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This feels like a very dumb question, but I just bought some LED light bulbs for my chandelier. I'm looking to save energy and thought upgrading my light bulbs would be a simple task.

Well it seems that while the base of the LED bulbs are the same width, the length is not. Looking online, it seems a lot of LED replacement bulbs do not conform to the normal chandelier thread length like the incandescent counterpart. I've even come across some Amazon items that showed a side by side view of comparable LED bulb replacing an incandescent, and the thread lengths didn't match.

So now to my question. Screwing the LED bulb led to a small part of the thread exposed. Does this matter? It's almost as if it needed one more half turn, but it was as far as it would go in.

Here's an example LED I was looking at. Here's an example of an incandescent which matches my old bulb.

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The problem isn't the base being exposed.

The problem is the tip not going down far enough, and arcing as a result.

The #1 reason for this is the new bulb being wider on the bottom than the original, because of the LED driver being located there. And it is hitting a part of the fixture.

  • The bulb goes in just as far as the old bulb. Just the base is longer. Arcing should not happen. – Brandon Jul 29 at 0:48
  • @harper, that does not seem to be his problem. If you've had that issue, either pry the spring in the center of the socket to elevate it (it may have been pushed in by a too-long base) or put a blob of solder on the tip connection of the lamps base. – DrMoishe Pippik Jul 29 at 0:51
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It's doubtful the lamp ("bulb") would leave the metal showing, but if some of the base were to be left exposed, there would be little chance of a problem, because the outer shell of a screw-base socket is connected to the neutral, not hot, line (presuming the chandelier is correctly wired).

If some of the base is visible after screwing in the lamp, and this bothers you, put a small elastic band (e.g. one cut from bicycle inner tube) around the exposed metal area before inserting the lamp. PowerDisc rectifier power savers came with such an elastic insulator, shown in green at the link.

  • What does it mean that the neutral would be exposed and not the hot? Is neutral less dangerous than hot? Neutral just means it's on the way back to the breaker, right? – Brandon Jul 29 at 2:21
  • I guess I'm trying to ask, how is neutral exposed better than hot being exposed? – Brandon Jul 29 at 2:22
  • the voltage from neutral to ground is usually low enough to be safe and not cause electric shocks. – Jasen Jul 29 at 8:47
  • Neutrals are tied to ground at the breaker box. – DrMoishe Pippik Jul 29 at 16:36
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I've seen bulbs like that. The original chandelier designer assumed that bulbs would always gradually taper up, but some of these things, designing the power supply/heat sink, widen out too quickly for that fixture. Either you carefully choose your LED replacements from different vendors or models, or you modify the lamp. Some chandeliers just have cardboard and/or plastic sleeves above socket and they can be shortened.

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