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What is a Globe Light Bulb?

Not to be confused with golfball bulbs, globes are large, round lightbulbs usually used in decorative fittings and in hospitality industries like bars and restaurants. Their size means that they are inappropriate for smaller lamps and fittings, but can be striking when paired with larger ceiling lights.

Globe lightbulbs can sometimes be around twice as wide as a standard GLS bulb so as a result their cap types are limited. The majority will be fitted with either a B22d bayonet cap (sometimes abbreviated to BC), or an E27 Edison screw (ES) base. The B22d cap is the ‘push and twist’ type of fitting that is used on the majority of lamps in the UK, while the E27 is the screw-in type that is more common in Europe and the US.

Globe Light Bulbs

The different sizes of globe light bulbs

The distinctive shape of globe bulbs makes them relatively easy to recognise. The large, round bulb tapers very suddenly into a comparatively narrow base. While they look similar to GLS or golfball bulbs, the size of the globe compared to its cap makes it easy to differentiate. They come in several standard sizes as follows (the measurement refers to the diameter of the bulb at its widest point):

  • G45 - 45mm
  • G80 - 80mm
  • G95 - 95mm
  • G125 - 125mm

Energy-saving globe bulbs

Traditional incandescent globe bulbs will be in use in the UK until September 2018, when an EU directive takes effect banning their sale. They will be replaced by energy-saving LED alternatives.

LED globe lightbulbs have been designed to look like the incandescent bulbs they supersede. They have the classic globe shape and as the technology develops, they are beginning to look more like traditional bulbs.

These will often be opaque (sometimes described as ‘pearl’ or ‘opal’) and they are made out of glass or a heat-resistant thermal plastic. Many have a white plastic base to hide the bulb’s componentry, but there are now models available that are completely transparent. Look out for the distinctive yellow ‘filaments’ of these LED lightbulbs, designed to mimic the filaments of the traditional incandescent globes.