I was called out recently, to a client who was having trouble with lightbulbs which kept failing or, in a couple of cases, falling out of the fitting, leaving the base in the light.
It turned out that the bulbs in question were too high a rating for the fitting, and this got me thinking. How many people actually check when they change a bulb, that it's the correct rating for the light?
I know it doesn't sound like a big deal but consider this; lightbulbs get hot (anyone who's ever touched one when it's on knows this) and the higher their rating, the hotter they get. That heat needs space to dissipate and if the light fitting is a smaller design, then there's nowhere for the heat to go. That's when problems arise.
Excess heat from a bulb that's too high a rating for the fitting can cause the bulbs to fail prematurely, or even damage the light fitting itself, as happened to the client concerned.
In extreme cases, this can even result in a fire risk. I've seen a couple of instances where very powerful bulbs have been placed inside small fabric lampshades and have ended up burning holes in the shades.
Always check that the bulb you're putting in a light is the correct rating for the fitting. The rating is normally labelled on the fitting, or inside the lampshade. If it's a new light fitting that's being installed, then the bulb rating should also be printed on the packaging.
It sounds obvious, I know, but I've seen this kind of problem more than once, and I think a lot of people just don't realise the possible dangers that can arise.