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C9 Holiday Lights

March 25, 2019

C9 Holiday Lights–A Christmas Classic

C9–The Chrismas Light of the 1950’s & 1960’s

C9 Holiday Lights A Christmas ClassicI bet you didn’t know all those different Christmas lights you see around actually have technical names.  Even though over the years, I’ve seen all kinds of different light strings, it wasn’t until I started researching the Christmas decoration business that I came across the term C9 lights and had need to know just what this light was.

Just exactly what is a C9 light?  Now well informed, I’m happy to help you get in the know as well.  A C9 light bulb is one of the larger size traditional Christmas bulbs.  A Christmas bulb of this type will measure about 2-1/2″ long. Most popular in the 1950’s and 1960’s these lights were and are intended for outdoor Christmas lighting.  As a kid, we used these outside the house and saved the smaller C7 holiday lights for inside use on our indoor Christmas tree

The Bulb that Revolutionized Outdoor Xmas Lighting

C9 Holiday Lights A Christmas Classic 1These bulbs were introduced by GE in 1927 and even though they were expensive they were the lights to have. C7’s were coveted because for the first time ever, when one Christmas bulb went out the entire light string did not go dim with it.  Instead of testing each light in the string to find the dead bulb, now one blown-out bulb could quickly and easily be replaced and the light string was back in business.  This revolution in technical terms was due to the use of parallel circuitry.

Following WWII, manufacturers offered neighborhood contests for decorating with outdoor Xmas lights to boost sales.  Apparently the contests were very successful for the US is hooked on this now widely accepted tradition.

C9–The Christmas Bulb of Choice for the Outdoors

C9 bulbs are ideal for outdoor Christmas lighting. They are insulated so they will stand up to the cold and wet conditions winter sometimes dishes out.  They are also large enough to be seen quite a distance and for this reason work particularly well on large trees.  In addition, they make a good choice for porches, window and eaves. Consider mounting your C9 string over some greenery or garland for an elegant look.

Catching the C9 Christmas Lights Spark

C9 holiday lights make a great addition to any holiday lighting scheme.
Catching the C9 Christmas Lights SparkLook at the Web site of almost any manufacturer that offers holiday lighting, and you’ll probably see a listing for C9 Christmas lights. Along with C7 Christmas lights, C9 holiday lights have become true Yuletide staples. Here’s what you need to know about them.

So What’s A C-9, Anyway?
Catching the C9 Christmas Lights Spark 1C9 Christmas lights are the largest available lights in the “C”-style lighting category. This variety of holiday lighting features bulbs that just over three inches long, allowing users to achieve a striking look. C9 holiday lights come in a wide variety of colors. You can also select either transparent or opaque C9 Christmas lights, as well as either traditional incandescent or light-emitting diode (LED) varieties.

Incandescent Versus LED
Catching the C9 Christmas Lights Spark 2In a recent holiday lighting investigation, Consumer Reports compared C7 and C9 Christmas lights using four variables: price, energy use/costs, durability and brightness. On the price side, C7 and C9 LED Christmas lights were found to be slightly more expensive than their incandescent counterparts. They were also deemed five to six times less bright. However, according to the report, C7 and C9 LED Christmas lights are more cost-efficient to operate. They utilize one to three kilowatt hours of energy; incandescents, 12 to 105 kilowatts per hour, for a savings of up to $11. Additionally, C7 and C9 LED Christmas lights came out a winner in terms of durability. All LED bulbs tested by Consumer Reports continued to work after more than 4,000 hours of operation and were made of shatter-resistant plastic. Conversely, the more fragile glass incandescent holiday lighting products displayed one or more burned-out bulbs before 2,000 hours of use had elapsed.

Get Your Sockets Right
Catching the C9 Christmas Lights Spark 3Candelabra and intermediate light bulb bases are the most commonly used light bulb bases in holiday lighting. C9 Christmas lights have the larger intermediate variety of base, while C7s bulb have the candelabra base, which is smaller. Each type of base has one corresponding socket size, so when purchasing light strings, don’t forget to select C9 bulbs with compatible (intermediate) bases.