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Whenever you next hold a light bulb or tube in your hand, you must notice a small greyish color base at the bottom of the bulb. This is called in tehnical parlance "light socket". In fact, whenever you want to buy lights, you would also need to specify the Light Base. This is bacause each Light Base is unique in design and shape and size and hence can fit only into the socket that is designed for that Light Base.
While there are quite a few Light Bases, for household and common application, there are 3 types of Light Base families that one needs to be aware of:
- Edison Screw: This is also called Screw Type base. These are the most popular amongst the light bases. They are called so, because of the screw type thread appearance. They again come in different sizes i.e. diameters and are known accordingly, For instance, E27 would mean 27 mm. diameter for the threaded base. E40 would mean 40 mm. diameter for the threaded base.
- Bayonet Cap (BC): This is also called the Pin Type base, because of the presence of 2 pins at the bottom of the base.
- Non-retrofit Type or PL: PL is an acronym for Philips Lighting. These bases are called as they were invented by Philips Lighting. Basically, these do not have any base, but just a couple of pins. These cannot be used in standard sockets, but are used with specific light fittings that have pre-wired lighting electronics for such PL.