Golfball bulbs and globes have their spherical design in common. Golfball bulbs are essentially designed as a more compact alternative to standard GLS bulbs, and are usually used accordingly in smaller light fittings.
Globes are larger, and designed to directly deliver a wide spread of light often from a down-facing pendant where the bulb is clearly visible. For this reason the glass of a globe is usually diffused in some way, in order to evenly distribute light but also to cut out the glare of the light source. The finish of golf ball lamps is more varied, since their smaller size makes them easier to conceal in a shaded light fitting.
Both of these styles of bulb can be found in incandescent, energy-saving halogen, CFL, and LED alternatives. Incandescent bulbs have generally been phased out by recent EU legislation, though existing stocks can still be acquired, and industrial ‘rough service’ style lamps with stronger construction can still be legitimately sold to commercial customers.
Golf ball bulbs are frequently used in table and desk lamps, where their small form factor makes them easier to conceal behind a compact-sized shade. For fittings where the bare bulb is visible, golfballs are widely available with an opal finish, which reduces glare and evenly distributes a softened light. For a crisp, focused light, a clear finish may be preferred (e.g. for use in a desk lamp).
Various colours of golfball can also sometimes be found, for use as decorative festoon lights. Incandescent lamps make an economical one-off purchase for this type of application, though professional party organisers and events managers may prefer the energy efficiency and longevity of LED as a more cost-effective solution.
Globes have a different use to golfballs, and are most often used in ceiling pendants with the large bulb clearly visible. They are intended to produce a natural, large-source style of light with an even spread of illumination around a room, and as such globes invariably have a diffused finish. Because they are designed to be seen, you may also find them with decorative finishes.
Large bayonet (B22); small bayonet (B15); Edison Screw (E27); Small Edison Screw (E14).