There is a huge range of light bulbs available today They are used for a wide array of commercial and domestic applications. Fortunately, understanding the differences in common household bulbs is fairly straightforward. In this post, we’ll go over these differences to help you better understand the most commonly used light bulb fittings and shapes that are available to you.
Common Bulb Fittings
Most hanging fittings in rooms such as living rooms and bedrooms will be probably be either the Edison screw fit or the Bayonet type fit. These are considered the standard bulbs in and around the home. Both of these fittings come in 2 different sizes: The Edison Screw fit has the sizes 27mm [E27 or ES] and 14mm [E14 or SES],
Whilst the bayonet bulb fittings come in 22mm [B22 or BC] and 15mm [B15 or SBC] Variations. Most regular standing lamps will also use one of these bulbs, although some manufacturers are creating lamps that use other types of bulbs too.
Common Bulb Shapes
The two larger fittings, E27 and B22, generally come in two forms. First is the ‘GLS‘ light bulb is also known as a traditional bulb shape or standard light bulb shape that we’re all familiar with and second is a shorter style that’s commonly referred to as a ‘golf ball’ bulb shape.
The smaller fittings, mainly E14 do not usually come in the classic light bulb style, they are often found in the round ‘golf ball’ style as well as ‘candle‘ style and ‘bent candle‘ style as pictured below.
Other Commonly Used Bulbs
Spot lights are becoming increasingly popular in kitchens and bathrooms. It’s quite possible that you have heard of, or seen GU10 and GU5.3 spotlights before. GU5.3 bulbs are sometimes referred to as MR16, which stands for ‘multifaceted reflector’. Technically both GU10 and GU5.3 are MR16 bulbs, as the ‘GU’ designation refers to the fitting that the bulbs use.
They are commonly available in 2 fittings: GU10, GU5.3, although a smaller ‘GU4’ type is also available.
Other types of reflector shapes that we need to mention here are R and PAR types. Usually they are come in different diameters and are named as follows: R39, R50, R63, R80 and PAR20, PAR30, PAR38.
GU10 (MR16), R and PAR bulbs run off 240V like most other bulbs so they can be plugged directly into the mains. GU5.3 (MR16) on the other hand run off 12V therefore they need a transformer to convert the mains voltage into a voltage that they can use.
G9 - G4 Capsule Bulbs
There are also small capsule bulbs that can sometimes be found lighting the inside of cupboards, cabinets or chandeliers. The most common type are the G9 and G4 type capsule bulbs. The G9 uses 240V and can run from the mains, whilst the G4 uses 12V and needs a transformer to function correctly.
R7S Linear Bulbs
One more commonly used type what we should mention here are the R7S Linear Bulbs. You can find these bulbs usually in Outdoor Flood Lights or in Floor Lamps. However if you are upgrading the old halogen flood lights to LED, you should consider to replace the whole fittings to LED Flood Lights instead of changing the bulb to get more brightness.
GOLF BALL E27 FILAMENT LED LAMP