Understanding Bulb Types for Christmas Lights

Understanding Bulb Types for Christmas Lights

It’s that time of year again where lights become indispensable to our outdoor and indoor décor. For some, a rummage through storage boxes might reveal that their lights are getting old and need replacing. Others might want to expand their light coverage or decorate a new area. Whatever your reasoning, selecting a new set of Christmas lights can be as tricky as it is exciting. The process might even become more exasperating than enjoyable if you’re searching for individual replacement bulbs.

In the mass of current selections, you can find just what you want in terms of form and dimension—but it can also be confusing to navigate through everything. For this reason, we’ve outlined the major lightbulb categories that are commonly seen, so that you can gain a better understanding of bulb types for Christmas lights.

Mini Lights

Among the most recognizable of the Christmas light varieties, mini lights have bulbs that are small and cylindrical with distinct pointed tips. Introduced in the 1970s, they quickly become a festive decorating staple because of how easily they could be added to all sorts of places to bring them some gleaming holiday cheer. These include Christmas trees, walls, and rails, to name a few. Their small size also makes them suited for bending into shapes, such as words.

Mini lights are often incandescent and come in many colors produced by varying tints on their bulbs. Because they are connected in series to create a long line, their bulbs contain shunts as well as filaments. Should a bulb in the chain burn out, the others can continue to function normally because the shunt keeps the circuit complete between them.

Wide Angle Mini Lights

Comparable in size to regular mini lights, wide angle mini lights have a longer base and shorter bulb. The bulb itself is a cylinder with a concave end. This unique shape maximizes light intensity and refraction, making them gleam brighter than many other varieties from almost all angles.

Wide angle mini lights are LED-type bulbs, which means that they are more energy-efficient than incandescent lights and can last longer. While LEDs are known to appear a bit colder and less radiant than incandescent lights, wide angle mini light bulbs overcome this with their shape. They may look quite different when examined closely, but in a display, the gleaming of wide-angle mini lights is just about equivalent to incandescent versions. They’re so effective, in fact, that it is sometimes recommended that they be reserved only for outdoor use because of their brilliance.

C-Shape Lights

In this type of light, the “C” is short for “candle,” as their shape resembles the small flame on the wick of its namesake; they are roughly strawberry-shaped. They exist on connected lines, like mini lights, and have gradations of size indicated by a number in their names. The higher the number, the larger the bulb. For example, C7 lights bulbs are 1 inch in diameter while C9 bulbs are 1 ¼ inches in diameter. If you’ve ever seen the show Stranger Things, then you’re probably familiar with these kinds of lights, as they’re the ones strewn about the house. While mini lights may have been popularized in the 70s, candle lights truly embody nostalgic appeal.

C-shape bulbs can come in either incandescent or LED forms, which you can decide between based on whether you prefer more visual warmth or greater energy-efficiency. Either way, they are perfect for dressing up trees and bushes, as well as your home’s roof and yard. Smaller versions can also bring some life to holiday parties when they are lined across the walls.

If you don’t want to be limited to the typical wired-together setup, you can get individually separated C-shape light bulbs which you can employ creatively around your house. You could create a straight, horizontally-pointing line of them along the rim of the roof, for instance, instead of having them dangling more randomly with their tips pulled straight down by gravity.

G-Shape Lights

G-shape light bulbs are globes, and like C types, they have number distinguishers. These numbers correspond to their diameter in millimeters. Common versions are G30, G40, and G50 bulbs. Their round structure lends them to being hung from high places in order to create an enchanting atmosphere. They can be white or multicolored according to your desire, leaning more clean or lighthearted as a result. Furthermore, they are available in both incandescent and LED forms.

An application that G-shape lights are fitting for is a rustic-themed interior. If your home is dominated by wood furniture and a naturalistic design philosophy, G-shape lights will not look out of place, and they will ultimately enhance the arrangement. Likewise, any outdoor event that utilizes a large tent cover over guest seating can benefit from globe lights. They can be lined along the cover’s frame to give the space an extra allure amidst pure blankets of snow and garlands of evergreen. Just look up a picture of tent lightsand you will be able to see how much of a difference they can make in this setting.

Using this information, hopefully you can now more easily navigate the world of Christmas lights and obtain just what you are looking for. As you can see, your choice can depend on how bright you want your lights to be, where you want to place them, and the overall effect you want to give onlookers. Often, you may end up combining different types of bulbs to fill out a space while keeping separate portions distinct. You may have a roof silhouetted with larger C9 bulbs, but also use mini lights to swathe your Christmas tree and spiral around your entryway stair rail. No matter what you’re after this holiday season, Action Lighting can provide just what you need. We have a wide selection of Christmas lights to fit whatever look you’re going for. Contact us today so we can take your holiday lighting to the next level—it will make all the difference on your merriment.

Understanding Bulb Types for Christmas Lights infographic

27th Dec 2019

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