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  The Christmas Light Guide - Page 1
Frequently Asked Questions About Christmas Lights
1. What are the main types of Christmas lights?

C-7 or C-9, mini-lights, and LED?s. Additionally, there are globe lights, which often use the same size sockets as mini-lights, and micro-mini sets.
3. What are the most popular lights for decorating?

Mini-lights were developed in the 1970?s as a cheaper alternative to the bigger and brighter C-7 and C-9. Typically, each mini-bulb runs about 2.5 watts. One drawback of the original mini-lights was that they were wired in a series, meaning that if one mini-bulb blew out or was loose, the entire strand would go dark. This opened up some interesting possibilities such as blinking and motion lights, which can be created through the addition of a blinker bulb to a regular mini-strand, which intermittently interrupts the current.

Today, most mini-light's come with an internal shunt, which allows the current to pass through a blown-out bulb, allowing the rest of the strand stay lit. Some sets can even stay lit with loose or missing bulbs, although these are much more expensive than standard mini-lights. There are also sets with multi-function controllers which can initiate blinking, fading, twinkling, or chasing schemes in your lights.
2. What are the large, old-fashioned lights called?

C-7 and C-9 lights were once the most common lights and are still used today for outdoor decorating because of their durability.
Typically, each bulb runs at about 5 to 10 watts, meaning your entire strand could be from 125 to 250 watts. This generates a lot of heat, so C-7 and C-9 lights are not recommended for indoor use. One bonus is that, since they were wired together in a parallel formation, one bulb could blow out or be loose, and not effect the rest of the strand.
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