How do you pick the right size when replacing light globes?


Quick Answer

Determine the right size for a replacement light globe by measuring the outside diameter of the base in which it fits. There are several styles of bases, so it is also important to determine the correct style of globe for the light.

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Full Answer

The base measurement is the fitter size. In the United States, common fitter sizes for globes with a lip, which use three screws to hold them in place include the 2 1/4-inch, 2 1/2-inch, 3 1/4-inch, 4-inch, 5-inch and 6-inch. The fitter size is sometimes slightly smaller than these dimensions, but never over them. Older lamps sometimes require an odd sized globe, making careful measurement essential for ensuring proper fit.

In lamps where the base remains upright at all times, the globe may have a straight base that slides into the fitter. These globes have different standard fitter sizes; however, in some cases, a flared lip globe fits into the base, but the application is mismatched.

If a lamp requires a nonstandard sized globe, it is likely a heirloom or antique lamp. With these lamps, owners should consider the period of the lamp along with the size of the globe. Choosing a period appropriate globe helps preserve the value of the heirloom.

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