Ultimate Guide to E12 LED Bulbs

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Having trouble finding E12 candelabra bulbs? Unsure what E12 exactly means? Our guide walks through each of the definitions and helps with your purchasing process!

What is E12?

E12 is a designation used for a type of lamp base used on a light bulb. You are likely familiar with E26 lamp bases - the standard screw-in lamp base, approximately 1-inch in diameter, commonly used in standard A19 lamps.

E12 uses the same naming system as E26, whereby the letter "E" signifies an Edison screw base. The two digits after the letter "E" indicates the diameter of the screw base, in millimeters - 12 millimeters, or approximately half an inch.

Where is E12 used?

E12 is most commonly used for decorative, candelabra light bulbs. With a smaller screw base, more decorative and compact form factors can be achieved in elaborate ceiling and chandelier lighting fixtures.

As a result, the wattage ratings for incandescent E12 bulbs are typically 40W or less. Rather than a focus on providing raw brightness, E12 bulbs are typically used where accent or decorative lighting effects are desired. Wall sconces, lanterns and outdoor fixtures are all common places where E12 lampholders are used.

Color Temperature & CRI are critical for E12 bulbs

E12 bulbs are commonly used as decorative fixtures, and therefore the light appearance is very critical for aesthetics purposes.

For color temperature, we recommend a CCT of 2400K. Why? Most E12 bulbs are designed to mimic the appearance of candlelight. A candle flame has a CCT of 1900K, which appears much warmer than the filament of an incandescent bulb.

1900K is perhaps "too warm" and may not provide sufficient brightness and color acuity. On the other hand, a 2700K color point may appear too white and stark to provide a true candle-like atmosphere. We therefore recommend a color point that provides and nice midpoint at 2400K.

For CRI, choose an E12 bulb that has a CRI of at least 90. High CRI LED bulbs ensure that the objects lit up by it appear the same as they do under natural lighting. An E12 bulb with insufficient CRI may result in objects like the natural red bricks near a wall sconce appearing dull or off-color.

Dimensions of E12 lamp base

The exact dimensions of E12 lamp bases are governed by IEC standards 7004-28-2.

They specifically govern the exact dimensions to which the E12 lamp bases should be manufactured to.

T1: min 11.7 mm

T: min 10.66 mm

H: min 3.58 mm; max 4.37 mm

L: min 15.24 mm; max 17.01 mm

C: min 1.6 mm


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