Can I Use a 3-Way Bulb in a 2 Way Lamp | Explained

Can I Use a 3-Way Bulb in a 2 Way Lamp

3-way bulbs and lamps have been in our homes for centuries. They even got modern modifications like remotes and sensors. 

The endless possibilities with a 3-way lamp put it at the top of the lamp empire. You get to choose 3 different brightness and warmth according to your liking. And that too with just one bulb. 

But there are a lot of questions that we have about a 3-way bulb. You might have spears sitting in your cupboard or garage for later use. And one of your two-way lamps on the staircase is out. 

The question will definitely pop into your head, can I use a 3-way bulb in a 2 way lamp? 

We are going to talk about that in today’s article. 

Can I Use a 3-Way Bulb in a 2-Way Lamp and Use It in 3 Way?

The first thing you have you have to know is how a 3-way bulb works. 

A 3-way bulb has 2 different wattages of filament in them. Regular bulbs only have one. 

The same thing is with their sockets. Regular bulb sockets have one connector at the bottom. But a 3-way socket has 2, one on the bottom and one on the side. 

When you change the settings from one to another, the two connectors work separately and together to give you the right amount of light. 

A 2-way lamp is of two kinds.

  1. 2 Way Switch Lamp. 
  2. 2 Way Brightness Light Lamp. 

When you put a 3 way bulb in a 2-switch lamp, it will act like a normal bulb with its lowest or highest setting. You won’t be able to change it. The only thing different with a 2 switch lamp is they can be controlled with two different switches. 

With the 2 brightness light on the other hand the scenario is different. It has a very low bright light that works as a night light and another one that acts as a normal light. Putting a 3 way light in this lamp might work with both settings but will be too bright as a night light. 

Can I Use a 60 Watt Bulb in a 3-Way Lamp

A 3-way bulb works in 3 different wattage settings. They are 50W/100W/150W. So if you put a 60-watt bulb in a 3-way lamp, it will work just fine. You will get 60W of light. But won’t be able to change its brightness. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can a three-way bulb be used in any lamp?

Yes. You can use a 3-way bulb in any lamp. But you will get only the lowest brightness out of it. As the 100W filament connector is on the side and needs a socket of that type, it won’t work on a regular lamp. 

Is there a 2 way light bulb?

Yes. There is a 2 way light bulb that can give you 100W of light and a 9W night light in one single bulb. Although they are not popular, you will be able to find them online. 

Can you use a non-3-way bulb in a 3-way lamp?

Yes. A non-3-way bulb will work in its regular wattage. Make sure it is not more than 150W. Because a 3-way lamp goes up to 150W as the highest setting. Over that and you will damage the lamp. 

Can I use a regular light bulb in a 3-way socket?

Yes. 3-way sockets are the same size as regular house bulb sockets. The difference is in the connectors. 3-way sockets have a connector on the side for the second filament in a 3-way bulb. Putting in a regular bulb will only activate the bottom socket. So it is totally fine. 


Using a 3-way bulb in a 2-way lamp is good to some extent. If you don’t have any regular bulbs in your home but a 3-way, you can use them for the time being. As they are expensive, it is better to use them for what they are intended for. 

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