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Max Wattage for Household Fixture?


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#1 Jim Bromley

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 01:31 PM

Hello,

 

I'm shooting a short film in my house, and am trying to figure out how to light it. I'm not too smart with the electrical end of things, and was wondering how high I could go in the household fixture shown in these images.

 

The sockets themselves are ceramic and say 660watt on them, but I'm not sure how hot the plate could safely get. It seems to be a cheap metal of some kind.... maybe the "A" stamped on it stands for aluminum? I'm not sure.

 

Could I get away with 100watts in here? Perhaps 300watts?

 

Also, there is a thick glass globe that attaches to the fixture that I could either leave off or keep on. I'd prefer to keep it on for some diffusion, but if leaving it off will help my cause and keep it safer, I can go that route as well.

 

Thanks very much for any guidance you can offer on this.

 

-Jim 

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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 01:50 PM

I suspect the problem will be cooling with more powerful lamps. There's a good chance that the glass may fracture from the heat if you put something like photofloods inside. The metal won't melt, although it'll get hot that close and the paint may discolour if the lights are left on for too long.

 

You could do a quick test with a 100 watt bulb and see how hot the light gets or even try the halogen domestic lamps, which have a lower wattage than the equivalent tungsten bulb. Alternately, you could try some of the cooler running lamps and see how they work out, although colour may be an issue with them.


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#3 Jim Bromley

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 06:39 PM

Thanks Brian. I wound up putting a couple of 100's in there and it still wasn't bright enough, so I bought a $15 clamp light from Home Depot and put a 300 watt inside it. It works pretty well for what I need but it's still a touch dark. 

 

Would I be tempting fate if I tried a 500 watt photoflood inside the clamp light? It says it's only rated for 300, but it would never be left on unattended, I could shut it down if it started to smoke. Are they being overly cautious with the 300 watt limit or will a 500 photoflood really cook one of those cheap clamp lights up? 


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#4 dan kessler

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 06:53 PM

The ratings stamped on fixtures are there for a reason.  You exceed them at your own risk.


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#5 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 10:04 PM

 

Would I be tempting fate if I tried a 500 watt photoflood inside the clamp light? It says it's only rated for 300, but it would never be left on unattended, I could shut it down if it started to smoke. Are they being overly cautious with the 300 watt limit or will a 500 photoflood really cook one of those cheap clamp lights up? 

No need friend. I purchased a quite decent photoflood kit from Westcott (even has softbox if you need) and you can use 500w photofloods. You can seriously find these kits on ebay for almost no money and they are surprisingly well made. I wouldnt tempt fate and try to put a ridiculously hot lamp that close to a surface.


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