The difference between E26 and E27 Bulbs and sockets

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Along with our extensive collection of vintage bulbs and lamp parts we carry antique light bulbs that are 120-240Volt. From 30W to 60W Edison Marconi that could be used in Europe and all other countries which use 240 Volt. View our 240 Volt Bulb selection.

I have been getting some questions about the base size of those bulbs since in the US we use E26 and Europe uses E27. E26 stands for 26mm and the E27 for 27 mm in diameter. Those two standards are interchangeable, meaning a US E26 will fit a European E27 base, and E27 will fit in an E26 Base. The only difference is the voltage.

If you have a 240-volt incandescent vintage bulb you are able to use them in the US where the voltage is 120. The only issue is that the bulb will operate at approximately half the power or watt. For example, a 60 watt 240-volt vintage bulb will operate at 30 watts when used in 120 volts. The light will be dimmer of course, but the lifespan of the bulb should be longer. On the other hand, if you try using a 120 volt bulb in 240 volt, the light bulb will burn out immediately.

28 comments

  1. Somebody specifically generate significantly reports I’d declare. This is actually the very first time I actually been to your blog website therefore way? We astonished while using the analysis you have made to create this actual organize astonishing. Outstanding pastime!

  2. Thank you for clarifying that e26 and e27 are interchangeable at least as in fitting one into another. Simply to the point!

      1. What happens if you use E27 in the US in the 120V? I know E27 is made for 240V.

      2. so if you use an E27 base bulb in a country that has 100-120volt outlets, will they perform or will it not be as bright?

      3. It depends on the bulbs voltage. A 240 volt bulb will work at countries that have 110-130 Volt outlets but it will be much dimmer regardless of the base size. A 120 volt bulb will not work at countries that have 220 – 240 volt. The bulb will burn out immediately. This information applies to incandescent light bulbs.

      4. This may have been asked previously–if so apologies. We are moving to Europe and want to buy a chandelier in the US and take it with us and use it in our new home. The one we’re considering takes E26 bulbs. I have read elsewhere that as long as the fixture is hardwired to the mains (220-240V/50HZ) it will work fine so long as we just use the correct bulbs. In this case E27. Is that correct? I’m trying to sort through all the conflicting blog postings I’ve seen on this. Thanks!

  3. Mr. Nostalgic, Perhaps you missed the statement “Those two standards are interchangeable”. Which mean there are E27 bulbs made for 110V. However! Where it’s denoted “The only difference is the voltage” Means Pay attention to the voltage. An E27 made for 220V will be alright in a 110V socket but a bulb made for 110V will do damage and possible injury if put into a 220V socket.

  4. Hi! So if they both fit a Uk and US bulb, but the voltage is different, would it be possible to get an adaptor for the voltage change?

  5. Is it safe to use an E27 lamp fitting for E26 base bulbs….seeing that it can handle 220-240 Volts and the E26 bulb will only need up to 110-120 Volts?

  6. So if I buy a UK made ceiling pendant light that takes an E27 bulb, can I use it in the US with an E26 bulb? What will be the difference in how the light functions, given the different voltages between the UK and US? Is it dimmer because of the lower voltage in the US?

  7. I ordered a fixture that has bulb bases for E27 bulbs. If I am using 110v and E26 bulbs in the E27 bases, what effect will that have?

  8. I wish to purchase two very beautiful floor lamps which, as I understand, are shipped from Spain and use an E-27 bulb. I live here in the United States, of course. So, my question is whether I would have any problem using standard E26 base bulbs in these lamps? As the maximum wattage to use in the lamps is not indicated, could I go up to 150 watts without any problem? Certainly I want to use bulbs which would shed quite a bit of light for purposes of reading under them so long as there would be no danger of the shades catching fire.

  9. Both E26 and E27 bulbs are interchangable but the voltage is different and the screw lengths are different meaning the screw will not touch the base. DO NOT use a E27 bulb in a E26 socket as it could cause issues.

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