Different sizes and shapes of light bulbs can fit in different fixtures. Have you gotten confused when purchasing? You may feel overwhelmed to navigate endless options. Therefore, we here provide a light bulb size guide to help you make a better decision. Read on.
To start, let’s learn the different
shapes of light bulbs. The table below provides an overview of each option.
That's all shapes of light bulbs, and the most common we see in our life are Type A, C, R, MR, PAR, G and T. The light bulb codes are represented by a letter or a series of letters with a number. Take A21 for example, letter ‘A’ indicates standard household incandescent shape, and ‘21’ indicates a diameter of 21 divided by 8 inches, or approximately 2.6 inches.
There are a variety of light bulb bases sizes also. Same with light bulb shapes, they use light bulb base codes, letters for the shape of the base and the number for the size. Find details in the next part.
Not like the ready-to-install LED options, light bulbs must screw into a fixture to operate. The industry has standardized six base types to use with light bulbs today. Here are the six base sizes for light bulbs.
Although all these screw bases exist for light bulbs today, only two of them are considered industry standard: screw and pin bases.
Screw bases for light bulbs are the most common design today. They're sometimes called “Edisons" because of the concept's originality. When you have a halogen or incandescent screw base, two contact wires link the base to the filament where the electrical voltage reaches the bulb. The number found in the light bulb base reflects its diameter in millimeters. For example, an A-type bulb listed as an E11 would be a standard globular design with an 11 mm base.
Most light bulbs with pin bases are MR16s, linear or plug-in compact fluorescents, or an HID design. The principle of this connection is significantly different from the screw-in style. The pins stick out of the base to connect the bulb to a voltage source.
Once the pin connection is established, the electrical current can pass through them to flow into the bulb. That process excites the filament to produce light.
Each type of light bulb gets separated into diameter and length categories. And each diameter designation is given a number that reflects the inches of the light bulb's measurement in this area.
When you see the length measurement, you'll often see a short and a long category. Although the designation isn't always next to the number, an 8S bulb would be one inch short. If you saw a 38L bulb, that indicates the circumference would be 4.75 inches long.
The light bulb filament is responsible for producing the illumination when sending voltage to the unit. And it has two categories: C or CC.
The “C" stands for “coiled," which means the filament wire is either deeply fluted or wound into a helical coil. The “CC" light bulb stands for “coiled coil", the filament wire gets wound into a helical coil, and then that process is repeated.
Some light fixtures have specific filament shapes, designs, or voltage limitations. The electrical filament for the classic incandescent light bulb is the small thin wire that sits between two longer ones that hold it up. The older designs use tungsten for this component because of the high melting point.
As for LED bulbs, they also have a filament, but the design is different. Instead of heating the wire to produce light, this technology uses a metal strip to line it with diodes. Although not as thin as a tungsten filament, the result is similar.
Here's a closer look at the differences between filament LEDs and traditional designs.
When you install a filament LED, the goal is to create a more decorative element than one that offers practical lighting. It's an option that delivers more ambiance to enjoy.
Now that you're armed with this information, how to pick up the bulb? First, review the shape and size requirements of each fixture, along with the wattage minimum or maximum that the setup supports. Then thinking about space. If the space doesn't need a bright, glaring light, a dimmable, recessed fixture would be a better option. For example, in the
warehouse, the LED light with the highest Kelvin rating can help workers see things clear.
If it is still hard to make a choice, contact the
LEDVANCE sales team, we'll contact you as soon as we can.