What is the difference between faceted and smooth bulbs

March 13, 2017

Kristin recently asked the following question and since we hear it quite often, we thought we’d share our answer here:

I’m trying to decide between smooth or faceted C9 LED bulbs for the outside of our house. Without seeing them lit, it’s hard to tell which is the better bulb. Is one brighter than the other? And when lit, what is the difference between the looks of each bulb? Thanks for taking the time to help answer my questions. Since it’s a good bit of money for led bulbs, I just want to make sure we get the right ones!


Great question!  Here are a few things to consider about our bulbs:

The smooth and the faceted bulbs are made by the same factory – Minleon – and have 5 LEDs to the bulb so they are the same color and the same number of 5 LED’s to each base.

More than anything your best choice will be based on your taste and preference as much as anything technical or related to their construction.

The faceted bulbs are the most popular because the faceted bulbs are most traditional, represent the most traditional shape for LED bulbs and seem to  “disperse” the light out. As a result, even though they have the same number of LEDs per base they can appear slightly brighter than the smooth bulbs.

The smooth bulbs, on the other hand,  are really so COOL and have a very modern look with light more concentrated at the base and the tip of the bulb.

You can see most of these effects in the photographs.

Keep in mind that LED bulbs don’t look exactly like traditional lights – they have a totally different feel and don’t seem to “throw” as much light but are really striking.

You might consider driving a few local neighborhoods to see LED light bulbs already installed for the season to help with making final decisions on your bulb choice.

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Shellie Gardner
Aside from throwing dinner parties that feature at least two kinds of cheese dip, Shellie's passions include travel, Mid-Century Modern furnishings and finding the perfect street taco. Has been known to snort laugh champagne.

2 thoughts on “What is the difference between faceted and smooth bulbs”

  1. How do the new 5 LED C9’s (0.84 watts/bulb) compare in brightness to the traditional incandescent C9’s (7 watts/bulb)? I can’t seem to find any lumen to lumen comparison.

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