Replacing a Floor Lamp

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Jorpho
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Replacing a Floor Lamp

Postby Jorpho » Sun Nov 23, 2014 7:48 pm UTC

Dilemma of the moment:

I have a floor lamp, some 67" tall, that illuminates my room with a 150W bulb (or rather, its CFL equivalent). It occurs to me that this is wasted space (horrors!), and that it would be very convenient if I could replace it with a lamp atop a suitable shelf that fits within its footprint (about 9.5" x 11"). I have obtained a 31" high shelf that would be ideal for this purpose; the problem is replacing the lamp.

It turns out that 36" is a really weird height for a lamp. The closest thing I have been able to find is an IKEA ALÄNG, an adjustable-height affair; unfortunately, at 31" it is just a little bit too short, especially since it isn't as bright at only 100W. Wal-Mart also sells a floor lamp with shelves, but it's a little bit more than I'd like to spend, especially since I have a mostly adequate shelf already.

I'm kind of out of ideas, except for perhaps purchasing a suitable desk lamp and angling it at the ceiling. Perhaps there is some other solution I am unaware of?

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Re: Replacing a Floor Lamp

Postby Isaac Hill » Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:07 pm UTC

Couldn't you just put the 150W equivalent CL bulb in the new lamp? If the lamp says it's rated for 100W, that just means it can't handle more than 100W of power. The 150W equivalent CL bulb would only use around 40W of power, so that should be fine.

For the extra height, you could always put something on the shelf, then put the lamp on top of that. A CD-ROM rack might work. Since the CDs store in the sides, not the top, you wouldn't have to move the lamp to access them and you'd get even more storage. The lamp can be lowered, so if you can only find a CD rack over 5 inches tall, you can lower the lamp to compensate.
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Re: Replacing a Floor Lamp

Postby SurgicalSteel » Mon Nov 24, 2014 2:26 am UTC

Is there a reason it has to be exactly 67"?
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Re: Replacing a Floor Lamp

Postby Jorpho » Mon Nov 24, 2014 4:23 am UTC

Isaac Hill wrote:Couldn't you just put the 150W equivalent CL bulb in the new lamp? If the lamp says it's rated for 100W, that just means it can't handle more than 100W of power. The 150W equivalent CL bulb would only use around 40W of power, so that should be fine.
I was wondering about that. I was looking at some lamps that suggested they were rated for a 100W incandescent bulb but only a 30W CL bulb. Could you in fact use a theoretical 100W CL bulb in a device rated for a 100W incandescent bulb with no ill effects? Or are there other factors in play?

For the extra height, you could always put something on the shelf, then put the lamp on top of that. A CD-ROM rack might work. Since the CDs store in the sides, not the top, you wouldn't have to move the lamp to access them and you'd get even more storage. The lamp can be lowered, so if you can only find a CD rack over 5 inches tall, you can lower the lamp to compensate.
An interesting possibility, but I would be concerned about whether such an additional item could withstand the weight, or at least resist being knocked over. Was there some specific variety of rack you were thinking of?

SurgicalSteel wrote:Is there a reason it has to be exactly 67"?
Well, it could definitely be another foot or so higher, but not much lower, as it's already tucked in next to another tall shelf. (I suppose I could just get a short lamp to put on top of that shelf, but then I'd have to start rearranging other items; it just doesn't seem feasible.)

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Re: Replacing a Floor Lamp

Postby Neil_Boekend » Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:36 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:
Isaac Hill wrote:Couldn't you just put the 150W equivalent CL bulb in the new lamp? If the lamp says it's rated for 100W, that just means it can't handle more than 100W of power. The 150W equivalent CL bulb would only use around 40W of power, so that should be fine.
I was wondering about that. I was looking at some lamps that suggested they were rated for a 100W incandescent bulb but only a 30W CL bulb. Could you in fact use a theoretical 100W CL bulb in a device rated for a 100W incandescent bulb with no ill effects? Or are there other factors in play?

The fixture wouldn't be damaged by the heat, as the theoretical 100 W CFL emits less heat than the 100W incandescent.
However, the CFL may get damaged by the heat it produces as the ventilation is probably not sufficient. Incandescents can handle way more heat than CFLs. That is probably one of the reasons why 100 W CFL's are not common (or even available, if I am correct). They wouldn't be able to dump their waste heat.

If your 150 W EQ CFL fits then go for it.

Disclaimer: I don't design light fixtures but I am an electrical engineer. I replace incandescents with modern lights everywhere where they'll work (that is everywhere but my oven).
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Re: Replacing a Floor Lamp

Postby Mokele » Mon Nov 24, 2014 2:44 pm UTC

If you don't mind the semi-industrial look, just buy a hardware store style lamp with one of those garden-pail style hangers (an inverted "U" of metal that attaches to the lamp) that lets you hang it from anywhere you like. Then buy a curtain rod kit, throw out the curtain rod, mount one of the wall-mounts to the wall and hang the light from that. Alternatively, buy a clamp-lamp and zip-tie it to the curtain-rod holder. Of course, all this assumes you're willing to drill into the wall (drywall repair stuff is available to cover the holes when you move out).

Both are stable and work with high-wattage incandescent bulbs, so they should be fine with a CFL. I use the former setup with my snake quarantine tank, and the latter is the permanent basking area lamp setup for my tortoise.
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Re: Replacing a Floor Lamp

Postby DSenette » Mon Nov 24, 2014 6:33 pm UTC

pictures of the shelf that you found and the existing floor lamp would be helpful. modify the current lamp so that it isn't 67" tall, but instead is 67" - shelf height tall. then affix the shortened lamp to the shelf thing. run the wires back behind the shelf and there you go.
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Re: Replacing a Floor Lamp

Postby Isaac Hill » Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:51 pm UTC

Neil_Boekend wrote:Disclaimer: I don't design light fixtures but I am an electrical engineer.
Me too. That's two people who know enough to sound like we know what we're talking about when we really don't. This will lead to much lively debate and intelligent sounding advice that might not burn down Jorpho's house.

I don't think heat dissipation is the problem with CFLs. The whole reason a CFL that consumes 14 W is considered equivalent to a 60 W incandescent is that they put out the same amount of light because the incandescent wastes the extra 46 W as heat. The reason you don't see a CFL that consumes 100 W is that it would be equivalent to a 400 W incandescent, which is too bright for regular use.

That being said, I can think of no technical reason a lamp would be rated for a 100 W bulb or a 30 W CFL. All I can think of is that a safety tech determined that 100 W was the maximum amount of power that could be sent through the lamp's wiring and wrote that down. Then, a copy writer in the habit of adding CFL equivalents to all Wattages was putting together the promotional material.

I couldn't recommend a specific rack, since that would depend on the size of your shelf, the size of the lamp, and the type of stuff you have to store. I have a spinning CD rack that I store other things on in my basement. However, those things do not include a lamp, and it is too dark to read any model number off it.

Mokele's post gave me a couple other ideas. You can look for a sconce, which is a light fixture designed to mount to a wall. Then, you'd have the top of your shelf to store other things. Similarly, you can buy a small shelf to mount to your wall, and put a lamp on that.

Neil_Boekend wrote:I replace incandescents with modern lights everywhere where they'll work (that is everywhere but my oven).
I first thought you meant an EZ-Bake oven, and the CFL didn't produce enough heat to warm brownies. Then I realized you meant not exposing CFLs to the high temps of a real oven.
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Re: Replacing a Floor Lamp

Postby bluebambue » Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:49 am UTC

I worked at a lighting store in high-school, some 7 years ago. I was told that some of the rating for different watts doesn't come from the wiring, but rather that the lampshades would be too close to a hot light-bulb and slowly turn brown (which definitely happens if you put too hot of a bulb in). Supporting this theory is that a lot of lamps in a 3-piece set would appear to use the exact same wiring and light bulb containers, but be rated for different watts.

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Re: Replacing a Floor Lamp

Postby Jorpho » Tue Nov 25, 2014 4:13 am UTC

Somehow the IKEA EKARP escaped my notice. At 51", it's a little bit too high, but it looks like it might be workable. Plus, I found one in the dumpster.

Mokele wrote:Of course, all this assumes you're willing to drill into the wall (drywall repair stuff is available to cover the holes when you move out).
Aye, doing so would definitely open up a number of options, though I'm hoping it doesn't come to that. I guess I was sort of hoping there was some clever means of mounting a wall sconce or suchlike without drilling holes.

DSenette wrote:pictures of the shelf that you found and the existing floor lamp would be helpful.
...I'm not sure why?

modify the current lamp so that it isn't 67" tall, but instead is 67" - shelf height tall. then affix the shortened lamp to the shelf thing.
I was also sort of hoping that perhaps there was such a modification that people might be experienced with. (Furniture mods are a thing.)

My current floor lamp is assembled in three sections, and indeed the middle one in this particular case is 30" long. I don't think it's particularly easy to remove the middle section without hacking apart the cord in some fashion, and even if I could, I don't know if the top and bottom threads are compatible with each other. The EKARP is a little more interesting; even though it's nominally two sections, it looks like it ought to be possible to remove the individual "knobs" without too much trouble. Further research is required.

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Re: Replacing a Floor Lamp

Postby strake » Tue Nov 25, 2014 4:45 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:
Isaac Hill wrote:I was looking at some lamps that suggested they were rated for a 100W incandescent bulb but only a 30W CL bulb. Could you in fact use a theoretical 100W CL bulb in a device rated for a 100W incandescent bulb with no ill effects? Or are there other factors in play?


An incandescent lamp is nearly purely resistive. A fluorescent lamp normally includes an inductive ballast. This inductive load may draw more current for a given light power output than the wires can safely carry; I'm not sure.

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Re: Replacing a Floor Lamp

Postby bluebambue » Tue Nov 25, 2014 4:48 am UTC

My experience is that most lights will have the same threading throughout so that you can attache the top to the bottom.

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Re: Replacing a Floor Lamp

Postby Neil_Boekend » Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:34 am UTC

Isaac Hill wrote:
Neil_Boekend wrote:Disclaimer: I don't design light fixtures but I am an electrical engineer.
Me too. That's two people who know enough to sound like we know what we're talking about when we really don't. This will lead to much lively debate and intelligent sounding advice that might not burn down Jorpho's house.

I surely hope so. Burning down houses that people are living in is not on my wishlist.
Isaac Hill wrote:I don't think heat dissipation is the problem with CFLs. The whole reason a CFL that consumes 14 W is considered equivalent to a 60 W incandescent is that they put out the same amount of light because the incandescent wastes the extra 46 W as heat. The reason you don't see a CFL that consumes 100 W is that it would be equivalent to a 400 W incandescent, which is too bright for regular use.

Neil_Boekend wrote:one of the reasons

Yours is probably the main one for CFLs. For LEDs 100W EQ haven't been available for long because they couldn't handle their own waste heat.
Isaac Hill wrote:That being said, I can think of no technical reason a lamp would be rated for a 100 W bulb or a 30 W CFL. All I can think of is that a safety tech determined that 100 W was the maximum amount of power that could be sent through the lamp's wiring and wrote that down. Then, a copy writer in the habit of adding CFL equivalents to all Wattages was putting together the promotional material.

The max wattage for CFLs is lower than the max for incandescents but it's more due to the life time of the CFL. Hot CFLs don't last as long. I wouldn't put a theoretical 75W CFL in a 100 W (incandescent) fixture because it wouldn't last long. I would try anything below 50W. It's not visible on the package because it usually isn't a problem and it's not a safety risk. It's not common for CFLs to overheat to the extent that it starts to set things aflame. Incandescents DO get hot enough to burn common stuff like plastic, paper and thermite.
The max for incandescents is often due to safety and sometimes due to discoloration of the fixture. Hot plastics often turn brown. Really hot plastics turn to flammable vapors.
Isaac Hill wrote:
Neil_Boekend wrote:I replace incandescents with modern lights everywhere where they'll work (that is everywhere but my oven).
I first thought you meant an EZ-Bake oven, and the CFL didn't produce enough heat to warm brownies. Then I realized you meant not exposing CFLs to the high temps of a real oven.

Well, I guess using a CFL in an EZ wouldn't work either but I meant a real oven. The electronics in a CFL (or LED, for that matter) can't handle such heat and plastic is not a substitute for frosting.
I remember now that I sort of lied. My fermentation chamber for brewing beer and mead also uses an incandescent. However in that case the light is a minor waste.
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Re: Replacing a Floor Lamp

Postby pkcommando » Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:09 pm UTC

Ignoring all of the other issues for a moment: You can also look for the equivalent CFL, but look for it to say 'Daylight' instead of 'Soft White'. In my old apartment, I had 2 sconces each at opposite ends of the place. The living room end got the Daylight bulbs and the bedroom end had Soft White, both the 30W equivalent of the 100W incandescent. There was a very noticeable difference in brightness that favored Daylight. The biggest downside is that I absolutely needed to turn the Daylight ones off at least an hour before bed.

Even now I have one standing floor lamp that uses Daylight and I have to switch it off and turn on the Soft White desk lamp in the evening. But at least you will get the added brightness.


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