All You Need to Know About Overlamping and How to Avoid It

Author: Passey Electric. |


Light bulbs are essential to everyday life because we use them daily at home or anywhere else because we rely on them to provide adequate lighting. For this reason, a building's electrical work must include a reliable lighting system installed correctly. However, this is easier said than done because installing light bulbs is difficult.

Installing a light bulb is pretty straightforward: all you need to do is screw it in. However, you must be careful when doing this because not all light bulbs are the same. If you choose the wrong light bulb, overlamping will occur. Unfortunately, many overlook this because they think there is no difference between light bulbs or all bulbs that can be used in the same fixture. Few people know how overlamping can affect their homes or establishments, so we will discuss the details in this article.

What Is Overlamping?

Overlamping occurs when a light bulb is too powerful for the fixture it is installed in. This can happen when a light bulb with a higher wattage than the fixture is used, a light bulb with a too-high lumen output is used, or a light bulb with a wrong base is used.

A light bulb's wattage matters in this regard because the wattage of a light bulb determines how much electricity it will draw. If a light bulb with a higher wattage than the fixture is used, the fixture will be unable to handle the amount of electricity being drawn and become damaged. Conversely, if the bulb requires less power but the socket supplies more than it needs, it will be unable to use the extra power, resulting in wasted energy.

The Dangers of Overlamping

If your building's electrical system is overlamping, you are at a greater risk of the following:

Permanent Bulb Damage

Overlamping is a dangerous practice in which a light fixture is fitted with a bulb that has a higher wattage than the fixture is designed to handle. This can cause permanent damage to the bulb, as it is not intended to take the higher wattage. The higher wattage can damage the fixture itself because the materials it is made of may not handle the increased load. This can permanently damage the fixture, making it unsafe to use.


Overlamping is a dangerous practice in which a light fixture is fitted with a bulb that has a higher wattage than the fixture is designed to handle. This can cause the fixture to overheat, as it is not designed to handle the higher wattage. The higher wattage can cause the fixture to become too hot, creating a fire hazard. This is particularly dangerous in areas that are not well-ventilated, as the heat can quickly become trapped and cause the temperature to rise quickly.

Higher Electric Consumption

While a higher electric consumption is not inherently dangerous, it can damage your finances. Overlamping puts you at a greater risk of higher electric consumption because the higher wattage requires more energy to power the bulb. This can result in higher electricity bills, as the energy savings do not cover the extra wattage from the bulb. Additionally, the extra wattage puts more strain on your electrical system, leading to higher maintenance costs over time.

How to Avoid Overlamping

The easiest way to avoid overlamping is to ensure you get the correct light bulb. This means checking the wattage rating of the bulb and the maximum wattage recommended for the fixture. Additionally, you must ensure that the wattage of the bulbs you have installed is not higher than that of the bulbs you are replacing.

Conversely, you must ensure that your building's electrical work is up to code and that the electrical wiring is not overloaded. This means that you should have a licensed electrician inspect the wiring in your building and make sure it is not overloading the circuits.

If all else fails, you must call a professional electrician immediately if something happens to your system. They will help you determine the cause of the problem and suggest the best course of action to fix it. They can also provide valuable advice to prevent further issues.


Overlamping is a damaging problem, but you can take measures to avoid it.  Even if you have a licensed electrician inspect your building's wiring, you should still take the time to regularly check for potential overloads and make sure that your electrical system is up to code. This way, you can ensure your building is safe from potential electrical hazards.

Passey Electric provides top-quality commercial electrical services in Southern Alberta. Our professional electricians will ensure your establishment is fitted with light bulbs that are more than enough to light the place up. Call us today at (403) 635-6767 to schedule an appointment!