Understanding the Difference Between C7/C9 LED Stringer Sets and Empty Socket Light Line with Retrofit LED Bulbs
C7 and C9 LED Christmas lights are two of the most popular styles of Christmas lighting. Traditionally these larger bulbs were extremely power hungry causing high electric bills and making it difficult to install the lights when limited electrical infrastructure was available. However, nowadays with LEDs being so energy efficient, C7 and C9 bulbs have grown in popularity. Nearly half the orders placed on our website involves some type of C7 or C9.
When it comes to choosing the best C7 or C9 light set option, it can be a bit confusing. We spend a lot of time walking customers through the two main C7/C9 lighting options. The first and least expensive option is the standard LED stringer light sets. The second, more expensive option is using an empty socket light line with C7 and C9 retrofit replacement LED bulbs. Let's take a look at each option.
C7 and C9 LED Stringer Sets - Using C7 or C9 LED stringer sets are a popular choice for the average homeowner looking for a low cost LED light that will work well around the perimeter of the yard or house. These are also frequently used to scatter light larger trees. The advantage of the LED stringer set is that it is the lowest cost option as well as the easiest to work with. The disadvantage is that you are working with a fixed-length set that cannot be trimmed down or custom cut to the area you are trying to light. If you get to the end of a run and you have some of the light set left over, you have to either hide the cord or incorporate it into the lighting design. Without having the ability to custom cut your light line, it can be difficult to have a completed project that looks as crisp and clean as a professionally installed light line.
C7 and C9 Empty Socket Light Line with LED Retrofit Bulbs - Empty socket light line is what professional Christmas installers use and offers the most flexibility during installation. The cord typically comes in either 500' or 1,000' rolls, but we also offer it by the foot for anyone needing less than a full roll. The cord itself is relatively inexpensive, but the bulbs do tend to be a bit costly. However, the illumination intensity and the quality of the LED bulbs are significantly better than what you get with a stringer light set. The other big advantage is that you can cut the cord to any length. This allows you to create clean, professional-looking lines without having to worry about hiding extra bulbs and sockets.
There's often a misconception about using an empty socket light line that leads people to think that it's only for professional-level installers and the installation is too difficult for them. However, the fact is that it's actually very easy and virtually anyone that has installed their own Christmas lights can use this type of cord without any problem. All you need is to select the cord type, the bulbs you want, and then get a few males and females and you are good to go. Take a look at the end of this blog for links to the main components needed for installing a professional light line.
4 Steps to Installing Light Line Like the Pros