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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

String Light Shades - how many watts can they handle?

orangecameraDecember 28, 2012
How do you determine the maximum wattage a string or paper shade can handle? I'm sure it has something to do with the size of the shade, so if there's a formula I can use, please let me know. I would love to be able to put 100 or 150 watts in one fixture, so what size shade do I need? See pictures for the type of shade I'm talking about. Thanks.

(note: I would make the string globe, so if you know of materials that can stand up to heat better, please let me know. The plan now is to use string or yarn, and wallpaper paste.
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Elyn's Library
I've seen these done using heavy twine and plaster of paris, up to about 10" to 12" in diameter - but they are still quite fragile. Although I have seen them larger, those usually are some sort of manufactured resin material. Probably recommend not much more that a 60W for a DIY project. A fixture like this is more about impact than task lighting.
    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 10:24PM
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Get an energy efficient bulb to save on wattage and get more light output. 150 watts is a lot of light for any overhead fixture.
    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 10:41PM
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Frank Webb's Bath and Lighting Center
I would definitely use a compact fluorescent bulb, they throw off less heat and opt for a warmer white color, not a daylight one (which are bluish) these lights are generally accent pieces and not meant to be the sole source of light in a room, paper is flammable, according to a website I was on www.paperlanternstore.com they say a 12" or larger shade can use only a 60 watt max bulb
    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 5:48AM
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