My dining room lights are shown in the pictures. I have two of those fixtures, with 3 bulbs each.

1) On the plastic chandelier it says "MAX 40W", but the lamps that when I first arrived in the flat are 42W 240V (see picture below). Why? Is that a problem?

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2) I would like to reduce the electricity consumption. What is the best option out there in terms of energy saving? And in terms of quality/price?


1 Answer 1


The wattage given on the fixture refers to the maximum that can safely be used. That will be dictated by two things: The internal wiring of the fixture, and the heat that it can tolerate.

In reality the additional 6W of the three 42W lamps that you are using is probably not going to be a problem, but it would be wrong of me to advise you that it's OK - you are drawing more power than the fixture is rated for, and so it is potentially unsafe.

Also, as you have noted, it's expensive ;-)

When this fitting was designed, it was probably intended for 40W incandescent tungsten lamps. What you seem to have there are 42W incandescent tungsten-halogen lamps (often simply known as "halogen"). They were probably be marketed as "energy saving", as they are intended to replace 60W non-halogen lamps, but in your case are using roughly the same amount of energy to give more light.

So, you will need to consider whether you need as much light as you are getting at present, or whether you can cope with something dimmer. Then there are three options:

  1. Tungsten halogen lamps of a lower wattage. These will give you less light, and cost you proportionately less to run, but are still relatively inefficient. They are dimmable, and if the fitting is one where the lamps are visible (which isn't clear from your pictures), they are a point source with the "sparkle" that you are used to.

  2. Compact fluorescent lamps. You could choose ones that would give as much light as you have at present, but with less electricity. They would cost less to run. In most cases they would not be dimmable, and they would give a diffuse light rather than a point source. Care would also be needed to find ones that fitted in the light fixture, since they tend to be larger.

  3. LED lamps. A few years ago I would have said "avoid", but these are just becoming good for general home use, and I have a number myself. You could choose ones that would give as much light as you have at present, but with less electricity. They would cost less to run (although significantly more to buy). Depending on the model they might or might not be dimmable, and they might offer a diffuse source or group of "sparkly" point sources. As with compact fluorescents, care would be needed re the physical dimensions. Beware when buying these, because there are an awful lot of cheap ones around that are dim, or have a nasty colour, or are fine for a few months but then stop working / go dim / develop a nasty colour. It's worth paying £10+ per lamp for a well-known manufacturer such as Osram, Philips, GE. Even from the reputable names there are still some older models that give a nasty colour of light, and it's not always possible to tell in from specifications - so buy one and use it for a few weeks to see how you find it, before spending money on more.

My first choice would probably be the LED option, given the caveats above.

  • Thanks a lot for your exhaustive answer! :) Would you consider buying these, or are them among those "cheap and awful" ones? amazon.co.uk/Candle-Bulbs-Incandescent-Equivalent-Lights/dp/… Mar 13, 2015 at 15:22
  • In case could you give me a suggestion? Thanks! Mar 13, 2015 at 15:26
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    I'm just going to repeat my advice to (a) go for a known brand, such as those I listed; and (b) Buy one and test before investing in a lot. I can't tell which ones are good from looking at a picture any more than you can.
    – Flyto
    Mar 13, 2015 at 15:28
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    Buy ONLY known name brand LED lamps. IGNORE Mario! :-) - note that fake copies of known brands exist. | Keep the receipt and the box (flatten the box) and staple together and keep in your warranties folder (which of course you have one of). Write seller and invoice or other ref number on lamp base with finetip marker AND install date. [YES I do do all that :-) ]. | Genuine Panasonic are superb - watch for fakes. Philips/Lumileds & Cree also are superb. Osram good, GE goodish, a few others. SOME unknown brands may be superb but most are not and some are utter garbage. Mar 17, 2015 at 10:42
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    Ebay is so far too risky for LED lamps from unknown sellers. FWIW - I have been responsible for design and manufacturing of product using maybe 500,00+ LEDs (not mains powered). Advice given is based on an interesting learning experience :-). Mar 17, 2015 at 10:43

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