Warm White C9 LED Bulbs vs Clear Incandescent C9 Bulbs

by | Nov 19, 2018

How do those warm white lights compare to my traditional C9’s?

Are those LED lights just as bright?

Here are a few photos to help you answer that question as you are finalizing your Christmas display plans!

First, take a look at this studio photo of a warm white C9 LED bulb and a traditional 7-watt incandescent C9 bulb so you’ll have a close-up idea of what these bulbs look like.

I’ve used an exposure that blasts the camera a bit but this is what my eye is seeing here in the dark. (Note, we aren’t using Pure White, it is equivalently bright as the warm white and has a pure, crystal color.  We’ll share a comparison of pure and warm in our next post.)

Warm White C9 LED Bulbs vs Clear Incandescent C9 Bulbs

 

Here is a shot of 12 LED and 12 glass bulbs in a row. The LED bulbs on the left are SMD style.  Read more about SMD LED bulbs here.

What’s your favorite in this photo?

Warm White C9 LED Bulbs vs Clear Incandescent C9 Bulbs

 

Here is a shot from the middle of the yard. Notice how the colors compare.

Warm White C9 LED Bulbs vs Clear Incandescent C9 Bulbs

 

And from the yard next door….

Warm White C9 LED Bulbs vs Clear Incandescent C9 Bulbs

 

Not the absolute best photo in the world below, but here is a shot from under a street lamp across the street.  You can really see the throw of the light. I can’t wait to get the rest of the house done.  Fingers crossed we finish before Thanksgiving.

We’ll be quite blinding no matter which bulb we choose!

Warm White C9 LED Bulbs vs Clear Incandescent C9 Bulbs

 

Aside from appearance, there are a few pros and cons to consider when choosing between the bulbs.

C9 LED Bulbs

Pros

  • Durable Polycarbonate
  • Color goes through the entire lens (for non-white bulbs)
  • Up to 90% energy savings over traditional bulbs

Cons

  • Not the same bulbs we grew up with
  • Price
  • Susceptible to surges on electrical line (so use a surge protector)

Traditional Incandescent Bulbs

Pros

  • Great price point
  • Traditional King of Christmas light bulbs
  • Matches traditional mini lights

Cons

  • Breakable
  • Can require more electrical service

 

What is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

(And thanks to Dave for all the late night lights installation and reconfiguration!!)
Warm White C9 LED Bulbs vs Clear Incandescent C9 Bulbs

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10 Comments

    • Shellie Gardner

      No, I’ve seen them but haven’t tried them. I prefer to keep my incandescent and LED bulbs separate. In other words, I’ve not been a big fan of LED bulbs that have glass bulbs. If I use glass – which I love for lighting patios and smaller Christmas displays – then I prefer incandescent. For a larger project, we like that LED lights are virtually unbreakable. During installation, that’s really nice.

      That being said, I’ll see if I can try them out after the season. Thanks for the heads up!

      Reply
  1. Kendrick

    I completely understand this post! My wife is always annoyed by my constant critiquing of LED vs Incandescent. Nothing beats the warm glow and brightness of Incandescent Christmas Lights! I’ve been looking for years for a brand that matches because I would love to be able to run more lights on one circuit than what Incandescents allow, and also for more durable and longer lasting lights. But I will always take the look of the Incandescent vs the energy cost and durability of LED!

    Reply
    • Nik

      20 guage wire 25 ct c9 stingers are rated for only 2 strands, but 22 guage wire 25 ct c9 stingers can max out 51 sets!

      Reply
      • Shellie Gardner

        That is correct.

        They are completely different animals.

        Reply
  2. Keith

    This is on point! I agree with and have been saying the same thing for years now. LED seems to be able to produce a variety of colors – EXCEPT the warmth of the old incandescent bulbs. What gives?! My wife says it’s my “old man gripe”, but I am at least glad to have been validated by your post – ha ha!

    Reply
  3. GREG

    Don’t forget about the refresh rate. LEDs can appear to be storobing on and off very quickly-especially the cheaper ones. I too am anxiously awaiting a suitable colored LED string light at the right price. I run about 10,000 lights so price is a factor.

    Reply
  4. Karen Holst

    My dad and I always spent Thanksgiving weekend putting up the Christmas lights along the two-story roofline on our 1967 house – like everyone else in our neighborhood. C-9 Twinklers were extra special and we had red, cobalt, amber, gold, green, purple, pink and BROWN. I spent many years missing those beautiful lights until I found your AWESOME website! Now my girls and grandbaby and I spend Thanksgiving weekend making sweet memories and even creating a little neighborhood envy-

    Reply
    • Shellie

      Thanks, Karen, for your comment!! I’m so glad that you, your girls, and grandbaby are enjoying the lights that you remember! It is our great pleasure to have a role in that. Family traditions and time together is so much a part of Christmas! Y’all have a very Merry One!!!

      Reply
  5. Abbo

    Great blog post. The descriptions and photos are invaluable. Thank you so much. As a guy with an eye for color, I’m still noticing white LED bulbs have a slight greenish case compared to traditional bulbs (not just Christmas lights). I appreciate that your photos show that difference. I’ve been seeing that greenish tint for many years now. I don’t understand why LED manufacturers aren’t addressing that difference. I assume they have plenty of people who can see that color difference too. Anyway, that color difference is one of the few remaining reasons holding me back from a making the LED switch. I really want to, but it’s too hard to give up that beautiful warm color of traditional bulbs. The same it true for multi-color strings too. I’m ready to make the switch, but I’m waiting LED bulb colors to more closely match the color hue and character of traditional bulbs. Thanks for the great blog post, a great web site, and great information! Keep it up!

    Reply

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