelabra bulbs. A broader CFL bulb may fit, but you need to check for clearance and the bulb should not be touching any other surface.

The wattage in any one fixture should not exceed 40 and 120 overall, but that should not be a problem even with higher wattage CFLS.

  • I think a broader CFL will fit if I readjust the socket (like unscrew it and tilt it away from the fan base), I may need to use a new metal bracket to make sure the socket is secure in its new position.
    – shnozolla
    Oct 17, 2013 at 16:24

If you consider using CFLs make sure you use dimmable ones if the light in the fan is on a dimmer circuit. Note that some CFL bulbs that are listed as dimmable do not work well on some dimmer circuits (flicker). Hit and miss sometimes.


I agree with the electricity overload answer and wanted to add that CFLs (or LEDs) have a ballast (driver) in them that may not shut off completely unless you have a mechanical switch - like the wall switch or a pull-chain. Not all fan remote cut the power - they just increase resistance enough to make an incandescent or halogen bulb go out - your CFL or LEDs may still glow when off or buzz at any brightness. BTW, there are special switches with electronic noise filtering for CFLs or LEDs.

As for your actual Q: just do not exceed the wattage output for your CFL, you will be fine. This translates to heat that can scorch the fan with incandescent or halogen bulbs.

  • 1
    I think you mean "do not exceed the wattage limit" in the last paragraph, not lumens.
    – mac
    Oct 17, 2013 at 17:47

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