I need to replace the ceiling-fan light-bulbs in my living room in North America, there's a standard-looking 3-light-bulb installation with the fan, and each of the three sockets are only marked "660W 250V", without the designation of what the final appliance accepts. The prior owner left me with one working CFL and two burned out incandescents (one 40W, another 60W). The light cover is made from glass, and is tulpan/cone like (looks very similar to http://www.amazon.com/Westinghouse-Lighting-7781400-Three-Light-Ribbed-Glass/dp/B003KQLJJW, and these are probably supposed to be spec'ed for 60W incandescents).

Can I install two A19 72W halogen 100W-incandescent-replacement bulbs to replace the burned out 40W and 60W incandescent light bulbs? After all, the sockets are marked 660W 250V each — I'd only be using 72W 120V out of them, way below the electrically-advised spec.

  • 3
    How does a socket look like 60W?
    – DMoore
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 19:45
  • @DMoore, from prior empirical experience, it looks just like all those other light fixtures that had a 60W marking on them.
    – cnst
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 20:16
  • Often the entire fixture might have 660W 250V on it but the individual lighting fixtures may have another marking. I was wondering if you said 60W because you saw another marking.
    – DMoore
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 20:26
  • Since you don't know the max wattage, and it "looks" like a 60W socket, I wouldn't go with bigger bulbs. The actual limit could be 40W, so the 72W bulbs are almost twice that - the limit may not be there because of the socket, but because of light gauge wire used internally. If you need more light, I'd look at using an LED or CFL.
    – Johnny
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 20:43
  • 2
    The 660W 250V is the rating of the socket itself, not the fixture that it is installed in. Fixtures are made from stock parts, each of which has its own limits. Those individual ratings have nothing to do with how much the assembled fixture can handle, which is limited to its weakest components and often mostly heat buildup.
    – bib
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 21:32

2 Answers 2


If the fan light fixture is newer and meets EPAct05 compliance then there will be a circuit in place to limit the total power to 190W. Exceeding that total wattage should cause the circuit to interrupt the current. I believe the circuit should reset itself when power is removed, load reduced, and power restored.

However, I had one fan light fixture for which I had installed CFLs. The fixture wasn't rated for CFL use and the EPAAct05 prevention device got fried and permanently opened.

EPA Standards for Ceiling Fan Light Kits

  • Interesting info. Also, I was shopping for light bulbs yesterday, and was surprised that big Kmart still has stock of A15 for fans that don't have lumen ratings -- shows how stale their inventory is. :-)
    – cnst
    Commented Feb 22, 2014 at 14:50
  • The 190W rule only applies to torchieres and fan lights. I've never heard of a device which limits power to 190W, but on the other hand most torchieres and fan fixtures have dimmers, so Congress' intent may have been that this circuit should be built into the dimmer. CFLs don't play well woth dimmers, unless they are engineered to. Commented Nov 11, 2017 at 0:58

bulbs should be rated for a ceiling fan or they will burn out fast from the vibrations.
I have seen sockets with a high rating like that but that is just for the socket and not the fixture or wiring. There should be markings some place else but it maybe be just a sticker that has already fallen off. It probably is 60watts some are only 40watts. You probably shouldnt use 72watts just to be safe but also because its probably to rated for a ceiling fan and will be a waste of money.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.