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Ask Mr. Tight-Watt: Replacing an old lamp fixture  Smart Choices Archive

Ask Mr. Tight-Watt: Replacing an old lamp fixture

Substitute CFL bulbs for hotter, more inefficient incandescents.

Ask Mr. Tight-Watt

Question: I have a 35-year-old swag lamp fixture in my bathroom. The glass globes broke, and I just found replacement globes in an antique store. We have always put 100-watt lightbulbs in them but the globes were open on the bottoms.  The new ones are closed on the bottoms. Will I still be able to use 100-watt bulbs or will this be too hot with the bulb enclosed? —Sally, a Smart Choices reader

Mr. Tight Watt called on Jim Sayers, energy services director, Corn Belt Power Cooperative, Humboldt, to answer your question.

Jim’s Answer: Due to the closed bottoms on the new globes, you are correct to be concerned about them possibly getting too hot. Enclosed fixtures retain heat more than open ones.

If physical space allows, you may try putting in 23-watt CFLs into the fixtures (equivalent light to 100-watt incandescents). At 23 watts, these will generate less heat and should be OK for the fixture, while giving off an equivalent amount of light.

Ask Mr. Tight-watt a question or view other questions Mr. Tight-Watt has answered

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