How to Buy the Correct Bulb Base Size LED Light Bulb

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How to Buy the Correct Bulb Base Size LED Light Bulb

LED bulbs are solid state sources of illumination; they are based on semiconductors that glow when stimulated by electricity. The larger an LED, or Light Emitting Diode, becomes, the fewer lumens of light it emits per watt of electricity and the more energy goes to waste as heat. That’s why most individual LED light sources are only a millimetre or two across, and that’s why an LED bulb bigger than a fairy light is always made up of a number of smaller bulbs. For this reason, an LED bulb can be easily identified by its appearance. It will look like a light bulb made of smaller light bulbs. The complex nature of LED bulbs makes them more expensive to manufacturer than other common light bulbs. However, an LED is at least as energy efficient as a compact fluorescent bulb, it is much less breakable, and it can last for decades.

LED Lighting Fixtures

Some new lighting fixtures, particularly downlights and track lights, were designed for use with LED bulbs and may even ship with the bulbs included. However, LED bulbs can also be used to replace standard incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs, and halogen bulbs. Halogens became popular for downlights and track lights in the 1980s and 1990s because they are brighter, slightly more efficient, and a little longer lasting than standard incandescent bulbs. However, they are far less efficient than compact fluorescent bulbs and LEDs. Today, many people are replacing the halogens that originally came with their downlights and track lights with LEDs.

Categories of LED Light Bulbs

LEDs are presently being manufactured in three main configurations, as detailed in the table below:

Fairy Lights

Because of their small size, LEDs are well suited to light ropes and fairy lights, and indeed, it’s difficult to find any other type of bulb in newly manufactured fairy lights.

Replacements for Halogen Bulbs

Interior halogens are most commonly manufactured as cone-shaped bulbs, usually with reflective chrome sides and flat or near-flat, transparent tops. These fit neatly into recessed downlights and tracklights, and they have a slick, modern look. This configuration also works well with LEDs, and many people are replacing their halogens with LEDs, which are up to 75 per cent more efficient.

Replacements for Incandescent Bulbs

LED lights are also available in sizes and configurations that can work with standard incandescent light fixtures. Because LEDs are highly directional, LED replacement bulbs often feature an array of diodes facing in different directions. The "corncob" LED lamp is one example. It resembles a half ear of corn, with diodes instead of kernels.

Different Types of Bulb Bases

The number of bulb bases that are in use today can make finding the right replacement bulb a confusing task. When it’s time to replace individual bulbs in strings of fairy lights or in light ropes, small 2-pin LEDs are almost always what’s needed. Downlights, including those designed for halogen lamps, often require two-pin connectors, but sometimes they use screw or bayonet connections. Fixtures designed for British incandescent bulbs have four common types of connectors: small and large single contact screw, or Edison, connectors, and small and large double contact bayonet connectors. The first thing to do in determining the correct base size for a new LED replacement bulb is to check the documentation for the light fixture. If that isn’t available, then examine and measure the bottom of the current bulb or the socket. If necessary, look at the table below to find the designation of the connection type based on the measurements. That will make it easy to purchase the LED bulb with the right base size and shape to fit the light fixture.

Common LED Light Bulb Bases

Following is a list including most types of LED bulb sockets for sale on eBay. These fall into three general categories: screw connectors, bayonet connectors, and pin connectors. Screw connectors are also known as ‘Edison sockets,’ and they have a single contact centred on their base. Bayonet connectors generally have two contacts and are installed by twisting pins into slots in the socket. Pin connectors may simply be pressed into place, or they may have a twist mechanism.

DESIGNATION

SIZE

TYPE

DESCRIPTION

B15d or SBC

15 mm base diameter

Bayonet collar base with two contacts

This is one of the most common bases for incandescent bulbs in the U.K. market: a small bayonet. These can be found in many light fixtures that feature multiple bulbs, such as traditional candle-style fixtures.

B22d or BC

22 mm base diameter

Bayonet collar base with two contacts

The large bayonet socket is used in many U.K. light fixtures, particularly in fixtures that were designed for use with incandescents.

E14

14 mm base diameter

Edison screw base

This small Edison screw is one of the most common types of standard bulb bases in the U.K. market. It is often used in candle style fixtures and other lamps with multiple bulbs. These fixtures were usually designed for incandescent bulbs.

E27

27 mm base diameter

Edison screw base

The E27 is the U.K.’s standard large Edison screw connector. These are common in light fixtures and lamps that were designed for use with incandescent bulbs.

E10

10 mm base diameter

Edison screw base

The E10 is a less common type of Edison screw connector. It’s also called the Miniature Edison Screw Base.

E12

12 mm base diameter

Edison screw base

The E12 is a less common type of Edison screw connector. It’s also called the Candelabra Edison Screw Base.

E26

26 mm base diameter

Edison screw base

The E26 a less common type of Edison screw connector. It’s considered a medium Edison screw base.

E40

40 mm base diameter

Edison screw base

The E40 is a large type of Edison screw base that’s most often used for outdoor lighting. It’s also called the Mogul or Giant Edison Screw Base.

G, GU, or GX5,3

5.3 mm between pin centres

Multiple pin type base

These are commonly used in halogen bulbs and LED replacement bulbs. The pins are typically 1.45 to 1.6 mm in diameter.

G4

4 mm between pin centres

Multiple pin type base

These are commonly used in halogen bulbs and LED replacement bulbs. The pins are typically 0.65 to 0.75 mm in diameter.

G5

5 mm between pin centres

Multiple pin type base

These are typically used in replacements for T4 and T5 fluorescent tubes.

G9

9 mm between pin centres

Multiple pin type base

These are usually used in replacements for halogens.

G13

13 mm between pin centres

Multiple pin type base

These are typically used in replacements for T8 and T12 fluorescent tubes.

G53

53 mm between pin centres

Multiple pin type base

These are twist-lock bulbs that are usually used underneath cabinets.

GU10, GZ10 or 2G10

10 mm between pin centres

Multiple pin type base

The GU10 is usually found in halogen lighting. It features a twist-lock base with pins that are thicker at the bottom.

GU4

4 mm between pin centres

Multiple pin type base

The pin diameter of the GU4 is between 0.95 and 1.05 mm.

Finding the Correct Bulb Base Size on eBay

The quickest way to find LED bulbs by base size and connection type on eBay is by first advancing through the categories to the LED section by selecting Home & Garden, Lighting, and Light Bulbs, and then clicking on LED. From that page, it is possible to choose from a list of socket types in the left-hand column. Find the correct designation based on socket type and size from the table above. The most common are GU10, E27, E14, and G4.

In Conclusion

An LED replacement bulb is a good choice for both efficiency and longevity. Figuring out the correct base size can be confusing, but once the socket designation has been sorted, it’s not difficult to find the right bulb for sale on eBay.

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