me holding an E12 LED bulb with the words Interchangeable above it

There’s no doubt that proper lighting is critical to enhancing your space’s overall appearance and mood. However, you can only achieve the goal with the right bulb choice.

If you’ve considered swapping your existing incandescent candelabra bulbs with E12 LEDs, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve prepared an in-depth guide that lays bare all you need to know about exchanging these bulbs.

Let’s get right into it!

Can You Swap an Incandescent Candelabra for an E12 LED Bulb?

You can switch your existing incandescent candelabra bulbs with E12 LEDs, as long as the E12 sized socket base is the same. The move comes with numerous benefits that include the following:

Lower energy consumption

Limited heat output (Zero energy losses to heat)

Long bulb lifespan (up to 50,000 hours)

Better lighting performance

Access to all hues of white light

Before replacing your classic candelabra bulbs with E12 LEDs, let’s present a few facts about the two lighting systems.

What Is an Incandescent Candelabra Light?

The incandescent candelabras are your classic yellow light bulbs. They produce light by heating the wire filament to a set temperature, which glows and produces light.

The bulbs feature a metal wire in a translucent glass bulb enclosure which can either be evacuated or filled with an inert gas to prevent oxidation of the filament.

Where Are Incandescent Candelabra Lights Commonly Used?

Incandescent candelabras are handy for many lighting applications, including residential and interior uses.

However, the lights are not suitable for outdoor applications and commercial premises due to the following:

● Poor energy efficiency

● Short lifespan/ durability

The Benefits of Incandescent Candelabra Lights

Two candelabra bulbs on a bright table cast in sunlight
Incandescent candelabra bulbs are inexpensive, offer natural lighting, and have an exceptional CRI.

Low Acquisition Costs

These bulbs are cheap to manufacture, making them more affordable to purchase.

In addition, they’re readily available and adaptable to various voltages, currents (AC and DC power), and light outputs.

Great CRI

Incandescent candelabra lights are also popular for their remarkable ability to render color.

The CRI for these bulbs with a color temperature of 2700K is 100, which is a perfect score.

The rise in color temperature results in a slight drop in the CRI ratings, which remain excellent, above 95.

Natural Lighting Option

These lights also produce natural-colored illumination, similar to that of natural sunlight. However, the latest LED versions have similar pleasing colors.

Excellent for Warmth

Warmth is necessary, especially in the winter, and this is when incandescent bulbs come in handy.

Incandescent candelabra lights also produce more heat than E12 LED bulbs, making the former great for food-warming lamps and bathroom heat lamps, among other applications where heat is required.

Easy Dimming

Due to the traditional dimmer switches that allow light output variation, incandescent candelabra lights are easy to dim.

However, the latest LED technology presents the same benefit as the latest versions due to the dimmer switches available in the market.

The Drawbacks of Incandescent Candelabra Light Bulbs

The incandescent light design has been on the market for decades. But unfortunately, these bulbs are one of the most inefficient ways of producing light today.

The standard versions of incandescent candelabra bulbs convert less than 10 percent of their energy into visible light, and the rest goes to waste.

For this reason, they are relatively expensive in terms of energy costs.

Other reasons you should choose E12 LED Bulbs over them include the following.

Shorter Lifespan

Incandescent bulbs will serve you between 750 and 2,000 hours, compared to LED bulbs, which can last up to 40,000 to 50,000 hours. Some LEDs will last even longer, especially if you use them sparingly.

Unwanted Heat Production

These bulbs only use a portion of the energy they consume for their intended use – light production – while the rest gets dissipated as heat.

However, excessive heat production can harm wiring and lighting fixtures and create a fire hazard.

Highly Delicate

Broken light bulb against a black backdrop
If you’re not careful, it’s a little too easy to break an incandescent light!

Here’s the issue- one slight mistake when handling an incandescent light bulb, and it’s gone.

Incandescent bulbs come with extremely thin glass shells that may crack even with minimal provocation, unlike their LED counterparts, which are sturdier.

What Is an E12 LED Bulb?

me holding up an e12 candelabra LED bulb with my bathroom light vanity fixture in the background
An E12 LED has a 12-millimeter screw base.

E12 is a designation that refers to the type of lamp base used on a bulb. The bulbs use a similar naming system as E26, whereby:

● The letter E represents the Edison screw base

● The digits after the letter represent the diameter of the screw base – 12mm for the E12 – about half an inch

Like other LED lights – E12 LED bulbs use diodes to yield light, thus using less energy than their incandescent candelabra counterparts.

Diodes are semiconductor devices that serve as one-way switches for currents.

Where Are E12 Bulbs Used?

E12 LED bulbs serve best as decorative lights.

Their smaller screw base makes it easier for you to achieve a more compact and decorative result when using the bulbs for elaborate ceiling and chandelier lighting fixtures.

For this reason, the bulbs have a typical wattage of 40W or less, making them perfect for those looking to achieve an accent or decorative lighting effect rather than raw brightness.

Some of the most common places where you can use E12 LED bulbs include:

● Lanterns

● Walls sconces

● Outdoor fixtures

What Are the Color Temperature And CRI Ratings For E12 LED Bulbs?

As mentioned earlier, E12 bulbs best serve as decorative lights. They work well with a color temperature of 2400K designed to mimic the candlelight appearance.

Candle flames with a CCT 1900K appear warmer than incandescent bulb filaments, making the E12 LED bulbs an even better option.

The best E12 LED bulbs have a minimum CRI of at least 90, ensuring that objects lit up appear the same as they do under natural lighting.

However, poor CRI may create a dull and off-color appearance of objects hit by the light.

8 Reasons to Choose E12 LED Bulbs Over Incandescent Candelabra Bulbs

E12 LED bulbs have many benefits you will want to take advantage of.

an LED candelabra bulb sitting on a table with a black background
E12 LED bulbs should replace your incandescent candelabra bulbs for reasons like lifespan and energy efficiency.

1. Longer Lifespan

E12 LED bulbs, like other LED lighting, possess a longer lifespan, with the newest versions lasting 50,000 to 100,000 hours and even more.

2. Energy Efficiency

LED light bulbs are among the market’s leading energy-efficient commercial lighting technologies.

Besides wasting minimal energy as heat – infrared radiation – they also emit light directionally, which minimizes light loss.

3. Low Maintenance Costs and Hassle

Unlike incandescent bulbs, you don’t have to keep replacing LEDs. So, LEDs have no maintenance costs despite the high acquisition price.

They also have a demand for fewer accessories and lamp parts.

4. Excellent Light Quality

LEDs can generate the visible spectrum of light colors without using traditional color filters. They also yield different light qualities depending on the type and settings.

5. Small Form Factor

Are you looking for the ideal lights to use in applications where you’re working in small spaces? Then, E12 LEDs should be your go-to kind.

Smaller than incandescent lights, they can fit virtually anywhere, thanks to their form factor.

6. Instant Light

LEDs have faster warm-ups than their incandescent counterparts as they require no cooldown or warm-up period. So immediately when you hit the switch, boom, the lights go up!

7. Easy to Replace

Again, since they don’t heat up, LED bulb cooldown is also fast for instant replacements. Incandescent bulbs get hot and burn your hand if you hold them immediately after switching them off.

8. Warranty and Offers

LEDs offer a warranty of up to five to 10 years (because they last at least this long). On the flip side, incandescent lights offer none, probably due to their low purchase rate and short lifespan.

What Are The Downsides of LED Lights?

Despite all the above perks, LED lights still carry some cons you should be aware of.

High Acquisition Costs

One of these disadvantages is that these lights have slightly more expensive upfront costs than incandescent lights. The price is the biggest downside of these bulbs, even though the rates constantly decrease.

So as the technology evens out, we can expect cheaper LEDs in the future.

Unnatural Light Sources

Incandescent light bulbs beat LEDs regarding the light type, especially if you’re looking for a source that mimics natural lighting.

Final Thoughts

From the above comparison, E12 LED bulbs are a perfect replacement for your existing incandescent candelabra lights.

Besides the stated perks, these LED lights offer heat and cold tolerance over their incandescent counterparts.

Unlike fragile incandescent bulbs, LEDs are solid-state lights, making them resistant to shock.

If you’ve thought about going from incandescent candelabra fixtures to E12 LEDs, it’s time to take the bold step and enjoy the range of benefits we’ve highlighted!

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