Lamp socket wattage ratings

Could someone tell me what it means when a light bulb socket says it's rated for 660 watts? If it's true that it can handle that much; then why is it when I install a 250W incandescent bulb in a socket that is rated for 660w it starts to melt and/or the wires do too. I can't imagine how hot a 660W bulb gets (if there is such a thing), let alone compared to a 250W bulb.
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On 5 May 2006 17:43:51 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Obviously, it's rated for 660W but not for less. Get bigger bulbs.

Either that or Tony or Paul are right. I've never tried to use 250W but I'm sure there are sockets that can handle them.
(Alternatively, who said that being within the rating means it won't melt? Melting may be part of their rating. That's it. They're saying that if you want to be sure it will melt, you need to use 660 watts. That yours melt with 250 means they are better than their rating.)
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wrote:

Once again, bulbs of this great wattage are used in theatres, movie, tv and photography studios. It is quite common for sockets to fail and suffer a meltdown, the most recent instance when a bulb exploded and injured one of the Desparate Housewives on the set (I forgot which one). The level of heat is so great that failure mode is common and unpredictable.
Bulbs explode in the studio all the time while news anchor people and reporters are on-the-air, sometimes leading to hilarious outtakes.
Also, remember, that these high wattage bulbs are often placed on dimmers so that, many times, they are mostly being used at a less-than-full intensity.
Beachcomber
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All of the sockets I have through-out my house say stuff like: 250V 660W or 600V 660W...I would like to use a 250W bulb in my basement's ceiling lamp holder, figuring they will be operating base-up all of the heat will drift up towards the socket (they are made from some type of hard plastic, not porcelain).
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On 6 May 2006 01:06:44 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Is there any particular reason you want a 250 watt bulb in your basement? Without knowing the full details it sounds like a poor choice of lighting, inefficient, a fire-hazard, painful to look at, and producer of excess heat.
If it is for a workshop or laundry area, you might be happier by replacing the fixture with a 2 or 4 fluourescent tube fixture.
Beachcomber
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Beachcomber wrote:

Agreed, a two or four lamp fixture for 48inch bulbs is inexpensive, get one with an electronic ballast to save even more energy (magnetic ballasts consume 1/3 of the total energy of the fixture). I see a 48 inch two lamp fixture on 1000bulbs.com for $30 Two bulbs cost about $2 each.
A 200W incandescent will cost at least $5 and you will have to replace it at least three or four times in the expected life of the fluorescent lamps. Two 48 inch bulbs will put out about 6000 lumens of light vs about 2800 for the 200W to 250W incandescent.
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On 5 May 2006 17:43:51 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I've been within a couple of feet of a 1000W bulb. It was very hot.
That bulb used a mogul base (bigger than an Edison base). The biggest I've seen for Edison base is a 3-way bulb 100W/200W/300W.
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best to use a compact fluroscent.
more efficent, much less heat, and saves $$
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wrote:
A thread about 250 watt bulbs.

Is it true that a 250 watt compact fluorescent will give as much light as a 2200 watt incandescent?
(Just kidding?)
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Some sockets are marked 660W.
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On Sat, 06 May 2006 01:54:00 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@notreal.none (Beachcomber) wrote:

So medium base is the same as Edison base? Then what do they call the base on big (C9) holiday lights? These are bigger than candelabra base.
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wrote:

Intermediate base
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On Sat, 06 May 2006 01:34:05 GMT, Paul M. Eldridge

Then why do they call the volts watts?

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wrote:

It's more likely that the socket itself, not the wiring or fixture, is rated for 660 watts. Then the next manufacturer buys it, attaches the wires, etc. and labels the fixture at 60 watts (or whatever)
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In hindsight, I think you're right. I have seen porcelain sockets in commercial applications that are, in fact, rated for a maximum of 660 volts, but in a residential environment, it's more likely to be 250 volts/660 watts. Apologies to all for my confusion.
Cheers, Paul

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From a wiring standpoint 660w is not that big (5 amps). That is well within the ampacity of standard 18ga fixture wire. The real issue is whether the fixture can shead the heat. (2240 BTU/hr) There amy also be a reference to "base down" or "base up".
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wrote:

Yes, the 660 watts is an electrical rating, not a heat rating. It was 6 amperes at 110 volts and would apply if a screw-in adapter and cord was used. It does not take into account any heat from a bulb. Don Young
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