The first letter or letters indicate the shape. The numbers refer to base width in millimeters. It refers to 26 millimeters (which is 1 inch). This normally is in the form of letters followed by a number followed by an optional letter. A-shaped bulbs: A19, A15, A21 BR (bulged reflector… So we had to just buy multiple bulbs to see which ones would fit. For example, there are many different bulbs that are the same shape and even have similar looking bases, but those bases might be different sizes. So a bulb with an E26 base is 26 millimeters. PAR light bulbs use a parabolic mirror that focuses all the light. Because they resemble an ear of corn, they are called corn bulbs. Modern light bulbs can be used in a variety of fixtures, and each fixture has its own particular requirements of size and shape of the bulb that it is compatible with. The common terms are medium, intermediate, candelabra and mogul. If you're looking for a more unique light display outside of traditional C7 & C9 Christmas lights, consider these specialty LED bulb options. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Bulbs.com is committed to health and safety. All of the bulbs in these groups resemble the shape of a candle flame and are often referred to as candle bulbs. This base was developed by Thomas Edison for the first light bulbs and is still in use today. The respective parameters (shape, size and base type) appear on the package of the product. The main shape designations of light bulbs are: Light bulb shapes. Bulbs.com. Simply because the next time you will go to purchase a new light bulb for your fixture, you will know what you are looking for. Often they are referred to with a letter-number designation that starts with an "E" followed by the number of millimeters in diameter of the base. Bulbs with these bases can be used interchangeably as there is only a 1-millimeter difference in base size. Let’s learn more about lamp bases, which come in all shapes and sizes. Thank you again SO much for writing such a great and in-depth article! When she's not immersing herself in all things LED, she's zumba-ing or playing with her two little troublemakers (chihuahuas)! The first letter designates the shape or form of the base, the numbers represent either the width of the base or the distance between the pins. Most common light bulb uses, including lamps, recessed flush mount flood lights are going to have one of the first three base types shown above. You can determine it by measuring the diameter of the base (the thickest parts). Why is it good to know this? B-shaped bulbs are also known as Candelabra bulbs. It’s the traditional A-type bulb. The main diameter classifications are: As for the length, the bulbs are divided into S (short) and L (long) categories but not always you will see the length indicator mentioned in the product description. However, only three of all the shapes are widely used for everyday purposes (e.g. Bulbs with these base types can be used interchangeably as there is only a 1-millimeter difference in base size. The most common screw base sizes are E5, E-5, E10, E-10, E11, E-11, E12, E-12, E14, E-14, E17, E-17, E26, E-26, E27, E-27, E39, E-39, E40 and E-40. PAR (parabolic aluminized reflector) bulbs: PAR20, PAR38, PAR40. If you do not see the base type you are looking for, give us a call at 800.784.1998, and we can help you locate the correct bulb. This is done in the form of letter followed by a number. When searching for replacement bulbs, we were having a difficult time finding the right type and especially size that would fit between the bulb base, and the metal soffit above the base. It is used in most incandescent, nostalgic, LED, CFL and halogen light bulbs. The fan/light manual suggested a B10 bulb shape with an E12 base; max-40W. the principles of how light bulbs are divided are, in fact, very logical. First you have to determine if it’s a screw, bayonet, wedge, or bi-pin base. The first letter designates the shape or form of the base, and the number represents the width of the base (normally in millimeters). B and C-shaped bulbs. A light bulb’s series indicates its shape, followed by a number code that indicates the light bulb’s diameter in millimeters or one-eighths of an inch, depending on the type. It’s most likely E26 which is the most common base. Pay close attention to lumens, since this number indicates the brightness, or light output, of the bulb. Screw in bulbs use a base called an Edison Screw or ES base. Indeed, many lamps have their own unique base. For LEDs, the PAR designation is used for defining the shape since most of the LEDs lack any have a reflective lower surface. Your email address will not be published. Most CFL and LED replacements for incandescent lights will use the "E" base. There are tens of unique bases for light bulbs. Our bulbs can be no longer than 3.25 inches in order to cant them sideways and then insert the bulb base into the receptacle to begin screwing down and into the receptacle. Note, as a rule of thumb, traditionally C9 bulbs “always” have E17 bases so many times, the base is also referred to as C9 as well. What is Full Spectrum Lighting and What are its Advantages. While the numbers indicate the diameter but the optional letter indicates the length of the bulb. Unlike in the case of the light bulb shapes, the number in the light bulb base indicates the light bulb base diameter in millimeters, for instance, the candelabra E12 has a diameter of 12 millimeters. Light bulbs come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are generally categorized by their bases (the part that screws into a light socket). Many bulbs with these bases are designed to mimic the look of a candle flame. An E26 bulb, therefore, is any bulb or lamp that utilizes the E26 cap or base for mounting and electrical contact. A – Standard household incandescent light bulb shape. Each of the base types work differently as their main function is to connect the light bulb to the electrical voltage and the technology of how it is achieved is different in each case. This prevents their use in a luminaire that may have a higher wattage, distribute intense heat, and even become a fire hazard. The naming conventions include terms like medium base and candelabra base. A further explanation of the light bulb base sizes, you can look at the letter-number references (E12, E17, and E26) to help understand a bulbs base style and size. Intermediate: E17 North America, E14 (Small ES, SES) in Europe. In an incandescent or halogen screw base light bulb, two contact wires link the filament to the base where the electrical voltage is connected to the bulb. The intermediate E17 base is not very common. Bulbs with E14 bases are popular in Europe and China for chandeliers, wall sconces, lamps, Christmas lights, restaurant pendant lights, ornamental lights, residential or commercial string lights, sign and marquee lights, and night lights. Tel. E39 bulbs are primarily used in North America while E40 bulbs are popular in Europe. PAR (parabolic aluminized reflector) spotlight and flood light bulbs: PAR16, PAR20, PAR30, PAR38, BR (bulged reflector) spotlight and floodlight bulbs: BR20, BR30, BR40. Whereas the screw base connects the light bulb to the voltage with two contact wires connected to the metal base, pin base light bulbs contain two pins that stick out of the base and connect the bulb to the voltage. 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