Globe String Lights Terminology: What You Should Know

Globe string lights are the perfect choice for home and event decorating, often seen displayed at weddings, on patios, in cafes, bistros and clubs.

With many different styles and many ways to dress them up, you truly can create almost any atmosphere you desire from classy and pretty to hip and funky.

Here we'll provide you with our super informative Guide to Globe Light Terminology!

Below we show you the differences between E12 and E17 bulb bases, G30, G40 and G50 bulb sizes, and C7 and C9 string light strands.





G30, G40, E12 & E17: What do they mean?

In the lighting industry, bulb shapes and sizes are classified with a letter and numbering code system. This is what the terms "G40" and the like are referencing. The "G" refers to the shape of the bulb: Globe. The "40" refers to the size of the bulb, which in this case would be approximately 40 mm or 1.5 inches. 

C7 bulb comparison G50, G40 and G30 bulbs all come in C7 base size.

C9 bulb comparisonG50 & G40 come in both C7 & C9 base sizes.

E26 bulb comparison S14, G50 & A15 all come in E26 / E27 base sizes

Base sizes (E12, E17 & E26)

Once you know the measurement of your bulb, you need to be aware that there are also different sized bases, which is the portion of the bulb that screws into the fixture. The most common of these are the E12 and E17 bases. The "E" stands for the Edison screw base. G30, G40 and G50 bulbs all come in E12 bases. Both the G40 and G50 bulbs are also available with an E17 base.

E26 vs. E27

A lot of our commercial strands use bulbs with an E26 / E27 base. The term E26 is used mostly in the USA, E27 in the UK. Bulbs with an E26 or E27 base vary just by 1 mm and are interchangeable. E26 bases may look familiar as they are the standard household light bulb base size. Knowing the base size of a bulb is imperative because the base of your bulb determines the size of the socket you're going to use and vice versa.

Socket size comparison A bulb with a E26 base is 26 mm (1 inch) and fits an E26/E27 socket
An E17 base is 17 mm (0.67 inches) and fits a C9 socket
An E12 base is 12 mm (0.47 inches) and fits a C7 socket

But I already have lights...

If you already have a strand for lights but are in need of bulbs, ensure you get the right ones by measuring the sockets on the wire to determine if you need bulbs with an E12, E17 or E26 base, then simply decide what size diameter bulbs you want to determine if you need G30, G40 or G50 bulbs. If you already have bulbs but no strand to put them in, measure the base of the bulb and determine if it needs a strand with C7 or C9 sockets.