Miniature Light Bulb Bases

The earliest miniature lights were directly wired into the light string with only a base to keep the wires connected to the string wires.  These were not easily replaced and most have been discarded, so harder to find.  Also these were quite dangerous, being much more liable to burst into flame.  But fortunately, a plethora of styles of bases  became available.  Here’s a list of the most common ones:

 

  • Screw In Base

    Screw In Miniature Light Bulb Base

    Screw In Miniature Light Bulb Base

  • 1/4 inch wedge base.
    This is the most common base style in use.
    The 1/4 inch diameter refers to the round part of the base that enters the socket.
     

    1/4 Inch Miniature Light Bulb Base

    1/4 Inch Miniature Light Bulb Base

  • 7 Millimeter wedge base.
    Used on sets made to metric standards, it’s slightly larger than the 1/4 inch size shown above.  

    7 MM Miniature Light Base

    7 MM Miniature Light Base

  • 7 Millimeter wedge base with locking clip.
    The tab keeps the bulb from coming loose from the socket. 

    7MM Miniature Light Bulb Base with Locking Clip

    7MM Miniature Light Bulb Base with Locking Clip

  • Italian lights by Kurt S. Adler.
    Used on “Fairy Lights” made in Italy this style is smaller than the typical base at 5.5 millimeters, or 7/32 inch in diameter, with an oval shaped contact section. The entire bulb is only 24 millimeters, or 15/16 inch  long. 

    Italian or Fairy Lights Miniature Light Bulb

    Italian or Fairy Lights Miniature Light Bulb

  • 1/4 inch wedge base with tail.
    Used on heavy duty sets, the tail is added to keep the contacts in the socket from shorting against each other. 

    Miniature Light Bulb Base with Extended Tail

    Miniature Light Bulb Base with Extended Tail

  • General Electric Merry Midget 1963 – 1978.
    A variation on this 2 pin base was also used on NOMA miniature sets.  

    Two Pin Base Miniature Light Bulb/Reflector Base Miniature Light Bulb

    Two Pin Base Miniature Light Bulb/Reflector Base Miniature Light Bulb

  • Combination wedge base/ reflector, NOEL standard, star style.
    This reflector was more resistant to breakage, but the points would snag on the wires and stepping on it in stocking feet was quite painful ! 
  •  

  • Combination wedge base/ reflector, NOEL standard, petal style.
    The most popular reflector style, it resembled a miniature Tulip flower. 
     

    Petal Style Tulip Reflector Miniature Light Base

    Petal Style Tulip Reflector Miniature Light Base

  • Combination wedge base/ reflector, NOEL standard, petal style.
    An earlier style of reflector with finer petals. 

    Flower Petal Style Reflector Miniature Light Bulb

    Flower Petal Style Reflector Miniature Light Bulb

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