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  365 Days of Christmas Lights

      Helpful advice, tips and tricks to lighting up your home and enjoying any holiday or event.
What is the difference in C7 vs. C9 Lights?
Posted on 7/3/2013 to Q & A - All About Christmas Lights
Christmas Lights can be really confusing, is yours a mini light, C6, C7, C9, G40, rope light...the list can go on and on.  The sizes that our customers have the most questions about are C7 and C9 lights.  Besides mini Christmas lights, these are the most common Christmas Light you will come across.  They are the style many of us grew up with, or we remember our grandparents using. Because of their time tested durability and ease of use, their popularity is coming back more and more.

So what are the differences in these two lights?
  • First, they have a different base size (the screw in portion of the light that fits into the socket).
C7 has a candelabra or E12 base.  This is the same base size as you would find in most chandeliers or night lights. They only work with C7 or E12 base sockets.

C9 is a larger base sometimes referred to as E17 or medium Christmas light base. They only work in C9 or E17 based sockets.
  • Second, the size of the bulb itself is different.
A C7 bulb is approx.2 1/8" tall from the bottom of the base to the top of the bulb and 7/8" wide from the largest points of the bulb.

A C9 bulb is approx. 2 7/8" tall from the bottom of the base to the top of the bulb and 1 1/8" wide at its largest points of the bulb.

  • Third, the difference in brightness.  Generally C7 bulbs are 5 watts and C9 bulbs are 7 watts.
C7 bulbs are great for 1 story residential installations, outlining Gazebo's, lighting outdoor Christmas trees, using in window candles and lighting tents for weddings.

C9 bulbs are better for lighting 2 story homes and commercial buildings, over street lighting, luminaries, and outdoor Christmas trees over 40FT.

These are the main differences between the two and the biggest thing to remember is check the size of your light line/Christmas Light strings before you purchase.  C7 bulbs only fit into C7 based sockets, C9 only works with C9 sockets, they are not interchangeable between the two sizes.

Advantages of using C7 or C9 lights is that they are not run in series so when one bulb has a problem, it will only affect one bulb not a whole section of lights.  Also, the bulbs are pretty standard from manufacturer to manufacturer, you will be able to find replacements easily. 

Have more questions on these or any of our other lights? Please contact us by email or phone to get more information.

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