overlamping a fixture, wiring problem
Illustration: Ian Warpole
PROBLEM #1
Overlamping is when a light fixture has a bulb with a higher wattage than the fixture is designed for
1. Overlamping

What it means: A light fixture has a bulb with a higher wattage than the fixture is designed for.

Code violation? Yes.

Danger level: High. The bulb's intense heat can scorch or melt the socket and insulation on the fixture's wires, which increases the risk of arcing — sparks that jump through the air from one wire to another — a chief cause of electrical fires. The damage to socket and wires remains even after the bulb has been removed.

Solution: Stay within the wattage limit listed on all light fixtures made since 1985. For older, unmarked fixtures, use only 60-watt bulbs or smaller.

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