There is a huge range of light bulbs available today and they are used for a wide array of commercial and domestic applications. Fortunately, understanding the differences in common household bulbs is fairly straight forward. 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.
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 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 manufactures are creating lamps that use other types of bulbs too.
The two larger fittings, E27 and B22, generally come in two forms. First is the ‘GLS‘ light bulb is also known as a traditional shape or standard light bulb that we’re all familiar with and second is a shorter style that’s commonly referred to as a ‘golf ball’ bulb
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’ but 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.
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 so they need a transformer to convert the mains voltage into a voltage that they can use. We’ll cover the topic of transformers fully in a later post.
Finally, there are small capsule bulbs that can some times 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.