All You Need to Know About an E26 Bulb

In your search for light bulbs in the hardware store, you may have come across a few with a label that says “e26”. If you’re asking, “what is an e26 bulb?” then we have all the answers for you.

This article can help you understand all about E26 and how it differs from other types of bulbs.

What is an E26 bulb?

e26 bulbs

The term E26, also known as the Medium Edison Screw (MES), points out to the light bulb’s base or cap. The thread portion screws into a lighting fixture and facilitates mechanical and electrical contact.

Therefore, a bulb uses an E26 base or cap for mounting, and an electrical connection is an E26 bulb. Some consumers confuse it with the bulb’s shape, but many types also have an E26 base.

The E26 base is commonly used in countries that use 120V AC, such as the United States and Japan. Manufacturers first utilized fluorescent CFL lamps and incandescent lamps, but now, LED lights have adapted to this type of base as well.

What Does “E” stand for?

The letter “E” in E26 stands for Edison Screw, named after Thomas Edison, the inventor of the incandescent light bulb. The Edison Screw is the standard screw-in style base primarily used in the United States.

What does “26” mean?

The number that comes after “e,” in this case, “26,” refers to the base’s diameter in millimeters. This size is also called “medium base” and is approximately an inch wide.

How do you recognize an E26 bulb?

what is e26 base

When you want to know if you’re buying the right E26 bulb, you may check the metallic base of the bulb. If it’s about an inch in diameter, it’s likely to be an E26 bulb.

You can also check the tiny labels printed on the bulb. Light manufacturers usually print the term “E26” together with the bulb’s brightness and wattage. Reading these prints will ensure that you can safely use your E26 bulb with the appropriate lamp holders.

You will notice that most BR LED lamps, PAR LED lamps, and A19 LED lamps utilize E26 bases.

Is the E26 bulb a standard light bulb?

The American National Standards Institute regulates and recognizes E26 bulbs as standard light bulbs. E26 bulbs can fit most household lighting fixtures such as floor lamps, table lamps, decorative lamps, and ceiling fans.

Please remember that E26 only refers to the bulb’s base, so there is still a wide array of bulb types and shapes available to you.

How does an E26 bulb work?

what is an e26 bulb

E26 bulbs function just like any other Edison screw base type. Its installation is pretty straightforward, and you don’t need any tools to connect it to a socket.

The first step is to align the lamp’s screw with the socket fixture. Then, you rotate the lamp clockwise until you are confident that it’s tight and secured.

Assuming that the light fixtures are correctly wired, the E26 screw threads serve as a neutral electric path. The threads also provide mechanical support since they are right-hand threads.

At the bottom of the screw, you can find a metal contact point that’s about 10 mm in diameter. It serves as a “live” or “hot” electrical input.

On the other hand, located inside the bulb are electrical wires that are welded or soldered onto the bottom contact point and the screw threads. These connectors lead to the internal electronics of LED bulbs and the filaments in incandescent bulbs.

How bright is an E26 bulb?

e26 light bulb

E26 bulbs come in a wide array of wattage, shape, color temperature, and lumens. Since E26 only refers to the base type, you can still choose your desired bulb brightness. The available wattages are the following:

  • 40 watts
  • 60 watts
  • 75 watts
  • 100 watts

What is the benefit of using an E26 bulb?

Since E26 bulbs are one of the most common types of lighting, it would not be hard to find an appropriate fixture or lamp holder that fits your preference. Installation of these bulbs is usually straightforward, and they do not require tools for their assembly.

Additionally, Edison screw bases ensure a secure mounting since the screw threads are solid and rigid. These characteristics make them suitable for places with vibrations or regular movements.

Debris and moisture are also unlikely to enter the contact points due to the tight fit in the screw base. When light bulbs and their bases are free from harmful elements, there is a minimal chance of electrical failures.

How does an E26 bulb differ from other bulb types?

what is e26 bulb

The Edison Screw or ES base, developed by Thomas Edison, is used in screw-in bulbs.

There are four thread size groups for lamps available in the market today.

  1. Candelabra ( E11 in Europe and E12 in the US)
  2. Intermediate ( E14 in Europe and E17 in the US)
  3. Medium or standard: (E26 in the US and E27 in Europe)
  4. Mogul ( E39 in the US  and E40 in Europe)

The figures after the E is the diameter of the external thread screw-in millimeters. Therefore, an E26 bulb, for example, has a base measuring 26 mm. On the other hand, an E27 bulb has a base of 27 millimeters.

Several low-cost LED bulbs with an E27 base are available on Amazon or eBay from foreign suppliers. While they may still work in e26 bases, they may lack proper North American or European safety certification. Manufacturers did not design the E27 bulbs to match the standard E26 specifications. It would be best to stick to E26 light bulbs for safety and quality.

Is there a distinction between E26 and A19?

We have established that E26 refers to the size of the bulb base. On the other hand, A19 points to the light’s shape. The letter A means “Arbitrary,” a term used to indicate that the bulb is pear-shaped. The number 19 hints the bulb’s size, which means it’s 19/8 inches or two and ⅜ inches.

Therefore, you can have a bulb with both the numbers E26 and A19, which will work perfectly fine.

Get to know more about E26 and A19 bulbs in this video.

Why is it important to know the specifications of the light bulbs?

It’s essential to know both the type of base and the shape of the bulb so you can get precisely what you want. While most A19 bulbs in the US have E26 bases, some don’t fit this criterion.

There are also many bulb shapes with E26 bases, so you have to be specific and mention both the size and shape when you’re buying.

Can I use E26 Smart Led bulbs?

Since E26 is one of the most popular base sizes available in the market today, you can easily find several E26 smart bulb options. You have to ensure that the LED bulb of choice has an E26 base thread size so it can fit your E26 lamp holders and sockets.

What are the advantages of using smart LED bulbs?

1.  It’s more convenient

Smart light bulbs enable you to control your lighting wherever you are in the house. You can turn it on or off or make it brighter or dimmer with just a few taps on your mobile phone. Even if you’re in the office or on vacation, you can still have access to your lighting fixtures.

This feature is even more crucial for people with mobility issues since they can manage their lights without getting up from their seats or bed.

You can also adjust the hue, intensity, or brightness of every light in your home without going from room to room, preventing unnecessary noise and effort.

2. It is energy-efficient

Since smart LEd bulbs allow you to schedule when the bulbs will turn on or off, you can save energy. The lights won’t need to be turned on unnecessarily, thus saving you more money in the long run.

Generally, LED bulbs are more energy-efficient than their incandescent or fluorescent counterparts, which will convert into savings down the road.

3. It can enhance your interior design

Smart LED bulbs can change into a million colors, so decorating your home is now easier than ever. You can change your bulb’s hue with just a click or a voice command to bathe a part of your house in a different light color.

You can change the color of the lights to match an occasion or an event that’s happening in your home without spending extra. Game nights or theme parties can be more fun with the addition of funky and artsy colors.

Additionally, you can set the mood using your smart bulbs. You can enjoy a romantic dinner with a few commands on your phone.


Choosing the right bulb base size and shape is crucial to ensure safety and quality. Knowing the answer to the question, “what is an e26 bulb?” can help you purchase the best fixtures for your home, whether online or in a brick and mortar store.

You can confidently install the correct bulb and enjoy its benefits anytime.

1 thought on “All You Need to Know About an E26 Bulb”

  1. Extremely helpful information. It helped me to decide on a purchase for a bedside lamp which included an E26 bulb and I did not know if it was energy efficient or not. I only buy energy efficient light bulbs but I was not familiar with this particular one.
    Thank you for this article


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