Buying C7 and C9 LED Retrofit Bulbs

LED retrofit bulbs have become all the rage over the last couple of years. Despite the fact that they cost significantly more than traditional glass incandescent bulbs, we are now selling  more retrofit LEDs than their traditional incandescent counterparts. While cities and businesses have fully embraced the LED revolution, it’s not just the commercial customers making the switchover. We’re seeing scores of residential customers upgrading as well. Between the energy savings, longer life expectancy, more vivid colors and reduced fire hazard, LEDs are in high demand. 

When it comes to buying C7 and C9 retrofit LED bulbs, also known as LED replacement lamps, there are a lot of great bulbs on the market, but there are also a number of lower quality ones as well. In the video below, we go cover some of the basics that you need to know before making the switch from traditional bulbs to new LED retrofit bulbs.



  1. Matt says

    Thanks for the great informational videos. I have a question regarding the “retro-fit” LED C9 bulbs and the pre-made C9 LED light strings. What are the primary advantages/disadvantages to each of these? It appears that the retro-fit option would be considerably more expensive. Also, in regards to using both types with an LOR controller, I noticed that the retro fit C9 has a dimmable version. Are the pre made C9 light strings compatable with the fade/twinkle/etc. functions of the LOR programming?

    • says

      Yes, there is a big price difference, but comparing the two is like comparing a Volkswagen to a Cadillac. With C9 LED retrofit bulbs, all your electronics are contained within each bulb. If a resistor or some other electronic goes out, you only lose one bulb. When it comes to stringer sets, one failure in the electrical system can knock out anywhere from half to the full set. This is why most professional Christmas installers use only C9 LED retrofit bulbs. There is also a substantial difference in illumination intensity.

      When it comes to LOR controllers or any other type of animation controller, then yes, for LED retrofit bulbs, you must purchase dimmable bulbs in order to have full animation. When it comes to C9 LED stringer sets, you just need to make sure they are full wave rectified, which all of our Pro/Commercial LED Christmas lights are. If you are trying to use half wave rectified LEDs, they will not work properly with an animation controller.