Chandelier Bulb Guide

Chandelier Bulb Guide

So you bought your first chandelier and it has been installed. Now what? Now you have to get the right kind of chandelier bulbs! Though many people assume that they can use standard lamp bulbs in their chandeliers, this is almost never the case. Chandeliers make use of much smaller bases to hold as many bulbs as possible. As a result, bulbs for chandeliers have very different shapes and base sizes.

This begs a few important questions. First and foremost, how can you differentiate between regular bulbs and chandelier bulbs? What are the correct sizes to use for your chandelier? Finally, where can you find the best LED chandelier light bulbs on the market? In today’s guide, we will answer all of these questions and more, but first, let’s take a look at some of the most common and popular chandelier light bulb shapes.

Chandelier Light Bulb Shapes

Technically, there are dozens of different shapes for chandelier light bulbs. You could even get bulbs custom-made to fit the aesthetic of your home! That said, there are a few common shapes that can go with virtually any style or type of chandelier:

  • Bullet / Torpedo - This shape is the classic chandelier bulb that has been used for decades. As the name implies, each bulb resembles the shape of a bullet or torpedo (slim on both ends and wider in the middle). If you are shopping based on shapes, bulbs of this type usually have a shape code prefix of “B” for “bullet.”
  • Candle / Conical - Candle or conical-shaped bulbs usually have a rounder center that ascends to a vertical point, much like the flame of a candle. Unlike many other chandelier bulb shapes, candle or conical bulbs do not often conform to precise measurements. Instead, they have varied bodies and peaks that give a more unique look to each and every bulb. However, if you want to have uniform bulbs, you can still find a candle or conical bulbs by looking for the “C” prefix in the shape code.
  • Candle Angular - The candle angular shape is similar to the conical bulb shape, but the tip of the bulb is often curved to have a stronger angle that is not completely vertical (hence the name). Additionally, the width of the bulb is typically not as wide as a standard candle-shaped bulb. You can find candle angular bulbs by looking for the “CA” shape code prefix.
  • Flame - Lastly, the flame chandelier bulb shape uses a bumpy and irregular surface to give the impression of an actual flame. The shape is usually similar to the bullet bulb, though, though it can also have greater similarities with the candle shape depending on the brand and manufacturer. In any case, you can find a flame shape bulb by looking for “F” in the shape code prefix.

Chandelier Light Bulb Sizes

As mentioned in the previous section, every chandelier light bulb has a code that denotes its shape and size. The prefix letter refers to the shape, while the suffix number refers to the size. We have already explained some of the most common letters you will see, but the numbers may seem a little more complicated. Fortunately, they are much easier to understand than they appear at first glance.

The number following the letter refers to the diameter of the bulb in measurements equal to 1/8th of an inch. For example, a B11 is a bullet-shaped bulb that is 1 and ⅜ inches in diameter. This will give you an idea of how big the bulbs will be so that you can space them correctly. After all, you don’t want to buy huge bulbs that will not fit comfortably next to one another on your chandelier.

Additionally, most manufacturers and retailers offer measurements for the length and height of bulbs. These can vary a little from one brand or bulb, but there are general similarities across the industry. Nonetheless, you should always check the measurements to make sure there are no significant differences that could cause inconsistency in the visual appearance of your bulbs. That said, you shouldn’t be afraid of using narrow bulbs or wider bulbs, as they should all fit into your chandelier according to their base size (more on that below). For example, if you are wondering “are B10 and B11 bulbs interchangeable,” the answer is usually yes; it just depends on the size of the base.

Chandelier Light Bulb Bases

The base of a chandelier light bulb is the part that actually screws into the chandelier bulb socket. The standard candelabra base bulb size in the United States is E12. Alternatively, the standard size in Europe is E14. You also have mini-candelabra bases of E11 or a miniature screw base of E10. Many consumers get confused because these size codes appear similar to the shape codes.

However, it is easy to distinguish the two because all size codes start with the prefix “E.” Then, the suffix number refers to the diameter of the bulb base in millimeters. For example, an E12 is 12 millimeters in diameter, while an E14 is 14 millimeters in diameter, and so on. Truthfully, the size of the base is really important when shopping for a chandelier light bulb. You will want to ensure that your bulbs look uniform and aesthetically pleasing with their shape, but you will also want to make sure that they actually fit in the sockets on your chandelier!

Decorative Light Bulbs For Chandeliers

Finally, chandeliers are beautiful additions to just about any home, but they also give you a great opportunity to truly show your creative side. Chandeliers are decorations and functional light sources, but they can also be customized to fit your personal sense of style and home decor. This customization also applies to the types of chandelier bulbs you use. 

Decorative chandelier bulbs can refer to many different kinds of bulbs, but usually anything that does not conform to the standard bullet shape could fall into this category. For example, you might want to use flickering candelabra bulbs if you are throwing a Halloween party or you simply want to create an interesting, “old-timey” effect in a room.

Alternatively, if you are throwing an elegant dinner party, you will certainly want to choose fancy light bulbs for chandeliers that are sure to make an impression on your guests. No matter which route you choose, it all comes down to what you want your chandelier to showcase in your home! You can even buy a wide range of bulb shapes and sizes so that you have many different decorative styles on hand as the need arises. When you need to throw an impromptu holiday party, you can put in your candle angular bulbs, and when you want to just have a quiet family dinner at home, you can use your standard bullet bulbs. With all of the different shapes and styles at your disposal, the possibilities are virtually endless!

We hope you found this guide on chandelier bulbs both fun and informative! Are you interested in learning more about chandelier lightbulbs? Are you ready to purchase high-quality bulbs at affordable prices? If so, be sure to check out the products available at Bulb Center today!

Previous article Red Light Bulb Guide
Next article Blue Lightbulb Guide