Compact Fluorescent Mogul Base Bulbs Buying Guide
You might have seen compact fluorescent mogul base bulbs, they look just like a normal CFL spiral but the base looks a bit bigger. That's because it is: mogul base bulbs (E39) have larger screw bases than the standard, medium (E26) screw base bulbs. In fact, the “39” of E39 and “26” of E26 does not refer to the shapes of the bulbs but rather the width (in millimeters) of the respective screw bases (i.e., E39 base bulbs = 39 millimeters = 1.5 inches; and E26 base bulbs = 26 millimeters = 1.0 inch). So if your fixture calls for a mogul base bulb, make sure the part number has an E39 designation.
Mogul base bulbs are made of cast porcelain to tolerate higher temperatures, making them ideal for industrial and commercial uses. Hence they are typically found in higher wattages such as 40w-200w. Compact fluorescent mogul base bulbs are a good retrofit solution for mogul base fixtures as they delivery significant energy savings. For instance a 42W Compact Fluorescent Mogul Base bulb will replace a 150W equivalent incandescent bulb. When selecting the correct mogul base for your application, pay attention to the following criteria:
WattageThe wattage will determine the light output (lumens). Since they are typically used in commercial applications, compact fluorescent mogul base bulbs are found in higher wattages : 40W and above. This can render anywhere from 2500 lumens (for 40w range) upwards of 10000 lumens (for 200w range). Ensure that your fixture can accept the desired wattage.
VoltageCompact Fluorescent Mogul Base Bulbs are typically available in 120V or 277V. Different fixtures accept different voltage amounts. It is important to get the right voltage otherwise it could burn out the lamp or worse, be a fire hazard.
Integrated BallastThere are certain fixtures that has ballast built into them so you don't need them in the bulb, such as the Lights of America fixtures. Hence they only accept Lights of America Mogul Base Bulbs which don't have an integrated balalst. However these are uncommon, so make sure the bulb has a built in ballast if your fixture doesn't provide one.
Color TemperatureLike any other compact fluorescent lights mogul base bulbs have a color temperature rating. Measured in degrees Kelvin, this tells us how the color produced by the bulb looks in respect to the color of the sun. Mogul base bulbs are typically found in warm color temperature (2700k to 3000k) or cool white/daylight color temperature (5000k+). The cooler temperatures are found in commercial/warehouse applications where mogul base bulbs are typically used.