Thread Number: 72899  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
LED Replacement Christmas Bulbs
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 963187   10/18/2017 at 15:56 (369 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



C9 specifically. The Christmas season is around the corner and I'm finally replacing all of my exterior lights with LED C9 bulbs. Lighting gurus, just how bright are SMD 3 diode LED C9 bulbs compared to the traditional 5 diode LED bulbs? I need to make a decision soon so I can place an order.


Reg 5 diode C9:



SMD 3 diode C9:



Any advice greatly appreciated.

Post# 963293 , Reply# 1   10/19/2017 at 01:51 (369 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

The LED C9 string sets I've seen are very reminiscent of dim C7's, and I HATE the spacing.  I use 200-300 C7's on my big indoor tree, really want to switch to LED C7's, but I want the screw in type as I can use my older strings with 12"+ spacing, I've bought a few LED C7's and they are bright enough, some brighter than the std. C7s.  I like the old colored bulbs vs. the clear colored lights,  they are harder to find and still $$$$.  I do a mix, 75% coated and 25% clear, like the look.


I'd opt for the screw in C9's if you want something closer to the brightness of the old style bulbs.

Post# 963315 , Reply# 2   10/19/2017 at 06:39 (369 days old) by Jmm63 (Denville, NJ)        

jmm63's profile picture

Just say NO to LED Christmas lights...... I can't stand them, the color, the brightness, the spacing, the cost, etc etc.  Just give me the good old fashioned ones for the few weeks they are up.  The electric saving vs the cost of new isn't worth it.  

Post# 963330 , Reply# 3   10/19/2017 at 08:38 (369 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



I MUST switch to LED's for the terrace. I don't have the amps. Otherwise, I'd stay with incandescents. And these are retrofit bulbs, not whole sets. The quality is far superior to what you'd find in the stores. The wires that I use have 6" spacing, not the typical 12". 

Post# 963335 , Reply# 4   10/19/2017 at 08:59 (369 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
There is a good video on this

panthera's profile picture

over on He does commercial/civic Christmas lighting and goes into detail on the various LED solutions. Some are quite good, some suck the big one.

I'd not reject LED lamps today based on the rather horrid ones we looked at a few years back - the technology has improved a lot.

Post# 963339 , Reply# 5   10/19/2017 at 09:23 (368 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
If they can make bright

interior LED lighting, why not brighter outdoor Christmas Led's? Cars also have it.
Ah? Planned obsolecense?

Post# 963392 , Reply# 6   10/19/2017 at 15:39 (368 days old) by jakins (Kissimmee, Fl.)        
have used led c7 lights for years

jakins's profile picture
And was on the look out for newer bulbs this year. these are the best I found so far. the pics do not do them justice. I was not a fan of switching to plastic bulbs as the older ones I have are painted glass like the incandescent bulbs. these bulbs are from wintergreen lighting they are called opticore. They are very bright much brighter than the bulbs I had before, and the colors are fantastic. One of the pet peeves I had with a lot of the led bulbs is that you can see the leds I prefer the ceramic or opaque look these you cant see into the bulb. they also make c9 bulbs and also come in transparent colors.


  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 3         View Full Size
Post# 963394 , Reply# 7   10/19/2017 at 15:41 (368 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



Wow. Those do look nice. Hard pressed to tell the difference between them and incandescent ceramic bulbs. 

Post# 963401 , Reply# 8   10/19/2017 at 16:52 (368 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

I hate LED christmas lights. The flickering from the shitty power supplies they all use hurts my eyes, really ruins the enjoyment of Christmas light viewing. My eyes are much happier whenever they land on a house still using incandescent lights. 

Post# 963425 , Reply# 9   10/19/2017 at 19:56 (368 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        

speedqueen's profile picture
I cannot stand LEDs, that blasted blueish hue they all have is the problem for me. My house is the last holdout on the street with all incandescent other than a strand I run up the flag pole, I use LED for that because I figure I'll have less problems with it repeatedly smashing against the pole in the wind. Having a mini light strand fail in the winter is something that cannot be accepted with the arrangement. It is really hard to set it up and take it down as I have a secondary strand that runs across from the top of the flag pole to the television antenna mast that also has a home made star suspended in the center. It would all have to be disconnected. I already have enough times that I have to repair the star arrangement in the middle of December to have the flag pole strand fail which feeds the suspended one and the star.

Everything else is incandescent including the suspended strand and the star itself. Later this year I'll post pictures.

Post# 963493 , Reply# 10   10/20/2017 at 09:09 (367 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
We've upgraded

all of our bath and kitchen lighting to LED. I see no blueish cast from it. Not even in the bathroom, and the paint color is a very light blue called drizzle by Behr. The shower tile is white Capua Blanco by Pamesa, the mosaic Iceland Stria, and the floor tile is Dicape' wood grain in a light country blueish white washed barn wood. Maybe the dark cherry cabinetry tones it down, but the quartz counter top is a white blanco maple by Cosentino Silestone. Basins and fixtures cashmere grey.

Post# 963494 , Reply# 11   10/20/2017 at 09:26 (367 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



All I wanted was some insight on LED Christmas replacement C9 bulbs. How the 5 diode bulbs stack up against the SMD 3 diode bulb.

Post# 963503 , Reply# 12   10/20/2017 at 10:30 (367 days old) by KB0NES (Burnsville, MN)        
In the eye of the beholder

kb0nes's profile picture
I can't stand looking at awful old incandescent Xmas lights anymore. They are so yellow and drab, the color just isn't pure. It is like you take a good light and soak it in a tobacco tar film for years. But like anything that is visually appealing, we all likes what we likes.

The cheap LED strings, especially the older ones were horrible. Now they are bright and you won't see any flicker from them anymore provided they aren't the cheapest no-name China brand lights.

As someone that believes in not wasting resources, I am an evangelist LED proponent I can't in good conscious use an incandescent bulb anywhere. Only one left in my house is in the self cleaning oven.

Post# 963589 , Reply# 13   10/21/2017 at 03:12 (367 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

I have NO problems with the newer LED Christmas lights-Like KBONES-don't like the FADED colors of the older lights.Heat and age has faded their colors even if the lamps still work.I have some LED varicolor lights that are nice-they run from a FILTERED power supply so there is no flickering.The color changes are neat to watch.They come with a controller so you can set them at any color you like.Can't do that with older Christmas lights.But respect folks that like and use the older lamps.Heck they are only used for a few weeks!I do miss the older "Bubble Lamps" those were neat to watch.Don't know if the bubble lights are still made.Will have to look when Halloween is over and the Christmas lighting equipment is set out at Lowes!

Post# 963821 , Reply# 14   10/22/2017 at 05:50 (366 days old) by liberatordeluxe (Chelmsford, United Kingdom)        

I swapped to led fairy lights ready for this Christmas because I couldn't get the spare bulbs for my Noma set. Do you find there is much difference in filament and led warm white tones? From a distance I personally can't tell any difference. Here in the UK you will be hard pressed to find filament fairy lights in the shops. I have a set of sunflower warm white led lights and they are getting on 5 years old.

Post# 963822 , Reply# 15   10/22/2017 at 05:55 (366 days old) by liberatordeluxe (Chelmsford, United Kingdom)        

Regarding brands is there really any difference say between Noma or Premier and Homebase or B & Q led lighting? They all look the same cable and are all made in China whatever make you buy.

Post# 963874 , Reply# 16   10/22/2017 at 13:22 (365 days old) by Artcurus (Odessa)        

Yeah, don't get me started on pink 1950's C7 :-/

I can't stand purple/blue LED Christmas lights. They literally give me headaches. To me, they appear to have a purplish halo around them, and it doesn't matter the brand.

C7 replacements ARE readily available online, and if they are faded out, can be replaced. The boxes come in 25 and are about $4-5 a box.

@Kbones, my kitchen light looks about like this

The energy efficiency audit people literally had a heart attack when they saw it. It uses a 300 watt silver bowl bulb. I wouldn't give it up for the world. The light is so easy on the eyes and comforting. It reflects off the ceiling.

Post# 964648 , Reply# 17   10/28/2017 at 08:45 (360 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Here's the deal.

panthera's profile picture

Because of their nature, there are several ways to get light out of LEDs. One can, quite literally, just string them together and plug them into the 60Hz outlet. They'll flicker at just the right rate to cause headaches and nausea, and that's how a lot of the cheapest lights are done.

One can also build a super-cheap power supply for them which eliminates the flicker entirely and produces a very clean and pretty light.

Just, the super-cheap power supply still adds a few pennies to the cost - and the lowest price brands aren't into spending one-hundredth of one percent more than they absolutely must.


Every time, every single time a new technology comes along, somebody is going to latch on to the worst, most primitive aspects of it and decide that that's the way it was, is, and ever shall be. We had this same discussion back in the early 2000s about CFLs. This.Exact.Same.Discussion.


Look - if you're using a smartphone or a tablet, monitor or laptop built after 2015, you ARE looking at LED lighting. And it's not giving you a headache and, no, you can't tell'.



Post# 964652 , Reply# 18   10/28/2017 at 09:12 (359 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

lordkenmore's profile picture

Look - if you're using a smartphone or a tablet, monitor or laptop built after 2015, you ARE looking at LED lighting. And it's not giving you a headache


Well, that depends... Reading a post by that twit Lord Kenmore might give one a really bad headache...



Post# 964654 , Reply# 19   10/28/2017 at 09:36 (359 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

lordkenmore's profile picture

I have to admit I've been biased against LED lights, finding them rather "cold." But that's entirely by casual observation--I haven't really seriously looked at lights, and certainly haven't actually gone shopping. I'm curious enough to check them out this holiday season.


Post# 964705 , Reply# 20   10/28/2017 at 15:00 (359 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        

panthera's profile picture

Do, please take another look at the higher-end ones. The cheap ones do cause headaches and nausea (they're also dangerous, electrically). The stuff running off of safe power supplies? Some of it is really, really good.

Oh, and your not a twit. I love your postings.

Post# 964710 , Reply# 21   10/28/2017 at 15:17 (359 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

foraloysius's profile picture
Amen Keven!

Post# 964753 , Reply# 22   10/28/2017 at 22:27 (359 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        
I love your postings.

lordkenmore's profile picture


Post# 964760 , Reply# 23   10/28/2017 at 23:15 (359 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

In all fairness I am open to the idea of LED Christmas lighting IF it's done right. I am intrigued by the true C9 LED's that Louis originally posted about, though not the translucent ones. I never liked the translucent incandescent C9's either. I do wonder about those bulbs and flicker given they appear to be a screw in replacement for regular C9 sets which obviously operate on AC current. So I imagine there must be a power supply crammed into the intermediate base of the C9 bulb.
I would also need the actual light to look as close to incandescent as possible, the softer warmer light is much better on my eyes than what I see from your average LED string that people buy at any big box store.

My biggest complaint with Christmas lights in general is just how cheap garbage the quality is, I truly believe they're meant for one use and to be discarded after, given that's usually how long they last and usually do end up discarded after. Several years ago I ordered a 50 light C9 string from christmaslightsetc, it's a durable string and even the bulbs I originally ordered from them lasted several holiday seasons. I will probably get up to speed on their LED offerings and consider ordering a couple boxes of LED lamps for that strand as I am intrigued by the durability of the lamp assuming it's plastic, also provided it doesn't flicker and looks more like an actual incandescent.

As for LED lighting in general, I believe it has it's time and place. I notice many commercial establishments using LED's now look sterile while they never did using incandescent. At home I use LED's in all the fixtures that see high use and where I desire a long lasting lamp. I'm using up my stockpile of CFL's in the outside fixtures, and incandescent in everything on a dimmer or in fixtures where I want the exact type of light only an incandescent offers.
I'm also seeing some premature failures with LED lamps, namely some earlier model GU19's bought from Lighting Ever on Amazon, and interestingly, the highly revered Cree brand. I've yet to have a failure with any Philips or Osram LED's and Cree has been top notch about sending warranty replacements.

Post# 964776 , Reply# 24   10/29/2017 at 01:02 (359 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



C9 LED replacement bulbs do not flicker. As you mentioned, they are designed to be used with your existing incandescent strands. I never liked the faceted type that came out. The reason for the faceted plastic was to add sparkle to an otherwise dimmer bulb when compared to a traditional incandescent. LED replacement bulbs DO come in glass. They are available in ceramic or transparent. I have seen ceramic twinkle bulbs too. Vickerman makes really beautiful LED ceramic C9 and C7 bulbs. The hues when on are virtually identical to vintage General Electric incandescents.


These are C7's


Post# 964778 , Reply# 25   10/29/2017 at 01:28 (359 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Those look pretty convincing. I may try some out. One of my complaints was how dim LED Christmas lights were, those look like they're about as bright as they should be.

Post# 964944 , Reply# 26   10/30/2017 at 07:30 (358 days old) by dermacie (my forever home (Glenshaw, PA))        

dermacie's profile picture
Where did you purchase these bulbs? You have me intrigued now.

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

The Discuss-o-Mat has stopped, buzzer is sounding!!!
If you would like to reply to this thread please log-in...

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy