Last updated on November 20th, 2022
Wondering what type of light bulb works best for your chandelier and space, or interested in changing things up with a new set of bulbs?
While a chandelier or hanging light fixture often provides light bulb base size and wattage requirements, light bulbs for chandeliers are available in a variety of decorative lighting styles you could potentially try out, depending on your fixture.
Learn more about the different types of light bulbs used with chandeliers below.
What Types of Chandelier Light Bulbs Are Available?
Chandelier light bulbs are available in a variety of base sizes and bulb shapes, including unique glass bulb designs, lighting glows, and brightness levels.
Common Bulb Bases
Today, most homes in the U.S. are familiar with either E12 base bulbs or E26 base bulbs. E12 candelabra bulbs and E26 medium bulbs are the most common chandelier light bulb bases.
The letter “E” refers to an “Edison” style base. The corresponding numerical value represents the diameter of the bulb base in millimeters.
Common Bulb Shapes & Designs
Candelabra-style light bulbs are common chandelier light bulbs in the E12 bulb base category. These candle-shaped light bulbs offer a nice balance of aesthetics and practicality.
Most candelabra bulbs are incandescent, however long-lasting LED candelabra bulbs are also available, which can potentially save you money and energy.
Dimmable light bulbs with a compatible dimmer switch are another popular option, as these are available in many of the same common candle or candelabra-shaped light bulb designs. Just make sure your fixture is compatible with these types of light bulbs.
Incandescent Light Bulbs
Incandescent light bulbs are commonly used to light up many of today’s affordable chandeliers. These light bulbs are popular as a result of being inexpensive compared to other bulb types. Incandescent bulbs deliver a warm color when compared to fluorescent and many LED light bulbs.
You can use incandescent bulbs to generate a high light output, and you can dim them as you see fit with a compatible dimmer switch. Incandescent light bulbs come in all shapes and sizes, so you just have to pick what works for you, within the limits of your chandelier’s bulb base size and wattage requirements.
There are potential downsides to consider with incandescent light bulbs. Incandescent light bulbs provide a very low lumen per watt ratio, operational costs are higher and energy efficiency is not as great as more economical light bulbs like LED bulbs.
Another consideration is the shorter lifetime of incandescent bulbs, around 1000 hours of lighting. Also, the warmer light source emitted from incandescent bulbs generates heat, which is an important consideration depending on the size and average temperature of your space.
LED Light Bulbs
One of the main benefits of LED light bulbs is that they offer high energy efficiency which can help you lower your lighting bill. LED bulbs also last for a very long time, and they commonly look like regular incandescent bulbs in shape and size, which is a nice convenience.
LED light bulbs can last 8,000 to 10,000 hours, compared to a typical incandescent lifetime of 1,000 hours. LED lights also operate well in cold temperatures and are common in reducing the costs of replacing bulbs in commercial situations, resulting in lower maintenance for lighting systems.
One potential issue with LED chandelier light bulbs is less flexibility in terms of dimming. While there is increasing technology and switch options for dimming LED lights, in regards to chandeliers they’re often not dimmable unless explicitly stated and built into a specific chandelier fixture.
Another consideration is that LED lights emit blue light and hues that tend to provide less warmth than traditional incandescent lighting. LED light bulbs also depreciate in brightness as you use them.
Choosing the Right Light Bulbs for Your Chandelier
Other than making sure you’re choosing light bulbs with the required base bulb size and wattage for your chandelier, choosing the right light bulbs ultimately comes down to your personal preferences and lighting needs.
Do you prefer the warm glow from incandescent light bulbs in your space, or prefer energy efficiency and bright direct lighting from LED bulbs? Do you prefer the ability to dim your chandelier light bulbs?
These decisions are up to you, what you think will work best for your chandelier’s fixture design, and how the bulbs will illuminate your surrounding space.