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Golf Ball Bulbs & Globes

Incandescent golf ball bulbs and globes are used in a wide variety of light fittings. Golf balls are the smaller lamp of the two, typically used in compact luminaires where a standard GLS bulb would be too large. Golf balls are also sometimes used on decorative pendants. A globe is a larger bulb, spherical by nature and name, and unlike the golf ball is almost always used as a bare light source in open luminaires. Golf balls and globes are available with the same popular bayonet and screw-fit bases found on regular GLS bulbs (i.e. B22d, B15d, E14, and E27).

EU incandescent phase-out

Like most common forms of incandescent bulb, production of many golf balls and globes was halted by the EU incandescent phase-out between 2009 and 2012. Replacement technologies such as energy-saving halogen, fluorescent, and LED have been used to fill the void.

Low wattage and rough service bulbs

Despite the arrested production of many incandescent golf ball bulbs and globes, they are still available in various forms. Lower wattage bulbs are produced below 60W, and special ‘rough service’ incandescent bulbs can be made at various wattages and marketed for industrial or commercial use.

Rough service bulbs are usually manufactured with a tougher glass and filament, which results in a longer average lifespan than regular incandescent equivalents. Existing incandescent stocks can also be legitimately sold by retailers.

Glass finish

Incandescent golf ball bulbs are available in either a clear or opal finish. In instances where the bulb is concealed by a shade, a clear finish can be used. A clear finish is also often used to create extra sparkle in glass chandeliers and pendants.

An opal finish diffuses the light, creating a softer and more widespread illumination. This effect is even greater in a globe, where the larger size of the lamp is a contributing factor. Designed to be seen, globes invariably have an opal finish or a decorative filament.

Incandescent advantages

Outgunned in many ways by newer technologies, incandescent still offers some advantages:

  • Consistent colour of light (LED and fluorescent lighting is more prone to variation).
  • Excellent colour rendering with a CRI 100 score (matched only by halogen).
  • Warm, cosy light quality.
  • The most inexpensive form of lighting available.
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