What is the best cord for C9 LED bulbs?

November 6, 2016

What is the best cord for LED C9 bulbs? 

Short Answer:  C9 cords with 6 -inch spacing are tailored to work with LED bulbs along rooflines and walkways resulting in maximum impact and intensity.

The Long Answer:

We kept hearing customer questions like:

I want my LED bulbs closer together than 12 inches, have you got a cord for that?

I don’t think my LED lights look as bright as traditional lights, what do you suggest to compensate?

I use a ton of lights and I’d like to use C9 LED bulbs and cords but the only sets that have smaller spacing are the pre-wired strings. I want to use traditional clips – do you have a solution?

The answer to these types of questions is a custom-manufactured C9 stringer cord where the green sockets are spaced 6 inches apart.  Problem solved.


LED Bulbs vs. Pre-wired Strings

Retrofit C9 LED bulbs commonly have 5-LEDs to the bulb  as opposed to one LED per bulb on pre-wired LED strings. (Be sure to check the specification of any bulbs before you purchase to confirm number of LEDs.)  So pairing bulbs and cords will have a great deal of  impact especially along rooflines.

So, why would anyone want to use pre-wired light strings?

There’s are a couple of things to keep in mind when looking at the two product classes:

LED Bulbs and cords purchased separately – brighter but only 250 total feet of 18 AWG wire can be run in a single series circuit

Pre-wired LED light strings – 100’s of feet of this style of lights can be run in series on a single plug. This feature makes these strings perfect for HUGE Christmas trees, the strings have small and large lenses making them a great choice for wrapping trees, installation is easy and they have super-low current draw.

Here is a video that discusses some of the pros and cons:

What about incandescent bulbs?  I’d like them to be this close together.

Please note that with 200 sockets, if you installed 7-watt C9 glass incandescent bulb, the current draw would be well over the 5-amp maximum rating for the fuse in the male end plug and would exceed the 10-amp max rating for the 18 AWG wire.

If you would like to use this cord for 7-watt bulbs, you would have to work with a Master Electrician to split the cord into smaller runs of 50 feet or less and install male 10-amp rated gilbert plugs on one end and terminate the other end of each cord with liquid electrical tape or the method your electrician chooses.

If you find yourself with a plan to modify this cord in that fashion and have a large project, you might consider a 500-foot spool of C9 cord with 6-inch spacing that is shipped without plugs.

Please share your thoughts and photos with us – we’d love to hear and see them!

Shellie Gardner
Aside from throwing dinner parties that feature at least two kinds of cheese dip, Shellie's passions include travel, Mid-Century Modern furnishings and finding the perfect street taco. Has been known to snort laugh champagne.

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