GLS Light Bulbs BC

What is a GLS Bulb?

The GLS bulb is a traditional light bulb design with over a century of lighting  up lives. It's kind of iconic, actually, and whenever you see a lightbulb symbol in advertising or on packaging - it's probably a GLS. It's got that classic pear-like bulb shape which is so versatile that it's still one of the most popular bulb types on the market today. 

The GLS bulbs of today are usually opaque (also referred to as 'pearl' or 'opal', if you're feeling fancy) and made from heat-resistant thermal plastic or glass. 

GLS lightbulbs are fitted with one of two types of caps and this difference is probably the most important to know when you're out picking up a new lightbulb:

MiniSun 4W ES/E27 Filament GLS Bulb in AmberMiniSun 4W ES/E27 Filament GLS Bulb in Amber

Edison Screw

Or an E27 Edison screw (ES) base, which does what it says on the tin, it screws in.

3 x 6W BC B22 Warm White LED Filament GLS Bulbs3 x 6W BC B22 Warm White LED Filament GLS Bulbs

Bayonet Cap

A B22 bayonet cap often abbreviated to BC – it's got a push and twist approach to giving the gift of light.

BC Cap Reigns Supreme

In the UK the BC cap type is the most common of the two, even in new build properties and isn't limited to just the UK, its popularity spans across the USA and Europe.

How often is it we can all agree on something? Who knew that it would be a push and twist lightbulb that bridged that gap?

Edison? We Hardly Know Him!

It's widely believed that Thomas Edison was the mastermind behind the GLS bulb, and he's definitely gotten alot of credit for it. The truth is that the GLS bulb was a longtime collaborative effort between physicists and chemists right here in the United Kingdom. The team behind it included Joseph Swan and Charles Strearn. 

If that's not shocked you enough we've got another fact to light up for you, the first street in the whole world to be lit by an incandescent bulb was Mosley Street, Newcastle upon Tyne way back in 1879.

GLS - General Lighting Services & the Patent

By 1885 Edison had patented the pear shaped bulb, which is probably why so many people associate him with the invention of it. His company, General Lighting Service flogged more than 88 million standard bulbs by 1914. 

As WWII finally came to an end that number was coming up to a solid billion and the association between Edison and the GLS bulb was cemented. 

Now, over a hundred years later, the icon status of the GLS bulb still shines bright but there have been a few changes. 

There's a New Bulb in Town

The GLS style might have remained popular, but by 2019 the old incandescent bulb types were banned across the EU. In the UK they'd been phased out by 2011 and the new, cost-effect, eco-friendly LED was on the scene. Using way less electricity to hit the same number of lumens (brightness). 

Now, if you're thinking 'urgh, but those old bulbs looked so cool',  we're with you. That's why LED fillament bulbs were quick to pop up in the lighting scene, giving that same industrial, steam-punk feel with all the benefits of LED efficiency.  

If you've read this and you're thinking, "As interesting as this has been, and it has been very interesting, I need more lighting info and this history lesson hasn't answered all of my questions." Firstly, thank you, it was interesting, wasn't it?

Secondly, we do have a super comprehensive bulb guide that will tell you everything you've ever wanted to know about the wonderous world of light bulbs. Probably more than you've ever wanted to know about lightbulbs if we're being honest.