How Do I Know What Base My Light Bulb Is?

It was quite a surprise. Edison came out of nowhere and introduced the light bulb to the world. A world that was heavily dependent on night lamps and candled for luminance.

From that point onwards, the ‘golden age of technology just spread wide and is still spreading under the banner of IOT-based technological advancements. 

But what about the bulb industry? Is there any change in this sector after the first ever light bulb was invented centuries ago? The answer is yes.

This leads us to the discussion we had today. The standard light bulb base sizes and how the size guide will impact the performance of a bulb in the long run. 

Make sure to scroll down to the end of the article if you are looking for a detailed debate on the topic. 

What are Standard Light Bulb Base sizes?

If we look at the modern-day bulbs that are widely used throughout the globe, there are no fixed bulb base sizes. Why? The transmission voltage distribution has a major role in all of this. Certain base sizes are known to perform better for certain voltage ranges.

Also, since the very beginning of commercial-level distribution and integration of electronic outlets in homes, the shape of the outlet has been a major issue. 

Even today, half of Europe has electric outlets supporting a pattern of base sizes and electronic switches.

Getting the Right Sized Bulbs 

You have got some idea now that not all bulbs have a similar base, and the base’s size can also influence the bulb’s performance. So, how will you ensure that you have the right-sized bulbs with the right-sized base?

You need to check the bulb base installed in your home/office space. But if you are unable to do that for some reason, manually measure the base of the bulb. Most bulbs will have a base around 26nm or higher.

Influence of Diameter over Bulb Base 

Most of the time, the diameter of the bulb has a direct effect on its base. Most of the bulbs available today have a spherical base orientation and are compatible with base inlets with specific shapes. So yes, diameter does influence the bulb base.

The four-core Edison Screw Base bulbs have diameters that vary in usage. 

Another factor that causes this variation is the region in which these bulbs are used. For instance, European and American bulb bases are quite different.

Edison and the Concept of the Base size

As mentioned above briefly, the Edison Screw Base bulb design has four major types. Candelabra, Intermediate, Standard and the Mogul. But his contributions to the bulb industry are not confined to designing and developing the very first commercially usable light bulb.

Thomas Edison was an American inventor. His invention of the light bulb surely shocked the whole world. But even after being an American inventor, he used the Metric system for referencing the bulb’s base size and other important measurements. 

As a result, the bulbs we use today have standard measurement dynamics set in the metric system. As a tribute to his contributions to this field, all screw-type bulbs are marked ‘E’.

Standard Light Bulb Base sizes and pin sizes

But the world isn’t confined to the use of screw-type bulbs. It is a reality that screw-type bulbs are still widely used all around the globe. But there is one variation in the base design that is speedily gaining popularity throughout the globe.

Yes, we are talking about pin-based bulbs. The orientation of the pins may differ depending on the region in which these bulbs are manufactured. 

For example, most of Europe uses the bottom pin configuration, whereas the rest of the world uses the side pin configuration for the base.

E26 vs E27: The Better Option?

The E26 and the E27 comparison has been up for discussion since the very first day of their respective launches. In terms of their usage, these two types of bulbs are used throughout the globe and fall under the ‘Standard’ category of bulbs. The differences between both of these are, however, not so prominent.

The E26 is available and designed for the American market, where the bulb slots require certain alterations within the base. On the other hand, the E27 is designed for the European market with appropriate alterations.

Base Design and their Usage

At this point, you might be thinking, what is all the fuss about a bulb’s base anyway? Well, the base of a bulb is what holds it together. This is what most people believe in. But the base is also the complete functional unit of a bulb.

From ICs to voltage rectifiers, everything is enclosed within the bulb. Outside is just a cover or a tube-based structure that holds the halogen in the case of LEDs. 

That’s why having the right base design in a bulb is important. Without the base, the bulb won’t even work in the first place.

Do Bulb fittings come in Different sizes?

They do. The major reason behind the bulbs coming in different sizes and shapes is the region they are used in. certain regions have certain power distributions and common power inlet arrangements. This automatically initiates a change in the base size of a bulb.

All the E-category bulbs are divided into four categories in their base width.

  • Candelabra Bulb with E12-12 mm base width (E11-11mm Europe)
  • Intermediate Bulb with E17-17 mm base width (E14-14mm Europe)
  • Standard Bulb with E26-E26mm base width (E27-27mm Europe)
  • Mogul Bulb with E39-39 mm base width (E40-40mm Europe)

The Standard Base 

In the end, what is a bulb base that can be regarded s a standard base? Not all base sizes can be labelled as the standard light bulb base sizes. So, in terms of a bulb’s base, the standard can vary depending on one region or the other.

For example, the standard base category is E26 for the US and E27 for Europe. In both regions, respective widths are set as standards because of factors such as the inlet shape, voltage distribution, etc. The E26 is, however, referred to as the standard base for most countries around the globe.

Final Note

So, we hope that now you have a solid idea regarding the standard light bulb base sizes discussion and how it affects the performance of a bulb. If you are still unsure about the right bulb size to go with, we highly encourage you to get expert consultation.

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