Light Bulb Base Sizes
Base sizes are determined by a simpler rule known as Type-Size.
The most common type of base is the E type. The E stands for Edison and indicates that the base is a screw type. The size is a simple millimeter measurement of the width.
An E26 base (the most common type) is 26 millimeters wide and features an Edison thread interior. Additionally, this base is referred to as a Medium socket.
The three most often used bases in the United States of America for traditional lighting are the E12 (candelabra), the E26 (medium), and the E39 (mogul).
Light Bulb Base Sizes Chart
Why do lights have different bases?
Light bulbs have to fit snugly into light fixtures, so they are designed with different bases. The light bulb base has to match the socket in the light fixture.
If light bulb bases were standardized, light bulbs could be interchangeable across many fixtures.
However, light bulb bases are not standardized. This is to prevent dangerous light bulbs from being used in light fixtures that aren’t designed for them.
Light fixture sockets have a grip on the inside of the socket, and light bulb bases have a matching metal tab on the outside of the base. A light bulb with no grip can be inserted into any kind of light fixture, but it won’t stay in place because the grip and tab don’t match up.
This is why light bulb bases aren’t standardized: if they were interchangeable across light fixtures, people would risk inserting a light bulb into sockets that weren’t designed for them.
Light Bulb Base Types Explained
Edison Screw Bases
E10 Base or Miniature Screw Base
E11 Base or Miniature Candelabra Base
E12 Base or Candelabra Base
E14 Base or European Base
E17 Base or Intermediate Edison Screw Base
E26 Base or Medium Edison Screw (MES) Base
E39 Base or Mogul Base
FLUORESCENT PIN BASES
Recessed Double Contact
TWIST & LOCK BASES
BI PIN BASES
COMPACT FLUORESCENT PLUG IN BASES
MINIATURE & AUTOMOTIVE BASES
How do I know what base my light bulb is?
Which light bulb base types are interchangeable?
Does the Bulbs Base affect voltage and performance?
The light bulb base affects the voltage and wattage that can be used on a light fixture.
In North America, there are three different types of electrical outlets: A-type, B-Type, and C-Type sockets. The type of socket dictates how much power you can safely put through it without overloading or shorting out your home’s wiring.
You can put more power through a B-type socket than an A-type one, and you can put even more power through a C-Type socket than a B type – but for this reason, it is recommended to not use light bulbs with higher wattage in your home’s fixtures unless they are specifically designed for that voltage or higher.
You should always check your light fixture’s label to see what type of voltage and wattage it will support.
When you buy light bulbs for a home with C-type outlets, make sure they can handle the higher operating voltages – otherwise, you risk having them blow out or catch fire if used in such fixtures.
If these safety risks don’t concern you, then by all means go for it – but be sure to read the fine print on the light bulb packaging.
Which is the largest light bulb base?
Which is the smallest light bulb base?
Final Verdict on Light Bulb Base Sizes
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