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LED Lights: A Guide To Different LED Bulb Types, Fittings, Caps and Bases.

Do you need to brighten up a room?

You are ready to make an investment and understand the benefits of LED lighting. You want to save money and energy, and LED lights are the bulbs to go for. However, there are so many LED bulbs you can choose from, the choice can be overwhelming. Nobody wants to splurge on LED bulbs only to find out they got the wrong bulbs when it comes to fitting or wattage.

So, we came up with a nifty guide to LED lights. To shed some light on the differences between LED bulb types, demystifying abbreviations, caps and bases.

You can find the following LED bulbs and bulb types in this guide:

  • Bayonet bulbs (B22, B15, SBC)
  • Edison screw cap bulbs (E27, E14, ES)
  • New Edison filament bulbs
  • Floodlights (including PIR LED floodlights)
  • Spotlights (GU10, MR16)
  • Downlight
  • COB, DOB, SMD technology


The Difference Between COB, DOB and SMD Bulbs

Not all LED bulbs are created equal. If you dissect the LED bulbs mentioned above, you’ll notice that there are different LED light technologies at play. You don’t need to be a lighting expert to grasp the differences between these technologies. There are two commonly used technologies: SMD and COB, as well as the relatively new DOB technology.

 What does each one stand for? And why do you need to know?

 LED bulb fittings and wattage are important factors to look for, as well as colour temperature and beam angles. However, picking the right technology (SMD, COB or DOB) can give you the right features you need for your space.

SMD: Surface Mounted Device LED: This LED light chip is compact (flat design), versatile and incredibly popular today. You have a circuit board with LED’s (light emitting diodes) directly attached to the surface. SMD lights can be found in many bulbs and can be used for colour-changing bulbs.

COB: Chip-on-Board LED: In contrast to the SMD technology, COB LED lights package multiple LED chips together, instead of spreading the LEDS on the surface. This makes COB lights brighter than SMD bulbs (lumen per watt ratio). COB lights shine bright, but cannot change colour like SMD bulbs.

DOB: Driver-on-Board LED: This new LED technology is often used for downlights, solving the problem of needing a separate LED driver. Unlike other non-DOB bulbs, the DOB technology used by ECO Lights uses an AC current instead of AC converted to DC. It makes downlights more reliable, energy efficient and reduces the heat a LED light can produce.


Different Bulb Fittings, Caps and Bases

Now that you know what all the abbreviations mean (SMD, COB, DOB), all you need to do is find the right bulb for your room. Here is an overview of the different fittings available:

Edison LED Screw Cap Bulbs - E27, E14

Starting off with the king of the LED bulbs: the Edison E27 screw cap bulb. It’s by far, one of the most popular bulbs out there and for good reason. It suits many different environments and purposes, from commercial use to (decorative) residential use.

The ‘E’ stands for Edison screw cap, so you know if you have to go for E or B (bayonet). The number indicates the diameter in millimetres.

Edison (E27) LED bulbs are energy efficient and last long, keeping maintenance costs at an all-time low. You’ll get 25,000-30,000 hours out of these bright bulbs, which suffice for most consumers. The Edison bulb can also be found in other bulbs, such as the Edison LED filament bulb and Edison cap corn bulbs. The cap is versatile and universally used.


Bayonet Bulbs - B22, B15, SBC

The Bayonet bulb is another popular LED bulb, which can easily be identified because of its special bayonet cap fitting. They are similar to the Edison LED bulbs, the only difference is the base. Make sure to check the cap you need for your lighting fixtures, as well as the brightness and colour.


Edison LED Filament Bulbs

New on the market: Edison LED filament style bulbs. Do you like the look of Edison vintage-style bulbs, but not so keen on the energy consumption? An old, incandescent filament bulb only lasts about 1000 to 2000 hours, which means you have to replace this bulb far more often.

Edison LED Filament bulbs solve this problem. They look gorgeous, just like the original, but they use only a few watts thanks to LED technologies.


Floodlights (including PIR floodlights)

If you need to illuminate large, outdoor areas, floodlights are the way to go. They are typically used for streetlights or large areas such as football and cricket stadiums, as floodlights are capable of producing a huge amount of lighting. 

PIR stands for Passive InfraRed sensor. PIR floodlights are floodlights with a built-in motion sensor technology.


Spotlights (GU10, MR16)

Most people can confuse spotlights for downlights, but they are not the same. Spotlights are very popular for decorative use and strong accent lighting. Think of illuminating shelves, highlighting artwork in galleries and playing with light in interiors.

Spotlights can have a different base, such as GU10 and MR16. The number stands for the distance between the pins, in millimetres.

GU bulbs feature a twist-lock mechanism, which is the main difference between popular GU10 and MR16 bulbs.

Unlike GU bulbs, MR16 bulbs do not need to be twisted. You simply push them into the fitting.


Downlight (COB, DOB, GU10)  recessed

Downlights illuminate spaces in a concentrated, ‘diluted’ way. Spotlights have a narrow beam which is used to play with light, creating a contrast between light and dark. Downlights, on the other hand, are not used for accent lighting, like spotlights or track lights. It gives you soft, uniform lighting. Downlights provide basic lighting for space, such as a kitchen, entry or hallway.

Other notable bulb types: LED tube bulbs and LED panels.

LED tube lighting and LED panels can often be found in industrial settings, offices and commercial spaces. These LED bulbs are not commonly used at homes, such as bedrooms or bathrooms. The brightness of these LED tubes and panels is more suitable for illuminating large, commercial spaces.


LED Lights: Foolproof guide to picking your bulbs

By now, you know more about LED bulbs, the differences between LED bulb types and technologies.

To make sure you get a perfect match, remember to double check the following things when picking your LED light bulb.

  • LED light fittings, caps and bases
  • LED technology
  • Wattage
  • Beam angle
  • Lumens (strength)
  • Kelvin scale (colour range)
  • Dimmer compatibility
  • Purpose of LED light (usage, room, accent light or generic)
  • Heat, insulation, waterproof

You can bookmark this guide to save it for later. When you’re ready to decide, you can have a look at our exceptional selection of bulbs, including popular LED technologies such as SMD as well as the new DOB technology.

If you need some inspiration, we’re on social media too. Follow us on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook for lighting tips and inspiration.