A candlestick holder with LED candelabra bulbs in it and the title Candelabra Bulbs 101 in the middle

Are you wondering why some light bulbs have strange-looking bases? Or have you heard of candelabra light bulbs but need to know what they are?

A candelabra light bulb is a specialty light bulb with a base size smaller than standard and typically labeled as E12. Often used for decorative and accent lighting, these bulbs have ornate designs and delicate filaments. They’re popular in chandeliers and fixtures where the bulb shape is visible.

Candelabra light bulbs can create an inviting ambiance in any room. Alternatively, you can get creative with their unique shapes to create a show-stopping light fixture. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about these unique bulbs!

Candelabra Light Bulbs Explained

Candelabra light bulbs are a popular choice for decorative and accent lighting. Their small base is often used in chandeliers and other fixtures where their intricate designs are on display.

me holding up an e12 candelabra LED bulb with my bathroom light vanity fixture in the background
Candelabra bulbs have a small E12 base, which contributes to their fragility.

Interestingly, the history of these unique light bulbs dates to the beginning of the 19th century, with the first design tracing back to Thomas Edison.

Candelabra Light Bulbs vs. Standard Light Bulbs

The most significant difference between standard and candelabra light bulbs is their size.

Candelabras feature smaller bases, generally within the range of E12.

This makes them more delicate than traditional incandescent or LED bulbs and unsuitable for everyday use in some cases.

When using candelabra light bulbs, handle them with care, as they’re inherently fragile.

Types of Candelabra Light Bulbs

Candelabra light bulbs have come a long way since their humble beginnings in the 19th century, with various shapes, sizes, and wattages on the market.

With incandescent bulbs phasing out, LED and halogen are currently the two most popular options for those looking to illuminate their spaces with these decorative lights.

Let’s take a closer look at the types of candelabra bulbs available.


Incandescent candelabras are the traditional light bulb that harkens back to Thomas Edison’s first invention – the standard incandescent bulb.

These bulbs produce a warm white light and can be customized as low as 15 watts.

However, they use more energy than LED or halogen lights and therefore cost more in running costs over time.


LEDs produce a warm white light. Moreover, they consume less energy than incandescent bulbs while providing better lighting quality due to stronger luminosity.

promo photo of an illuminated Edearkar E12 LED Bulb

LEDs are typically only available up to 60 watts. However, they can last up to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs, making them an excellent option for those seeking an energy-efficient choice of lighting.


Halogen bulbs are a minor variation of incandescent bulbs and have been used for many years as a reliable illumination source.

Due to their higher wattage outputs (upwards of 100W), they tend to generate more heat than other bulbs, making them best for desk lamps or spotlights as opposed to general ambient lighting.

They also work great in theatrical settings, producing intense beams of light when needed.

How To Use Candelabra Light Bulbs in Home Decor

Candelabra light bulbs can add a decorative flair to any space, both inside and outside. From basic lighting applications to unique statement pieces, candelabra light bulbs fit every decorating style.

In many cases, they’re ideal for an elegant accent light that only takes up a little space.

Whether used on their own or incorporated into a more prominent light fixture, the right candelabra bulb will effectively brighten any room while adding texture and depth.

Hanging candelabra bulbs on a string like this is very impactful!

For example, chandeliers with these smaller bulbs can be hung over dining areas or used as centerpieces in living rooms.

One of the most popular styles that use candelabra bulbs is farmhouse decor. Here, the small size of these bulbs makes them perfect for small side lamps or sconces.

Other popular decor styles incorporating these lights include:

● Traditional

● Modern

● Bohemian

● Rustic

● Industrial

● Coastal

● Mid-century

Candelabras dazzle indoors and spruce up exterior spaces like patios, decks, and gardens. Stringing several of them together or using them as stand-alone fixtures can create inviting atmospheres anywhere outdoors.

For those adorned with colored covers such as red, yellow, and orange, they provide a great contrast against nature’s backdrop.

Moreover, they tend to go unnoticed during daylight hours until lit at night, when their beauty takes center stage.

Candelabra Light Bulbs: Safety and Maintenance

Candelabra light bulbs are an elegant, decorative lighting choice. Still, as with any electrical item, safety should always be the top priority.

Understanding how to handle and maintain these bulbs can ensure they last while preventing unnecessary accidents.

Let’s explore a few things you should know.

Installing and Handling Candelabra Light Bulbs

When installing candelabra bulbs, ensure you disconnect all power sources before handling them.

Check that the wattage of the bulb matches up with what the fixture is capable of so as not to overload it.

When transporting or moving these bulbs, it’s best practice to use gloves to protect your skin from getting burned if they get too hot.

How To Clean and Maintain Candelabra Light Bulbs

The best way to maintain a set of candelabra bulbs is by regularly cleaning them.

Take a microfiber cloth or a soft paper towel dampened with warm water and gently clean any dust on the bulb’s surface.

Do not use soap, as this could create a film build-up on the bulb, which would cause an imbalance in the luminosity over time.

Common Problems and Solutions

As with other forms of lighting, candelabras can experience problems such as flickering, buzzing, or humming due to loose connections or wear and tear.

If you notice any of these issues, it may be time to replace whichever component is faulty – either the actual bulb itself or its wiring.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, candelabra light bulbs offer elegant and beautiful lighting to enhance any décor.

Whether you opt for a warm, ambient glow or a brighter, vibrant hue, it’s safe to say these unique and distinctive bulb styles won’t let you down. So, if you’re looking for something a little special, why not give them a try?


Bulbs: History of the Light Bulb | Creative Cables: Light Bulb Sockets | Party Lights: Light Bulb & Socket Guide | Waveform Lighting: Ultimate Guide to E12 LED Bulbs | Hunker: What Is a Candelabra Base Bulb?

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