What is the difference between e26 and e39 base?

When deciding on lighting for a project or a space, many variables come into play. Among them, the type of base for your bulbs can greatly influence your lighting choices. It’s not merely about wattage and light quality; the fitting matters significantly.

E26 and E39 bases are two commonly encountered terms in the lighting industry, with each having its unique specifications and applications. While they might sound technical and somewhat perplexing, understanding their differences can empower you to make better lighting decisions.

Having spent considerable time with James Lighting, a leader in lamp holder manufacturing, I’ve been privileged to get an in-depth understanding of these bases and their distinct characteristics.

JS 2609 E26 porcelain medium lamp holders

What’s the basic distinction between E26 and E39?

Let’s dive straight into the essence of the topic.

E26, often known as the “medium” base, is commonly used in North America for standard household bulbs. Its designation derives from its diameter, which is approximately 26mm. On the other hand, the E39 base, often referred to as the “mogul” base, has a larger diameter of 39mm, making it suitable for higher wattage bulbs used in commercial settings.

Are their applications noticeably different?

When it comes to applications, both bases cater to unique needs.

E26 bases are primarily found in residential setups, powering our table lamps, ceiling fixtures, and even some outdoor lights. Given their moderate size, they’re versatile and well-suited for domestic applications. In contrast, the E39 bases are tailored for industrial and commercial environments. Think streetlights, factories, and warehouses, where intense illumination is vital.

E39 E40 Mogul Edison Screw Ceramic Lamp Holder Socket with Mounting Bracket

Why does the diameter difference matter?

While a mere difference of 13mm in diameter might seem negligible, it’s more impactful than you’d imagine.

The larger diameter of the E39 base allows it to accommodate bulbs that handle high wattages. In settings like stadiums or large arenas, this distinction becomes clear. An E26 base wouldn’t be up to the task in such scenarios.

How does James Lighting approach these bases?

Having been with James Lighting, I’ve seen our dedication to producing top-tier lamp holders firsthand.

Our commitment to quality ensures that whether it’s an E26 or E39 base, every product meets stringent standards. Notably, the materials used, the precision in design, and the rigorous testing processes ensure that each base not only fits perfectly but also ensures optimum electrical contact and safety.

CMH 315-Watt Grow lamp holder Socket for E39 Mogul Base
CMH 315-Watt Grow lamp holder Socket for E39 Mogul Base For grow light

Can one interchange bulbs with E26 and E39 bases?

A common question I encounter is about the interchangeability of these bases.

In essence, an E26 bulb will not fit into an E39 socket and vice versa, owing to their different diameters. However, adapters are available that can convert an E39 socket to fit an E26 bulb. But always ensure such modifications adhere to safety standards.

Are there any safety concerns to be aware of?

Safety should never be an afterthought, especially in lighting.

Mismatching bulbs and bases can lead to loose connections, increasing the risk of electrical mishaps. It’s always recommended to use the correct base for the specified bulb. At James Lighting, our products are crafted to minimize any risks, ensuring that they fit seamlessly and safely.

difference between e26 and e39 base

How do these bases affect energy efficiency?

With increasing emphasis on sustainability, the choice of base can influence energy efficiency.

Both E26 and E39 bases accommodate energy-efficient bulbs, such as LEDs. However, considering that E39 is often used in commercial settings, the collective energy savings from using efficient bulbs can be substantial, both for the environment and the wallet.


Both E26 and E39 bases have their unique place in the world of lighting. Understanding their differences and applications allows for more informed decisions, leading to better illumination and safety. At James Lighting, our dedication to excellence ensures that no matter your choice, you’re getting a product that stands the test of time.

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