My new 15W bulb doesn't put out as much heat as my old 15W bulb
January 26, 2020 7:49 PM   Subscribe

I have a nightlight that has a little pan on top, where I put scented wax... nuggets... to melt, and they make my bathroom smell nice. The bulb in the nightlight blew out. The bulb has "15W" stamped on it, so I went online and bought more 15W bulbs. Now the wax doesn't really melt correctly, it is technically a liquid but is opaque and flaky looking, and the smell doesn't really come off of it the way it used to. What are my options here? Are there multiple types of 15W bulbs?

I got this nightlight and these bulbs. I can't even buy another nightlight or see who the manufacturer was on the original, as the packaging is long gone and the item is no longer being sold.
posted by Vatnesine to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
Does the appearance of the bulb match the old one, i.e. does it appear to be an incandescent bulb with your usual tungsten coil filament inside? If they swapped in some kind of energy-efficient CFL/LED bulb, despite the claims of incandescent tech on Amazon, then indeed it'll be putting out a fraction of the heat.
posted by Sunburnt at 8:01 PM on January 26

Maybe the shape and size of the bulb? Is the top of the filament in exactly the same place as with the old bulb? If it's slightly lower, less heat will reach the pan.
posted by lollusc at 8:12 PM on January 26

Reading the reviews, it seems like these bulbs are just kinda low quality and hit-or-miss. The bulb you're using probably isn't 15W despite the labeling. Try another of the bulbs from the package and see if it works better.
posted by brainmouse at 8:15 PM on January 26 [2 favorites]

Is it possible that it's winter and your room is maybe a few degrees cooler? It's probably designed so the upper surface is just barely warm enough to melt or evaporate what you put in it. So a few degrees room temperature could make it too cool.

In that case, you can get similar bulbs in 20W or 25W output that fit the same socket. Maybe use the 20W bulb in winter and the 15W in summer.
posted by JackFlash at 9:17 PM on January 26 [2 favorites]

If you had access to one, you could plug it into a Kill-A-Watt or similar and see if it really is using 15W.
posted by alexei at 10:43 PM on January 26

If you had access to one, you could plug it into a Kill-A-Watt or similar and see if it really is using 15W.
If you want to try this -- check with your local public library to see if they have meters available to loan.
posted by Nerd of the North at 10:59 PM on January 26 [3 favorites]

Go to a site like 1000 Bulbs and buy 15W (or 25W) appliance bulbs that are made for ovens and fridges.

The bulbs you have might be 15W, but they look shorter than appliance bulbs and would be further away from the little pan and consequently not heat it up as much.
posted by jamjam at 11:19 PM on January 26 [1 favorite]

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