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Holiday lighting - need to start on my house 1st

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by meets1, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,855

    Where to begin. I have read the last 2 hours on past threads on here about lighting.

    What is the difference in c7 and c9's besides the size. Some say you need to buy a 1000 ft spool and then add lights, others say they buy it all as one. The clips on roofs, gutters all seem different to me. And how do you hook up all those lights without ever overlapping - like the string is one continuous run of lights everywhere. Can I buy from someone or place that doesn't require manuals, DVDs, or franchise fees? Some say I need 100 ft extensions cords, others say 3ft? Any info would be great. I would like to expereiment with my house and maybe brother in law but I would like to work with the lights to get a feel of what I am doing or suppose to do!
  2. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    c9's are 7 watt, c-7's are 5 watt, as a general rule. You can go out 120-140 bulbs on spt1 cord, 150-170 bulbs on spt2. I do overlap and cap/plug to go back on myself on those double /triple triangle peaks. I use all in one clips ( not "plus" ) by the tens of thousands from Litesource in texas. They work in 95% of your applications on shingles and gutters. Wood shakes and concrete roofs are tougher.
  3. Christmas Pro

    Christmas Pro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Main difference is wattage, C9 = 9 watts and C7 = 7 watts however they make a 5 watt C7 bulb that is much better than the traditional 7 watt bulb. We don't use anything but the 5 watt.

    C9 lights are best used on large commercial or residential installs where you need the bigger bulbs and excess wattage to make the lights show up, or if you are going for a big bulb look.

    C7 lights will work for 95% of your installs on both residential and commercial

    It depends on how many installs you will be doing. But it is typically much more affordable to buy 1000ft spools and cut your own lengths and splice on a plug.

    Plus installations easier, install the wire, then screw in the bulbs.

    You can do almost any install with just two clips... the all-in-one-plus clip and the shingle tab.

    You can overlap your wire if necessary, just leave the sockets empty where you overlap (C7 or C9) or use blackout caps (mini lights).

    remember though your C7 or C9 light strand can only be as long as your
    allotted wattage on the outlet it is plugged into. Meaning a strand of C7's plugged into a 20amp circut can have more lights on it than a strand plugged into a 15amp circuit. Also should only use 80% of the available power from an outlet.

    Litesource in lubbock, I believe sells to the public without any kind of fee, I've used them for years, also christmas lights ect also sells direct.

    You will need a variety of different sized extension cords, we primarily use 100ft, 50ft, 25ft and 6ft cords and then we also buy bulk landscape wire to make our own custom length power cords.
  4. worx

    worx LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    Thats good stuff David and Christmas Pro!! Do those plugs that attach to the landscape wire fit securely?
  5. Christmas Pro

    Christmas Pro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Yeah, there are a ton of different styles of plugs, I prefer the ones with the rubber sleeve that covers the plastic plug once its been attached to the wire, but any of the plugs will work. Just make sure you bare enough wire to get a good connection on the screws and that you tighten then down tight.
  6. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    Christmas pro- check the bottom of your c-9 bulbs. the wattage should be on the bottom of the socket. I'm pretty sure I've only seen 10 watt and 7 watt c-9 bulbs. but I could be wrong. also, c-7's come in 5 and 7, but 5 is pretty much standard. 7 is the brighter one you can order special. there are 120 and 130 volt bulbs, and I tend to go with 130 volt 3000 hour.

    i kind of like c-9s as they tend to have thicker glass, but c-7's are fine.

    I try not to leave open sockets, I cover with my custom caps that fit inside all c-9 sockets and the outside of some c-7 's. at least tape them up to keep water out, it will keep your gfc's for tripping.
  7. Christmas Pro

    Christmas Pro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Ahh, your right!!! I have always done my calculations at 9 watts, but the bulbs clearly say 10. Guess you learn something everyday.

    C7's yeah, I only use the 5 watt bulbs for C7 lights, less wattage the better.

    We cover our empty sockets as well, and if its a large amount of sockets to be left open, we'll cut out that section of line and splice in some bulk wire to span the gap. so we have even less chance of tripping a circuit.

    As to using C9's, unless I'm going for a particular look, I only use C9's on large commercial or really large residential where the lights are installed high up and they need the extra size and wattage to be visible.

    We use C7 for almost all of our residential, unless like a said we are going for a big bulb look. mainly because we are trying to keep the power draw to a min and keep our customers happy with a lower power bill.

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