Question

Can you suggest a CFL or LED bulb to fit my swing arm reading lamp?

Asked by Mary Jane Malko
Oyster Bay, NY

Going along with an earlier question CFL and LED may give you enough light to see by but are very poor for reading. An led with equivalent lumens may need a flood light if they even come that big and a cfl sont fit my swing arm lamp. Either the harp is too small (the estenders won't work on a swing arm or with the other shade the bulb comes out the top if its enough lumens.. The biggest led is a flood lamp and that is equivalent to 100 watts. I use a 50/100/150 3 way bulb in incandecents

Answer

David Bergman

Answered by David Bergman

New York, NY

David Bergman Architect

May 29, 2013

Reading between the lines, it sounds like you have a Hansen-type swing arm lamp with a 3-way switch that was intended for regular (A-lamp) socket incandescent bulbs. 

Fitting the harp

These lamps typically have a shade that is attached to a “harp,” a metal piece that is fastened to the socket and goes around and over the bulb.

One problem with this type of construction is that bulbs that are larger than a typical bulb may not fit inside the dimensions of the harp.

Seeking a bright, 3-way LED

While there are some LEDs that do match the A-lamp shape, they may not be as bright as you are looking for and they probably won’t come in a 3-way version.

As LEDs continue to evolve, there are now some reaching the equivalent brightness of a 100 watt incandescent (1600 lumens plus or minus), but I haven’t heard of anything near 150 watts equivalent in a standard shape and socket, much less a 3-way version.

There are a few 3-way LEDs now on the market, however they top out at around 75 watts (1100 lumens) on their highest setting.

An energy efficient halogen bulb

So if light output is your primary objective, then you may be stuck with incandescent (or their relatives, halogen) bulbs for the moment.

The good news is there are some that meet the energy efficient requirements. The EISA requirements, though do not apply to 3-way bulbs or to bulbs with output greater than a conventional 100 watter. In terms of energy efficient halogen 3-ways, the brightest I could find was a 100 watt maximum.

If none of those work for you, could I perhaps interest you in a new light fixture? 

Tagged In: cfl, led

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